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Separatists vote for leader in breakaway eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists will vote to set up a breakaway regional leadership in the eastern Ukraine region of Donetsk and Luhansk aiming to take their war-torn region closer to Russia and defying Kiev and the West as the big guns still boom across the territory.

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US: Ukraine has 'responsibility to provide law and order'

The White House said Ukraine's government has the "responsibility to provide law and order" as its troops move against pro-Russia separatists in the country's eastern region.

Ukrainian troops near a MI-8 military helicopter and armoured personnel carrier at a checkpoint in east Ukraine. Credit: REUTERS/Dmitry Madorsky

"These provocations in eastern Ukraine are creating a situation in which the government has to respond," White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a briefing.

The US is "seriously considering" new sanctions against Russia, but is not considering providing lethal aid to Ukraine, he added.

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