Kiev synagogue vandal detained
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Kiev synagogue vandal detained

A special Ukrainian Secret Service unit reportedly detained a man who attempted to vandalize Kiev’s main synagogue.

The incident reportedly took place overnight Saturday, when the vandal was caught by a field investigator for the Secret Service unit on the counteraction of xenophobia and intolerance as he attempted to paint anti-Semitic graffiti on the synagogue walls.

According to the Secret Service press service, the arrested man attempted to escape and resisted arrest.

During an interrogation that day, the would-be vandal reportedly confessed that someone had offered him money to vandalize what used to be known as the Brodsky Synagogue.

The Secret Service turned over the case to local authorities; it was unclear what charges the vandal would face. Ukrainian courts often prosecute cases of ethnic violence as hooliganism to avoid Ukraine’s hate crimes statute, which carries more stringent penalties.

The chief of the Secret Service’s special department and its press secretary refused comment when contacted by JTA.

Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, one of Ukraine’s chief rabbis, told JTA that the incident “is a provocation” to the Jewish community.