Multiple physical altercations occurred between Russian and Ukrainian representatives at the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) assembly in Turkey.

One incident involved Ukrainian delegate Oleksandr Marikovski punching Russian delegation secretary Valery Stavitsky in the face. Marikovski had unfurled a Ukrainian flag behind Stavitsky as he filmed a video in a hallway at the meeting’s venue.

Stavitsky seized the flag mid-photo to prevent it from appearing in his colleague’s video and appeared to run away; Marikovski chased him and punched him repeatedly in the face, knocking off the Russian’s glasses. Reports indicate that Stavitsky was taken to a local hospital for a check-up, but no serious injuries were reported.

In another incident, Ukrainian delegates attempted to interrupt remarks by Olga Timofeeva, the Russian representative Marikovski waved a Ukrainian flag behind, by standing up behind her and waving multiple flags.

This resulted in an altercation and Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop, who was presiding over the assembly, asking security to expel the Ukrainians.

The assembly was a meeting of the parliamentary assembly of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, a sub-organization known as PABSEC that describes its objective as to “provide a legal basis for economic, commercial, social, cultural and political cooperation among the member countries.”

Most of its members are Balkan states and others along the Black Sea coastline, and it is one of the few organizations in which Ukraine and Russia both remain full members.

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, is no stranger to physical altercations, with brawls breaking out on several occasions in the past decade, triggered by debates over Russia’s nearly decade-long attempts to colonize parts of Ukraine.

In the television show Servant of the People, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, prior to his political career, is depicted as a fictional president who only manages to stop the brawls by falsely yelling that Vladimir Putin has died or been overthrown in a coup.

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While the Ukrainian state outlet Ukrinform has abstained from commenting on the incident on its English-language website at press time, the Russian government and its affiliated media have given the incident significant airtime. The Russian news agency Tass noted on Friday that Russia’s delegation had levied complaints to the Turks for not providing sufficient security to prevent the conflicts.

“The Russian ambassador has discussed the incident involving Russia’s delegation with the Turkish parliamentary speaker. The event’s organizers should have ensured proper security and there is a very big question addressed to them as to how this could have happened,” Timofeeva said on Friday.

“I know that the police were there and questioned the eyewitnesses who saw the fight. In reality, no one has the right to simply look the other way regarding any provocation.”

Turkey, a NATO member country, maintains warm ties with Russia, often to the chagrin of fellow NATO members. Despite this, Ankara’s recent history with Russia includes significant episodes of violence, including the Turkish government shooting down a Russian aircraft near Syria in 2015 and the assassination of Russian ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov a year later.

Turkish authorities blamed the assassination on a supporter of cleric Fethullah Gülen, Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s biggest political foe.

Russia’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, used the occasion to disparage Ukraine generally.

“(Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskyy and his team are doing everything both in the media space and in their practical steps so that any self-respecting country does not want to communicate with them,” Lavrov said in a statement.

A sequence of events occurred on Thursday after a string of explosions at Russian establishments throughout the week, and the alleged appearance of a drone over Moscow that the Kremlin accused Ukraine of sending to assassinate Putin. The Russian government asserted that it had downed two drones above the Kremlin, holding Kyiv and the United States responsible for a purported plot to murder Putin. The Ukrainian government rejected any involvement in the matter, alleging that anti-Putin Russian rebels were probably responsible for the assault. Neither the Russian nor the Ukrainian governments have presented any concrete evidence to substantiate their claims.