Local police officers arrange passports during a ceremony to issue the first passports of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic to residents in Donetsk, Ukraine, March 16, 2016. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

The decision will enable people from the conflict-hit region to travel, work or study in Russia.
According to Putin’s order, published on the Kremlin website, Russia will temporarily recognize identity documents, diplomas, birth and marriage certificates and vehicle registration plates issued in the eastern Ukraine regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
The legislation will be in place until a “political settlement of the situation” in these regions based on the Minsk peace accords, the Kremlin said.
Ukrainian authorities sharply criticized Putin’s decision, saying Russia had violated the Minsk peace process.
“For me, this is another proof of Russian occupation as well as Russian violation of international law,” Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko told reporters in Munich, Germany.
“This step completely negates the Minsk process,” said Oleksander Turchynov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, which is headed by Poroshenko.
Fighting has recently escalated in the conflict between the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, refocusing …
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