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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fisticuffs In The Ukrainian Parliament

Published 13 December 2012

Fistfights broke out in Ukraine's new parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, in successive sessions on December 12 and 13, as opposition lawmakers tried to block access to the podium following disputed elections and rumors of defections poisoning the air. (19 PHOTOS)


They might have been the first sessions of a new parliament, but Ukraine's lawmakers were back to their old ways on December 12 and 13 when melees on the chamber floor interrupted the proceedings.


The inaugural session even came with its own fight card taped to the rostrum, in this case accusing father-and-son opposition lawmakers Andriy and Oleksandr Tabalov of planning to defect to the ranks of the ruling Party of Regions. Both Tabalovs were pushed from the chamber before they could be administered the parliamentary oath.


The fracas even spilled outside the chamber.


But as you'll see in the following photos, most of the action was inside.


If there are going to be fisticuffs in parliament, it's wise to ensconce yourself next to a reigning world heavyweight boxing champion-cum-lawmaker. But Vitali Klitschko (left) sat this this one out entirely.


The December scuffles were only the most recent instances of brawls breaking up the legislative proceedings in Kyiv. The last such fracas took place on May 24.