1. National

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.

View all 237 updates ›

Putin watching Ukraine 'with great concern'

An armed man stands next to a barricade in front of the police headquarters in Slaviansk. Credit: Reuters\Gleb Garanich

Russian president Vladimir Putin is watching the developing situation in eastern Ukraine with "great concern", his spokesman has said.

Dmitry Peskov was asked about calls from pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine for Putin to help defend them against government forces.

"Unfortunately, there's a great many such appeals coming from the Eastern Ukrainian regions addressed directly to Putin to intervene in this or that form," he said. "The president is watching the developments in Eastern Ukraine with great concern."

More on this story