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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 signs decree to 'rehabilitate' Crimean minorities

Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to rehabilitate ethnic minorities in Crimea who suffered under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Among the groups the decree concerns is Crimea's large Tatar population, which has largely opposed the peninsula's annexation by Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Russian television last week Credit: Alexei Druzhinin/Photas/Tass/Press Association Images

"I have signed a decree to rehabilitate the Crimean Tatar population, the Armenian population, Germans, Greeks - all those who suffered during Stalin's repressions," Mr Putin told a State Council meeting.

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