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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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Putin approves Russian citizenship expansion plan

The Kremlin has approved plans to make it easier for Russian-speaking citizens of former Soviet states to become Russian citizens.

The move, which has been signed off by Vladimir Putin, will affect citizens of countries including Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states, along with countries in central Asia.

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