FB Post by Yury Butusov
April 28, 2014
No matter how you view [Kharkiv mayor, Hennadiy] Kernes, the attempt on his life is directly linked with the shift in his political position. For me, Kernes epitomized the criminal lawlessness that took place during the revolution, and for this he should by no means be absolved of responsibility. It is shameful that he was appointed in Kharkiv.
However, in the wake of the Russian invasion threat, his position changed drastically. Indeed, it was Kernes who, following negotiations with [governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ihor] Kolomoisky, disbanded the congress of the “First Ukrainian Front,” which was geared at legitimizing the Kremlin-orchestrated split in Ukraine. He and his friend [former governor of Kharkiv Oblast, Mykhailo] Dobkin were among the key figures in the Kremlin’s strategy, and the withdrawal of Kernes from the scheme significantly undermined Russian influence. Kernes should have become a notable player in the pro-Ukrainian movement of authoritative representatives from the south-east region of Ukraine, spanning Kharkiv to Odessa.
The reasons for the assassination attempt on Kernes were as follows:
1. To weaken anti-separatist movements in Kharkiv and in Ukraine overall.
2. To intimidate leaders of the south-eastern regions by means of individual terror, and thus undermine Kolomoisky’s proposed establishment of the Council of Governors of the south-east of Ukraine.
3. To demonstrate a personal threat to Igor Kolomoisky.
4. To organize a campaign for the nomination of a puppet “people’s mayor” in Kharkiv.
I believe that the assassination attempt on Kernes is an act of political terrorism. Those who ordered the hit are pro-Russian separatist organizations. Kernes posed no political threat to Kyiv. Kernes is no advocate for Ukraine, but he was not part of Putin’s scenario, for sure.
According to the Interior Ministry of Ukraine, the shots were fired from a car. According to [Kernes’ friend] Yuri Sapronov, he was shot by a Dragunov sniper rifle fired from a forest. The situation in Kharkiv may sharply deteriorate following the assassination attempt, and this is a cause for serious concern.
Translated by Adrianna Stech