Ukraine Political Crisis Rumbles On As Supporters Block Rada

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's protracted political crisis took another step onto the streets Tuesday as supporters of two political parties tried to seal off approaches to parliament in protest against the formation of an "anti-crisis" coalition in the country.

On July 12, Ukrainian Parliamentary Speaker Oleksandr Moroz said Ukraine had formed a new parliamentary coalition comprising the pro-Russian Party of Regions, the Communist Party and the Socialist Party, which led to ugly scenes as members of the 450-seat legislature started several fist fights, traded insults, and attempted to drown each other out with sirens and megaphones.

And today a thousand supporters of the bloc led by former premier Yulia Tymoshenko and the Pora party blocked approaches to the Supreme Rada, demanding the dissolution of the parliament and the holding of new parliamentary elections.

Ukraine's Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko said law-enforcement bodies had been informed about preparations to seize parliament.

"The police know about the preparations for a blockade and the probable seizure of the Supreme Rada," Lutsenko said. "We are carefully watching the situation and will ensure that deputies are able to enter the parliament building."

There have been several minor clashes between representatives of Tymoshenko's bloc and the Party of Regions but the police have cordoned off representatives of various political forces and are so far keeping the situation under control.

Source: RIA Novosti