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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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Ukraine calls for anti-terror relaunch amid torture claim

Ukraine's acting president Oleksander Turchinov has called for the relaunch of an anti-terrorist operation in the east of the country after the "brutally tortured" body of a local politician from his own party was found near the separatist-controlled city of Slaviansk.

Oleksander Turchinov seen in combat fatigues last month. Credit: Reuters

Mr Turchinov said Volodymyr Rybak, a member of Turchinov's Batkivshchyna party, had recently been abducted by "terrorists".

"These crimes are being carried out with the full support and indulgence of the Russian Federation," he said. "I call on the security agencies to relaunch and carry out effective anti-terrorist measures, with the aim of protecting Ukrainian citizens living in eastern Ukraine from terrorists."

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