MPs scuffle in parliament during speech by Communist Party leader Symonenko
A scuffle broke out at the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday morning between MPs from the factions of the Communist Party and the Svoboda All-Ukrainian Union.
An Interfax-Ukraine reporter said that the scuffle occurred during a speech by Communist Party faction leader Petro Symonenko, who accused nationalists of being behind the current situation in the country.
Symonenko said residents of the eastern regions had long put forward their demands, including the issue of Ukraine's federalization, but the authorities had ignored these demands.
He accused nationalists of giving an example to bandit groups on the seizure of administrative buildings.
"I want to repent here and apologize to you. I have always stated that nationalists in our country are conducting pro-American and pro-Western policies... But I was wrong, because, judging by who we started seizing the buildings of administrations, and when, I hope you have not forgotten, gentlemen nationalists, who had seized the SBU, the police, who had seized arsenals who seized weapons. Today, thousands of barrels [of guns] are in the hands of those who have already formed gangs... Didn't you give an example of this scenario: so it turns out that you were not fulfilling the American scenario, you were fulfilling the scenario of the Russian Federation to destroy the independence of Ukraine and split Ukraine," Symonenko said.
After this a group of Svoboda MPs, as well as a number of independent deputies, came to the rostrum started pushing out Symonenko. The communists and other deputies also left their seats, and about 15 parliamentarians staged a brawl.
The Rada television channel temporarily interrupted a live broadcast of the meeting.