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Ukraine MPs vote to allow civilians to carry firearms amid 'existing threats'

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KYIV, Ukraine -

Ukraine's parliament on Wednesday voted to approve in the first reading a draft law which gives permission to Ukrainians to carry firearms and act in self-defence.

"The adoption of this law is fully in the interests of the state and society," the authors of the draft law said in a note, adding that the law was needed due to "existing threats and dangers for the citizens of Ukraine."

One of Europe's worst security crises in decades was unfolding after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two areas of eastern Ukraine as independent and ordered troops to be deployed to eastern Ukraine.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, writing by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Matthias Williams) 

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