Ukraine and Russia called time-out on hostilities at a border point briefly Sunday to swap prisoners, but just hours later, President Vladimir Putin was on the offensive again in the war of words that surrounds conflict.
On Russian state television, he called for talks to discuss "statehood" for southeast Ukraine, reports CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer.
Kremlin spin-doctors quickly insisted Putin wasn't calling for regional independence, but Russia's clear support of the Ukrainian rebels - political and military - has boosted their confidence.
Firmly in control of the first contested city of Donetsk, they are consolidating hold on the city of Novoazovsk, which they seized last week.
Twenty miles away lies the industrial center of Mariupol, widely assumed to be next on the rebels' list.
But the pro-Russian forces won't be welcome here.
Residents came out on the weekend to show their support for the Ukrainian government. In town, a local store was outfitting Mariupol men to join militias units being formed to fight the rebels, while in the next room, women volunteers wove rags into camouflage nets.
Everyone is bracing for a battle Russia still seems determined to back.
Ukraine asked European leaders for help in standing up to Russia. So far all they got is a vague promise of more sanctions perhaps later this week.