Vice speaker of Ukrainian Parliament throttles deputy

Photo: REUTERS/Tatyana Bondarenko Vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Adam Martynyuk, on the right, throttles deputy Oleg Lyashko during a session in the chamber of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. According to reports, Lyashko had just asked Martynyuk to let him make a speech, which Martinyuk refused to do on procedural grounds. Lyashko then apparently called his interlocutor a Pharisee, at which point it was on. Martynyuk's impassive, heartbeat-at-60 professionalism is to be admired. Vulcan nerve pinch and ninja movie pressure point manueover? Just imagine the world of hurt Lyashko would have been in if Martynyuk had three hands. UPDATE: Here's video, courtesy of Ukranian TV!


  1. I thought sticking a pen in someone’s neck was a prison move, rather than a parliamentary procedure.

  2. “Please be allowing me to render you unconscious. Спасибі!”

  3. Judging from the number of videos on youtube of similar happenings, such things seem really not uncommon in the Ukrainian parliament.

  4. Who says “The Ukraine is weak”?

    Apparently even their parliamentary system is a blood bath death match!

    I hear their speaker of the house is Chuck Norris as only he can keep the maelstrom of violent politics in check!

  5. Anyone think the throttle-ee looks remarkably like Michael Emerson (Ben Linus from LOST) in the main pic?

  6. Blah, what amateurs. The US Senate had somebody beaten with a cane. Call me back when they’ve moved on to THAT level.

    1. What, in the 1800s? Don’t want to admit that the Ukrainian senate might have passed you has-beens?

  7. I’ve heard this type of technique described as “take the head, hit him with the planet”.

  8. Those were some passionate words afterwards. Translation please!

    Not knowing a word of Russian I imagine it went something like this:

    Lyashko: Vice speaking Martynyuk, you are a disgrace! You embarrass this office! Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent and with this you show your true worth!

    Martynyuk: You have to admit I really kicked his ass!

    Chamber hoots approvingly like a Gerry Springer audience.

    1. Not knowing a word of Russian

      Not that they’re not rather similar, but I imagine that they’re speaking Ukrainian.

      1. They are, indeed, speaking Ukrainian. Which I don’t, but as you suggest, it’s pretty close to Russian. The phrase was:

        “Я не тільки за горло вас схоплю, але й за інше місце ваше, яке дуже продуктивне”

        I can translate Lyashko’s phrase, but it’s not overly interesting. He’s just demanding an explanation for why Adam Ivanovich grabbed him by the throat and threw him in the chambers of the Verhovna Rada (Ukrainian supreme council).

        Best translation I can manage for Martynyuk’s reply is “I won’t just grab you by the throat, but by the other place too, for greater effect.”

    2. Martynyuk: “Now Lyashko. On topic, please.”
      Lyashko: “I will speak on topic, don’t you worry, Adam Ivanovich. You better tell the voters what for did you grab me by the throat and throw me here in the Verkhovna Rada presidium.”
      Martynyuk: “Shut down his microphone…”
      Martynyuk: “I’m repeating again. I will grab not only your throat, but another place too, which you have, he-he, have very productive. Now on topic, please.”

  9. Someone have had some time in Spetsnaz it seems… Squeezing the artaries in the throat plus the windpipe plus pinching off blood flow to the brain.

    Although he let go a bit too soon or was that him realising that perhaps its not a wise move to strangle an opponent to death infront of TV-cameras?

    1. I thought that grip looked kind of peculiar, not just a run-of-the-mill two-handed choke job.

    2. I think he was completely faking it. He’s not completely blocking the carotid arteries enough to put him unconscious. And he’s definitely not doing anything to block air, its just a blood choke, and a bad one.

      And that second hand on the “pressure point” was totally bogus kung-fu movie stuff.

  10. “Pharisee”? Has our level of discourse sunk to this level, really, “pharisee”? Unbelievable.

  11. I like how they all held back the guy who was attacked, but left the attacker alone. Seems weird to me.

  12. Why’s everyone all fun and snarky about this? Füçkker attacked someone and should have charges pressed against him. Ancient senator stabbing or not, it’s unacceptable. Idiots all – here included.

    1. Members of a Parliament usually enjoy immunity from prosecution for anything done while the Member is physically within the Parliamentary Chamber – that’s why they usually must leave their pistols swords and daggers in the cloakroom!

    2. Politicians dropping their veneer of civility and throwing tantrums like little kids are amusing. The more civilised the country the more amusing it gets.

      A scrap in the Swedish parliament would be ten times as amusing to outsiders than a scrap amongst politicians who do this thing regularly.

      And most of us are outsiders. It is not our place to tell a sovereign country who they should prosecute.

  13. What’s the big insult? I know a lot of nice people from Paris. Or did he mean, “you’re a fairy, see?”

  14. It’d be interesting to see a parliamentary system where you had to defend your ideas physically. Jack Layton has a cane and it’s inevitable that Stephen Harper will do something that deserves a cane to the shins at a minimum.

  15. This kind of thing happens regularly in Taiwan. Go to Google and start typing in Taiwan Parliament and see how quickly “fight,” “brawl,” “slap,” “women fight,” etc. pop up.

    I think the humor that people find in this, if any, comes from how incongruous and absolutely surreal it seems. It’s not funny ha-ha as much as funny WTF.

  16. It’s amusing, in a depressing sort of way, of how obvious it is that Ukrainians must have read about parliamentary democracy somewhere, perhaps in the “Fast-track to joining the EU!” pamphlet, and said “…Huh. Okaaaayyy…” and then went ahead and had a go at it.

    From “The National Meteorological Centre’s chief meteorologist praised the beauty of spring before berating “disorder, lawlessness and injustice” in Ukraine. Lyudmila Savchenko was broadcasting live on National Radio when she made the disparaging remarks.”

    Savchenko was, of course, immediately fired. Doesn’t mean she wasn’t spot-on though.

  17. Y’all do know that Ukraine’s last Prime Minister literally believes that she’s the reincarnation of Eva Peron.

  18. Hey, that guy in the blue suit got to make a speech anyway, even though he lost the fight! That’s not right! He got knocked down fair and square!

  19. “Take a speech only about the law proposal, please”
    “I do, but you’d better tell the members why you have grabbed me by the throat and threw me in the chambers of the Verhovna Rada. And now about the law proposal…”

    The microphone goes off.

    “I am repeating another time. I can not only grab your throat I can grab another place that…”


    “That is too productive. Please, continue about the law proposal”

  20. From his entry in the Official Ukranian Parliament’s website (

    “1991-1994 security guard of the business premises of “Ukraine” agricultural enterprise”

    It seems the training for that position was quite good.

    Oh yes, he also:

    “1981-1983 lector in the Department of Propaganda and Agitation of Lviv Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine”

    This individual was almost 40 when the Berlin Wall fell down.

    Clearly some notions of what is good and proper don’t sit very well with his earlier development. Bless.

  21. Interesting pressure point application. However, the right hand should be under the ear where there is a nerve bundle that’s very effective. Guess the left hand is trying to pinch the trachea which is pretty hard.

    In any case, pressure point activity is a) VERY hard to do and b) really for defensive activity – to break the attack so one can run away. My martial arts instructor is very good at this and can get one in every time in seconds. I’ve been practicing for 8 years and still can’t get one without fooling around making it ineffective.

    The pain is something you don’t normally experience and it’s application has a long memory.

    If you were going to attack in this position and didn’t mind the real possibility of death, I would strike under the ear with a fist or stiff handed at the neck.

    BTW: The guy getting throttled, rather that grabbing the arm which is ineffective, should grab the pinky and bend back 90 degrees which will break that grip. Or the thumb and rotate the wrist 180 degrees. Or bring a nice Fort 12 semiautomatic and shoot the dude in the forehead.

    1. BTW: The guy getting throttled, rather that grabbing the arm which is ineffective, should grab the pinky and bend back 90 degrees which will break that grip. Or the thumb and rotate the wrist 180 degrees. Or bring a nice Fort 12 semiautomatic and shoot the dude in the forehead

      Or he could simply resist in any way at all. The problem with all that “pressure point” nonsense is that it requires a willing victim. Once its used against a resisting opponent it all goes out the window. I train at a Gracie Jiu Jitsu academy and we’re always getting people passing through who’ve trained at one of these schools that view martial arts as something magical, and they try this stuff with laughable results.

      There’s a very good reason no one tries this stuff in MMA. And modern MMA is where martial arts get peer reviewed.

  22. I don’t understand the comments you’ve added to this post, Rob. You condone such activity?

  23. Yes, it’s Ukrainian and the translations thus far are good. If nothing else, there is no lack of passion in their parliament. We have become far too civilized and nice to one another. Every now and then there needs to be a beat down or brawl to really get stuff going. Maybe if there were some canes available in Congress we’d either raise the debt ceiling or have avoided having to?? In any event, according to my wife, there’s a lot of history between these guys (not positive).

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