Russian billionaire sucker-punches fellow tycoon on TV show

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On a television panel show called "Crisis: The Russian response" that aired on Russia's NTV channel on Sunday, billionaire Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB agent who owns several British newspapers including The London Evening Standard and The Independent, got all Ivan Drago on fellow tycoon Sergei Polonsky, delivering several blows to the property developer's face and head, knocking him off the stage, then squaring up to Polonsky in a confrontational stance.

The pugilistic onslaught was prompted by words the men exchanged about a building project of Polonsky's during a lively back-and-forth about the global economic crisis. Prior to the assault, Polonsky had stated that he wanted to "stick one in the mouth" of Lebedev. Later explaining his pre-emptive sucker-punching of Polonsky, Lebedev wrote on his blog, "In a critical situation, there is no choice. I see no reason to be hit with the first shot. I neutralised him."

Polonsky is currently considering legal action, after complaining about sustaining a hand injury and ripped jeans. Lebedev, who ironically was wearing jeans so tight they should have split when he rose from his chair, commented: "Now, he's showing his ripped pants, and it is hard to say anything about that. He was hit in the face, and he's showing a hole in the backside of his trousers. Strange."

While nothing like the daily brawls that you see in the South Korean Parliament, dust-ups on Russian political-discussion shows are apparently not that uncommon. I'll have to start watching more Russian TV, as these Warren Buffett-Bill Gates lovefests are pretty boring.