The president spoke to government officials after a pro-Palestinian mob stormed an airport in Dagestan
President Vladimir Putin attended a meeting with the members of Russia’s Security Council and other top government officials on Monday, where he discussed a wide range of topics, including the ongoing war in the Middle East and the recent anti-Semitic riot in Russia’s Muslim-majority region of Dagestan.
On Sunday night, an angry pro-Palestinian crowd ran onto the tarmac of the international airport in Makhachkala, Dagestan’s largest city, after false rumors circulated online that a plane was brining in “refugees” from Israel. Some rioters clashed with police.
More than 80 people were arrested in connection with the disturbances, officials said. Russian Muslim leaders and regional authorities have condemned the rioters who chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’.
Anti-Jewish riot incited from abroad
“Yesterday’s events in Makhachkala were inspired through social media, including from the territory of Ukraine, by the agents of Western services,” Putin said. He stressed that legitimate concerns for the Palestinians must not lead to outbreaks of violence.
The riot was coordinated from the now-deleted ‘Utro Dagestana’ (Dagestan Morning) Telegram channel linked to former Russian politician Ilya Ponomarev, who now lives in Ukraine and openly backs Kiev during its conflict with Russia. Ponomarev admits of using social media to stir up tensions in Dagestan in the past, but is now claiming that he had stopped backing the channel last year.
Killing of civilians in Gaza ‘unjustifiable’
Israel’s indiscriminate airstrikes on the Gaza Strip “cannot be justified,” Putin said.
He noted that the recent flare-up in the Middle East was triggered by the terrorist attack by Hamas militants against Israeli civilians. However, “instead of going after criminals and terrorists,” Israel has since resorted to “exact revenge [on the Palestinians] in the form of collective punishment,” the Russian leader said.
American-run world ‘falling to pieces’
The US and its allies are the “main beneficiaries of the global instability,” the Russian president said, arguing that the West was making “blood money” from various conflicts.
“The American-run world, with its single hegemon, is falling to pieces. It is gradually but irreversibly becoming a thing of the past,” Putin said.
Washington seeks ‘constant chaos’ in the Middle East
The president further accused the US of sabotaging the prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. “They don’t want a lasting peace in the Holy Land. They want constant chaos in the Middle East. That’s why they are slandering the countries that are insisting on an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.”
Moscow is calling for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. The UN Security Council has met several times since the fighting broke out on October 7, but failed to agree on a resolution. The US and Israel insist that a ceasefire right now would only benefit Hamas.
October 31, 2023 at 07:24AM