Crisis talks between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders failed to produce a result late on Wednesday.
The three-hour-long meeting which was the first significant move towards negotiating an end to the unrest, ended with the opposition vowing to brave police bullets with more protests.
Afterwards they told protesters gathered in Independence Square that the president had not given any concrete answers to their demands.
“I know that you, Mr. President, have the authority to solve this problem,” said opposition leader Vitaly Klischko in front of the crowds. “Snap elections will change the situation without bloodshed. And we will do everything to achieve that. Listen to the people, do not ignore them.”
Former economy minister Arseniy Yatseniuk was resolute in keeping up the fight:
“We still have an option of 24 hours to stop the massacre. If not I was very clear saying that I am to lead and I am to go with the people to fight for freedoms and liberties.”
The thinly veiled opposition ultimatum increases the pressure on Yanukovych to seek a way out of the chaos which he himself has warned is a threat to the whole of Ukraine.