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Media: Antisemitic rioters in Dagestan escape harsh punishment

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 1, 2023 4:57 PM 2 min read
Russian National Guard (Rosgvardiya) vans parked at the airport in Makhachkala in Dagestan, Russia, on October 30, 2023. (Stringer / AFP via Getty Images)
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The vast majority of those who took part in an antisemitic riot in Russia on Oct. 29 appear to have escaped punishment, the Moscow Times reported on Nov. 1.

A group of over 1,000 people came to Makhachkala Airport in the Russian republic of Dagestan as a flight from Tel Aviv was set to land, reportedly looking for Jews.

Video footage from the event shows hundreds of protesters, some carrying Palestinian flags, stopping cars, entering the airfield, and causing disruption inside the airport.

More than 20 people were injured, with at least 10 suffering moderate to serious injuries. Both civilians and police officers required medical attention.

Russia's aviation authority temporarily closed the airport as a result of the unrest.

In total, the authorities arrested 83 people who took part in the riot after identifying over 150 participants.

Those who were arrested at the airport "have so far escaped with only administrative cases of disobedience to the police," the Moscow Times reported.

A court in Dagestan ordered on Oct. 31 that just seven of the rioters be detained for up to 10 days.

"Usually, security forces react extremely harshly to events such as the seizure of an airport," the Moscow Times noted.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed that the antisemitic riots in Makhachala were the result of manipulations from Western intelligence services, including those conducted from Ukrainian territory.

Russia's Foreign Ministry also accused Ukraine of involvement in the riot, claiming that Kyiv played "a direct and key role in carrying out the latest destructive act."

Ukrainian officials categorically dismissed the allegations. Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko said that the events reflect the "deep-rooted antisemitism of Russian elites and society," adding that Russia's claims are an attempt to "shift responsibility from the sick to the healthy."

"Of course, Ukraine has nothing to do with the latest large-scale surge of xenophobic sentiments on the territory of the Russian Federation," advisor to Ukraine's Presidential Office Mykhailo Podolyak said.

Riots in North Caucasus underscore rampant antisemitism in Russia
Antisemitic riots erupted in Russia’s North Caucasus on Oct. 28-29, with angry mobs looking for Jews and some going as far as calling for murdering them. The rioters in the Muslim-majority North Caucasian regions protested against Israel amid its ongoing war with Hamas, an Islamist terrorist group…
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