Suspect identified in antisemitic graffiti attack on Jewish centre in Russia

Russian authorities identified a suspect in the antisemitic graffiti attack on a Jewish centre in the Russian village of Lyubavichi, the cradle of the Chabad Hasidic movement.

The suspect was a man from Murmansk, a city located hundreds of miles north of Lyubavichi, according to Yuri Ivashkin, the mayor of the village in western Russia.

“We knew immediately this was not the work of a local,” Ivashkin told JTA. “Police are still working on identifying an accomplice.” The inscriptions, reading “Jews out of Russia, our land” and featuring the Baltic variant of the swastika, were spray-painted on the wall of the Hatzer Raboteinu Nesieinu BeLubavitch earlier this month.

Ivashkin’s statement followed the dedication of a perimeter fence around one of the Jewish cemeteries in and around Lyubavichi.

Attendees traveled Sunday from Moscow to the village of 200 people to celebrate the completion there of a preservation project headed by the European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative, or ESJF. The nonprofit organisation has completed similar projects in 102 cemeteries across Eastern Europe with funding from the German government.

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