The mayor of Kharkiv, Gennady Kernes, gave his first interview Thursday after surviving an assassination attempt, to Israeli TV Channel 1.
Kernes's relatives had three senior Israeli doctors flown into Ukraine after the shooting, and these doctors had him flown to Israel.
"The doctors in Ukraine don't know how to deal with gunshot victims like the doctors from Israel, and it is reasonable to assume that if I had stayed there, I would not have survived,” Kernes said.
Kernes recalled the assassination attempt: “Just like every day, I ran on my regular route, when I suddenly heard gunfire. I remember falling and that the bodyguards were quick to put me in the car. From that point, I remember nothing.”
Kernes, who is Jewish, said that he does not think anti-Semitism motivated the assassins, and hinted that the fact that he does not support Russian president Putin is a more likely reason.
"The residents in Ukraine are very concerned with the tension between us and Russia,” he explained. “Kharkiv is a city of 1.5 million residents on the border between Russia and Ukraine, and the sensitive situation between us and Russia does not add to the stability of the city and the region.”