A Michigan woman wanted to blame the Ukrainian militia for vandalism

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan police say a woman vandalized two religious centers in the Detroit area hoping people would blame a Ukrainian militia.

The 35-year-old woman from Clinton Township was accused of spray-painting a Nazi symbol and the words “Azov” on a synagogue in Royal Oak on April 28. She was also charged with a March 15 arson attack at a Scientology center in Farmington Hills, reported the Detroit Free Press.

Royal Oak detective Dan Pelletier testified earlier this month that a woman told him she had attempted to commit hate crimes that would be blamed on the Azov Regiment, a Ukrainian militia. Russian officials have repeatedly portrayed Azov as a Nazi formation.

Pelletier said the woman lived in Serbia for two years and returned to Michigan in March. Her family said she was homeless and threatened her. The detective said the woman told him she tried to commit hate crimes, which Azov was charged with, so that people would become angry about US involvement in the Ukraine-Russia war.

A judge in Royal Oak on Friday ordered the woman to undergo a competency assessment. The woman’s attorney, Kerry Phillips, did not respond to an email from the Detroit Free Press seeking comment on the case.

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Brian Ashcraft

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