Ukrainian politicians get into fistfight during heated parliament session
LAWMAKERS in Ukraine started a brawl after a political leader gave a speech in Russian.
The parliament session in Kiev morphed into a fistfight yesterday as men in suits threw punches after a leading politician decided to give a speech in Russian.
Parliamentary leader Olexander Yefremov reportedly called his opponents “neo-fascists” after they started booing. The politicians can be seen jumping out of their seats and squaring off face-to-face in the aisles.
The Parliament was scheduled to debate the date of a mayoral election in Kiev, local media reported.
Within seconds, the slapping, grabbing, and hair-pulling spreads through the hall.
One man springs nimbly over desks, purportedly to break up the melee.
In the background, Speaker Volodymyr Rybak shouts, "Stop it. What are you doing?" and "Calm yourselves," the BBC reported.
The session was suspended briefly while the lawmakers cooled down. It reopened hours later.
Use of the Russian language remains a sore point for many Ukrainians.
A similar brawl erupted last December during the first session of Ukraine's newly elected governing body.