U.S. issues new sanctions against 7 Ukraine rebels

Pro-Russian gunmen stand at a checkpoint outside of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, May 23, 2014. Getty Images

The U.S. has issued new sanctions against seven Ukraine separatists accused of stoking violence against their capital in Kiev.

Friday's action comes as U.S. officials point to new evidence that Russia is amassing new weapons and munitions closer to its border with Ukraine. The U.S. says Russia has redeployed "significant" forces within a few kilometers of Ukrainian territory, the closest they have been since the invasion of Crimea, CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan reports. The U.S. has additional information that more forces will arrive within the coming weeks.

Russia had pulled back its troops from the border in recent weeks as negotiators from Moscow and Kiev began sketching out a peace plan. Yet ahead of the peace plan's publication, fighting is flaring up again. Seven Ukrainian troops were killed in overnight fighting in the east, an official said Friday.

Vladislav Seleznev, spokesman for Ukrainian forces in the east, said in addition to the deaths, 30 troops were injured in fighting near the village of Yampil in the Donetsk region. He said 300 rebels were killed, but that could not be immediately verified.

The new sanctions freeze any assets that the separatists have in the United States, and prohibit any American firms or businesses from dealing with them.

The U.S. has already issued similar sanctions against Ukraine separatists and Russians.

The West has been threatening to hit Russia's economic sectors with tougher sanctions for what it has called Moscow's meddling in Ukraine.

Comments