22 December 2016, 11:17
Ukrainian embassy to Israel pledges culprits of desecrating rabbi Nahman's tomb to be found, punished
*** Israeli consul concerned that it's happened just after Israel has fully supported Ukraine's sovereignty in UN
Kiev, December 22, Interfax - The Ukrainian Embassy to Israel expressed regret about the incident on Rabbi Nahman's grave in Uman (the Cherkassy Region), assuring that the law enforcement agencies will undertake every necessary action to punish those guilty.
"The Ukrainian embassy expresses regret about the incident, which occurred on Rabbi Nahman's tomb in Uman. At the present moment the law enforcement agencies are conducting relevant investigations. The Ukrainian side will take every possible measure to punish those guilty in this incident," the Ukrainian embassy said in a statement.
The embassy said that the Ukrainian authorities have condemned any manifestations of xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other types of intolerance and has been working on their full eradication in society.
It became known earlier on Wednesday that a call came on the 102 special line of the Uman police department that illegal actions are being perpetrated at the Rabbi Nahman memorial sepulcher. "It was found out at the incident site that unknown people have sprayed the red paint on the entrance to the sepulcher and left the cut pig's head there. Several pieces of material evidence have been seized at the incident site," it said.
A criminal inquiry was launched over hooligan actions enshrined in Part 2 Article 296 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (hooliganism that envisages up to five years in prison).
Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko's spokesperson Larisa Sargan said later that the prosecutor general has taken under personal control the investigation into this crime and cancelled the vacations of the regional prosecutor. Lutsenko ordered the prosecutor in the Cherkassy region take under tough prosecutor's control the process of investigation, she said. "Lutsenko underscored that the manifestations of anti-Semitism and religious intolerance are inadmissible," Sargan also said.
The investigators have launched criminal proceedings over the crime enshrined in Part 3 Article 161 (violation of equal rights of citizens depending on their racial, ethnic identify, religious convictions, disabilities and other indicators) of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, the Ukrainian National Police press service said on Wednesday afternoon. The criminal penalty under this article envisages liability with a term of up to eight years in prison.
Police, experts, are working at the incident site, acting Ukrainian National Police head Vadim Troyan said. The main national police department in the Cherkassy Region has set up a special operative and investigative team, which comprised experienced employees for the soonest possible uncovering of the crime, he said.
Furthermore, Israeli Honorary Consul in the western Ukrainian region Oleg Vishnyakov said that the perpetrators of the desecration of the Rabbi Nahman memorial tomb have been provocateurs, who did not like rapprochement between Ukraine and Israel, and who should be punished with all severity of the law.
"I am shocked with the barbaric attack, which was staged at the Tzaddik Nahman's synagogue in Uman. Anti-Semitism is a horrible plague, which exists not only in Ukraine, it should be rooted out. But I am more concerned that such a flagrant act of violence against the Jewish people's shrines has been committed at the moment of rapprochement between Ukraine and Israel. The vote on the UN resolution on Crimea has recently taken place, and Israel has fully supported Ukraine's sovereignty. Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman will also pay a visit to Israel quite shortly," Vishnyakov said in a commentary, which is seen by Interfax.
The honorary consul said that there have been those who liked this rapprochement between the two countries. "They are traitors of their people, who should be punished with all severity of the law. Under Article 161 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code they face from five to eight years in prison. The culprits should be uncovered and sit behind the bars so that other barbarians would never repeat their crime," the honorary consul said.
Expressing satisfaction that the Ukrainian prosecutor general has taken the investigation into the case under control, Vishnyakov said: "Now the Israelis should understand that this situation is only a provocation, but not at all the common position held by the Ukrainians towards the Israelis. They are grateful to them for friendship and support."