(KIEV, Ukraine) — It didn’t take long before things turned ugly in Ukraine’s newly elected parliament. Before a batch of lawmakers could be sworn in on Wednesday, a fist fight broke out between pro-government and opposition members.
The scuffle broke out after opposition parliamentarians accused two members of planning to break ranks and join the ruling party, according to the Kyiv Post. Soon, mayhem ruled the chamber as members pushed, shoved, and threatened each other. Some tried to climb up on the dais, with supporters pushing them up as others tried to push them back down.
The melee came after months of heated wrangling over the makeup of the parliament following an October election that international observers declared to be unfair. The opposition has also been protesting the detention of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on what they say are politically motivated trumped up charges.
This isn’t the first brawl inside the Ukrainian parliament, but some lawmakers might consider themselves lucky that one member of parliament, Vitaly Klitschko, decided only to watch the fighting. He’s the reigning world heavyweight boxing champion.
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Steve Almasy, CNN
Chandrika Narayan and Steve Almasy, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Oren Liebermann, CNN