On Monday, the Russian police arrested a total of 60 people suspected of storming an airport in the Republic of Dagestan to attack Jewish passengers coming from Israel.
The Republic of Dagestan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said “more than 150 active participants have been identified, but only 60 of them have been arrested”.
Dozens of protesters broke the doors and barriers at the Makhachkala airport on Sunday, while some of them ran on the runway.
The protesters apparently continuously chanted “Allahu akbar” (God is the greatest).
Nine police officers were injured when they tried to restore order and two of them were admitted to hospital in the end.
The flight tracking website Flightradar24 indicated that a flight from Tel Aviv landed at Makhachkala at 19:00 on Sunday. The flight would take off again two hours later and land at Moscow.
Russia’s aviation agency initially indicated that the airport would remain closed until November 6, but has since announced that it will reopen its doors on Tuesday.
The ministry added that the airport is “now completely under the control of security forces”.
Shortly after the incident, Israel appealed to Russia to protect its citizens.
“Israel expects the Russian authorities to protect all Israeli citizens and all Jews, and to act decisively against the rioters and against incitement to violence against Jews and Israelis,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel.
The US also condemned the “anti-Semitic protests”.
“The US stands unequivocally with the entire Jewish community as we see a global upsurge in antisemitism,” said Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the White House’s national security council.
Sergei Melikov, governor of Dagestan, said on Sunday that “everyone empathizes with the suffering (caused) by the actions of unjust people and politicians” and that he and all of Dagestan pray for peace in Palestine.
“But what happened at our airport is outrageous and must receive the necessary action from law enforcement.”
However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov argued that the events at Makhachkala airport “are (to a large extent) the result of external interference”.
The Kremlin did not elaborate on the remarks, but Melikov claimed that the “instigators of this demonstration are our enemies who organized it from Ukraine”.
Melikov argued that the protest was incited by posts on the social media platform Telegram. The Telegram channel Utro Dagestan, which has around 60,000 followers, apparently shared a post announcing a mass gathering at the airport to prevent the arrival of “unwanted” passengers.
In response to the events, Pres. On Monday, Vladimir Putin held a meeting with his top advisers, including the defense minister and intelligence chiefs, to discuss how “the West is trying to use the events in the Middle East to divide Russian society”, Peskov said.