Alexander Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitsky won sizable majorities in Donetsk and Luhansk in controversial elections Sunday. Kiev and the West denounced the results, having called the votes illegitimate from the start.
A fragile cease-fire in eastern Ukraine hasn't ended the fighting. Human Rights Watch says Ukraine's army has fired cluster bombs into populated areas and has called on Kiev to sign an international treaty banning their use.
Amid tensions with Russia, Kiev is not tolerating any 'pro-separatist' points of view in the press – which plays straight into the hands of Kremlin propaganda.
Lingering fighting and economic disarray have left Ukraine divided not only between east and west, but even among patriotic Ukrainians at odds about what to do next.
A shaky truce between pro-Russian rebels and Ukraine came close to breaking down completely yesterday in eastern Ukraine. In the country's west, troops from the US and 14 other countries are joining pre-scheduled exercises.
President Poroshenko insisted today that there was no discussion of federalization or secession for eastern Ukraine. Rebel leaders said they were standing firm on independence.
Dutch investigators say cockpit recordings show no emergency in the moments before Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 went down on July 17. Pro-Russian rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine are widely blamed for the incident.