Ukraine crisis: BBC examines a country divided
20 February 2014 Last updated at 21:28 GMT
Diplomatically, Ukraine has traditionally been a country of two halves - the more pro-European West, and Russian strongholds in the East.
The capital, Kiev, lies between, and the latest violence there left at least 21 anti-government protesters dead on Thursday.
However, as violence spreads outside the capital's confines, finding a diplomatic solution grows ever more complex.
Bridget Kendall reports.