A man pays tribute to the victims of the 2013-2014 anti-government protests called the Revolution of Dignity, during commemoration events in central Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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Russia said Monday President Vladimir Putin's decision to recognize passports issued by separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine complied with international law, after the move drew criticism from France and Germany.Putin issued an order Saturday for Russian authorities to recognize identity documents, diplomas, birth and marriage certificates and vehicle registration plates issued in the separatist-held regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in east Ukraine.Fighting has recently escalated in the conflict between Ukrainian forces and the Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, refocusing global attention on a simmering conflict that has strained relations between Russia and the West.The foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine met Saturday in Munich and agreed to use their influence to implement a cease-fire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Monday in eastern Ukraine.According to the Times, the amateur diplomats behind the proposal are Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen; Felix Sater, a business associate who helped Trump scout deals in Russia; and Andrii Artemenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker who claims to have evidence of corruption that could oust President Petro Poroshenko.
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