EU prepares new sanctions over Russian military incursion

Members of the Donbass Battalion, a pro-Ukraine militia, stand in a field near a Ukrainian military checkpoint on May 21, 2014 in Dobropillya, Ukraine. Days before presidential elections are scheduled, questions remain whether the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are stable enough to administer the vote.  (Brendan Hoffman, Getty Images)
Members of the Donbass Battalion, a pro-Ukraine militia, stand in a field near a Ukrainian military checkpoint on May 21, 2014 in Dobropillya, Ukraine. Days before presidential elections are scheduled, questions remain whether the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are stable enough to administer the vote. (Brendan Hoffman, Getty Images)
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Updated: 8/30 11:48 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is warning that the apparent incursion of Russian troops into Ukraine is pushing the conflict closer to a point of no return.

Leaders of the 28 EU nations are meeting in Brussels to draw up new economic sanctions aimed at making Moscow reconsider its position.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces have abandoned a city (Ilovaisk) where they have been surrounded for days by pro-Russian rebels. They came under fire so intense that the government was compelled to plead for a corridor out.

Government forces are also pulling back from another city they had claimed control of two weeks ago.

Ukraine and numerous Western governments have said they believe rebels have been amply supplied with powerful Russian weaponry and that regular Russian troops are engaged in combat.

NATO estimates that at least 1,000 Russian soldiers are in Ukraine. Russia heatedly denies any involvement in fighting that has so far claimed at least 2,600 lives, according to U.N. figures.

 

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