Moscow. An extraordinary meeting of Russia’s security council was held Monday evening, instead of Friday, as is usual.
According to the Kremlin’s press service, President Vladimir Putin delivered his analysis of, among other issues, the antisemitic riots that occurred Sunday night in Makhachkala, capital of the republic of Dagestan in the North Caucasus, as well as the situation in the Middle East.
According to the press report of the public session, the meeting at Putin’s residence in Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow began with Putin’s declaration that “those behind the Middle East conflict and other regional crises make use of the destruction to sow hatred and to set people against each other all over the world: That is the selfish goal of geopolitical puppeteers.”
He said that the current escalation of the Middle East conflict began, “with a terrorist attack against the civilian population in Israel and citizens of other countries within the territory of that state. And then we watched as, unfortunately, instead of their punishing the criminals and terrorists, they began to take revenge under the principle of collective responsibility.”
According to the Russian leader, the United States and its allies are sparing no resources to “de-Stalinize Russia and divide our society,” which is multinational and with various religions. “We need to understand who is behind the tragedy of the peoples of the Middle East: the current ruling elite of the United States and its satellites, who benefit from instability in the world and get their blood money,” he stressed.
‘Their Hegemony Is Cracking’
For Putin, the United States “sees that its hegemony is cracking” and wants to extend “its domination and its global dictatorship,” and doing so is easier, he posited, “in the midst of chaos, destabilizing its competitors — including our country — and, in fact, the new centers in world development, those sovereign countries that refuse to humiliate themselves and assume the role of lackeys.”
Regarding the riots in Makhachkala, the head of the Kremlin said, “They were instigated by social networks, even from the territory of Ukraine, through agents of the Western secret service,” without accusing one in particular.
“They never cease to amaze me — both the Kyiv regime and their masters across the ocean. Now they are trying to instigate pogroms in Russia. It would be good if those who claim to be concerned about Israeli citizens would investigate what their espionage services are doing in Ukraine; I am not sure if they know,” Putin repeated, “that Ukraine is trying to instigate pogroms in Russia.”
What happened Sunday night in the capital of the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan? There was an alert posted on social media to go to the airport of Machakhala — populated mostly by Muslims — to prevent the disembarkation of “Jewish refugees” from a flight that had brought evacuees to Russia from Israel. Riots following clashes with the police and an invasion of the runways resulted in at least 20 injured, the looting of stores and damage to airport facilities.
Yesterday the governor of Dagestan, Sergei Melikov, reported that, with the help of the Russian Guard troops, approximately 60 “enraged” youths were arrested. They were carrying Palestinian flags and were part of the “antisemitic pogrom,” shouting “Alluha Akbar (God is great),” “We do not want you in Russia!” and “Death to Israel!,” among other slogans.
According to the Russian Investigative Committee, law enforcement officials have identified 150 participants of an estimated 1,500+ people who showed up at Machakhala airport looking for “Jews,” stopping cars and harassing people by demanding they show their documents.
One of the tenser moments was reached when a Russian Red Wings flight landed from Tel Aviv and a crowd invaded the runway to surround the aircraft. Some attackers managed to climb onto the wings of the plane but were unable to open the doors of the aircraft, according to a video broadcast from inside the aircraft. Passengers had to remain locked in for more than three hours until they were rescued by police reinforcements, with members of the Russian Guard arriving from at least four locations in the republic.
“There is no Dagestani who does not own the suffering of the victims of the actions of unjust politicians and we all pray for peace in Palestine. But what happened at our airport is outrageous and a flagrant violation of the law that must receive a proper assessment by law enforcement agencies! And this will certainly be done!” Melikov vowed.
Dagestan Blames Ukraine for the Riots
In what some Russian observers — for example, political scientist Abbas Galiamov, a former member of President Putin’s speechwriting team, now in exile — see as an attempt to remove responsibility for the tardiness of the police in reacting, the leader in Dagestan blamed Ukraine for initiating the riots. “Extremist resources, administered by enemies of Russia — far from Dagestan and even farther from Islam — spread incendiary appeals that, unfortunately, resonated within some unthinking minds,” Melikov stated.
In his opinion, one of these resources is Utro Dagestan (Morning of Dagestan), which “is coordinated by those who hate the sacred and traditional values with which we have been living for many years.” He was referring to Ilya Pomomariov, a former Duma deputy exiled in Ukraine, who denied any responsibility yesterday, stating, “I helped create Utro Dagestan, but for more than a year I have had nothing to do with this channel.”
Last weekend there were other antisemitic actions in the North Caucasus: In Jasavyurt, another city in Dagestan, “Israelis” were banned from staying in hotels. A crowd broke into the Flamingo Hotel to see if there were any among the residents.
Likewise, in Cherkeska, capital of Karachaevo-Cherkessia, a rally was held to demand that Jews be expelled from the region; in Nalchik, capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Hebrew Cultural Center was set on fire; on social networks, addresses are being shared and threats made to those attending synagogues in the region.