Ukrainian Lawmakers Riot at Parliament
It had all the elements of a street brawl–scuffles, smoke bombs, and some egg throwing on the side–only that it happened on the hallowed floor of the Ukrainian Parliament rather than on some secluded alley.
Opposition lawmakers threw eggs at Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn as he opened a regular session, forcing him to preside behind an umbrella. As if the egg throwing was not enough, two smoke bombs went off after administration lawmakers approved a deal that would allow Russia to use a Ukrainian port on the Black Sea for 25 years after the current lease ends in 2017. Lawmakers from both the opposition and the administration scuffled, with one anti-government Member of Parliament reportedly being sent to a hospital after suffering injuries.
Tensions are currently high between the opposition and administration lawmakers after President Viktor Yanukovych agreed to extend beyond 2017 the stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at Ukraine’s Sevastopol port on the Crimean peninsula. Opposition lawmakers want the Russians out of Ukrainian territory as they believe that the presence of the Black Sea fleet is tantamount to military occupation by the former Soviet ruler.
You can watch the action here.