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Mar 4, 2014 11:37 AM by Associated Press

Kerry pays tribute to protesters who died

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - The U.S. is showing its support today for Ukraine's new leadership.

Secretary of State John Kerry walked the streets of Kiev, where nearly 100 anti-government protesters were gunned down by police last month. To people who pleaded for American help, Kerry promised that aid is on the way. The Obama administration has already announced a $1 billion energy subsidy package. And Kerry told Ukrainians that Obama is "planning more assistance."

Kerry left a bouquet of roses at a shrine set up to memorialize protesters killed during the unrest.

The visit, lasting just hours, comes as Ukraine's government grapples with a Russian military takeover of Crimea -- a mostly pro-Russian region in southeastern Ukraine.

U.S. officials traveling with Kerry say the Obama administration is considering slapping Russia with unspecified economic sanctions as soon as this week. Members of Congress say they're preparing legislation that would impose sanctions.

But Russia's Vladimir Putin says he won't be deterred by economic sanctions from the West.

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