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US, EU stiffen sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

Men look at a building destroyed by the Ukrainian Air Force in Snezhnoye, 80 km east of Donetsk, on July 16, 2014The United States and Europe strengthened sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine Wednesday, with President Barack Obama taking his first direct swipes in the finance, military and energy sectors of the Russian economy. The American package of sanctions packed the most punch and drew an angry threat of serious retaliation from Moscow, further escalating the worst standoff since the Kremlin and the West since the Cold War. Europe and the United States acted after fighting between the Western-backed Kiev government and pro-Russian separatists took another dangerous turn, with 55 civilians killed since the weekend alone.

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