RUSSIA STOKES TENSIONS WITH WEST IN SUPPORTING SEPARATISTS' ELECTIONS IN EASTERN UKRAINE

Nov 03, 2014

By Jane Brown

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A contentious election held by separatists in eastern Ukraine has been backed by Russia, setting the stage for renewed diplomatic tensions with the West.

The Foreign Ministry in Moscow said today that the vote in Donetsk and Luhansk gave elected representatives the authority to restore stability in regions unsettled by an armed separatist insurgency.

Plans for yesterday’s vote had been sharply criticized by the EU and the U.S. because it violates Ukrainian law and undermines a September cease-fire deal. Vote results unveiled today showed the rebel leader in Donetsk, claiming an easy victory.

Despite the cease-fire agreement, fighting rages daily between government troops and rebel forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

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