NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine passes bill to get occupied regions back from Russia” – AP

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Ukraine’s parliament … passed a bill to reintegrate the country’s eastern territories … currently controlled by Russia-backed separatists … supporting taking them back by military force if necessary.  The bill describes the areas in Ukraine’s … Donetsk and Luhansk regions as ‘temporarily occupied’ by ‘aggressor country’ Russia. … Rada File PhotoPoroshenko welcomed the new bill, saying it would help restore control of the east by ‘political and diplomatic means.’ Russian lawmakers warned … that the deal effectively kills the Minsk … agreement. … [C]onflict in eastern Ukraine erupted weeks after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and has killed more than 10,000 people … The 2015 Minsk peace deal helped reduce the scope of hostilities, but clashes have continued … attempts at a political settlement have stalled. …”

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Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia