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Israel’s incursion into Gaza — Live Updates 29 Oct, 2023 21:48 HomeRussia & FSU Ukrainian-linked anti-Jewish riot in Russia: What is known so far An angry crowd has invaded the airport in Makhachkala amid rumors of inbound “Jewish refugees” allegedly heading there from Israel
Hundreds of angry protesters, some of whom were carrying Palestinian flags and anti-Jewish placards, massed outside the Makhachkala airport late on Sunday. The unauthorized gathering was prompted by online rumors of a flight, allegedly inbound from Tel Aviv and carrying “Jewish refugees” purportedly fleeing the conflict in the Middle East.
The mob scuffled with airport police, breaking doors of the terminal and forcing its way into the facility. Rioters streamed into the terminal, got onto the runway and blocked newly-landed flights as they searched for Israeli passengers.
Response from the authorities
The unrest at the airport prompted a massive police response, with dozens of law enforcement vehicles spotted at the scene. Police clad in riot gear entered the airport, detaining multiple protesters, footage circulating online suggests. Some 20 people, including at least six police officers, were injured in clashes, according to local health authorities.
The local directorate of the Russian Interior Ministry said a criminal probe into the organization of mass rioting has been launched. The offense incurs heavy penalties and can land offenders behind bars for up to 15 years. Apart from that, individuals making hateful racially- and religiously-charged public remarks may face criminal probes as well, the directorate has warned.
Other anti-Jewish incidents
A day earlier, an angry crowd searched a hotel in the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt for the “Jewish refugees,” rumored to be living there. The crowd found none, and the incident was resolved peacefully.
Separately, a Jewish cultural center under construction in the city of Nalchik, the capital of Russia’s Kabardino-Balkaria Republic, was targeted by unknown assailants. The attackers set the building ablaze and tagged it with anti-Semitic graffiti.
Ukrainian intelligence behind the unrest?
The online rumors that prompted the unrest in Dagestan appeared to have originated from the Utro Dagestan (‘Dagestan Morning’) Telegram channel. Despite portraying itself as a local outlet, the channel had been exposed by both Russian officials and the Killnet hacker community as a project of Ukrainian intelligence services, set up to stir unrest in Russia.