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Russia appears to be behind Ukraine violence, U.S. envoy to U.N. says

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WASHINGTON -- The outbreak of violence in eastern Ukraine appears to have been provoked by Moscow, the American ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday.

“It has all the tell-tale signs of what we saw in Crimea,” Ambassador Samantha Power said on ABC’s "This Week."

She said well-armed men wearing plainclothes and speaking Russian took over government buildings in the area of Ukraine near the Russian border. Other reports from the region have described assailants dressed in Russian-style camouflage military uniforms but without insignias.

She said Russian officials have denied being involved in the incidents and deny they are seeking a pretext for sending troops into eastern Ukraine.

“They say that is not what they want, but everything they do suggests the opposite,” Power said.

Asked what the United States could do in response to the Russian provocation, she pointed to further sanctions that would target sectors of the Russian economy.

“You will see a ramping up of the sanctions,” she said.

david.savage@latimes.com

Twitter: @davidgsavage

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