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Ukraine, Moscow clash over rebel autonomy laws

A priest blesses fighters of the Ukrainian Donbass volunteer battalion on March 17, 2015 during a farewell ceremony in the center of KievRussia and pro-Moscow rebels on Wednesday condemned Ukraine for ratifying two bills on greater autonomy for the separatist east, saying they violated a peace deal and threatened a shaky month-long truce. The latest wrangling over the east Ukraine peace plan came as Moscow celebrated the one-year anniversary of the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, a key moment in the crisis that shattered ties with Kiev and the West. President Petro Poroshenko late Wednesday signed into law two bills giving the rebel-held east more self-rule, a key part of a February peace deal aimed at ending over months of fighting in which more than 6,000 people have died.

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