Russian Jewish leader injured after package bomb explodes


(JTA) — A Russian Jewish leader was hospitalized after a package sent by mail exploded in his office early Monday morning.

Mikhail Skoblionok, president of the Jewish Cultural Autonomy in Kazan, in Russia’s Tatarsan region, was hospitalized with burns and eye injuries, Radio Free Europe reported. His assistant also was hospitalized with similar injuries.

It is not yet clear whether the attack was criminally motivated or a hate crime. The attack is being investigated as an attempted murder, the regional branch of the Investigative Committee said.

Skoblionok has led the local organization since 2008. He also goes by the last name Abramovich, according to a statement from the World Jewish Congress.

“I was shocked and horrified to hear about today’s explosion targeting the head of the Jewish community in Kazan, Russia. I wish to extend my best wishes to Mr. Abramovich and his family and hope for a speedy recovery,” Robert Singer, CEO of the World Jewish Congress, said in a statement.

“I have known Mr. Abramovich for more than 25 years, and have seen that the rebirth and well-being of his community was, and is, in large extent due to his personal involvement. We fully trust that the local authorities are doing all in their power to investigate and ensure that the perpetrators behind this evil and sickening act are brought to justice as soon as possible.”

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