THE Kremlin finally broke its silence on Monday after a baying lynch mob stormed an airport in Russia hunting for Jews – and bizarrely blamed "outside influence" for the chaos.
In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "ill-wishers" had used widely seen images of suffering in Gaza to stir people up in the predominantly Muslim region in the north Caucasus.
While the pro-Kremlin head of Dagestan region Sergei Melikov chose to heap blame on Ukraine for the uprising.
Melikov, said on Telegram: "All Dagestanis empathise with the suffering of victims by the actions of unrighteous people and politicians and pray for peace in Palestine."
"What happened at our airport is outrageous and should receive the appropriate assessment from law enforcement."
But went on to claim that the mutiny was "administered and regulated from Ukraine by traitors, Banderites, those who hate the traditional things that are sacred to us.”
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Head of RT propaganda network Margarita Simonyan also blamed Ukraine.
Amid the carnage, a member of Russia’s human rights council Alexander Kots called on the protesters to go to Gaza or kill “one particular Jew” – meaning Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.
He said: “Are you that brave, and want to kill Jews? Go to Gaza then, or to Kyiv.
“I know the address for one of them…..”
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Meanwhile, Zelensky has slammed Russia for the "appalling" incident.
He wrote on X/Twitter: "This is not an isolated incident in Makhachkala, but rather part of Russia's widespread culture of hatred toward other nations, which is propagated by state television, pundits, and authorities."
He added: "Russian antisemitism and hatred toward other nations are systemic and deeply rooted. Hatred is what drives aggression and terror. We must all work together to oppose hatred."
One captain who arrived from Israel highlighted the shared terror in his announcement.
“Dear Ladies and Gentlemen… This is your Captain speaking.
“Please stay in your seats, and do not attempt to open the plane’s doors.
“There is a furious mob outside. They don’t know where we came from, and why. It is quite possible that we will be crushed.
“So please remain seated, and follow all the instructions of the crew.”
A woman trapped on a plane spoke of crying children as the hundreds of protesters rampaged around the airport over which the authorities lost control.
“We have been sitting on the plane for over three hours now,” she said.
“There is an angry mob that neither the Russian national guard nor the army nor special forces nor the head of Dagestan can cope with.
“Children are crying, we are hungry. It's getting really bad. There is no medicine. There is no doctor on board.”
She said ambulances were prevented from reaching the plane.
Once released from planes, passengers had their passports checked by the mob to see if they were Israeli, or of Jewish origin, it was claimed.
More than twenty people, including nine police officers, were injured during the protest according to Tass – 10 of whom were rushed to hospital.
Police say 150 of the protesters have now been identified, sixty of which have been arrested.
The Israeli Prime Minister's Office and Foreign Ministry said they were monitoring the situation in Dagestan and said no Israeli nationals or Jewish people were onboard the Tel Aviv-Makhachkala flight.
Commenting on the airport storming, Israel in a statement urged the Russian authorities to protect Israelis and Jews in their jurisdictions.
“The state of Israel views gravely attempts to harm Israeli citizens and Jews anywhere,” the foreign ministry in Jerusalem said.
“Israel expects the Russian law enforcement authorities to safeguard all Israeli citizens and Jews.”
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According to Channel 12, the crowd was apparently largely made up of Palestinian expats.
The incident has raised concerns that tensions surrounding the Gaza-Israel war appear to have spilled over into unexpected places.
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