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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 warns Russia it has 'days, not weeks' over Ukraine

Joe Biden met with Ukrainian officials as he landed at Boryspil on Monday. Credit: Reuters

Russia has "days, not weeks" to abide by an international accord aimed at stemming the crisis in Ukraine, America's top diplomat in Kiev has warned.

Gregory Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, spoke as vice president Joe Biden launched a high-profile show of support for the pro-Western Ukrainian government.

Russia, in turn, accused Kiev of flagrantly violating the pact and declared their actions would not stand.

Mr Biden, the highest-ranking American to visit Ukraine during its conflict with Russia, will meet government officials in Kiev today and plans to announce new technical support to help the fledgling government with energy and economic reforms.

His trip comes days after the US, Russia, Ukraine and Europe signed an agreement in Geneva, Switzerland, calling for Moscow to use its influence to make pro-Russian forces leave the government buildings they now occupy in cites throughout eastern Ukraine.

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