The Ukrainian parliament speaker has told a female MP she must “get to her knees” after she criticized the “criminal” shelling of peaceful cities in the east. It was accompanied by accusations of “Russian propaganda” and switching off her microphone.
After she’d asked for a moment of silence to honor the memory of those who have been killed in Donbass, Elena Bondarenko of the Regions Party gave a scathing review of her government, which “separates people into Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians.”
However, as she delivered her speech, alleging the new Ukrainian government’s “criminal” behavior in“sending its army to bomb peaceful cities” and “depriving children of the right to education,” cries were heard from some of the louder opponents of the MP’s position.
Then, former acting president and chairman of the Rada, Aleksandr Turchinov, asked for the microphone to be turned off, amid a stream of insults from Bondarenko’s opponents.
Turchinov then joined the abuse. After stating that anti-government views were “Russian propaganda,” he proceeded to sternly tell her off in a defense of the Ukrainian army, “which protects all of us – even you,”he told her, before telling Bondaernko she would do well to “get down on your knees” in front of the military.
Seconds later, cries of support and protest turned into a now-traditional Ukrainian Rada row, with curses and verbal abuse being exchanged among members.
An outburst followed from the radical, Oleg Lyashko, who suggested that such views should be followed by immediate expulsion and the label of “traitor.”
“Traitors must be shot on the frontlines,” he said, finishing his tirade with “Glory to Ukraine!”
At the end of August, a new estimate by the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights said that at least 2,593 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since the start of Kiev’s military operation against anti-government forces started in mid-April.
Meanwhile, an investigation by Human Rights Watch has placed the blame for the rapid rise of the civilian death toll in and around Lugansk, where the survey took place, on Kiev’s “indiscriminate shelling” of settlements.
This assessment took place just as the UNHCR’s envoy placed the total number of displaced persons, as a result of Kiev’s assault in eastern Ukraine, at one million, with around 814,000 of them seeking shelter in Russia.