Well, this is promising. Ukraine’s newly-elected parliament held its first session this week — a session that quickly dissolved into a massive fistfight. It all began when opposition lawmakers swarmed the front of the chamber while selecting a new speaker from President Viktor Yanukovych’s ruling party. As you can see in the above video, it begins almost like some kind of orchestrated, political flash mob, until the whole thing erupts into complete and utter chaos.
(PHOTOS: When Lawmakers Attack: Ukrainian Edition)
Granted, this isn’t the first fracas that has gone down at Kiev’s Verkhovna Rada parliament building. In April, 2010, opposition lawmakers threw eggs (yes, seriously) and set off smoke bombs in the chamber as parliament voted on a 25-year extension of the Russian Navy’s stay in a Ukrainian port. (Despite the chaos, parliament still ratified the measure by 236 votes. Now that’s dedication.)
Though the latest melee didn’t involve egg-hurling or smoke bomb-detonating, it did involve plenty of pushing, shoving, body-slamming, maybe some pinching and probably some biting. One Wall Street Journal reporter captured a particularly aggressive punch to the groin. Kindly keep in mind that these are national lawmakers.
After the dust settled, the new speaker, Volodymyr Rybak, was eventually announced. But unfortunately for him, the brawl probably stole his proverbial thunder.