US announces new sanctions over Russia’s action in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has slapped sanctions on three individuals and nine entities over what it said was Russia’s “malign” activity in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement Thursday that the sanctions “target Russian actors for serious human rights abuses” and for furthering the “Russian occupation of Crimea and use of force” to control separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 after sending in troops and pushing through a separatist vote. Moscow then backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

One of the individuals targeted by the sanctions is suspected in the abduction and abuse of a Crimean Tatar activist who protested the annexation, according to the Treasury statement.