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Crowd breaks into Makhachkala airport to disrupt flight from Tel Aviv

Sunday, 29 October 2023, 21:04
Crowd breaks into Makhachkala airport to disrupt flight from Tel Aviv

In Makhachkala, Russia, participants of an antisemitic rally stormed the airport and tried to enter a plane from Tel Aviv, looking for Jewish people. The airport is closed.

Source: Meduza, citing a number of Telegram channels

Details: Hundreds of people gathered at the Makhachkala airport before the plane from Tel Aviv arrived. This happened after calls spread on Telegram channels to participate in a gathering near the airport and check cars near the building.


The crowd stopped cars leaving the airport. Passports of the people inside the cars were checked. The instigators were looking for Jewish people.

A few hours later, protesters broke into the airport building.

According to the Telegram channel Ostorozhno, Novosti, those present entered every room, shouting antisemitic slogans. At the same time, airport employees tried to hide in their offices – this can be seen in videos published on social media.

Later, some people ran out on the runway and tried to get on the plane that arrived from Tel Aviv.

The Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) reported that the airport was closed "until the situation is normalised" for receiving and departing flights "due to unknown persons entering onto the airport apron".

The Investigative Committee of Dagestan has opened a criminal case over the airport in Makhachkala being overtaken by local residents, RIA Dagestan reports. The case was opened under Article 212 of the Russian Criminal Code on mass riots. The penalty is imprisonment for a term of 8 to 15 years.

Meduza writes that the police did not interfere with the crowd in any way. They only said via  megaphone to refrain from causing destruction and blocking the road, and also said that they "understand" those present and are ready to "stand up and chant" with them. Only when the participants of the action broke into the runway, crushing the airport security had special forces arrived at the scene, but even then the security forces did not stop the protest.

Enrik Muslimov, Dagestani Minister for National Policy, and Youth Affairs Minister Kamil Saidov arrived at the airport and began negotiations with the crowd. According to Ostorozhno, Novosti, communications were also jammed near the airport so that the crowd could not coordinate actions.

Most of those who arrived, apparently, did not leave the airport, Sota writes. The outlet notes that the Tel Aviv flight is mainly used as a transitional stop on the way to Moscow, since direct tickets to the Russian capital from Israel are costly.

Later, the Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia reported that "as of 22:00 Moscow time, the air base was cleared of the citizens who infiltrated it without authorization, thanks to the work of law enforcement".

Over the past day, a number of antisemitic protests have taken place in the North Caucasus. In Khasavyurt (Dagestan), a crowd gathered near a hotel due to rumours that refugees from Israel were allegedly settled there. The police allowed some of those present to enter to make sure that this was not the case. In the capital of Karachay-Cherkessia, a rally was held, the participants of which demanded to "evict" Jewish people. The Interior Ministry subsequently claimed that 34 of the 80 people present were detained and charged them with participating in unauthorised rallies. In the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, Nalchik, unknown persons set fire to a Jewish cultural centre under construction and left an antisemitic inscription on its wall.

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