An opposition member of the Ukrainian parliament sits next to huge Ukrainian flags decorating the sits of the opposition deputies who left the parliament session to protest against the vote of a highly polarising bill increasing the role of the Russian language in linguistically-divided Ukraine in Kiev on June 5, 2012. The Ukrainian parliament backed a controversial bill making Russian the country's de-facto second national language as several thousand protesters rallied in the city centre.
Kherson City Council has declared Russian a regional language at a special sitting on Tuesday, Aug. 21.
Some 47 deputies supported this decision and six deputies voted against it, according to the Khersonska Pravda local newspaper.
Oppositionists held a picket outside the building of the city council during the special sitting.