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Ukrainian MPs brawl over Kremlin link accusations

By
Allen Cone

KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Ukrainian ministers of parliament have engaged in fights in back-to-back days -- and they both involved allegations of ties to Russia.

One day after a Ukrainian parliament minister leaped up and grabbed another minister by the neck after he accused him of working with the Kremlin, another lawmaker also got into a brawl Tuesday with an associate of a former politician with suspected ties with Russia.

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In the first fight Monday, Oleg Lyashko, leader of the Radical Party, accused Yuriy Boyko, the co-chairman of the Opposition Bloc, of being a "Kremlin agent."

He accused Boyko of traveling to Moscow on orders from the Russian government.

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"Instructions must be received from your own people, from Ukrainians," Lyashko said.

He added: "By the way, I also want to ask the [Security Service of Ukraine] why they visit Moscow and are not yet in jail?"

Boyko then jumped up and grabbed Lyashko by the back of the neck. Lyashko broke away from him but Boyko hit him in the face.

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The two were restrained and Lyashko continued to speak.

Lyashko cooled tensions in the second fight Tuesday.

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Radical Party's Ihor Mosiychuk fought an alleged unnamed associate of Viktor Medvedchuk, a former politician, suspected of having close ties with Russia.

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Lyashko said that Medvedchuk's associate had come to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, to "destabilize the situation."

Andriy Lozovyi, the other member of the Radical Party, alleged that the associate was allowed into the Verkhovna Rada by Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister and a leader of the Orange Revolution.

Ukrainian politicians have fought previously.

In September, Volodymyr Parasyuk and Olegsandr Vilkul brawled in the studios of TV channel 122 Ukraine after an on-air appearance. Parasyuk later kicked and keyed a car used by Vilkul.

In June, Parasyuk tried to take the microphone from Dmitri Kolesnikov and a mass brawl ensued on the floor of parliament.

In February 2015, Yegor Sobolev and Vadim Ivchenko fought in the corridors of the Verkhovna Rada.

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