Newly-elected far-right nationalist Ukrainian MPs brought chainsaws on their first day of work, and set to work tearing down the snow-covered perimeter fence around the parliament building.
Ukrainian parliamentary business is often dogged by violent, passionate outbursts, punch-ups and protests. On Wednesday opposition leaders blocked members of parliament from voting to endorse Mykola Azarov for a new term as prime minister - leading to torn suits, punches and a mass brawl.
According to a Reuters report, deputies from the three main opposition parties encircled the speaker's podium, and blocked activation of the electronic system which would allow deputies to vote on Azarov's nomination. A prolonged and bitter stand-off ensued between parties.
Reuters reported that jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's party, the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland), wore black sweaters bearing her portrait and stickers calling for political prisoners to be freed.
'Svoboda', the far-right nationalists, used chainsaws to cut down the fence outside the parliament, and broke down doors, in protest at the government's alienation and distance from the Ukrainian people.
Tymoshenko was jailed for alleged abuse of office while prime minister, she has been in prison for more than a year, but claims she is innocent and a political prisoner.