A European foreign minister who helped broker the Ukraine peace pact was heard warning protest leaders that they would “all be dead” unless they signed up to a deal.
Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorsky, who had been locked in all-night talks to end the bloodshed in Kiev, was filmed marking the remark by journalists from NBC News’ U.K. partner, ITV News.
He told the protest leader: "If you don't support this [deal] you'll have martial law, you'll have the army. You will all be dead."
When asked by ITV News if he had managed to convince the opposition, Sikorski appeared to reply: "I don't know."
Opposition groups later agreed to the deal, in which President Yanukovych agreed to early elections.
Sikorsky insisted to ITV News in a later interview that martial law had been a real threat.
“It was a real possibility,” he said. “To my knowledge, the interior troops were being readied.”