Sep 16, 2014 6:04 AM

Ukraine passes bills on eastern autonomy

The Associated Press

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) Ukraine's parliament has passed two bills on granting greater autonomy to the rebellious regions in the east as well as amnesty for most of those involved in the fighting that gripped the region since April.

The Tuesday vote in a closed session comes on the same day that parliament planned to ratify a trade deal with the European Union. That deal is the issue that sparked Ukraine's crisis last year when demonstrations broke out to protest then-President Viktor Yanukovych's shelving of the deal.

Legislation on more autonomy for the east is part of a shaky peace process. A cease-fire was called on Sept. 5, but violations have been frequent. The city council in Donetsk says three people were killed in shelling overnight.


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