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Ukrainian Holocaust Monuments Vandalized

Two Holocaust memorials were vandalized in Ukrainian towns.

A monument in Feodosia in southern Ukraine was smeared with red and green paint, graffiti and epithets. The monument, funded by the local Jewish community, was opened in September 2003 on the site of the massacre of about 2,000 Jews.

The vandalism occurred two weeks ago but was reported Tuesday. Anatoly Gendin, a Jewish leader in Crimea, told JTA that Feodosia police have refused to open an investigation.

Unidentified persons painted swastikas and the slogan “We return” on a monument in the eastern Ukrainian industrial town of Yenakievo, the birthplace of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Victor Yanukovich. The vandalism, which also damaged a Yiddish inscription, occurred about 10 days ago.

The 3-year-old Jewish community-funded monument also was vandalized in August 2007. Law enforcement agencies are investigating the case but no arrests have been reported.

The Yenakievo Jewish community believes that police will investigate the case properly.

“The police must find and punish the guilty, and the local authority should help to restore the monument,” Yuda Kelerman, a leader of the Donetzk region Jewish community, told JTA.

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