Mykhailo “Mikhail” Markovych Dobkin (born 26 January 1970) is a Ukrainian politician, former governor of Kharkiv Oblast, former mayor of Kharkiv, and former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Dobkin is of Jewish descent.
In 2014, he formed a “Ukrainian Front” organisation, in support of President Viktor Yanukovych, stating the intention to “clean and purify our Ukrainian land of those who come here with plans for occupation.” In February 2014, Dobkin called for Ukraine’s capital to be moved from Kiev to Kharkiv, and for a federal structure of government to be established in Ukraine.
After Yanukovich was forced out of power Dobkin was a major participant in a meeting of local officials in Eastern Ukraine which questioned the legality of the new government’s actions and declared local officials would take responsibility for their own regions until order was restored. Dobkin was later reported to have fled to Russia along with the mayor of Kharkiv, but he returned to attend a pro-Russian rally in the city. He has indicated that he intends to run for president in the upcoming election due to his concerns regarding the behavior of the revolutionary government towards the Russophone population. Dobkin tendered his resignation as governor on 26 February 2014 “following my decision to run for the office of the President of Ukraine”.
On March 10, 2014, Dobkin was arrested on charges of leading a separatist movement. He is amongst the persons, the new interior government wants to send for trial at the International Criminal Court. Dobkin advocates a federalization of Ukraine’s oblasts. On March 25 Dobkin filed documents to the Central Election Commission on an election of the president.