Synagogue Vandalized In Eastern Belarus

BABRUYSK, Belarus -- A synagogue has been vandalized in the eastern Belarusian city of Babruysk, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The synagogue's secretary, Maya Savatseyeva, told RFE/RL that vandals smashed the synagogue's windows at about 2 a.m. on November 18.

On November 11, a swastika and "Death to Jews!" was daubed on the fence surrounding the synagogue.

"The inscriptions insult human dignity," Savatseyeva said. "They drew a swastika and broke the four large windows. We have called the police and they have started an investigation."

Savatseyeva said the synagogue's congregation comprises around 50 people, most of them elderly. She said the congregation will have to pay for repairs to the building.

There were about 1,400 Jews in Babruysk in 1999. The exact number today is unknown as Jews have been leaving Belarus and other former Soviet republics since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.