Scuffles break out in Ukraine's parliament as communists walk out
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 - 00:36
April 8 - Scuffles erupt in Ukraine's parliament and Communist deputies walk out during discussions about continuing pro-Russian protests in the east of the country. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday (April 8) convened to debate the deteriorating situation in the east of the country after the seizure of public buildings across the mainly Russian-speaking industrial heartland on Sunday (April 6) evening.
Kiev says the actions are a replay of events in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula Moscow annexed last month, and accuse Moscow of tying to dismember the country.
Later deputies brawled in the chamber after communist leader Petro Symonenko accused nationalists of playing into the hands of Russia by adopting extreme tactics early in the Ukrainian crisis.
Two deputies from the Svoboda far-right nationalist party took exception to the charges by communist Petro Symonenko and seized him while he was talking from the rostrum.
His party supporters rallied to his defence and a brawl broke out with deputies from other parties joining in and trading punches.
Symonenko stirred nationalist anger when, referring to pro-Russian protesters who seized buildings in eastern Ukraine, he said nationalists had set a precedent earlier this year by seizing public buildings in protest at the rule of ousted President Viktor Yanukovich.
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.
The communists backed Yanukovich and his Regions Party through the three months leading up to him fleeing the country on Feb. 21 after more than 100 people were shot dead by police snipers in Kiev.
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