The country of Ukraine has witnessed a worst situation where thousands are peace-less and the capital Kiev remains tense following a day of clashes between protesters and police that left dozens of people dead and many wounded.
French, Polish and German foreign ministers held crisis talks with the government and opposition all night.
Thursday was the bloodiest day since the unrest began in November, with many of the anti-government protesters reportedly killed by police snipers.
In all, 77 people – including policemen – have been killed since the violence first flared up on Tuesday, Ukraine’s health ministry said.
Another 577 were injured.
Protesters had captured 67 police, the interior ministry said. A number of them were later released. The snap presidential and parliamentary elections are one of the key demands by Maidan activists and opposition leaders. Currently, the presidential poll is scheduled for next year. Dozens of protesters were killed by security forces in Kiev on Thursday following the breakdown of a truce the previous day.
Activists and doctors working in protester camps suggested the death toll could be as high as 100 and would rise further.
The protests first erupted in late November when President Yanukovych rejected a landmark association and trade deal with the EU in favour of closer ties with Russia.