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Ukraine Crisis Sends Russian Markets, Ruble Plummeting

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Russia's financial markets dropped about 10 percent and its currency fell to its lowest point ever against the dollar and the euro on Monday as the crisis in neighboring Ukraine showed no sign of abating.

The Moscow Exchange fell about 10 percent in the first hour of trading Monday, although it later recovered slightly.

The ruble, already down nearly 10 percent this year, fell below 50 to the euro for the first time. It was trading below 36.4 to the dollar, also a record.

Russia intervened over the weekend to take control of Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula with strategic importance, and the new government iKiev fears a wider invasion.

The West responded by questioning Russia's membership in the Group of Eight leading industrialized democracies, and the U.S. threatened possible asset freezes and trade penalties.

- The Associated Press

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