Ukrainian parliament breaks out in brawl over 'Putin's agent' poster

A poster was put up in the legislature labeling oligarch politician Viktor Medvedchuk "Putin's agent," triggering a brawl between opposing party members.

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By Doha Madani

A brawl erupted during a session of the Ukrainian parliament on Thursday over a poster accusing one member of working for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The incident began after a poster was put up in the legislative chamber labeling oligarch politician Viktor Medvedchuk "Putin's agent."

After Opposition Bloc Party member Nestor Shufrych took the sign down, Yuriy Bereza, of the People's Front Party, punched Shufrych in the face. Things quickly escalated with several other members jumping in, some appearing to throw punches of their own and others trying to break up the fight.

Ukraine, a former member of the Soviet Union, gained independence in 1991.

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia spiked in 2014 when Russian forces annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. More recently, in late November, Russia seized three Ukrainian naval vessels in the Black Sea, saying the ships had entered its waters.