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Young Jew was attacked twice during the summer in Penza

Фото Михаила Чернецова

In the Penza region, Danil Kuznetsov, who does not hide his belonging to the Jewish people and the Jewish religion, was attacked twice during the summer of 2018. The victim believes that he is being persecuted for national and religious reasons. More details — in the material of «7x7».


"They promised to come back and deal with me differently"

Danila Kuznetsov filed two applications to the police. From the first it follows that on the night of July 16-17, a local resident broke into the door of his apartment. When, hearing the noise, neighbors gathered in the staircase, Danila and his relatives decided to look at the damaged door, hoping that no one would touch him in front of so many witnesses. However, the attacker appeared again and burst into their apartment:

"He slammed my mother's shoulder with a metal door, broke into the hallway, knocked down my grandmother," Danila told a «7x7» correspondent. "She just had an eye surgery. Head injuries can cause blindness."


One of the injuries of Danila’s mother


The second incident took place on August 18. Two people tried to beat Danil Kuznetsov on a country road. When he took out a pepper spray, they demanded him to withdraw a statement about the apartment invasion.

"They did not attack again, but they promised to come back and deal with me differently, if I do not do it," Danila said.

Both times he heard anti-Semitic statements from the attackers. During the second attack, the perpetrators referred to ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in Russia), shouted about bombs and explosions.


"This is a matter of personal enmity"

Danila believes that the Penza synagogue turn a blind eye to the problem of national hostility. Rabbi Dan Savinov has another opinion:

"There is actually no such problem. We closely cooperate with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB, with departments that deal with religious organizations. They monitor the situation and inform us. As for the problems at the domestic level — I really did not come across them. I have been living in Penza for ten years. Both myself and my children wear religious attire. And there have never been any attacks."

The Jewish community of Penza believes that the recent attacks on Danil Kuznetsov occurred for reasons of personal, domestic enmity. The fact that the Jew became the victim of the attack was just a particular case.

"It is a peculiar young man," Rabbi Dan Savinov told «7x7». "He has group on "VKontakte" dedicated to Judaism. Sometimes he is tactless in his publications. Danila's view of our faith goes beyond the official position of Judaism itself. He understands that he will not be able to solve domestic conflicts. Raising the topic of anti-Semitism, he feels that he has more leverage. Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia share the same view."


"Shave your beard and you will be beaten even more often"

Danila fears for his life and health but does not intend to rise to provocations.

"People advise me to take off kippah and shave off a beard, "to stop annoying society," he told a 7x7 correspondent. "But you can not be pushed about by some bastards. Shave your beard and you will be beaten even more often. For the Torah and the Testaments, one must stand, as written in the TaNaKh: "Only be strong and very courageous."

According to Danila, the investigation identified the first incident as an administrative offense. He said that his mother, who acts as a victim, is now in hospital due to her head trauma and stress. Therefore, the date of the court session has not yet been appointed.

Mikhail Chernetsov, photo by the author, «7x7»


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