Ukraine has seen some of the worst civil disorder since the beginning of a wave of demonstrations two months ago.
The opposition and government blame each other for the violence in the capital Kiev. Ukraine’s chief prosecutor has called it “a crime against the state” while the opposition fears civil war could follow. How great is the danger the situation will spiral out of control?
Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich has warned of a threat to his country and offered to hold talks with the opposition. At the same time the interior ministry has said police may use their firearms if they feel threatened. Until last weekend the rallies had been largely peaceful but they radicalized after the Ukrainian government introduced tighter laws on holding demonstrations. The gulf between the two sides has deepened. Can further escalation be avoided? Is President Yanukovich really interested in dialogue or is that just part of a wider tactic?