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You're reading: Ian Bateson: Ukraine’s fighting democracy

Domestically the
scuffles brought violence against individuals of different views from the
streets, where the unintentionally ironically named Svoboda, or Freedom Party,
had its supporters attack gay rights demonstrators earlier last week, to the
parliament.  

                Fighting in the Verkhovna
Rada initially broke out when the three opposition parties blocked access to
the speaker’s rostrum, halting the activation of the electronic voting
system.   In the scuffles that followed, WBC
heavyweight champion and Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms party leader
Vitali Klitschko, (reigning journalistic convention requires me to tell you his
party’s name means “punch” to heighten the fast approaching irony) made
headlines for the first time in his life for refusing to even take a swing in a
fight.

As Klitschko’s party continued to block access
to the rostrum, Klitschko stayed towards the back of the chamber and out of the
scuffles.  In a later interview he
compared his fists to nuclear weapons, which were not to be used lightly.  It is as of yet unknown when they will make
their Verkhovna Rada debut, though surely the party’s name alone ensures they
must. 

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