By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
In an elaborate ruse, Russian police faked the death of a rabbi to arrest members of an anti-Semitic criminal gang, the UK-based Times reported over the weekend.
Russian police said that members of Citizens of the USSR fringe group, which refuses to accept that the Soviet Union no longer exists, were planning the murder of a rabbi in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia.
Calling the group a “nostalgia cult,” Russian police had infiltrated the group in order to monitor its activities.
An undercover officer, who posed as a hitman, was asked by two members of the group to carry out a hit against a local rabbi, Yuri Tkach.
Upon learning of the plot, police approached Tkach and asked him to cooperate in a staged “murder scene” that would be photographed and presented to the gang as proof that the ‘hitman’ had assassinated the rabbi.
Tkach agreed, and the police used a professional make-up artist to create realistic-looking wounds on the rabbi’s body.
A photograph of Tkach lying on the ground in his building’s stairwell covered in fake blood was believable enough that the gang was convinced he was killed.
“I was asked not to call anyone, not to get in touch with anyone, because [the organizers of the murder] could have some kind of informants,” Tkach told Russian newspaper MediaZone.
“They asked me not to appear anywhere and to be at home, because they have been following me for a long time, they know where I go…where I live – all the details. The law enforcement authorities established this during the investigation.”
In exchange for the “killing,” the undercover cop demanded that he be appointed KGB chief of Krasnodar.
Alexander Dudarenko, 60, and Zoya Malova, 70, were subsequently arrested by the police, who say that the pair are the ringleaders of the gang.
In line with their refusal to recognize the modern Russian state, one of the suspects said that the Krasnodar criminal court did not have the authority or jurisdiction to bring criminal charges against them, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
Both suspects say they are innocent of the charges.