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Putin Tightens Reins on Ukraine Rebels, Putting Conflict on Ice

  • Moscow's control over regions grows amid financial dependence
  • Separatists see frozen conflict like Moldova's Transnistria
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Putin Talks of Sending Russian Combat Troops to Syria

Ukrainian separatist leaders say their hopes of full integration with Russia or greater independence are fading as the Kremlin tightens the reins on their rebellion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears unwilling to risk broadening his conflict with the U.S. and European Union over Ukraine, senior separatist officials said in interviews this month, meaning the rebel regions’ future is more likely to resemble Transnistria, the Russian-backed breakaway area of Moldova, whose fate is still unresolved more than two decades after fighting subsided.