An animal waste-burning facility is expected to be built near a Holocaust memorial in the rebel-controlled town of Alexandrovka in eastern Ukraine, Ynet reported Thursday evening.
According to Ynet, the facility which is expected to be used to burn discarded animal flesh from the nearby slaughterhouse will be built 60 meters (197 feet) from a memorial set up in 2005 to commemorate 3,000 of the town's Jews who perished in the Holocaust and were buried in a mass grave in the area.
Local Rabbi Pinchas Vishetsky told Ynet that he fears the facility might be built on top of the bodies, as the exact boundaries of the mass grave remain unknown.
"According to the authorities' blueprints, it is the area of the mass grave is traditionally marked within 20 meters (66 feet) from either side of the memorial," he said, adding that "locals claim the area is much wider than 20 meters since more than 5,000 people were murdered here."
He added that the authorities "want to build the facility according to European standards, 60 meters from the memorial. This is a risky margin and it is not unlikely that people are buried here."
According to Ynet, the initiator of the proposed facility is Jewish. "How do you have the audacity to murder once again the Jews that perished here, 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz?"
Vishnetsky said it is "disrespectful to build that kind of a facility 60 meters from a memorial," adding that the authorities' insistence is "unclear." He told Ynet that "we asked the governor to move the facility at least 400-500 meters (1312-1640 feet) away from the memorial."
Local Jewish resident Volodymyr Negisky called the area "mini Babi Yar," equating it to the 1941 massacre near Kiev where more than 200,000 Jews were shot dead by SS troops.
Alexandrovka (spelled Alexandrivka in Ukrainian) is located in an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. Alexandrovka became a part of the unrecognized "Donetsk People's Republic" after being captured by the rebels during the civil war that came after the pro-Russian government was overthrown in January 2014.