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Press ReleaseAnti-Semitism-International
ADL Calls For Swift Investigation of Anti-Semitic Incidents in The Russian City of Velikie Luki

Moscow, June 18, 2001 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called for a swift investigation by Russian authorities into the recent anti-Semitic incidents in the northwestern Russian city of Velikie Luki. In the first incident, 43 graves were damaged in the Jewish cemetery. In the second, windows were shattered in the recently renovated building of the Jewish charity organization that serves elderly and needy Jews.

The Moscow office of the Anti-Defamation League called on Governor Yevgeny Mikhailov of Pskov Region, Mayor Andrey Migrov of the City of Velikie Luki, and the Presidential Representative in Northwestern Russia, Viktor Cherkesov, urging the authorities to take immediate steps to ensure swift investigation of the incidents.

In the letters to the officials, ADL stressed that the incidents that took place on June 13 and 15 were not isolated cases of anti-Semitism in Velikie Luki.

"Shortly before the last week’s attacks, a number of Jewish citizens in Velikie Luki received anti-Semitic threats in the mail. Last year, a popular newspaper ran an anti-Semitic article, and anti-Semitic leaflets were distributed throughout the town against the Magen Hesed charity center," said Alexander Axelrod, Director of the ADL Moscow office.

"The recent incidents took place in a city where in the past two years the authorities have been showing a high level of tolerance toward the presence of extremist groups, including extreme right Russian National Unity organization, and failed to respond to the calls from the Jewish leaders to curb extremist activities and ensure safety of the community."

In a separate letter to Russian Orthodox Archbishop Evseviy of Pskov and Velikie Luki, ADL urged the church leader to condemn the recent anti-Semitic incidents against a minority faith as violating fundamental religious values

Images of the Jewish cemetary Desecration in The Russian City of Velikie Luki

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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