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Brawl breaks out during Ukrainian parliament session

KYIV : A fight broke out in Ukraine’s parliament as deputies from the Opposition Bloc removed a poster calling for the prosecution of a Ukrainian politician who has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Andriy Parubiy, announced a break on December 20 after members of the People’s Front party and the Opposition Bloc exchanged blows.

The brawl started after Nestor Shufrych of the Opposition Bloc removed a poster from the podium saying that “Putin’s agent [Viktor] Medvedchuk must face trial!”

After that, deputies of the People’s Front assaulted Shufrych and his supporters, and the poster was reattached to the podium.

The incident occurred during a parliamentary discussion of a bill on changing the name of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Medvedchuk heads Ukrainian Choice, an organization that many in Ukraine consider to be pro-Kremlin.

He has played a behind-the-scenes role in exchanges of captives between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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