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Synagogue in Eastern Ukraine Struck by Firebombs

A synagogue in eastern Ukraine sustained minor damage from firebombs hurled at it by unidentified individuals.

The firebombs hit the Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, located 250 miles southeast of Kiev, on the night of Feb. 23, according to a report Monday on the news site timenews.in.ua.

The website published photos that showed the traces of a fire on the facade of the balcony of the synagogue, which opened its doors in 2012.

A spokesperson for the Zhovtneviy District where the synagogue is located said no one was hurt in the attack and that police were searching for suspects. Officers found the neck of a glass bottle which was used as a Molotov cocktail, according to the Central Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Several Ukrainian media reported erroneously that the attack happened in Kiev.

The Ukrainian capital and other cities have seen the eruption of a wave of violent demonstrations that culminated this weekend with the apparent ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych.

The country’s new acting government has issued a warrant for his arrest, accusing him of the murder of about 100 protesters who died in street clashes last week.

The unrest began in November over Yanukovych’s refusal to sign a deal which would have tightened Ukraine’s ties with the European Union – a move which many saw as jeopardizing the country’s complicated relationship with Russia.

Several Jewish communities in Kiev have beefed up their security arrangements during the unrest. Other communities put their activities on hold out of safety concerns.

Ukraine has a Jewish population of 360,000–400,000 people, with roughly a quarter of all the country’s Jews residing in Kiev, according to the European Jewish Congress. The Jewish Agency put the figure at 200,000.

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