Meeting Convened by Putin Following Turbulence at Dagestan Airport in Wake of Tel Aviv Flight

by Ryan Lee
Israeli Ambassador Dagestan Airport Riot

Russian President Vladimir Putin summoned a gathering of security and law enforcement authorities on Monday, following an incident where a crowd invaded an airport in Dagestan after an aircraft from Israel landed there the previous day.

Several hundred incensed individuals, some wielding signs with anti-Semitic content, swarmed the runway of Makhachkala airport, the central hub of the predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan, on Sunday evening. They were reportedly seeking Israeli passengers who had arrived on the flight from Tel Aviv, according to accounts from Russian media.

Dagestan’s Ministry of Health stated that over 20 people sustained injuries in the chaos, two of whom are in critical condition. The wounded included both police personnel and civilians.

Local law enforcement detained approximately 60 individuals in the ensuing disorder. While it remains unclear whether any formal charges have been filed, Russia’s Investigative Committee has initiated a criminal investigation on the grounds of orchestrating mass unrest.

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As a nation, Russia has maintained a measured critique of both parties involved in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, a stance that is providing Moscow new avenues to bolster its standing as a global mediator and challenge Western initiatives to ostracize it over its actions in Ukraine.

Eyewitness reports and Russian news agencies indicate that the group that descended upon the airport runway had encircled a jet owned by Russian airline Red Wings, facing minimal resistance from local police.

Footage and images on social platforms depict individuals in the crowd brandishing Palestinian flags and attempting to overturn a police vehicle. Handwritten signs proclaiming “Child killers are not welcome in Dagestan” and “Opposed to Jewish refugees” were also visible.

The mob’s activities also involved inspecting the identification of new arrivals, evidently to single out Israeli nationals. Law enforcement subsequently dispersed the crowd.

Makhachkala airport resumed normal operations by Monday afternoon, according to Russia’s civil aviation authority Rosaviatsia. It also announced the rerouting of flights from Tel Aviv to alternative destinations.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, announced that the convened security meeting would discuss “Western attempts to exploit Middle Eastern events to fragment Russian society.” He implied that external forces had a role in the airport incident but declined to elaborate further.

Sergei Melikov, the Governor of Dagestan, claimed that a Telegram channel operated by “traitors” based in Ukraine had coordinated the unrest with the aim of destabilizing the region.

After the Dagestani incident, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that it expects Russian authorities to ensure the safety of Israelis and Jewish people. The regional government in Dagestan and the area’s leading religious authority, Sheikh Akhmad Afandi, urged the public to maintain calm.

Melikov warned that individuals participating in such violent activities would face repercussions, and stressed via Telegram that the episode at the airport was “egregious and warrants stringent evaluation by law enforcement agencies.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dagestan Airport Incident

What triggered the security meeting convened by Russian President Vladimir Putin?

The meeting was called in response to an incident where a mob invaded Makhachkala Airport in Dagestan, following the landing of a flight from Tel Aviv, Israel. The crowd was reportedly looking for Israeli passengers and displayed anti-Semitic slogans.

Who were the participants in the mob, and what were their intentions?

The mob consisted of several hundred individuals, some of whom were carrying banners with anti-Semitic messages. According to Russian media reports, they were seeking Israeli nationals who had arrived on the flight from Tel Aviv.

How many people were injured during the incident, and who were they?

According to Dagestan’s Ministry of Health, more than 20 people were injured. The injured parties included both police officers and civilians, with two individuals in critical condition.

Were any arrests made following the incident?

Yes, at least 60 individuals were detained by local law enforcement agencies in connection to the unrest at Makhachkala Airport.

What legal actions are being taken in response to the incident?

Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation on charges of organizing mass unrest, although it is not yet clear if formal charges have been filed against any of the detained individuals.

What was the impact on flight operations at Makhachkala Airport?

The airport resumed its regular operations by 2 p.m. on Monday, according to Russia’s civil aviation authority, Rosaviatsia. Flights from Tel Aviv to Makhachkala and another city are being rerouted.

What has been the official response from the Israeli government?

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that it expects Russian law enforcement authorities to protect the safety of all Israeli citizens and Jews, and to act decisively against the rioters.

What is the stance of Dagestan’s regional government and religious authorities on the incident?

Both the regional government and Dagestan’s leading religious authority, Sheikh Akhmad Afandi, have urged the public to maintain calm and not partake in such protests.

Is there any indication of external influence in the unrest?

According to statements from Russian officials, including Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, the incident is suspected to be influenced by external elements, although details have not been elaborated.

What does the incident imply for Russia’s role in the Israel-Hamas conflict?

While Russia has maintained a balanced critique of both parties in the Israel-Hamas conflict, the incident is seen as an opportunity for Moscow to advance its role as a global mediator, especially in challenging Western efforts to isolate it over Ukraine.

More about Dagestan Airport Incident

  • Russia’s Response to Dagestan Airport Incident
  • Details of Putin’s Security Meeting
  • Israeli Government’s Official Statement
  • Russia’s Role in Israel-Hamas Conflict
  • Law Enforcement Actions in Dagestan Unrest
  • Russian Civil Aviation Authority’s Update on Makhachkala Airport Operations
  • Dagestan Governor Sergei Melikov’s Remarks on the Incident
  • Russia’s Investigative Committee Statement on Criminal Probe

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Anna_The_Journalist October 30, 2023 - 7:58 pm

Disturbing to say the least. This event will certainly be scrutinized internationally and could be a turning point for Russia’s foreign policies.

InvestorMike October 30, 2023 - 9:40 pm

This incident could have ripple effects on the regional economy too. Businesses, airlines, tourism—all might take a hit. Uncertainty is not good for markets.

GlobalCitizen October 30, 2023 - 11:14 pm

We need to focus on unity not division. This kind of event is troubling on so many levels and underscores the need for diplomatic solutions.

CarEnthusiast October 31, 2023 - 4:37 am

Never thought I’d see the day where airports become political battlegrounds. i hope the injured recover soon. This is just sad.

SallyQ October 31, 2023 - 5:21 am

Just can’t believe people would go to an airport to target passengers. The world is becoming more and more polarized. Its scary tbh.

MidEastWatcher October 31, 2023 - 8:21 am

This is such a volatile situation. I wonder what the long term consequences are going to be. Both sides need to find a way to deescalate.

JohnDoe123 October 31, 2023 - 10:17 am

Wow, this is really intense. A mob in an airport? Thats not something u hear everyday. Putin must be under a lot of pressure to handle this situation right.

TechNerd October 31, 2023 - 10:59 am

Telegram channels stirring up unrest? sounds like social media’s dark side rearing its head again.

CryptoGuru October 31, 2023 - 11:31 am

Serious matter indeed. Wonder how this will affect Russia’s stand in the Israel-Hamas conflict. geopolitics is like a chess game, every move counts.

Nomad_2023 October 31, 2023 - 2:29 pm

What’s the world coming to? first it’s the streets, now it’s airports. Where’s the next hotspot for chaos? Just smh.


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