Russian police ordered to guard synagogues and Jewish schools

Beginning this month, as a result of an order by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, Jewish institutions in Moscow will be patrolled around the clock by a special police task force. They include all four functioning synagogues, Jewish schools, Moscow's Jewish theater and the office of a Jewish weekly newspaper.

According to Luzhkov's office, the mobile police units also will provide security measures for several cemeteries in the Moscow area that have Jewish sections.

Luzhkov has personally experienced the rise in extremist behavior that has hit Russia in the past six months. In December, he was threatened by the leader of the Russian National Unity after he banned a meeting of the group, the country's largest ultranationalist organization. The meeting was set to take place in Moscow.