Luhansk 'People’s Governor' Injured in Assassination Attempt After Independence Referendum

Luhansk ‘People’s Governor’ Injured in Assassination Attempt After Independence Referendum

MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti) – The People’s Governor of Luhansk Region in eastern Ukraine was injured Tuesday in an assassination attempt, two days after an independence referendum in the region, Southeastern Army spokesman Vasiliy Nikitin told RIA Novosti.

“Yes, he [Valeriy Bolotov] is injured, and he is currently in a private hospital,” Nikitin said.

The assassination attempt occurred in the Luhansk Region at around 11:00 a.m. local time, he said, without specifying the perpetrator or the weapon used in the attack. Bolotov’s life is not currently in danger, Nikitin added.

Bolotov earlier declared the independence of the Luhansk People’s Republic, where most citizens supported the act of self-determination on May 11 during a referendum, along with a similar one in the neighboring Donetsk People’s Republic.

Donetsk announced it plans to ask Moscow to join Russia, while the Luhansk leadership also said it did not rule out the possibility of a referendum on becoming part of Russia.

“We chose our own way of independence from arbitrary rule and dictatorship of the Kiev junta, fascism and nationalism,” Nikitin said, adding that the region instead opted for “the way of freedom and rule of law.”

The Luhansk people’s governor is the second southeastern Ukrainian representative to be recently targeted in a violent attack. In late April, Gennady Kernes, the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, was injured in an assassination attempt. He is currently undergoing treatment in Israel. Doctors have said he is expected to recover.

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