A speech in Ukraine’s parliament sparked violence Tuesday, after other lawmakers took exception to a communist leader’s speech that criticized the current government and Ukrainian nationalists who helped to oust the country’s president earlier this year.
“You are today doing everything to intimidate people. You arrest people, start fighting people who have a different point of view,” Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko said in Kiev, according to Euronews.
And with that, two members of the far-fight Svoboda party grabbed the party official at the front of the chamber. Others rose to Symonenko’s defense, in a tense situation that culminated in lawmakers wrestling and throwing punches at one another.
Symonenko “also accused nationalists of setting a precedent by seizing public buildings when they had protested against the rule of now ousted President Viktor Yanukovych,” Euronews says.
Ukraine’s parliament recently adopted a law punishing people who are found to be working against Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
One day after pro-Russian separatists seized public buildings in eastern Ukraine, acting president Oleksandr Turchynov said Tuesday that he would treat them as “terrorists.”
Reuters says, “Symonenko did not appear to have been hurt in the brawl involving other deputies. But one deputy later resumed his seat in the chamber with scratches on his face clearly showing.”