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Seven persons injured during riot near north-east Ukrainian city’s town hall

December 24, 2014, 19:26 UTC+3 KHARKOV
More than 200 people came to the building of the city hall on Wednesday to demand resignation of Mayor Gennady Kernes
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Gennady Kernes

Gennady Kernes

© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

KHARKOV, December 24. /TASS/. A total of seven people received injuries, some of them severe ones, on Wednesday during a riot in front of the building of Kharkiv city hall.

“Emergency teams delivered four persons to the emergency medicine hospital,” the Mayor’s Office said in a report. “They were injured during a riot, organized by allegedly peaceful activists.”

“Also, three injured men are being given medical examination,” it said.

More than 200 people came to the building of the city hall on Wednesday to demand resignation of Mayor Gennady Kernes.

The session of the city hall was to consider changes in the budget for this year and for 2015. Other issues on the agenda were a reform of the housing and public utilities sector and changes in land ownership or rent, as well as support for business ventures.

After the first attempt of an assault on the town hall building, the activists decided that five of them would attend the session inside the hall and would make public their demands.

However, following a failure of the attempts to get inside the building, the activists undertook a second abortive assault.

After that, the deputy Dmitry Marinin, who is Mayor Kernes’s former associate and who positions himself and as Kernes’s main contender in the future mayoral election, came out to the protesters and told them he supported their demands.

Several dozens of combatants blocked traffic on Sumskaya Streets.

Gennady Kernes, a former businessman who became Kharkov mayor in 2010, survived an armed attempt at his life in April, as a result of which he received severe wounds and had to take a prolonged course of treatment in Israel.

In March, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine issued suspicions over Kernes’s involvement in several criminal offenses related to an "imposition of illegal restrictions on an individual’s freedom", abduction, and threat of murder. A district court in Kiev ruled that he be placed under partial house arrest.

The pre-trial sanctions against him were suspended after the assassination attempt so that he could go to an Israeli clinic. At the end of July, the pre-trial investigation of the suspicions against him was stopped.

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