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Lubavitch Shul in Moscow Attacked; Harassment Reported in Tajikistan

April 8, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Lubavitch synagogue in Moscow was firebombed Sunday night, causing extensive damage but no casualties.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Rabbis Boruch Cunin of Los Angeles and Joseph Aronov of Kfar Chabad in Israel, both in Moscow, said workers had been in the Polyakov Synagogue finishing a renovation job in preparation for Passover when a kerosene bomb was tossed through a window at 10 p.m. Sunday.

The bomb landed in a front office in an area where a rabbi usually sleeps. Workers put out the flames but walls were blackened.

The rabbi who sleeps in that room, Yitzhak Kogan, had been in St. Petersburg to supervise the kosher slaughter of chickens, said Cunin.

The attack was also reported from Kiev by Leonid Stonov, the chairman of the Moscow-based International Bureau on Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, who said he saw it on Ukrainian television.

In another attack of an anti-Semitic nature, a Jewish teen-age boy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, was beaten, robbed and threatened with death because he was Jewish.

Moreover, all Jews in Dushanbe were threatened, according to the accounts.

The attack, which occurred April 1, was reported by both Stonov and Martin Wenick, executive director of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.

Wenick met with the youth a half-hour after he returned from militia headquarters and saw welts on his back.


The youth, Tabob Kharanbaev, was reportedly beaten by the October Region militia after having been apprehended for allegedly trying to break into a parked car. He was reportedly kept in custody six hours.

Some details about the attack on the teenager varied in accounts provided by Stonov and Wenick, both of whom were in Dushanbe last week.

Stonov said Kharanbaev was “savagely beaten around his kidneys and spleen.” Wenick saw clear signs of beating on his back.

Stonov said the boy had been almost raped by the examiner, who then shouted. “You are a Jews, and if we were allowed, we would kill all of you.”

Wenick said the youth “mentioned nothing of rape” but said the attacker menaced him as a Jew and also said, “This is not a Jewish town. Jews don’t belong here.”

Both accounts said the youth had been robbed, although there were discrepancies over whose money it was and how much was taken.

Wenick said he discussed the incident with the charge d’affairs at the American Embassy, who indicated he would be raising it with the local authorities.

Wenick and Shosana Cardin, the National Conference’s chairman, had met earlier with Tajikistan’s foreign minister.

Wenick said the Jewish community in the largely Moslem republic is alarmed, particularly by a new anti-government coalition of New Democrats and Islamic fundamentalists.

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