Pro-Moscow rebel forces in Ukraine have gained a foothold on the Azov Sea and aim to fight their way down the coast to the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, the leader of the main separatist entity said.
Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said in an interview with Reuters that there were about 3,000 Russian volunteers serving in the rebel ranks.
He said that the rebels could defeat the Ukrainian military without the need for the Russian state to provide them with military support.
Were the Russians -as Barack Obama claims - weighed down by sanctions, or where the Ukrainians looking to cut their losses?
The new president of the European Council could be "very important" for David Cameron.