The Dagestan pogrom against the Jews and the Russian response

November 1, 2023 , , , , , ,
Photo: Social Networks

By former ambassador to Russia, Arkady Mil-Man

The Russian word “pogrom” entered the international lexicon after particularly serious incidents of violence against the Jewish community in Russia in the late 19th century, which took place while the authorities of the Russian Empire turned a blind eye to the attacks. 

History in Russia seems to repeat itself.

The pogrom at the airport in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, on October 29 was a new highlight in a series of anti-Semitic events in Russia's Caucasus region over the past weekend. 

On October 28, in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, adjacent to Dagestan, residents of the city threw Molotov cocktails and set fire to the Jewish community building that was under construction. 

In Cherkessk, the capital of Karachay-Circassia, protesters gathered in front of the local government building and demanded that all Jews be expelled from the area. 

In the city of Khasavyurt in Dagestan, an angry mob broke into two hotels in the city searching for Jews and Israelis. 

That same day, local Telegram channels began calling on residents to go to Makhachkala airport to prevent the entry of “refugees from Israel.” 

According to various estimates, about 1.500 people responded to this call and undertook the pogrom. 

The police did not confront the crowd, which attacked with violence without interruption for long hours and without response from the security forces.

Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia are Russian autonomous regions (republics) in the North Caucasus region, where the majority of the population is Muslim (Sunni). 

These areas are economically, socially and infrastructurally inferior, with a high percentage of young population. 

The level of unemployment in Dagestan is among the highest in Russia (10 percent), and the situation is similar in other republics. 

To ensure the stability of these districts, the federal government provides them with the highest subsidies in the country. 

The combination of the aforementioned difficulties with the serious problem of corruption has contributed to the process of Islamist radicalization in Dagestan and other provinces. 

Ties between Dagestan and Iran have grown closer in the economic sphere (Iran is Dagestan's second largest trading partner), including the construction of the Iran-Azerbaijan-Dagestan transport route.

In response to the anti-Semitic pogrom, President Putin pointed the finger of blame at the United States – in his words, the “root of evil in the world.” 

According to Putin, the United States has control in both Ukraine and the Middle East and wants to sow chaos in the world to continue its control. 

He did not condemn the rioters or their actions. 

For him, the United States is the element behind the attempts to damage Russia's stability after the war in the Middle East. 

Putin also blamed Israel, which, according to him, instead of fighting terrorists, opted for collective punishment against the Palestinians. 

According to the Russian president, "the terrible situation in Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of innocent people who have nowhere to flee or hide from bombs are killed indiscriminately, cannot be justified under any circumstances." 

He also said he understands the feelings evoked by the difficult images of children, women and the elderly murdered in Gaza, but called on Russian citizens not to react emotionally.

According to Putin, the right thing to do is to "take up arms and join your brothers" in the Russian army fighting in Ukraine "for Russia and for the entire world, including the future of the Palestinian people."

Putin's response constitutes a new escalation in anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric since the events of October 7. 

It reveals a conspiratorial and manipulative worldview that presents the attacker as a victim, denies Israel's right to respond, and blames the United States for all evil in the world. 

Putin's anti-Israel rhetoric, which is a direct continuation of the anti-Semitic statements of the past six weeks, and its disastrous result in the form of the first pogrom in Russia in more than a century must be taken seriously.

Source: INSS – The Institute for National Security Studies

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7 thoughts on “The Dagestan pogrom against the Jews and the Russian response”
  1. That Russian is a criminal, I hope to see him hanged by his neck until he dies as soon as possible, for the good of humanity…. For the good of humanity we should react to the bastard anti-Jewish racists who flood everything like rats in the sewers... each one of us in the place where we are must react to them... not give them a single

  2. Indio Putin was behind the attacks on ISRAEL, that is already clear, hence the authorities pretend that they do not know, it is their problem, Russia was always behind that massacre of October 7b. We have to start removing them from Syria now, but now. As?? Let me laugh for a while. …. October 7th already happened to them and they have lived to tell about it...there will not be another day if they continue sleeping. Like today,

  3. Jews who want to escape should come to the Dominican Republic, they are welcomed here with open arms, they are loved here, come, don't stay in those countries that hate you.

    1. Nice note, to get the delicious juice out of it, Pedro's version and translation; "escape." "open arms..." verb "love" and what about neighboring Haiti? Ahh, many adjectives and qualifiers in the air...but, on the beaches"when the sun is hot..."Unforgettable Dominican, look Boss what they offer...

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