A Ukrainian member of the Verkhovna Rada, or Parliament, was thrown into a garbage bin Tuesday by angry protesters upset about his connections to former President Viktor Yanukovych. Vitaliy Zhuravskiy is a deputy in the Rada and a member of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. The Rada approved a bill Tuesday that would throw out all of Yanukovych’s former allies from Ukrainian politics.
The crowd responsible for the garbage dumping outside the Ukrainian Parliament appeared to be part of a larger protest outside the Verkhovna Rada that demanded the adoption of “lustration,” or the act of purging corrupt officials from public office. Some members of the crowd were heard yelling “lustration!” as a handful of men forced Zhuravskiy, a longtime deputy in the Rada, through an angry crowd and threw him head first into the trash bin.
Zhuravskiy and other veteran deputies are seen by some Ukrainians as symbolic of an old, corrupt regime. Zhuravskiy himself reportedly played a significant role in passing a bill that limited free speech in January just before the Euromaidan protests became a full-scale revolution. A similar incident happened about 10 days ago in the southwestern city of Odessa.
A second video shows the crowd pushing Zhuravskiy around in the bin for a moment, but after about 25 seconds what appear to be military or paramilitary men break through the crowd and rescue Zhuravskiy. A Ukrainian politics and law expert told International Business Times many of the protesters appeared to be members of the Right Sector, a radical right-wing nationalist coalition, but that could not be verified.
Other photos from the protests show crowd-constructed tire barriers and large fires. A Russian government-owned news outlet said the crowd set off fireworks and threw eggs at police blocking the Rada building.
Lustration was used in the post-Soviet era to restore public faith in what were often heavily corrupt political machines. The new lustration bill is now in the hands of President Petro Poroshenko, who is expected to sign it without delay ahead of the Oct. 26 Rada elections. Parliament also ratified the European Union integration agreement Tuesday that prompted Yanukoych’s ousting eight months ago.