Sunday, May 13, 2007

Jew stabbed to death in Russia 

Rabbi: Murder of Jewish teacher in Russia was ethnically motivated

By Reuters
Sun., May 13, 2007 Iyyar 25, 5767

A Jewish teacher in the Russian city of St Petersburg was stabbed to death on Saturday in an attack a leading rabbi has said he suspects was ethnically motivated.

Rabbi Berel Lazar said the teacher had been killed at the door of his apartment. He had been stabbed several times on the face and the chest.

"The information currently available leads to serious suspicion that the crime was ethnically motivated," Lazar said in a statement on Sunday. "The victim sustained more than a dozen stab wounds and nothing was stolen."

Russia has witnessed a rise in racist attacks in recent years. Observers say resurgent Russian national pride and the collapse of communist order have fuelled this increase.

President Vladimir Putin has described the rise in racist attacks as a threat to national security. He has called for the legal system and the police to step up efforts to stamp them out.

Last year a man shouting "Heil Hitler" burst into a synagogue and stabbed nine people, and Jewish graves have been desecrated with swastikas in recent years.

In 2005, five teenagers beat a Jewish man to death with a metal bar.

Under the rule of the Soviet Union, passports belonging to Jews were specially marked, and Jews were often discriminated against when applying for places at top universities and prominent companies.

Lazar said the authorities needed to punish racist attacks and behavior harder in order to cut them out.


Local yeshiva student stabbed to death in St. Petersburg

By Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondent
Sat., May 12, 2007 Iyyar 24, 5767

A 22-year-old Jewish man was stabbed to death on Saturday at the entrance to his apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The motive of the murder is still unclear however the local Jewish community believes that it may have been due to anti-Semitic sentiment.

If true, this would be the most severe case of anti-Semitic violence in St. Petersburg in the last few years.

Dmitri Mikolinski , a biology and yeshiva student, was murdered outside his parent's home while on his way to synagogue. His mother, who left the apartment a few minutes after him, found Mikolinski bleeding heavily after being stabbed in the neck.

Police are investigating whether a security camera installed in the building has footage of the murder.

Jews in the community told Haaretz that Mikolinski was a quiet and shy man and it is highly unlikely that he was involved with criminals.

According to the Jewish community, the manner in which Mikolinski was murdered - a stabbing in the neck - is characteristic of a group of skinheads in the city.

In the past few years, a number of foreign students and civil rights activists were murdered in St. Petersburg, apparently by neo-Nazi skinheads.

In most cases, the perpetrators were not apprehended or got off with light punishments.


Jewish teacher murdered in Russia


A Jewish day school teacher was murdered in St. Petersburg, in what some in the Jewish community believe to have been an ethnically motivated attack.

In an official statement on Sunday, the Jewish community of St.Petersburg said the details pertinent to the murder "were too scant to make any conclusions," yet community leaders pointed out the rise of xenophobia as a possible reason behind the crime.

Dmitri Nikulinsky, 22, a St. Petersburg native who taught biology at a Chabad-run school, was found heavily bleeding by his mother outside his apartment around 10 a.m. Saturday. Nikulinsky, a biology student in addition to his teaching role, had been stabbed in the neck.

"People are very upset and shocked," St. Petersburg's Chief Rabbi Mendel Pevzner told JTA.

As of Sunday, police had not informed the community of any leads in the ongoing investigation.

The community has no plans to increase security at its centers and has issued no statements recommending that its members take any greater precautions. "Until we have any further information about motives, we re not going to come out with such statements," Pevzner said.

In recent years, St. Petersburg has been known as a hotbed of nationalist and neo-Nazi activity in Russia, and several racially motivated murders were committed in the city, though Jews had not yet been among targets of these attacks. Those targeted were mainly foreign students from Asian and African countries and ethnic minorities from former Soviet republics.

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