The Ukrainian parliament was paralyzed on Thursday as pro-government and opposition lawmakers had a fistfight over the criminal charges brought against former prime minister and current opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Deputies from the ruling Party of Regions attacked members of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc-Batskivshchyna alliance that staged a protest in the chamber, including by hanging banners saying "Stop political reprisals!"

Opposition MP Myhailo Volynets told reporters he had been hit on the head with a small table "from a height of one meter" during a brawl that had lasted about a minute.

Paramedics were called to the parliament building to attend to his injuries, RIA Novosti reported.

Tymoshenko said on Wednesday that a criminal case had been opened against her over alleged misuse of public funds, adding she was ordered not to leave the city and to reappear at the Prosecutor's Office on Monday.

Tymoshenko moved to the opposition after her government was dissolved in March following presidential elections narrowly won by her rival Viktor Yanukovych. The opposition has strongly criticized the Yanukovych government over its "anti-Ukrainian" and "pro-Russian" policies.


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