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U.S. Sanctions on Russia in Response to Events in Ukraine

CRS Report, July 18, 2014 (IN10048): “Many view Russia’s annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine on March 18, 2014, and efforts to destabilize eastern and southern Ukraine as the culmination of long-standing Russian resentment of the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. Russian leaders have claimed they have the right to protect Russian citizens and “compatriots” (those linked by language, culture, or ethnicity) in neighboring countries. Inthis context, Ukraine may have a particularly important place in Russian history. Ethnic Russians make up over 17% of Ukraine’s population, concentrated in the east and south of the country, and Russian officials have warned that they are willing to intervene militarily to protect them (see CRS reports on Russia and Ukraine). On July 17, 2014, a civil aircraft carrying 298 persons from Netherlands to Malaysia, flying over the Ukraine-Russia border, was downed, killing all aboard. In the month previous, two Ukraine military aircraft were similarly taken out, likely by surface-to-air missiles. The U.N. Security Council has called an emergency session to weigh options.”

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