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EU Extends Sanctions Against Russia

The European Union has extended its sanctions against Russia due to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Travel bans and asset freezes put in place by the EU affect 146 people and 37 organizations involved in the Crimean annexation and the war in Ukraine. The sanctions had been due to expire on Sept. 15.

Among the sanctioned individuals are Russian officials and lawmakers, as well as representatives of the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.

The sanctions were first imposed in July of 2014, a few months after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. More than 9,500 people have been killed since war erupted in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.The move caused Russia to impose counter-sanctions against the import of Western food products.

Moscow maintains that Crimea joined Russia legally and says that the country is not involved in the military conflict in eastern Ukraine.

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At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

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