Ukraine president meets opposition amid fears of force
KIEV (AFP) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday held a new round of crisis talks with opposition leaders as fears grew of an impending crackdown on thousands of protesters locked in a standoff with police in Kiev.
The Ukrainian interior minister warned that efforts to solve the country's deadly crisis without using force were proving "futile" as the opposition accused Mr Yanukovych of planning to impose a state of emergency.
The European Union urged concrete steps to end the crisis, which has raised fears of a prolonged civil conflict and according to officials has already left three dead.
The authorities also faced mounting pressure outside Kiev with protesters storming regional administration offices not just in the anti-Yanukovych west of the country but also north and east of Kiev.