On Tuesday, the Ukrainian parliament became a battlefield as political opponents to the president threw eggs, smoke bombs and punches to protest the decision to allow the Russian navy to extend its stay in a Ukrainian port until 2042.
Speaker Volodymyr Litvyn had to shield himself with umbrellas on Tuesday as eggs rained down on his podium (video above). The Ukrainian parliament descended into fights and shouting matches due to a recently approved deal to keep a Russian navy squad in an area port until 2042.
Opponents to this measure - often nationalists - claim the base is a betrayal of Ukraine's national interests, according to the Guardian. They wanted to remove the base when the lease runs out in 2017.
The newly elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, says his deputies moved to sign this deal "to significantly improve ties with Ukraine's former Soviet master."
Nationalists are upset about the decision, and on Tuesday they showed their displeasure. Eggs and supposedly tomatoes were hurled at the speaker, and several politicians began brawling. Nationalists also unfurled a protest sign across the house floor.
Smoke bombs also erupted in the parliament, and critics shouted loudly at the speaker and the president's deputies.
Despite the battleground, the 450-member parliament approved the deal with 236 votes.
As the Guardian states: "The Russian fleet in Sevastopol comprises about 16,200 personnel, a rocket cruiser, a large destroyer and about 40 other vessels including submarines, landing craft, small destroyers and support ships."