Russia’s Putin calls for postponement of referendum in eastern Ukraine

By Michael Birnbaum, Fredrick Kunkle, Simon Denyer, May 7, 2014

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to take conciliatory steps Wednesday to ease tensions in Ukraine, calling for pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country to postpone a planned Sunday referendum that could exacerbate violence and saying that a May 25 presidential election whose legitimacy the Kremlin had previously questioned was now “a movement in the right direction.”

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