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New EU sanctions target Russia army, intelligence chiefs

Russia's armed forces chief of staff and its military intelligence chief were among 15 people listed on Tuesday as targeted by the European Union's latest sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

BRUSSELS: Russia's armed forces chief of staff and its military intelligence chief were among 15 people listed on Tuesday as targeted by the European Union's latest sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

General Valery Gerasimov, army chief and the country's deputy defence minister, was named in the EU's official journal along with Lieutenant-General Igor Sergun, director of Russia's GRU, or main intelligence directorate.

He was targeted "for the activity of GRU officers in eastern Ukraine" while Gerasimov was listed as "responsible for the massive deployment of Russian troops" along the Ukraine border and "lack of de-escalation of the situation".

Another GRU officer, Igor Strelkov, was also placed on the list for "incidents in Slavyansk".

Several officials involved in the March annexation of Crimea by Russia were also listed along with Ukrainians held responsible for trouble in the country's east, including "Donetsk Republic" leaders Denis Pushilin and Andriy Purgin.

The latest list brings to 48 the number of people to be hit by an EU asset freeze and travel over the annexation of Crimea and unrest in eastern Ukraine.

Another 22, all Ukrainians, also have had their assets frozen in the 28-nation bloc because they are being investigated for fraud and embezzlement by the interim Ukraine authorities.

Among those placed on the EU blacklist over the annexation of Crimea are two deputy state Duma chairpeople, Sergei Neverov and Ludmila Shvetsova, as well as the acting governor of annexed Sevastopol, Sergei Menyailo and deputy premier Dmitry Kozak, who oversaw Crimea's integration into the Russian federation.

Others listed over Crimea are Oleg Belaventsev, Oleg Savelyev and Olga Kovatidi.

Ukrainians targeted for separatist activities include German Prokopiv and Valeriy Bolotov, both allegedly involved in the seizure of official buildings in Lugansk.

One of the leaders of the separatist People's Militia of Donbass, Sergiy Tsyplakov, was also named.

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