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Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes Returns After Assassination Attempt

Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes returned to Ukraine on Tuesday after having been discharged from the Israeli hospital where he has been receiving treatment since being shot in April.

Kernes arrived at the Kharkiv Airport in a wheelchair, thanking the crowd and the doctors who had treated him, Interfax reported.

The mayor of Ukraine's second-largest city was shot in the back on April 28 while cycling on the outskirts of Kharkiv. Kernes' rib cage and internal organs were damaged in the assassination attempt.

Kernes, 54, was transported to Israel on the night of April 29, where he underwent a -hour operation. Throughout his treatment, Kernes continuously pledged he would return to Kharkiv City Hall.

Ukraine's Interior Ministry said that the shooting may have been linked to "separatism-minded individuals." Kernes' friend and former Kharkiv governor, Mykhailo Dobkin, told journalists in April that Kernes' shooting was an attempt to destabilize the city of 1.5 million.

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