KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — Several wooden crosses were erected on the construction site of a new Ukrainian synagogue.
Leaders of the Poltava Jewish community told JTA that a little-known group wants to prevent construction of a synagogue in the eastern Ukrainian city, and on Nov. 22 erected eight crosses on the site.
The Jewish community reported the incident Tuesday to authorities.
“A group of nationalist activists erected eight wooden Orthodox crosses on the site allocated by the local authority for the synagogue," Rabbi Josef Yitzchak Segal, the chief rabbi of Poltava and the region, told JTA. "This is provocation designed to raise religious hatred.”
A group calling itself the Regional Association of Repressed Persons claimed responsibility for erecting the crosses.
“Officially they deny the anti-Semitic character of that action, but there is no doubt that this is an act of anti-Semitism,” Olga Obogrelova, the director of the Poltava Jewish School, told JTA.