KIEV—A statue to Yiddish writer Sholom Aleichem in Kiev was defaced with swastikas on Monday, according to the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine and Kiev, Moshe Reuven Asman.
“This antisemitic vandalism was committed at night, in the city center, near the Brodsky synagogue. The swastikas were sprayed using painting. This is not just random vandalism, in my opinion, but a premeditated act. We are waiting for the results of the investigation by the authorities,” Azman said.
According to Kyiv Post, the city’s police have opened a criminal case into the vandalism and also seized footage from nearby surveillance cameras in a bid to identify and arrest the suspects.
After conducting a crime scene inquiry, police admitted public utilities workers to the scene to remove the swastikas.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Vadym Prystaiko, denounced this act of anti-Semitism.
Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, was a novelist and playwright known worldwide under the pen name Sholem Aleichem. He was born in 1859 and died in 1916. He was best known for his “Tevye the Dairyman” story on which the film “Fiddler on the Roof” is based.
This is another case of anti-Semitism in Ukraine in the past several weeks. In September, unidentified criminals desecrated a monument dedicated to the Jews who perished in a massacre in Bogdanoka village in Nikolayev region at the very site of this tragic event. The attackers covered the monument with a swastika and left a note with threats to President Vladimir Zelensky, former transportation minister, Yevgeny Chervonenko, and head of Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Eduard Dolinsky.
The CEO of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC), Haim Ben-Yakov, addressed Ukrainian government, “To our great dismay, recently we have been witnessing an increasing number of anti-Semitic incidents all across Ukraine,’’ he said.
On November 27, Kiev will host the first Summit of Eurasian Jewry, bringing together for the first time hundreds of Jewish leaders from across the region.
Around 300,000 Jews live in Ukraine.