Ukrainian Politician Is Nearly Knocked Out After Calling Rival A “Pot-Bellied Fatty”

No one does political punch-ups like Ukraine.

1. Controversial Ukrainian politician Oleg Lyashko — leader of the populist Radical Party and famed for his visits to Ukrainian troops in the east of the country — was nearly knocked out in a punch-up in the lobby of Kiev’s parliament building.

The confrontation began when Lyashko (right) began goading independent deputy Oleksandr Shevchenko about the plight of the soldiers, according to Reuters.

YouTube/Anton Shyshenok/Buzzfeed

2. Shevchenko, who has accused Lyashko of using the trips as PR stunts to boost his image, then attempted to lunge at him.

YouTube/Anton Shyshenok/Buzzfeed

3. Undeterred, Lyashko proceeded to berate Shevchenko in front of the assembled press pack.

“Look at this pot-bellied fatty,” Reuters quotes Lyashko as saying. “Instead of going to the Donbass [in east Ukraine] and helping our guys, people like him go to parliament and raise their hands”.

Shevchenko then slapped Lyashko as he pushed past him.

YouTube/Anton Shyshenok/Buzzfeed

4. Lyashko continued to goad Shevchenko as he attempted to make his exit, causing Shevchenko to turn back and punch him.

YouTube/Anton Shyshenok/Buzzfeed

5. Lyashko staggered back, and appeared dazed and stunned after the confrontation.

YouTube/Anton Shyshenok/Buzzfeed

6. The full video of the incident can be found on YouTube.

The main part of the brawl happens around 2:00.

YouTube/Anton Shyshenok

7. This is not the first time Lyashko, who came third in July’s presidential elections, has been involved in one of Ukraine’s famous parliamentary brawls.

In 2011 he was throttled by former vice-speaker Adam Martinyuk, after accusing him of hypocrisy.

Lyaschko has enjoyed increased support among Ukrainian nationalists recently amid the ongoing chaos in the country.

Previously, he was seen as something of an entertaining curiosity, noted mainly for bringing livestock and vegetables in to the parliament building, according to AP.

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Francis Whittaker is the overnight homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Francis Whittaker at

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