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The move comes after days of fighting that has seen dozens killed in eastern regions of Ukraine. Putin called on Kyiv's military to halt all operations against pro-Russian activists who have seized government buildings and police stations in at least a dozen towns in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine launched a government offensive late last week to take back buildings and towns under control of the insurgents. At least 35 people, including many rebels, have died in that offensive, the government said.
Many had feared that Sunday's vote on more autonomy would be a flashpoint for further violence between the rebels and Ukrainian troops in the east. Russia annexed the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March after residents held a vote and overwhelmingly backed secession.
Alongside the current unrest, Ukraine is facing protracted economic hardship that could lead to further uncertainty.
On Wednesday, the country’s central bank said it had received an initial slice of aid worth $3.19 billion from the International Monetary Fund, as the West seeks to shore up the crisis-hit country.
The cash is part of an overall IMF package of $17 billion, and Kyiv is expected to use the first tranche to pay an outstanding debt to Russia's state-owned gas firm Gazprom.
Al Jazeera and wire services