Ukrainian-Jewish billionaire’s effigy doused with red paint outside synagogue


(JTA) — An effigy of a Ukrainian-Jewish billionaire covered in red paint was placed at the entrance to a synagogue in Kiev.

The life-size puppet of Igor Kolomoisky was found Monday at the entrance to the Brodsky Synagogue, Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, wrote on Twitter. The puppet had a portrait of Kolomoisky on its head.

As president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, Kolomoisky has poured millions of dollars into Jewish causes in the country. He has also financed nationalist causes and bought equipment for the Ukrainian army in its conflict with Russia.

Those who placed the puppet at the synagogue wore camouflage fatigues and were not identified, Dolinsky wrote.

The effigy was placed there on Oct. 14, a national day of commemoration called Defender of Ukraine Day. Oct. 14 is also Ukraine’s Day of the Cossack, a reference to locals whose militias mounted several rebellions against czsarist Russia. They also routinely carried out pogroms and other atrocities against Jews.

Thousands, including far-right nationalists, marched that day in Kiev and other cities in protests of a planned compromise with Russia on disputed land in the border between the two countries.

Separately, Ukrainian Prime Minister Alexei Goncharuk attended an Oct. 13 concert by the white nationalist band Sokyra Peruna, who are famous for sings praising Nazi Germany. Goncharuk delivered a thank-you address to the audience of far-rightists.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine in a statement called the prime minister’s presence there “unacceptable.”

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