Insult-laced row in Ukrainian govt goes public

AP News
Posted: Dec 16, 2015 3:11 PM

MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine's interior minister on Wednesday released a video of a session of the Ukrainian Reform Council that turned into a water-throwing spat.

Monday's incident between Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Odessa Gov. Mikhail Saakashvili highlighted growing tensions in the Ukrainian officialdom.

The video that Avakov posted on his Facebook account showed Saakashvili shouting at Avakov across the round table that he is a thief and the whole country knows it.

Avakov then tried to mock Saakashvili's stutter and threw a glass of water at him. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko initially tried to call for order and asked Avakov to avoid profanities but in the end closed the meeting.

Poroshenko named Saakashvili, Georgia's former president, as the governor of Odessa — one of Ukraine's most corruption-ridden regions — earlier this year.

Saakashvili has publicly accused Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of undermining reform. Yatsenyuk and his ally Avakov have hit back at Saakashvili, who is widely seen as a close ally of Poroshenko and a potential candidate for the prime minister's seat.

Poroshenko's spokesman upbraided both for Monday's incident.