Parliament breaks due to scuffle between Svoboda, Regions Party (VIDEO)

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March 19, 2013, 11:29 a.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine, Kyiv Post

Ukrainian opposition and majority deputies fight on March 19, 2013 on whether to speak Ukrainian or Russian in the parliament in Kiev. Before The brawl started after the leader of the ruling Regions Party faction, Oleksandr Yefremov, delivered a speech in Russian. Nationalist Svoboda faction members then hissed at Yefremov and chanted "Ukrainian," demanding that he speak Ukrainian.

A scuffle occurred between people's deputies of the Svoboda and Regions Party parliamentary factions at the parliamentary rostrum this morning while Svoboda leader Oleh Tiahnybok was speaking.

Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Rybak soon after announced a break, asking other members of parliament to calm down and leave the rostrum.The MPs stopped brawling, but remained at the rostrum.

Before the scuffle, the leader of the Regions Party faction, Oleksandr Yefremov, delivered a speech in Russian. Tiahnybok spoke to the parliament after Yefremov.

Svoboda faction members hissed at Yefremov's speech in Russian and chanted "Ukrainian!" while demanding that Yefremov speak Ukrainian.

Yefremov, in turn, said that the MPs interrupting his speech were "chanting neo-fascists."

When Tiahnybok started speaking to the parliament, Regions Party faction members also hissed and chanted "fascist!"

Tiahnybok stated that members of the Regions Party and Communist Party were demonstrating their reluctance to restart work of the Ukrainian parliament.

"This parliament will work only when it starts to fulfill the Constitution of Ukraine and Ukrainian legislation," he said.

Tiahnybok also accused Rybak of encouraging such situations.

"In fact you're consciously provoking such situations," Tiahnybok said.

Tiahnybok's Svoboda party posted a video to its official YouTube account shortly after the event.

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