Ukraine calls local elections but not in rebel-held east

KIEV: The Ukrainian parliament has voted to call a local election across the country in October, but not in the rebel-occupied east.

The Kiev government has had no control over parts of eastern Ukraine since separatist rebels began fighting government forces there in April 2014, a conflict that has since claimed more than 6,400 lives.

An armistice signed in February by Ukraine, Russia and the Russia-backed rebels called for local elections in eastern rebel-held areas as one of the steps to toward a comprehensive cease-fire, which has not been reached yet.

The bill passed Friday by the Rada said local elections will not be held in Russia-occupied Crimea or in rebel-held eastern districts because Ukrainian officials have no access to those areas.