100 Year-Old Synagogue in Ukrainian City of Kharkiv Damaged by Russian Shelling
A century-old synagogue in Kharkiv was damaged by Russian shelling on Thursday, as the relentless bombardment of the north-eastern city in Ukraine continued into a 15th day.
Local media outlet Kharkiv Today published a photograph of the shattered windows on the upper level of the synagogue. “One of the largest synagogues in Europe, built in 1913, suffered as a result of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine,” a statement from the United Jewish Community of Ukraine confirmed. There were additional reports that some members of the Jewish community were sheltering inside the synagogue when the building was struck, but there were no injuries or fatalities.
A city of 1.5 million, around half of Kharkiv’s population has fled as the Russian onslaught has intensified over the last week. However, efforts by the Russian military to assert full control of the city have so far been thwarted by Ukrainian fighters as well as civilians.
In a message to the residents of Kharkiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged to rebuild their city.
“I want to say this using the example of Kharkiv, our Kharkiv, which is now experiencing the greatest suffering since the Second World War — Saltovka, Alekseevka, perhaps for most Ukrainians these names will not mean anything, but Kharkivites will understand,” Zelensky said on Thursday. “We will rebuild everything, I promise you personally. Kharkiv residents will see that Ukraine is for them And it’s for real.”
On the eve of the Russian invasion, Kharkiv’s Jewish community numbered 45,000 people.