2020-06-11 11:39:00

Arkhangelsk synagogue assailant identified

Moscow, June 11, Interfax - The police have established the identity of the man who attacked the North Star Jewish cultural center in Arkhangelsk, a representative of the Russian Jewish Congress told Interfax on Thursday.

"Investigative and operative procedures are continuing for the purpose of establishing every detail of the crime," acting head of the Russian Interior Ministry's investigative department in the Arkhangelsk Region Vladimir Nikolayev said in his response to the enquiry from the Russian Jewish Congress.

The criminal case is based on counts of intentional property destruction by arson, and the investigation is supervised by top officials of the Russian Interior Ministry's department in the Arkhangelsk Region, Nikolayev said in the letter seen by Interfax.

Fire was set to the Jewish Cultural Center and the synagogue in Arkhangelsk in the early hours of April 13, 2020. The fire destroyed the facade entrance and damaged windows, the door, and the lobby.

The synagogue has been attacked before. The unfinished building was fired upon with a pneumatic weapon, and anti-Semitic inscriptions were left on the synagogue's wall in April 2015. A Molotov cocktail was hurled at the unfinished synagogue building in 2016, but security guards prevented a fire from breaking out.

Russia's northernmost synagogue, the North Star, opened in Arkhangelsk in fall 2018.

This is a three-story building with a concert hall for over 500 viewers, an elevator, a cafe, and the rabbi's premises.