A guard at the Moscow Choral Synagogue was seriously wounded Saturday night after being shot by a man who came to the grand, central house of prayer for the Jewish community with apparent plans to set it ablaze. Nobody else was reported to be injured.
Some Russian media sources reported that the guard was short in his chest and head by the attacker , 40-year-old Muscovite Ivan Lavadiev, who came to the synagogue with a gun and a container of gasoline. When the guard stopped the ostensible arsonist, Lavadiev drew his weapon and shot the guard. He was arrested at the scene.
A police source told news agency Interfax that the attacker used a "nonlethal" gun. Jewish community officials have said that security will be increased during the upcoming holidays.
According to a rabbi at the synagogue, the attacker showed up in the middle of the evening prayer that follows Shabbat and asked to meet with Pinchas Goldschmidt, who is the chief rabbi of Moscow, president of the Conference of European Rabbis and spiritual leader of the Moscow Choral Synagogue. There were 150 congregants present at the time, including Goldschmidt.
Rabbi Goldschmidt said that, "The evening prayer were conducted as usual, and we will conduct the High Holiday prayers as usual. We work in conjunction with the Moscow police, and we call on the Jewish citizens of the Russian capital to join us tomorrow evening in the New Year's prayer service as sign of solidarity against anti-Semitism."