Russian leader Vladimir Putin condemned a recent incident seemingly targeting Jewish passengers from Israel arriving in Russia’s predominantly Muslim Dagestan region, which he alleged was instigated by Western intelligence assets attempting to sow division in Russia.
On Sunday, a mob apparently comprising pro-Palestinian Dagestanis rampaged through the international airport in Makhachkala, the largest city in Dagestan, as rumors spread that a plane loaded with Jewish passengers was arriving from Israel.
Social media was soon deluged with footage of the group forcing their way into terminals, laying siege to a flight from Tel Aviv while allegedly looking for Jews, and shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they tried to break into some of the planes. The group interrogated arriving passengers that they suspected of being Israeli or Jewish.
Shocking footage has emerged showing a Muslim mob storming the airport in Dagestan, Russia seeking to hunt down passengers from Tel Aviv. They shout antisemitic slogans & praise for Allah. They shut down traffic outside, demanding to see passports. pic.twitter.com/gEhfEsJpc8
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) October 30, 2023
More than 80 suspected rioters were arrested, according to Russia Today.
On Monday, Putin addressed the participants, asking, “How do you help Palestine by attacking families?” adding that those who do so are “useful idiots,” as reported by RT. However, he laid ultimate blame for their actions on the machinations emanating from Western “hegemonic” ambitions, according to RT.
“Yesterday’s events in Makhachkala were inspired through social media, including from the territory of Ukraine, by the agents of Western services,” Putin claimed.
“I’m not certain if everyone in the U.S. leadership is aware of that,” Putin added, according to the AP. “It wouldn’t hurt if they run a probe into what their special services have been doing in Ukraine, trying to inspire pogroms in Russia. They are real scum, it’s impossible to call them otherwise.”
John Kirby, spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, called Putin’s response “classic Russian rhetoric,” reported the BBC.
“When something goes bad in your country, you blame somebody else,” he said. “The West had nothing to do with this. This is just hate, bigotry, and intimidation, pure and simple.”
Kirby also said comparisons between what transpired at the airport to pogroms from the late 19th and early 20th centuries were “apt,” per BBC.
Chechen leader and Putin loyalist Ramzan Kadyrov stated during a governmental meeting that Chechen authorities should “apprehend and jail” the participants and even shoot to death those who resist, reported RT.
“Or, you know what, make three warning shots in the air, and if after that the person does not abide by the law – make the fourth shot in his forehead,” Kadyrov said, per RT.