Watch Ukrainian Politicians Throw Haymakers in Parliament Brawl

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 8 2014 6:00 PM

Ukrainian Politicians Throw Haymakers in Parliament Brawl

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Politicians from Ukraine's nationalist party fight with members of the Communist Party in parliament Tuesday.

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Things are a bit tense in Ukraine these days. Understandably so, what with the ongoing threat that parts of the country will be cleaved by Russia’s wandering territorial eye. The internal rifts in the country and external existential threats from Russia, however, haven’t, so far, resulted in a call to arms—other than in parliament.

During a speech in parliament on Tuesday, Ukrainian politicians verbally sparred about what started the country’s descent into political turmoil. “Deputies in the Ukrainian parliament brawled in the chamber on Tuesday after a communist leader accused nationalists of playing into the hands of Russia by adopting extreme tactics early in the Ukrainian crisis,” Reuters reports. And those were, apparently, fighting words.

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As far as political shoving matches go, this one had a little more bite to it. As in this wasn’t just alpha-political posturing, there were a few haymakers thrown. Here’s how Reuters recapped the buildup to the parliamentary throw down.

"Two deputies from the Svoboda far-right nationalist party took exception to the charges by communist Petro Symonenko and seized him while he was talking from the rostrum. His party supporters rallied to his defense and a brawl broke out with deputies from other parties joining in and trading punches. Symonenko stirred nationalist anger when, referring to pro-Russian protesters who seized buildings in eastern Ukraine, he said nationalists had set a precedent earlier this year by seizing public buildings in protest at the rule of ousted President Viktor Yanukovich. Symonenko stirred nationalist anger when, referring to pro-Russian protesters who seized buildings in eastern Ukraine, he said nationalists had set a precedent earlier this year by seizing public buildings in protest at the rule of ousted President Viktor Yanukovich."

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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