TV founder escapes bomb attack in Kiev

By Nissan Tzur, March 7, 2013
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Vadim Rabinovich, a businessman, philanthropist and president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, narrowly avoided an attempt on his life in Kiev on Monday.

According to a report in the Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, a small bomb was thrown into Mr Rabinovich’s car but that it was unclear whether or not Mr Rabinovich, who is also co-chairman of the European Jewish Parliament, was in the car at the time.

In a statement posted on the website of the United Jewish Community of the Ukraine on January 18, Mr Rabinovich had accused the Ukrainian authorities of making physical threats against him in order to force him to transfer to them ownership of his TV channel, Jewish News 1 (JN1), within one week.

“A senior official in the current government visited Rabinovich on January 17 and threatened to harass him and do him physical violence should he not transfer the JN1 television channel to them within a week,” the statement said. Local TV channel News One alleged that the “senior official” was Boris Podolski Evseevich, a politician known for his close ties to the Ukrainian power elite.

Mr Rabinovich said he believed that the official’s “visit” had not been sanctioned by the government and that he had submitted an official complaint to the General Prosecutor’s office in Kiev.

JN1, an independent news channel which covers Jewish-interest affairs, was founded in 2011 by Mr Rabinovich together with Ukrainian Jewish billionaire Igor Kolomoisky, who is also the president of the European Jewish Union.

Since far-right party Svoboda won 38 parliamentary seats in the October 2012 elections, there has been growing concern in Ukraine’s Jewish communities over the increase of antisemitism.

In early January, Jewish leaders launched an appeal asking the international community to take measures to combat the growth of Jew-hatred in the Ukraine.

Last updated: 6:45pm, March 7 2013