Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that he wanted to allow volunteers to fight against Ukrainian forces and approved handing over captured Western missile systems to Russian-backed rebel fighters.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu proposed handing over American made anti-tank systems such as Javelin and Stinger to fighters from the rebel regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Putin, speaking at a Russian security council meeting, said he supported such an idea.
He also said that those who wanted to volunteer to fight with Russian-backed forces should be allowed to.
Shoigu said there were 16,000 volunteers in the Middle East who were ready to come to fight with Russian-backed forces.