April 28 - The pro-Russian mayor of Ukraine's second biggest city Kharkiv is shot and another eastern city declares independence. Mana Rabiee reports.
Investigators examine a crime scene in Ukraine's second biggest city, Kharkiv. The city's mayor was shot here while riding his bicycle on Monday, along a route he takes nearly every day. He's been accused by the country's new pro-Western leaders of promoting separatism. His condition, officials say, is serious. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF MEDIA DEPARTMENT OF KHARKIV CITY COUNCIL, YURI SIDORENKO, SAYING: "Security just put him in a car and drove him here. The operation lasted for about two hours. His wounds are deep. Doctors say they can't provide details. But the wounds are serious, and doctors say his condition is extremely serious though stable, but there is a threat to life." The shooting is the latest violence in eastern Ukraine, where an armed uprising appears to be spreading. On Monday, masked separatists seized government buildings in yet another eastern city, Kostyantynivka. Soviet songs played in the background as barricades went up. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) ARMED MASKED MAN, IVAN, SAYING: "We are protecting our people. The people are having a holiday. We came. What are we doing here? We're giving people a holiday." The West accuses neighboring Russia of provoking the uprising. But Moscow insists it's a homegrown response to political turmoil in the capital Kiev. On Monday, the U.S. imposed a third round of sanctions on Russia over Moscow's actions in Ukraine. They affect high-technology items that could contribute to Russia's military. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will find ways to replace its defense capabilities affected by sanctions. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "The question is only of time and money. It will be a little bit more expensive, it will take a little bit more time. But we will survive and are moving forward." Ukrainian security officials said on Monday they had evidence of Russia's direct involvement in the crisis. Meanwhile, separatists continue to hold seven European observers captive, calling them NATO spies. And rebels in the latest eastern city to declare independence gather signatures of more volunteers to join the uprising.