Separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko said he would recruit an additional 100,000 men to fight against Ukraine's government troops. Fighting has intensified in 2015 after a lull at the end of the year.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, said the West was 'dragging' Russia into confrontation.
Dozens of civilians and at least seven Ukrainian soldiers died over the weekend amid a new wave of violence in eastern Ukraine. Western leaders have once again accused Moscow of supplying troops and weapons to the pro-Russian rebels.
Donetsk has seen a surge in fighting, both in the city and around its nearby airport, amid Western accusations that Russia has begun sending troops into Ukraine again.
Between Western sanctions and plummeting crude oil prices, things are looking grim for Russia's economy. But Russians appear prepared to weather the storm.
Tanking oil prices may force Iraq to delay its final Gulf War reparations payment to Kuwait. And oil's drop has weakened the ruble, which Russia's central bank intervened to prop up today.