Deputies from opposition and pro-government parties blocked the first session of Ukraine’s parliament on Wednesday (December 12) after numerous fights erupted in the parliament chamber.
Scuffles erupted when members of several parties approached the stand simultaneously and attempted to push each other out of the way.
At one moment a majority of those gathered in the parliament chamber stood up and joined in. Deputies could be seen pulling each other by their clothes, pushing and shoving.
A few members of parliament attempted to climb into the parliament speaker’s stand and were being pushed off by others.
World heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, who heads the UDAR (Punch) party, chose to look on and did not join into the brawl.
Wednesday’s session of the parliament was to be the first test of the cohesion of political forces underpinning Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich with an expected vote on the nomination of Mykola Azarov for prime minister, but it was marred by protest from the start.