Ukraine: Journalist punches pro-Russia politician on debate show
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A pro-Russian politician in Ukraine has been punched in the face on live TV by a journalist as tensions mount in Kiev in the face of a possible invasion by Russia. Journalist Yuriy Butusov put Nestor Shufrych from the pro-Kremlin party Opposition Platform – For Life in a headlock during the fierce brawl which began after Mr Shufrych refused to condemn Vladimir Putin. Russia’s hostile stance continues to fuel fears an invasion of Ukraine could soon take place, with both Boris Johnson and Joe Biden warning an incursion could be “imminent.”
The scrap left Mr Shufrych bleeding from cuts on his face after Mr Butusov landed a series of blows.
At one point during the brawl, both men fell to the ground and continued to wrestle one another.
Desperate guests on Savik Shuster’s Freedom of Speech talk show attempted to separate the pair and eventually brought the fight to a halt.
In the television studio at the time as the fight was the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk and an ex-president Petro Poroshenko.
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Mr Shufrych had been called on to condemn Russia’s President Putin as a murderer and a criminal but he refused to answer.
The Ukrainian opposition MP replied: “Let Ukraine’s authorities deal with that.”
Former president Poroshenko slapped down Mr Shufrych for his answer, saying: “There’s a Russian agent right here in the studio.”
It comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned an invasion of Ukraine appears to be “in motion.”
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Speaking from Munich on Saturday, Mr Johnson added that it “must logically” still be possible to prevent a war.
He said: “I think certainly things are in motion, but the question is whether it can all be pulled back, and whether the president of Russia is still able to call this operation off.
“I think that possibility must logically still exist, and therefore I think it’s absolutely vital that we have a path of dialogue, of reason.
“You know, you just cannot see how this makes sense for Russia.
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“Imagine the invasion of Ukraine, a country of 45 million people, the second biggest country in Europe geographically apart from Russia itself – an absolutely colossal place.
“You can’t hold it down,” added the Prime Minister.
“There will be a protracted, violent, bloody insurgency with the loss of life for young Russians, as well as for Ukrainians.”
Russia has built up a 100,000 strong force on the borders of Ukraine while Ukraine’s military on Saturday said that mercenaries had arrived in separatist-held eastern Ukraine to stage ‘false flags’ in collaboration with Russia’s security services.
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