Smoke Bombs, Fist Fights, and Chaos Erupts In Ukrainian Parliament
Usually a bare-knuckle hockey fight, scrappy lacrosse altercation, or the occasional bench-clearing brawl catches our attention. However, this brawl in Ukraine’s Parliament reminds us that there’s nothing quite as entertaining as an old fashion political royal rumble. The battle royale, which erupted this morning over a naval treaty with Russia, makes Randy Neugebauer’s “baby killer” outburst during the House of Representatives health care reform debate look like a neighborly salutation.
According to the London Times, the incident unraveled because the Ukrainian government recently brokered a deal with Russia allowing the navy to extend a lease to operate it’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, Ukraine, in exchange for a 30 percent discount on natural gas. Today, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to ratify the controversial treaty. According to the AP, two smoke bombs exploded inside the Parliamentary chamber, disrupting the vote and triggering fire alarms. The bickering continued while opposing members tossed eggs at the Speaker, who used a black umbrella as a shield while trying to maintain order. You’ll notice quite a few of the politicians wearing giant, shit-eating grins like students throwing lukewarm fish sticks during a middle-school cafeteria food fight. Members also came to blows on the chamber floor, resulting in at least one bloody nose. More details and incredible video footage of the chaotic political squabble after the jump…
At the end of the day, the London Times reports that the violent protests and brawling were in vain:
Despite the protests, 236 deputies in the 450-seat Rada voted to ratify the treaty, allowing Russia to retain its naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea for up to 30 years after its current lease expires in 2017. The deal was signed by Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych during a visit by his Kremlin counterpart Dmitri Medvedev to Kharkiv last week.