Star Wars, dead pigs, and PM carried from stage: Scandal ruled Ukrainian politics in 2015
With little progress made on the economic front or towards EU integration, and no solution to the conflict in Donbass, the political year in Ukraine was marked by stunts, scandals and provocations.
Chewbacca arrested at polling station
A man dressed as the iconic Star Wars alien Chewbacca was detained in Odessa for violating a law forbidding campaigning on election day. The police had to use force to get a handle on the hairy Millennium Falcon mechanic as he attempted to canvass voters for none other than his on-screen rival, Darth Vader, as well as resisting arrest. The Ukraine’s Internet Party used Star Wars characters to boost its chances at the polls and eventually managed to snatch a seat in the Odessa City Council for Emperor Palpatine.
Prime Minister Yatsenyuk carried off stage by MP
Dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk increased in Ukraine over the past year, culminating in an attempt by one of the MPs to carry the head of the government off the stage while he was speaking to parliament. It should be noted that Oleg Barna, who is from President Petro Poroshenko’s bloc, first handed Yatsenyuk a bouquet of roses before grabbing the country’s prime minister. It’s unknown what the deputy planned to do with him, as he was attacked by MPs from a rival party, leading to massive brawl. Barna was excluded from the parliament following the incident.
Saakashvili had water splashed in his face by interior minister
An angry mudslinging match over who is more corrupt saw Ukraine’s Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, throwing a glass of water at Mikhail Saakashvili, the ex-Georgian president and current governor of the Odessa region. The two politicians traded barbs, calling each other “thief,”“clown,”“hawkish rascalm” and “bag of wind,” among other choice pejoratives. The disgraceful incident took place during a session of the reform council before the country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, who had to cancel the meeting.
Cow heads hang on Xmas trees
Protesters erected Christmas trees in front of the Parliament, decorating them in the most unusual manner… with the severed heads of cows. The act was a move to decry the new budget, which slashed benefits to Ukraine’s agricultural sector to meet requirements handed down from the International Monetary Fund. The farmers carried banners reading “No to famine in Ukraine,” “Without rural areas, there’s no state,” and demanded the resignation of PM Yatsenyuk.
Pig’s funeral in front of Parliament
The Rural Party continued their protests against agricultural reforms in Kiev till the New Year. On one occasion, they carried a coffin with a dead pig inside to the Verkhovna Rada building. The mock funeral, in which around 1,000 farmers took part, concluded with clashes between demonstrators and the police guarding the Parliament.