People attend a campaign meeting for  Denis Pushilin, in Donetsk. Photograph: Aleksey Filippov/AFP/Getty Images

Russia has defended Sunday’s separatist elections in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev and its western allies denounced as a sham that would only harm effor(...)

The new regime in Luhansk took power amid a flurry of fatal clashes between Russian-controlled militia and government troops. Photograph: Reuters

The eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk has a new separatist leader following an armed standoff between local warlords, amid a flurry of fatal clashes(...)