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Russia says EU 'against peace' as US backs new sanctions

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the European Union has "made its choice against" a peace process in Ukraine by approving tougher sanctions against Russia.

President Barack Obama said the United States will join the EU in imposing sanctions on Russia's financial, energy and defence sectors after Moscow sent troops into eastern Ukraine last month.

David Cameron has spoken to European leaders and agreed to push ahead with the sanctions by the end of the week, his spokesman has confirmed.

After the announcement the Russian rouble reached a new historic low against the dollar.

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Separatist leader: Russian soldiers are fighting with us

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are being helped by Russian soldiers. Credit: Reuters

Pro-Russian separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko said serving Russian soldiers on leave from their posts are fighting Ukrainian troops alongside the rebels, Russian state television reported.

"Among us are fighting serving soldiers, who would rather take their vacation not on a beach but with us, among brothers, who are fighting for their freedom," said Zakharchenko.

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