Gennady Kernes, mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine, shot in the back

By Marcina Zaccaria,

Mayor of Kharkiv, Gennady Kernes, a popular mayor of the Ukraine, was shot in the back on Monday.

It was an assassination attempt, according to the Interior Ministry. Kernes was on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, when he was shot. The mayor is in critical condition, and has sustained damage to his internal organs. Doctors are fighting to save the life of the 54-year-old, according to The Guardian.

Authorities have not yet found a suspect of the shooting. “I have no theories, but if I knew who did this, I wouldn't be here now; I would already be holding my hands around the throat of this man,” said close friend of the mayor, former regional Gov. Mikhail Dobkin, according to the L.A. Times.

Kernes was a leading force in the Party of Regions. Kernes and Dobkin supported Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich, who was thrown out of office in February. But with the new government in Kiev, he now insists he supports a united Ukraine. People are theorizing that the mayor was shot in an effort to destabilize the entire city of Kharkiv, according to the Associated Press.



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