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Ukrainian Parliament members brawl

March 20, 2013 at 5:15 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, March 20 (UPI) -- Punches were thrown on the floor of the Ukrainian Parliament when some lawmakers took exception a colleague delivering a speech in Russian.

The fight started Tuesday when Oleksandr Yefremov, the parliamentary leader of President Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions, gave a speech in Russian, leading members of the opposition Svoboda party to heckle, boo and demand he speak in Ukrainian, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Wednesday,

Yefremov, who was surrounded by supporters as he spoke, called the hecklers "neo-fascists."

The fighting erupted when Regions party members chanted "fascist" at Svoboda leader Oleh Tiahnybok, who was the next speaker, Kyiv Post/Interfax-Ukraine reported.

Parliamentary Chairman Volodymyr Rybak announced a break and urged the brawling lawmakers to calm down and leave the room. The fighting ceased and the lawmakers remained in the room.

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