The head of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" has stepped down in favour of a native Ukraine in a move regarded as an attempt to defuse claims the pro-Russian rebels are being directed by Moscow.
Aleksander Borodai said he would now serve as deputy leader to Alexander Zakharchenko, who is from Donetsk.
"After all, I am a native of Moscow and I think the DNR [Donetsk People's Republic] should be run by a person who is body and soul of Donbass," Borodai said in a reference to the wider Donetsk region.
Zakharchenko commands a heavily armed rebel unit called Oplot, which has taken part in some of the fiercest battles and has its origins in a martial arts club.
Analysts said the move was unlikely to have a significant influence on the battle for control of eastern Ukraine.
The mother of the three Australian children killed on flight MH17 told a memorial service her "arms would always be reaching for them."
A woman has apparently posted pictures of herself on social media with mascara looted from the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crash site.
A large section of plane wreckage and everyday carry-on items like chocolates remain scattered among the wild flowers at the crash site.