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Russian President Convenes High-Level Security Meeting Following Dagestani Airport Incident Involving Israeli Passengers

by Joshua Brown
7 comments
Israeli Ambassador Dagestan Airport Riot

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin gathered senior officials from the nation’s security and law enforcement agencies for an emergency meeting. This gathering came in the wake of a chaotic incident on Sunday at the Makhachkala airport in Dagestan, where a plane from Tel Aviv, Israel had landed.

A large crowd of agitated individuals stormed the airport’s tarmac in Makhachkala, the administrative center of the predominantly Muslim province, with the alleged aim of identifying Israeli passengers on the newly arrived flight, as per multiple Russian media reports.

Dagestan’s Health Ministry reported that the incident led to injuries for over 20 individuals, including both law enforcement and civilians. Two of the injured are in critical condition. Meanwhile, the regional Interior Ministry stated that 60 people were arrested during the upheaval. Russia’s Investigative Committee has initiated a criminal investigation into the organization of mass disorder, although it remains uncertain whether formal charges have been levied against the detained individuals.

Witnesses and media reports suggest that the mob was able to encircle the airplane, operated by Russian airline Red Wings, with minimal obstruction from local police forces.

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Photographs and video clips circulating on social media depicted certain individuals in the mob waving Palestinian flags and attempting to overturn a police vehicle. Hand-written signs were also visible, bearing messages such as “Child killers are not welcome in Dagestan” and “We oppose Jewish refugees.”

Members of the crowd took it upon themselves to scrutinize the passports of incoming passengers, ostensibly to identify Israeli nationals. The mob was subsequently dispersed by authorities.

Russia’s civil aviation body, Rosaviatsia, announced that Makhachkala airport would remain closed until 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

In a Monday press briefing, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov attributed the unrest to external influences and stated that the meeting convened by Putin would examine “Western efforts to exploit Middle Eastern events to sow discord within Russian society.”

Separately, Dagestan Governor Sergei Melikov alleged that the chaos was orchestrated via a Telegram channel managed by “traitors” located in Ukraine, aiming to destabilize Dagestan and incite further disorder. This claim was reported by Russia’s state-run news agency, RIA Novosti, but could not be independently verified.

Russia has cautiously criticized both parties in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, leveraging the situation to bolster its position as a global mediator while also countering Western attempts to marginalize it due to its activities in Ukraine.

In response to the events in Dagestan, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement expressing expectations that Russian authorities would ensure the safety of all Israelis and Jews, and act decisively against those participating in the riots.

Dagestani authorities, while sympathizing with the plight of Palestinians in Gaza, urged local citizens to refrain from engaging in such protests. Dagestan’s Supreme Mufti Sheikh Akhmad Afandi likewise called for peace in a video message disseminated via Telegram.

Governor Melikov vowed punitive actions against those involved in the violent incident and expressed his condemnation on Telegram, stating that the events at the airport were “intolerable and warrant appropriate legal repercussions.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dagestani Airport Incident involving Israeli Passengers

What led Russian President Vladimir Putin to call an emergency meeting?

Russian President Vladimir Putin convened an urgent meeting with senior security and law enforcement officials on Monday, following a chaotic incident at Makhachkala airport in Dagestan where a plane from Tel Aviv had recently landed. A mob reportedly stormed the tarmac, allegedly looking for Israeli passengers.

How many people were reported injured or detained due to the incident?

The Health Ministry of Dagestan reported that over 20 individuals were injured in the incident, with two in critical condition. The report included both police officers and civilians among the injured. The regional Interior Ministry stated that 60 individuals were detained during the disturbance.

What was the crowd’s alleged motivation for storming the airport?

According to multiple Russian media reports, the crowd stormed the airport’s tarmac with the aim of identifying Israeli passengers who had arrived on a flight from Tel Aviv. Some members of the mob were seen waving Palestinian flags, and hand-written banners displayed messages against Israelis and Jews.

What action has been taken by the Russian authorities?

Russia’s Investigative Committee has initiated a criminal investigation into the organization of mass disorder following the incident. However, it remains uncertain whether formal charges have been filed against the individuals detained. The airport in Makhachkala was ordered to remain closed until 3 a.m. on Tuesday by Russia’s civil aviation authority, Rosaviatsia.

What has been the Kremlin’s official response to the incident?

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov attributed the unrest to external influences and stated that the high-level meeting convened by Putin would focus on “Western efforts to exploit Middle Eastern events to sow discord within Russian society.”

Were there any claims about the involvement of external actors?

Dagestan Governor Sergei Melikov alleged that the chaos was coordinated via a Telegram channel managed by “traitors” based in Ukraine, aiming to destabilize Dagestan. This claim was reported by Russia’s state-run news agency, RIA Novosti, but has not been independently verified.

What has been Israel’s official stance following the incident?

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement expressing expectations that Russian authorities would ensure the safety of all Israelis and Jews and would act decisively against those participating in the riots.

What steps have local Dagestani authorities taken in response to the incident?

Dagestani authorities have urged their citizens to refrain from participating in such protests. The Supreme Mufti of Dagestan, Sheikh Akhmad Afandi, also disseminated a message of peace via Telegram. Governor Sergei Melikov vowed punitive actions against those involved in the violent incident.

More about Dagestani Airport Incident involving Israeli Passengers

  • Russian Investigative Committee on Mass Unrest Charges
  • Health Ministry of Dagestan Injury Report
  • Kremlin’s Official Statement on Dagestani Incident
  • Rosaviatsia Announcement on Makhachkala Airport Closure
  • Statement from Israeli Prime Minister’s Office
  • RIA Novosti Report on Dagestan Governor’s Claims
  • Regional Interior Ministry on Detainments
  • Media Coverage on Palestinian Flags and Banners at Incident
  • Supreme Mufti of Dagestan’s Message on Telegram

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7 comments

Peter Kim October 30, 2023 - 2:35 pm

Isn’t it kinda ironic that Russia is criticizing both sides in the Israel-Hamas conflict while also dealing with this at home? Just shows how interconnected world politics is these days.

Reply
Mike O'Connell October 30, 2023 - 3:32 pm

The international implications are huge here. Israel and Russia both being involved makes this way more than a local issue. it’s a geopolitical hot mess.

Reply
Sara Johnson October 30, 2023 - 5:31 pm

i can’t believe the mob was able to get that close to the plane. Where was security? this raises a lot of questions about safety measures at airports.

Reply
Emily Davis October 30, 2023 - 5:42 pm

This seems to be yet another instance where social media may have played a role in inciting violence. The article says Telegram channels were spreading info about the flight? That’s concerning.

Reply
John Smith October 30, 2023 - 10:45 pm

Wow, this is really a serious situation. Putin getting involved directly just shows the gravity of it. What’s going on in Dagestan is alarming to say the least.

Reply
Rachel Green October 30, 2023 - 11:24 pm

Reading about injuries and detentions makes me wonder what legal repercussions are going to be. Especially if the Kremlin is involving itself so directly.

Reply
Ahmed Farid October 31, 2023 - 1:00 pm

The Kremlin blaming ‘external influences’? Classic move. But it’s also a complex situation with many factors. interested to see how this unfolds.

Reply

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