Former president claims Ukraine is on the brink of civil war

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Former president claims Ukraine is on the brink of civil war

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Ukraine is on the brink of civil war, according to one of its former presidents.

Leonid Kravchuk, who served from 1991-1994, made his comments to MPs at an emergency session of the Ukrainian parliament on Wednesday morning.

He called on the opposition to take down barricades and said that would be the way to start dialogue.

It comes as politicians are due to vote on an amnesty law which would free any protesters detained during the last two months of unrest.

Two draft bills will be presented.

One from the opposition demands the immediate release of all demonstrators detained during the mass protests without any preconditions. It also calls for the prosecution of those who carried out torture, beatings and killings.

The other draft, from the ruling Party of Regions, asks for an amnesty for everyone including riot police.

At least four activists have been confirmed dead by the government; the opposition says more have died.

Earlier Interfax news agency reported that two tanks and two water canons appeared in the government district prior to the meeting in parliament.