Punches thrown during brawl in Ukraine parliament

(REUTERS) - A brawl erupted in the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday with deputies throwing punches and shouting abuse at one another.

At the centre of the scuffles was leader of Ukraine's populist Radical Party Oleh Lyashko, who took exception to the presence of Serhiy Melnychuk, a former colleague in the Radicals, who had joined another party.

Lyashko could be seen verbally attacking Melnychuk before attempting to physically remove the deputy from the chamber.

Party supporters from both sides rallied to the defence and a brawl broke out with deputies from other parties joining in.

The brawl continued in the parliament corridors, with other deputies attempting to separate the two.

The second parliament session soon saw a repeat of the earlier scuffles with deputies wrestling one another and Lyashko attempting to trade punches with Melnychuk.

One deputy was left with a cut on the side of his face, which he could be seen wiping on Lyashko's jacket sleeve.