Eastern Ukraine synagogue hit by firebombs

(JTA) — A synagogue firebombed in eastern Ukraine sustained minor damage.

The firebombs hit the Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, located 250 miles southeast of Kiev, on Sunday night, according to a report the following day on the news site timenews.in.ua. The website published photos showing traces of a fire on the facade of the synagogue balcony. The synagogue opened in 2012.

A spokesperson for the Zhovtneviy District where the synagogue is located said no one was hurt in the attack and that police were searching for suspects. Officers found the neck of a glass bottle that was used as a Molotov cocktail, according to the Central Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Several Ukrainian media reported erroneously that the attack happened in Kiev. The Ukrainian capital and other cities have seen a wave of violent demonstrations that culminated this weekend with the apparent ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych.

The country’s acting government has issued a warrant for Yanukovych’s arrest, accusing him of the murder of about 100 protesters who died in street clashes last week.

The unrest began in November over his refusal to sign a deal that would have tightened Ukraine’s ties with the European Union — a move that many saw as jeopardizing the country’s complicated relationship with Russia.

Several Jewish communities in Kiev have beefed up their security arrangements during the unrest. Other communities put their activities on hold for safety concerns.

Ukraine has a Jewish population of 360,000 to 400,000 people, with about a quarter of the country’s Jews living in Kiev, according to the European Jewish Congress. The Jewish Agency put the figure at 200,000.

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