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EU names 15 new targets for sanctions, including head of Russian general staff

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BRUSSELS - The European Union on Tuesday released the names of 15 new people it is targeting for sanctions because of their roles in the Ukraine crisis.

The list includes Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff and first deputy defence minister, and Lt. Gen. Igor Sergun, identified as head of GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency.

The decision taken by the EU governments' ambassadors in Brussels brings the total number of Russians or pro-Russian individuals in Ukraine targeted by the EU's sanctions to 48. Any bank accounts or other economic assets the sanctioned individuals hold in EU member countries are now supposed to be frozen, and they will no longer be allowed to travel to the EU's 28 member states.

The EU move comes after the U.S. decided to broaden its own sanctions to include seven Russian government officials and 17 companies with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia's Foreign Ministry protested that the EU action shows "a complete misunderstanding of the political situation" in Ukraine, and called it "an open invitation to local neo-Nazis to continue creating lawlessness and extrajudicial killings against the civilian population of the southeast."

Others on the new EU list:

—Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who was appointed by Putin to manage the integration of Crimea into Russia.

—Oleg Belaventsev, Putin's plenipotentiary representative in Crimea.

—Oleg Savelyev, Russia's minister for Crimean affairs.

—Sergei Menyailo, acting governor of the Crimean city of Sevastopol, home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

—Olga Kovatidi, member of the Russian Federation Council for Crimea.

—Ludmila Shvetsova, deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma, said to be responsible for introducing legislation to annex Crimea, according to the EU's Official Journal, which published the list.

—Sergei Neverov, deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma, also said to be "responsible for initiating legislation to integrate Crimea."

—German Prokopiv, a leader of the pro-Russian insurgency in Luhansk who took part in the seizure of the regional office of the Ukrainian Security Service.

—Valeriy Bolotov, another leader of pro-Russian forces in Luhansk.

—Andriy Purgin, head of the separatist "Donetsk Republic" in eastern Ukraine and an active organizer of separatist actions.

—Denys Pushylin, another leader of the "Donetsk Republic," who participated in the seizure and occupation of the regional administration building. Also a spokesman for the insurgents.

—Sergei Tsyplakov, one of the leaders of the People's Militia of Donbas, a group involved in seizing several state buildings in Donetsk region.

—Igor Strelkov, said by the EU's Official Journal to be on the staff of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU. He is believed to have co-ordinated several of the armed pro-Russian actions in eastern Ukraine, and to be an assistant on security matters to Sergey Aksyonov, prime minister of Russian-annexed Crimea.

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