Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov reported of disclosure of a criminal group involved in a number of crimes including those of anti-Semitic nature. The 112 Ukraine TV channel broadcasted the briefing.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 9 crimes in Kyiv and various regions of Ukraine are already set. The members of the criminal group were detained a day before on the border between Ukraine and Hungary. They were planning to explode a monument to the Hungarians on the Verecke Pass in Ukraine’s Zakarpattia region.
Avakov stated that the detained persons were heading to perform their next “order” with the tensions in relations between Ukraine and Hungary in view.
“Officers of the National Police criminal investigation department detained them near the border. Grenades, explosives with an attached gas cylinder for detonation were confiscated at the arrest,” the Minister added.
The group consisted of residents of the Cherkasy region. The crimes were committed in 2016-2017 and were aimed at inciting xenophobia, religious intolerance, and international conflicts. The name of the organized criminal group is Tornado.
Avakov specified which crimes the detainees are suspected of:
1. The Central Jewish synagogue was desecrated in Chernivtsi city as an anti-Semitic inscription was made on its main facade at the night of November 19, 2016.
2. The malefactors entered the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman city on December 21, 2016, and threw pig’s head with a swastika carved on it.
3. In Kyiv, where the malefactors exploded a grenade near the US Embassy on June 8, 2017.
4. In Lviv, where the criminals attempted to set the synagogue on fire on June 30, 2017.
5. In Lutsk, where the criminals threw an explosive at the consulate of Poland.
6. In Kyiv, where a grenade was thrown on Hrushevsky Street on Independence Day and the relatives of Hero of Ukraine Valery Chybineev were injured on August 24, 2017.
7. On the same day, the monument of veterans of Donbas conflict was demolished by hand grenades.
8. A hand grenade explosion, which injured Israeli citizens in Uman, Cherkasy region, central Ukraine.
9. The gang was detained during the terrorist act, as the criminals tried to blow up the monument of Hungarians at Verecke Pass in the Carpathians.
The law enforcers detained members and leader of the gang, who belongs to the circle of individuals influenced by former MPs from the now disbanded ‘Party of Regions.’
‘The investigations found out there are numerous contacts with the ex-lawmakers who are currently in Russia, as well as ties to some of the leaders of the Opposition Bloc party who are now in Ukraine. The investigation is underway,’ the minister said.