In Uzhgorod, vandals threw an 8-meter hanukkiah into the river
The press secretary of the National Police of Transcarpathia, Hanna Dan, confirmed this information for Suspilne.
According to her, the message to the police was received around 3 PM.
"Representatives of the Jewish community called the police. Now all the circumstances of the incident are being established and recordings from video surveillance cameras are being studied," said Hanna Dan.
Dmytro, the assistant to the chief rabbi of Transcarpathia Menachem Mendel Wilhelm, told Suspilny: "The utility workers called at 14:20 and said that the menorah was already in the river. Half an hour later, the police and the State Emergency Service were called and pulled out. It was still in the proper place last night. Now we have installed a temporary menorah to light the last candle."
"Something very similar happened to the menorah a few years ago, when it was turned over near the philharmonic hall. There are only about 20 Uzhgorod residents here. People will light the last eighth candle on the temporary menorah, which will stand here until tomorrow," said Menachem Mendel Wilhelm, Chief Rabbi of Uzhgorod and Transcarpathia.
Representatives of the Jewish community set up a temporary hanukkiah (menorah) near the Philharmonic Hall. About 10 people gathered at 18:30 and lit the 8th candle. Among them is the representative of the Jewish organization "Hesed-Arye" in Transcarpathia, Yuri Galpert.
He said: "I accidentally saw this, I just passed about 3 hours ago. It was already down there, but my friends say she was even in the river. I think that such things are done at night most likely. Uzhgorod residents, in my subjective view, could not do this. I have already heard that there are several such cases in Ukraine. Apparently, it was coordinated in some way. I would like to know the answer to these questions from law enforcement agencies."
According to Hanna Dan, the police initiated criminal proceedings under Part 1 of Article 296 of the Criminal Code, that is, hooliganism. The article provides a penalty from UAH 8500 to 17 thousand or up to 5 years of restriction of freedom. Now the police are identifying those involved in the case.
The menorah, which was pulled out of the water, according to Rabbi Menachem Mendel Wilhelm, will be restored and used for the Hanukkah holiday next year.
As RISU has already reported, a wave of vandalism against hanukkiahs has swept through these days. Thus, unknown people destroyed most of the hanukkiah lights, as well as the switchboard in Rivne. The incident occurred in the city center, on Independence Square. On November 29 on the European Square in the Shevchenko District of Dnipro, the hanukkiah was knocked down by unknown people. In Kryvyi Rih, an act of vandalism related to hanukkiah was committed following the one in Dnipro city. While in Dnipro it was dropped, in Kryvyi Rih a young guy decided to climb it.