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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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Russia warned over eastern Ukraine tensions

John Kerry warned Sergei Lavrov that Russia must de-escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine. Credit: Parspix/ABACA

Secretary John Kerry has warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Washington will impose more sanctions on Russia if tensions did not de-escalate in eastern Ukraine, a US official told the Reuters news agency.

The telephone call between the two follows a vow from Ukraine's interim government to step up anti-terror operations after the body of a pro-unity politician was allegedly found brutally tortured.

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