Thread: Moscow: Synagogue Attacked
01-11-2006, 12:47 PM #1
Moscow: Synagogue Attacked
Right in downtown Moscow; Israelis were also injured.
Worshipers knifed in central Moscow synagogue
A man armed with a knife stabbed and wounded 11 people, including three Israelis, in a Chabad synagogue in downtown Moscow on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Jewish community in Russia said that four of the wounded were seriously injured in the attack, which occurred around 5:30 P.M. (1430 GMT). The spokesman said that the wounded were taken to hospital, and that some of them were undergoing surgery.
Polyakova Synagogue Rabbi Yitzhak Kogan, who is also an Israeli citizen, was among the injured. A witness said Kpgan wrestled the attacker to the ground and held him until police arrived.
Moscow police arrested a man identified as Alexander Koftzev, suspected of carrying out the attack. He was reported to be in his 20s from Moscow. Moscow authorities said the incident appeared to be anti-Semitic, but that other motives were also being investigated.
An initial investigation reveals that a skinhead wearing a leather jacket told the guards at the entrance to the synagogue that "I will kill people. I will kill Jews," before bursting into the synagogue.
A secretary at the synagogue who gave her first name as Tatyana said she heard people screaming as the man stabbed them, but the man himself did not appear to say anything.
Israeli-Russian billionaire Arkady Gaydamak, who lives not far from the scene of the attack, arrived at the synagogue. He said that he would fly the wounded Israelis to Israel in his private jet on Wednesday evening. He also instructed a medical team to join the flight.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom spoke to officials at Israel's embassy in Moscow and instructed them to convey a stern message to local authorities that they should take strong measures to counter anti-Semitism.
"I saw a man run in. He had a big knife," said one woman who worked in the kitchen at the synagogue and gave only her first name Svetlana. "I saw people lying on the floor, cut by a knife."
She said she had heard the man had attacked people in the kitchen while people were eating, and then went upstairs and began to attack people in offices before he was stopped by the synagogue's rabbi and others.
She said the man had a knife sheath hanging around his neck.
Avraham Berkowitz, the executive director of Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union, said people inside the building told him that the man got past security and began stabbing people, attacking six in all, including an Israeli citizen.
Among those wounded was the synagogue's rabbi's son-in-law, who is a rabbi himself and was undergoing surgery, said Berkowitz.
An eyewitness told Ekho Moskvyi radio that he overheard the man telling police after he was arrested that "he was killing them."
People milled about outside the building after the attack, including a man wearing a yarmulke who had blood stains visible on his shirt.
Local Jewish leaders said that the incident was yet one more expression to the rampant anti-Semitism in Russia. Rabbi Berl Lazer branded the situation as a plague. ?In places where Fascist ideas are being promoted they become reality, as we saw today in Moscow,? he said.
Russian news reports said prosecutors considered the attack a hate crime and that the country's top prosecutor, Vladimir Ustinov, was personally taking control of the investigation.
The stabbing is the latest in a growing series of incidents apparently involving skinheads or racist groups in Russia.
Rights groups have warned that hate groups have grown in recent years, with their anger targeted mainly at foreigners and dark-skinned immigrants from the poorer former Soviet republics of the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Many rights groups also say prosecutors routinely downplay hate crimes, choosing instead to bring less serious charges.
The Russian Orthodox Church, which has made efforts to reach out to Jewish officials in a country that has a history of pogroms and anti-Semitism, condemned the attack.
"Law enforcement agencies and authorities and all of society must do everything so that such a thing is not repeated, either in the center of Moscow or anywhere else," church spokesman Father Vsevolod Chaplin was quoted
as saying by RIA-Novosti.
Gorin said the attack should serve as a message to the Russian government and society to fight racism and anti-Semitism. This was "the latest result of the brazen and practically unpunished propaganda of fascism in this country," he said.
"If today's act does not sound an alarm, society faces grave danger." he said
01-11-2006, 12:56 PM #2
Pretty crazy. I can't believe he got 11 people before someone stopped him.
01-11-2006, 01:08 PM #3
Well, Chabad is not known for their defense tactics.
01-11-2006, 01:39 PM #4Originally Posted by AIZ
01-11-2006, 01:40 PM #5
Yeah there are alot of skinheads in Russia, especially Moscow, and Chechens know about attacks on them in a racial way in Russia.
01-12-2006, 01:14 AM #6
this is the 21st century- who stabs people? could this guy, like, not afford a gun or what?
01-12-2006, 03:30 AM #7Originally Posted by J.S.N.
01-12-2006, 01:58 PM #8Originally Posted by AIZ
01-12-2006, 02:15 PM #9Originally Posted by J.S.N.
I get your point,
Either it was symbolic, he wasn't financially able to get a gun, or didn't have the mental capacity to understand that with a gun would have been more efficient.
01-12-2006, 02:49 PM #10
Originally Posted by Bigen12
- Join Date
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01-12-2006, 03:03 PM #11
In Russia you cannot buy handguns or fully automatic guns, unless your in the military or something, very rarely are regular people given the right to own guns.
You can have shotguns and stuff but only at your home, you dont want to be found runnings around elsewhere with these weapons, and that also you need a license with strict restrictions.
Basically its rare for civilians to be carrying firearms outside their homes in Russia, because of strict rules, and cost.
Plus stabbing a person takes out more agression than shooting people.
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