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The melee was sparked by a proposed bill to make Russian an official language in eastern regions of the country where native Russian-speakers predominate. Lawmakers grappled and threw punches; one was hospitalized with a head injury.

On Friday, deputies opposed to the bill blocked the Parliament speaker’s podium, preventing the session from starting, while some 200 demonstrators held a noisy protest against the bill outside the building.

Parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn on Friday said the brawl had "completely destroyed" the legislative process and called for new elections. But most parties do not support an emergency poll, because regular elections are set for October.

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