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Ukraine rebels warn over ceasefire

Separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine are threatening to abandon a ceasefire after changes to a law granting their regions self-rule.

Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky said legislation giving areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions special status had been weakened by the amendments.

The leaders said they are ready to resume hostilities unless Ukraine relents.

A law on granting autonomy to eastern territories was approved by parliament yesterday. Foremost among the rebels' objections is a requirement for elections - to be held under Ukrainian laws - to take place before the special status can come into effect.

More than 6,000 people have been killed since fighting broke out last April. Clashes have reduced substantially since a ceasefire was declared last month.

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