(JTA) — An Orthodox Jewish man was beaten in the face at a supermarket in the Ukrainian city of Uman.
The incident happened Monday evening as the man, who has not been named in the Ukrainian media, left the store with a friend. Two men approached the Orthodox shoppers and one hit the victim in the nose, causing some bleeding.
The alleged attacker and his friend fled, the head of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, Michael Tkatch, wrote on Facebook.
Police are investigating whether the incident was an anti-Semitic assault.
Pilgrimages to Uman, which is home to the grave of Nachman of Breslov, an 18th-century luminary and founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement, were supposed to have been curtailed this year due to coronavirus restrictions.
About 30,000 pilgrims, mostly from Israel, arrive there each year ahead of Rosh Hashanah. Clashes between locals and pilgrims are a common occurrence during the pilgrimage period.
Ukrainian authorities said they were closing the borders to foreigners until Sept. 28 in what was widely perceived as a move to prevent the pilgrims from defying orders not to come. Israel’s government supports the Ukrainian move, officials have said.
But in an apparent effort to beat the closure, dozens of pilgrims reportedly arrived early in Uman. In the video, some of the foreigners are seen carrying large bags suggesting they had just arrived from abroad.