Further building on the warm relations between Ulyanovsk, Russia's Jewish community and the municipal government, the regional police department appointed Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Yossi Marozov to a position on its community relations board. According to officials, the move came at the behest of regional Gov. Sergei Morozov, who last year signed an accord of mutual cooperation between the Volga River port and its Jewish community.

This position "will give us the opportunity to deal effectively with anti-Semites," said Marozov, rabbi of the Ulyanovsk community.

In January, nine adolescents were arrested for drawing swastikas on Ulyanovsk's Jewish community center. Since then, said the rabbi, the government has been receptive to the community's concerns over its safety.

"The government is on our side," he said.

Home to heavy industry, Ulyanovsk numbers some 635,000 people. The Jewish community is comprised of several thousand Jews, and maintains a synagogue, burial society, dance troupe, library, Hebrew school and youth club.