The mayor of Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, is in grave, but stable condition after being shot in the back while riding his bicycle on Monday, according that cities icty hall.
54-year-old Hennady Kernes was shot as his bodyguards traveled close to him in a vehicle. They were not close enough to intervene. Kernes rides his bike on an almost daily basis in the area.
Ukrainian police say the shooter was most likely in the nearby woods when they shot the mayor in the apparent assassination attempt. Ukrainian officials believe the shooting is an attempt to destabilize the eastern Ukrainian city.
Earlier this month, the city of Kharkiv was taken back from armed, pro-Russian protesters after it was seized by demonstrators during the current unrest taking place in the region.
This latest shooting only the most recent sign of unrest in eastern Ukraine. The month has been fraught with killings and kidnappings as the region spirals deeper into instability and pro-Russian separatists push to align the eastern region of the country with Russia.