Ukraine MPs in epic fist fight outside Parliament

Peace deal? What peace deal?

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The Independent Online

As European leaders hammered out a peace deal in Minsk, two Ukrainian MPs attempted to hammer pieces out of one another outside Parliament in Kiev.

The fistycuffs footage was shot by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, with reports stating that the pair - from opposing parties - were fighting over an anti-corruption bill.

The video shows MPs from two centre-right parties, Yegor Sobolev of the Samopomich (Self-Assistance) political alliance and Vadym Ivchenko of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party, kicking and punching each other in a hallway within the Verkhovna Rada building in the Ukrainian capital.

At first, with one of the MPs on the floor receiving a kick to face, a suited man attempts to drag the two men apart. Yet he quickly recedes into the background as the men trade a series of blows to the face and upper body area for around 30 seconds.

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With onlookers either filming the event on their phones or crying for them to stop, two guards eventually separate Sobolev and Ivchenko, who then attempt to settle their differences with an alternative approach: talking.

The speaker of the house said the two men would be suspended for the next five sessions.

The fight happened on the same day that an agreement intended to end the conflict in Ukraine was signed after prolonged international efforts.

Angela Merkel and François Hollande carried out a frenetic diplomatic push to hold the talks, warning that it was the last chance to grasp peace. The ceasefire deal, the French President declared after the all-night summit, was a “relief for Europe”. The German Chancellor said it meant that “there is a real chance to turn things for the better”.


But doubts quickly surfaced as to whether the result of 17 hours of talks in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, was enough to end the violence that has claimed 5,400 lives. Ukraine’s President, Petro Poroshenko, said implementing the agreement would be “difficult”. His military officials warned that, even as talks were taking place, 50 tanks, 40 missile-launchers and 40 armoured vehicles had entered eastern Ukraine from Russia to reinforce the region’s pro-Russian rebels.

The ceasefire is to begin in eastern Ukraine after midnight (22:00 GMT) on Saturday.