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Ukraine

Protests, Fistfight In Parliament Over Ukrainian Draft Law On Languages

The speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn (right), looks on as deputies scuffle during debate over the draft law on languages.
The speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn (right), looks on as deputies scuffle during debate over the draft law on languages.
By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service
KYIV -- More than 1,000 activists of nationalist and opposition groups picketed the Ukrainian parliament building on May 24 to protest the ruling Party of Regions proposed draft law on languages.

The protesters were holding placards saying "Hands Off The Language," "Down With Muscovite Occupants, Down With Moscow’s Slaves," "Bilingualism Equals Russification," and "Single Nation, Single Language -- Ukrainian!"

Meanwhile, a fistfight erupted in parliament during debate on the draft law, which recommends introducing Russian as the second official language in 13 of 27 regions of Ukraine.

The fight broke out between members of the pro-Western opposition and lawmakers from President Viktor Yanukovych's party, which bases its support in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east.

At least one legislator, opposition lawmaker Mykola Petruk, suffered an apparent blow to the head and was taken to the hospital with blood streaming down his face.

PHOTO GALLERY: Fistfight in the Ukrainian parliament

The opposition demanded an investigation.

Ukraine is politically divided into the Russian-speaking east and south, which favors close ties with Moscow, and the Ukrainian speaking west, which wants closer ties with NATO and the European Union.

Jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko issued a statement via her Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party members, calling the proposed draft law on languages "a crime against the Ukrainian nation."

With reporting by UNIAN
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by: Eugenio from: Vienna
May 24, 2012 19:43
Ukrainian MPs are really taking their work much more seriously than those of most other states: they are really prepared to literally sacrifice their lives for the idea they defend.
Here you will find a selection of nice photos illustrating the degree to which the Ukrainian MPs are prepared to stand for what they consider the right thing: http://lb.ua/news/2012/05/24/152905_rade_izbili_avtora_skandalnogo.html
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
May 24, 2012 23:06
Based on the last photo, the resolution was clearly passed :-)
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
May 25, 2012 20:58
:-)))))))))

by: Jack from: US
May 24, 2012 21:48
from various photos of the scuffle I could pick one my favorite where a member of Regions Party smacks "pro-Western" MP on the face pretty well. That's a good example for all Ukranians to follow - stop being slaves to US government. Ukraine deserves a better future than being yet another bankrupt NATO minion living on EU handovers. US government-instigated former "orange revolutionaries" drove Ukraine into a dumpster and bankruptcy, where it is now forced to beg Russia for credits and discounts on a gas price.

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