Ukrainian Jewish surgeon claims attackers shouted anti-Semitic epithets

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — A Jewish physician from Ukraine was severely beaten in what he said was an assault with anti-Semitic overtones.

Oleksanr Dukhovskoi, a chief pediatric neurosurgeon in the east Ukrainian city of Kahrkiv, told the television station 9 TV that he believed the assault Sunday was ordered by competitors. He did not name a suspect.

“I was beaten up by three men on the street who shouted at me: ‘Jew face, get out of town and out of the country’,” Dukhovskoi said. “This is blatant anti-Semitism. I told this to local journalists but nobody wanted mention this aspect of the attack.”

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The assailants fractured Dukhovskoi’s skull and ruptured at least one of his kidneys. He will remain hospitalized for at least a month. He said he was also hit in his hands and that he estimates he will remain partially disabled because of the beating. He was flown from Ukraine for treatment in Jerusalem earlier this week, 9 TV reported.

Oleksander Feldman, a Ukrainian-Jewish lawmaker and founder of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, said he is following the investigation into the assault.

The attack followed several incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism in Ukraine and Russia, where anti-Semitic rhetoric has proliferated amid an armed conflict.

On March 22, vandals drew a swastika and the initials of the Nazi party on a monument for Holocaust victims in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress reported. It is the fifth time the monument has been defaced since its erection in 2011.

Separately, unidentified individuals wrote “death to the Jewish rule” near the offices of the Hessed Jewish charity in the central Ukrainian city of Cherkassy, the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism reported on March 18.

On March 23, vandals painted Nazi symbols on a monument for Holocaust victims in the Russian city of Volgograd, approximately 400 miles east of the border with Ukraine, Volga Media reported.