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‘Death to Jews’ sprayed on Crimean synagogue

(JTA) — Swastikas and the phrase “Death to the Jews” were painted on a synagogue in the Crimea region of southern Ukraine.

The graffiti was found Friday on the door and facade of the Reform Ner Tamid synagogue in Simferopol, the Russian-Israeli news site izrus.co.il reported. No suspects have been identified.

Anatoly Gendin, head of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Crimea, told the news site that the perpetrators needed to climb a 2-meter wall to reach the building.

“Clearly, it was important for the anti-Semites to commit this crime,” he wrote in a statement sent to media by the World Union for Progressive Judaism. “Since the crisis began prices went up by 30 percent, pensions aren’t being paid. As usual, Jews are blamed [for] these disasters and Jews are held responsible. I am afraid to think how this will progress.”

The attack took place as Ukrainian troops reported takeovers of two airports in the Crimea region by forces they said were Russian. The Crimea region is heavily populated by ethnic Russians.

Protests against Ukraine’s elected president, Viktor Yanukovich, forced him to flee the capital city of Kiev after scores died in bloody street clashes last week. The protest movement was spurred by his policy of privileging Ukraine’s ties to Russia integration with the European Union.

Earlier this week, firebombs hit the Chabad-run Orthodox Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, located 250 miles southeast of Kiev. The attack caused minor damage.

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