Mariupol's 'Old Synagogue' and Jewish Community Center Destroyed by Russian Forces, Officials Say

The Mariupol City Council and the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine on May 18 accused Russian forces of leveling the ruins of the city’s historic synagogue as well as a Jewish community center.

The city council, which published images on Telegram showing damage to buildings, said, “Like the Germans during World War II, they are destroying Jewish community buildings. In Mariupol, the Russian army destroyed the building of the ‘old synagogue’ and the community center,” according to a Google translation.

Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Moshe Reuven Azman posted the same images on Facebook. “And here are the consequences of ‘denazification’. These photos show the Mariupol synagogue, or rather, what is left of it after the arrival of Russian ‘liberators’,” Azman wrote, according to a Google translation.

Storyful could not independently confirm when the photos were taken, or what caused the damage to the buildings.

In October 2021, an exhibition was installed in the synagogue ruins memorializing the Jewish victims of a 1941 massacre in the Donetsk village of Ahrobaza. The names and photos of thousands of victims were hung on interior walls, and were still being exhibited in February when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. Credit: Mariupol City Council via Storyful

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