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Punches fly over gas and pension rise in Ukraine

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Punches fly over gas and pension rise in Ukraine

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Ukraine’s parliament was the unlikely setting for a massive punch-up on Tuesday as tempers flared over a government imposed gas price hike and retirement age increase.

Legislators from opposition parties tried to seize control of the podium but were wrestled back by pro-government members during the first session after a summer recess.

In a bid to calm nerves President Viktor Yanukovich urged both sides to use “common sense” over emotion.

Sentiments shared outside on the streets by the opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who organised a rally in front of parliament.

She urged people to join forces ahead of October’s local elections to fight against the measures – both key conditions of an 11-billion euro IMF crisis loan approved in the summer.