Pro-Separatist Mayor Shot in Eastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv

City Was Conquered by Interior Ministry Earlier This Month

by Jason Ditz, April 28, 2014

Kharkiv mayor Gennedy Kernes is recovering today in a hospital after being shot in the back while bicycling. Though he survived, he remains in serious condition according to the Interior Ministry.

Kharkiv was briefly part of the eastern Ukraine protests, and Kernes was at the time publicly supportive of the separatist movement in the region. Kharkiv was conquered by Ukrainian troops loyal to the Interior Ministry earlier this month.

Kernes was in the past an outspoken supporter of President Yanukovych, though after his ouster by protesters in Kiev he expressed support for a united Ukraine, and only later began backing autonomy for his region when protests broke out there.

So far it is unclear who shot Kernes, but tensions are riding high in Kharkiv, as elsewhere in the east, with pro-autonomy protesters clashing with pro-Interior Ministry demonstrators yesterday.

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