WASHINGTON D.C., February 20 (RAPSI) - The US are imposing visa sanctions against 20 Ukrainian officials who are allegedly responsible for the escalation of violence, the US State Department declared on Thursday.

The names on the list will not be made public, but the State Department representative added that the sanctions are imposed against civilian officials.

Unrest erupted around noon Tuesday as thousands of people marched on the parliament building, where a standoff was taking place over proposed constitutional reforms that the opposition said could provide a way out of the political crisis that is paralyzing the country.

The violence that ensued lasted for hours and resulted in numerous deaths and hundreds of injuries. Kiev city law enforcement officials said that nine police officers were killed during the fighting and that almost 300 were injured, 35 of them critically.

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged the Ukrainian government to stem the surge of violence in the ex-Soviet country and warned that there will be “consequences” if the deadly clashes continue.

“We are going to be watching very carefully, and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters,” Obama said during an official visit to Mexico.