Fist Fights, Smoke Bombs and Eggs
Russian and Ukrainian speaking members of the Ukrainian Parliament go at it
- God our Congress is boring. Just once I would like to see Pelosi and Boehner in a pie fight.
Ukraine's newly elected parliament on Thursday approved two presidential allies for the posts of prime minister and parliament speaker, but the vote was nearly overshadowed by a violent brawl between government supporters and opposition lawmakers.
The Party of Regions led by President Viktor Yanukovych and its allies secured a majority in the Verkhovna Rada following an October election condemned as unfair by the West. But three opposition parties made a strong showing and vowed to challenge Yanukovych's grip on power.
Some took that literally. For the second day of the new parliament's work, fists flew as opposition lawmakers chanted "Shame! Shame!" and "No to defectors!"
Fight in Ukrainian Parliament
Deputies from opposition and pro-government parties blocked the first session of Ukraine's parliament on Wednesday after numerous fights erupted in the parliament chamber.
BBC World News
Ukraine parliament fight 25 May 2012. A big fist-fight. Members of the Rada were debating a bill that would give the Russian language equal status to Ukrainian in some parts of the country.
Smoke bomb egg fight
Video of fight in Ukraine parliament
Ukraine's parliament has turned into a battlefield with politicians setting off smoke grenades and throwing tomatoes over the ratifying of extending the lease to Russia's Black Sea Fleet of Sevastopol's naval base.
Shortly after parliament began its work Thursday morning, opposition lawmakers swarmed the parliament's podium and a fight erupted with pro-government legislators. Lawmakers wrestled with each other and some deputies were knocked over in the melee.
Opposition lawmakers were angry over the fact that some of their opponents continued the controversial practice of voting in place of their absent colleagues, despite a recent ban.
Yanukovych ally Volodymyr Rybak, a 66-year-old former mayor of the eastern city of Donetsk, interrupted his speech in frustration.
"Esteemed deputies, let us calm down," he said as the fight continued and he was widely ignored.
After a short break was announced and the fight ended, Rybak was elected parliament speaker.
|Viktor Yanukovych (PR) 48.81%|
Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) 45.61%
The 2010 election map reflects the ethnic/cultural divide in Ukraine. Blue is the ethnic/culturally Russian zone that voted for Yanukovych while red is ethnically/culturally Ukrainian.
Tom Lehrer's 'National Brotherhood Week'
A song for the Ukrainian Parliament and human beings everywhere.