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31 Oct, 2023 01:54

Anti-Semitic riot in Russia, Gaza war, fate of ‘US-run world’: Main takeaways from Putin’s security meeting

The president spoke to government officials after a pro-Palestinian mob stormed an airport in Dagestan
Anti-Semitic riot in Russia, Gaza war, fate of ‘US-run world’: Main takeaways from Putin’s security meeting

President Vladimir Putin attended a meeting with members of Russia’s Security Council and other top government officials on Monday, discussing a wide range of topics, including the war in the Middle East and a recent anti-Semitic riot in the Muslim-majority region of Dagestan. 

On Sunday night, an angry pro-Palestinian crowd ran onto the tarmac of the international airport in Makhachkala, Dagestan’s largest city, after false rumors circulated online that a plane was bringing in “refugees” from Israel. Some rioters clashed with police.

More than 80 people were arrested, officials said. Russian Muslim leaders and regional authorities have condemned the rioters, many of whom were chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’.

Anti-Jewish riot incited from abroad 

“Yesterday’s events in Makhachkala were inspired through social media, including from the territory of Ukraine, by the agents of Western services,” Putin said. He stressed that legitimate concerns for the Palestinians must not lead to outbreaks of violence.

The riot was coordinated from the now-deleted ‘Utro Dagestan’ (Dagestan Morning) Telegram channel linked to former Russian politician Ilya Ponomarev, who now lives in Ukraine and openly backs Kiev during its conflict with Russia. Ponomarev has admitted to using social media to stir up tensions in Dagestan in the past, but is now claiming that he had stopped backing the channel last year. 

Killing of civilians in Gaza ‘unjustifiable’ 

Israel’s indiscriminate airstrikes on Gaza “cannot be justified,” Putin said.

He noted that the recent flare-up in the Middle East was triggered by the terrorist attack by Hamas militants against Israeli civilians. However, “instead of going after criminals and terrorists,” Israel has since resorted to “exact revenge [on the Palestinians] in the form of collective punishment.” 

American-run world ‘falling to pieces’ 

The US and its allies are the “main beneficiaries of the global instability,” the Russian president said, arguing that the West was making “blood money” from various conflicts.

“The American-run world, with its single hegemon, is falling to pieces. It is gradually but irreversibly becoming a thing of the past,” Putin said.

Washington seeks ‘constant chaos’ in the Middle East

The president further accused the US of sabotaging the prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“They don’t want a lasting peace in the Holy Land. They want constant chaos in the Middle East. That’s why they are slandering the countries that are insisting on an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.”

Moscow is calling for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. The UN Security Council has met several times since the fighting broke out on October 7, but failed to agree on a resolution. The US and Israel insist that a ceasefire right now would only benefit Hamas.