Russia says police have arrested 60 people in the wake of the Sunday mob attack on an airport in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan. Local police in the Muslim-dominant region said they had identified 150 rioters who had breached airport security while looking for Jews said to have arrived on a flight from Tel Aviv.
Dramatic videos had shown men swarming an airplane, with some even jumping on its wings and waiving Palestinian flags, while the passengers huddled inside and the captain refused to open the door.
Russia’s interior ministry said 20 people were injured in the whole ordeal, which many publications are calling an antisemitic pogrom wherein security personnel may have looked the other way or at least failed to intervene in time.
Interestingly, Russian authorities are busy blaming Ukrainian spies, though without evidence. For example, Sergei Melikhov, Dagestan’s governor, said the violence was the result of "our enemies" - and called out Kiev.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has also said the riot was "in large part the result of external interference" - in a further suggestion it was stoked by either Ukrainian or US operatives - and that it came in the context of "the horrors of what is happening in Gaza." Peskov said, "It’s very easy for our ill-wishers to use these images to exploit the situation, to provoke and anger people." The US promptly blasted and denied the charge.
President Putin has also added his voice in a Monday national security meeting, blaming the West for fueling instability and aggression in the Middle East which has aided Israel in its campaign resulting in "bloodied children, dead children"...
Vladimir Putin:— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) October 30, 2023
▪️When you look at bloodied children, dead children, how women, old people suffer, how doctors die, and fists clench, and tears well up in your eyes, you can’t say it any other way, but we shouldn’t, we don’t have the right to allow ourselves to be guided by… pic.twitter.com/nVg7oqwK7X
Putin's words, spoken before a meeting of his top security officials and televised, were some of the harshest yet issued on the Gaza crisis, at a moment the Palestinian death toll has surpassed 8,500.
Below is a selection of key Putin quotes from the Monday speech, as presented and translated by RT:
Israel committing collective punishment
He noted that the recent flare-up in the Middle East was triggered by the terrorist attack by Hamas militants against Israeli civilians. However, “instead of going after criminals and terrorists,” Israel has since resorted to “exact revenge [on the Palestinians] in the form of collective punishment.”
Washington sows instability & chaos
The US and its allies are the “main beneficiaries of the global instability,” the Russian president said, arguing that the West was making “blood money” from various conflicts.
“The American-run world, with its single hegemon, is falling to pieces. It is gradually but irreversibly becoming a thing of the past,” Putin said.
On the Dagestan airport rioting
“Yesterday’s events in Makhachkala were inspired through social media, including from the territory of Ukraine, by the agents of Western services,” Putin said. He stressed that legitimate concerns for the Palestinians must not lead to outbreaks of violence.
More Footage from the Anti-Israeli Riots yesterday at Makhachkala International Airport in the Dagestan Region of Russia has been Released with this showing the Initial Helicopter Raid by Russian National Guard Troops and Security Forces on the Tarmac at the Airport; Rubber… pic.twitter.com/eBpyHCxtHf— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) October 30, 2023
Putin followed with: “They don’t want a lasting peace in the Holy Land. They want constant chaos in the Middle East. That’s why they are slandering the countries that are insisting on an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.”