Israeli diplomat beaten and robbed in St. Petersburg

An Israeli diplomat was beaten and robbed in St. Petersburg Tuesday, a Russian news agency reported.

Micky Boguslavsky, a secretary in the Israeli Embassy in Moscow, was returning home Monday night when several unidentified assailants assaulted him in downtown St. Petersburg. He was beaten and robbed of his valuables, including cash, credit cards and a digital camera.

The diplomat temporarily lost consciousness. He reported the attack to the local police on Tuesday, Interfax said, citing the embassy.

Calls to the Israeli Embassy in Moscow and police officials in St. Petersburg went unanswered on Tuesday evening.

Russia and the Soviet Union have a long history of anti-Semitism and fears of its resurgence have risen in recent months, fueled by frequent attacks on Jewish cemeteries.

Racist attacks on Jews, dark-skinned foreigners and people from Russia's North Caucasus also have become increasingly frequent in Russia's big cities, reflecting a rise in xenophobia and racism in the country. Non-governmental experts estimate that about 50,000 skinheads are active in Russia, AP reported. V.A.

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