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She said that late at night on April 28, Israeli physicians arrived and strongly recommended to transfer Kernes to Israel for medical treatment. “At 03:20 (00:20 GMT) the plane departed from the Kharkiv airport,” the spokesperson specified.
April 28, at about 11:45 local time (08:45 GMT), the mayor was wounded during a marathon on Belgorod Highway in Kharkiv.
After the surgery, Kernes was in the A.I. Meshchaninov emergency hospital of Kharkiv in a critical condition. According to Director of the Kharkiv Institute for General and Emergency Surgery Valery Boiko, he has severe damages of thoracic organs, abdominal cavity and retroperitoneal space. “The surgery that we made was of intensive care character. We have suppressed the hemorrhage and corrected vital functions. The condition of the patient is critical, close to very severe,” Boiko said.
A close friend of Kernes, presidential nominee Mykhailo Dobkin believes that supporters of the current Kiev authorities may stand behind the attempt on the life of Kharkiv mayor. He shared this view at one of the TV shows aired on the night of the same day in Ukraine.
The ex-governor of the Kharkiv region noted that he didn’t agree with the version announced earlier by law enforcement agencies. According to Deputy Interior Minister Serhiy Yarovoi, one of the versions is vengeance of federalization supporters for counteraction from Kernes. Dobkin called such statements “laying one’s own fault at somebody else’s door”.
In his view, “the root of evil should be sought in other places”. “Kernes and I for a long time are annoying the minds of those people who put us on the lists of Maidan enemies. Recently, at a closed session of the Verkhovna Rada some lawmakers were furiously demanding the soonest arrest of Kernes and Dobkin. Furthermore, to think that people protesting against policies of current Kiev authorities have chosen such a way (the assassination attempt) to destabilize the situation in Kharkiv is to display full ignorance of the situation in the city,” the presidential nominee said.
Upon the incident, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have filed a criminal case. Parliament-appointed interim President and Verkhovna Rada Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov instructed the Interior Ministry and Ukraine’s State Security Service “to immediately conduct an investigation of the assassination attempt on Kharkiv mayor Gennady Kernes and report the results”.
Parliament-appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov stated that he took the investigation under personal control.
In addition, the electoral staff of presidential nominee Petro Poroshenko demanded to create an interagency committee regarding the attempt on Kernes. “We are very concerned over the situation in Kharkiv, where an attack on mayor Gennady Kernes took place on Monday, and therefore we come forward with a proposal and demand from the government to set up a special interagency committee, that would be led either by the prime minister, or by first deputy prime minister, and that would include the interior minister, prosecutor general and SBU chief,” stated the head of Poroshenko’s central electoral staff Vitali Kovalchuk.
He added that this committee would ensure the legitimacy of elections in Ukraine and prevent such incidents. He said that there were forces “interested in sabotaging elections in Ukraine”.
The message on the website of Kharkiv city hall says that the duties of Kharkiv mayor will be fulfilled by City Council Secretary Oleksandr Novak.