Russia said on Wednesday that Ukrainian fighters were using a synagogue to secretly store weapons and ammunition. Kiev has repeatedly accused Moscow of striking civilian targets, while Russia says it is only hitting sites used by the military.
Major General Igor Konashenkov, Defense Ministry spokesman, accused Kiev of trying to deceive the world with “cynical lies” about Russia’s offensive.
He presented a set of images he said was evidence of “nationalists” using a synagogue in the city of Uman, in central Ukraine, “for military purposes.”
The spokesman added that Ukrainians planned to use Jewish religious groups to exert pressure on Russia if the synagogue in question had been destroyed.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned the shelling of the city by Russia in his address to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, on March 20. Tens of thousands of Jews gather in Uman every year for a pilgrimage to a tomb of a local religious leader.
The images, according to Konashenkov, were dated March 21 and provided by “a member of Uman’s Jewish community.” They appear to be stills from a CCTV video and show a group of men in fatigues gathering around a truck and two buses parked outside a building, which Konashenkov identified as a synagogue.
The truck is loaded with backpacks and objects similar to rolled up cushion foams. Two men cover them up with a bedsheet and a pair of blankets. The men in military-style clothes stand near a white bus with a warning sign on its windshield, which says “Children.”