Russian missiles reportedly damage a historic synagogue in southeastern Ukraine

World News

(JTA) — Russian missile fire damaged a 113-year-old synagogue in the city of Huliaipole, Ukraine, last weekend.

An unconfirmed photo of the synagogue on Twitter shows a massive hole in the building’s exterior; the state of the interior is unclear.

“On behalf of the Jewish community of Ukraine, I strongly condemn the Russian bombardment of the Synagogue in the city of Huliaipole,” said Moshe Reuven Azman, a Ukrainian chief rabbi affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, according to Ynet. “It is common knowledge that holy sites are off-limits during an armed conflict. It’s an understanding the Russians chose to violate. I expect world leaders to condemn this act.”

In the late 1800s, Huliaipol was home to more than 1,000 Jews, over 10% of its population. By 1939, that number was less than 600, according to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust remembrance authority and museum.

Since the onset of the Russian invasion last February, Huliaipole has seen fierce fighting, as it is located in the center of the contested Zaporizhia oblast. In 2021, its overall population was around 12,000 but that number dipped to as low as 2,000 by March 2022.