Punches thrown in Ukrainian parliament as MPs get personal

Two Ukrainian lawmakers get involved in a fistfight after one accuses the other of having ties to Russia.

KIEV (REUTERS) - A brawl broke out between Ukrainian MPs on Monday (Nov 14) during a meeting of parliament faction leaders in Kiev.

Oleh Lyashko, the leader of Radical Party, was on the receiving end of several punches thrown by angered Opposition Party leader Yuriy Boyko, after the former accused him of working with the Kremlin. 

"Boyko and (Opposition Bloc lawmaker Sergiy) Lyovochkin travel to Moscow government cabinets to receive instructions from the Kremlin," claimed Lyashko during the meeting.

"Instructions must be received from your own people, from Ukrainians. By the way, I also want to ask the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) why they (pointing at Yuriy Boyko) visit Moscow and are not yet in jail?" he added, before Boyko jumped to his feet and aimed a punch at Lyashko's face.

Other lawmakers were quick to intervene and end the scuffle. But Lyashko continued his tirade, pointing a finger at Boyko, who was seated next to him, leading to a second fistfight round between the two.

This is not the first time Lyashko, known for his populist views, has been a part of violent scuffles in parliament.

The Opposition Bloc mainly unites lawmakers from non-existent today the Party of Regions, a ruling force which supported Kremlin-backed ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich who was toppled during the mass protests in 2014.