Pogroms in Russian Dagestan: NATO’s and Ukraine’s reaction

October 31,2023 1056
Pogroms in Russian Dagestan: NATO’s and Ukraine’s reaction

The anti-Semitic pogroms at the Russian Makhachkala airport are a manifestation of the radicalization of Russian society, Jānis Sārts, Director of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, said. Such events are not beneficial for the Kremlin and result from inciting hatred by Russian propaganda, Sārts added.

“The Russian media is inciting hatred against Ukrainians, the West, and now Israel. Tensions are rising in Russia, and Dagestan [subject of the Russian Federation] is one of the places where many of those who died in Ukraine are from,” Sārts said.

The events in Makhachkala did not cause much surprise, the NATO representative noted. The pogroms became a reaction of the Russians to a specific situation – the arrival of a plane from Israel, Sārts added.

“Such manifestations are not beneficial to the Kremlin, and there will be attempts to suppress them. [This would be done] in the only way they know – by force,” NATO’s representative assumes.

Sārts says that nothing threatens the Kremlin and the central government currently. Still, such manifestations cannot be allowed from the point of view of the logic of the authoritarian system because events can go unpredictably far.

At the same time, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, believes that such events in Russia are not accidental. They are part of the culture of hatred towards other nations that is widespread in Russia, promoted by state television, experts, and the authorities, Ukraine’s president added.

“The Russian foreign minister has made a series of antisemitic remarks in the last year. The Russian President also used antisemitic slurs. For Russian propaganda talking heads on official television, hate rhetoric is routine. Even the most recent Middle East escalation prompted antisemitic statements from Russian ideologists,” Zelenskyy said

Russian anti-Semitism and hatred of other nations is systemic and deeply rooted, President Zelenskyy said. “Hatred is what drives aggression and terror. We must all work together to oppose hatred,” Ukraine’s president concluded.

“We are against Jewish refugees.”

The pogroms in search of Jews in Dagestan are the result of the systematic work of Russian state propaganda with the rooting of hatred towards other peoples, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also stated.

“The events in Makhachkala reflect the deep-rooted anti-Semitism of Russian elites and society. … Accusing Ukraine of involvement in the events in Dagestan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation is an attempt to shift responsibility from a sick head to a healthy one,” said the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oleh Nikolenko.

The international community should resolutely respond to manifestations of racial hatred in Russia and anywhere in the world, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine added.

On October 29, hundreds of people gathered for an anti-Semitic rally in Makhachkala, a Russian city in the North Caucasus Federal District. A crowd of radical Russians broke into the airport, where the plane from Israel was supposed to arrive and began looking for Jews. Those present entered each room, shouting anti-Semitic slogans. At the same time, the airport employees tried to hide in their offices, and the police officers did not interfere with the crowd. More than 20 people were injured in the riots at the airport.