ABC television's Moscow correspondent, Anne Garrels, said she was assaulted and robbed on a private visit to Soviet Jewish friends in Kiev last Sunday and believed the attack may have been officially organized.
Ms. Garrels said a man tried to seize her handbag in central Kiev and dragged her more than 50 yards across the busy square when she resisted. A policeman who witnessed the incident did not intervene, she said. The bag was returned by police the next day with more than $500 in cash stolen, sealed letters ripped open, and no explanation for the incident.
''I think it was an organized attempt to harass me and get hold of any materials I might have collected while visiting Ukrainian Jews,'' she said.
The correspondent said the attacker was one of a group of four following her and the Jewish family in Kiev for much of the day. The family had applied to emigrate but was not involved in any activist organizations, she added.
In the past few years, several incidents have been reported in which Westerners visiting Jews in Kiev have been attacked.