Russia’s Uytash Airport (MCX) in Makhachkala Dagestan was stormed by a huge mob reportedly looking for Israeli citizens following reports that a plane was arriving from the country.
The shocking unrest, which took place on October 29, 2023, prompted airport authorities to close the airport and divert flights.
A day prior, reports circulated of local people storming hotels in Dagestan searching for Israeli migrants.
Based on data from FlightAware, Red Wings Airlines flight WZ 4728 arrived from Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv at around 19:18 local time.
Footage circulating on social media showed the mob breaking into the airport and forcing their way onto the tarmac in search of the Red Wings aircraft. The crowd can also be heard chanting anti-Semitic slogans and be seen waving a Palestinian flag.
Some members of the crowd were also seen checking aircraft engines to see if passengers arriving from the flight from Israel were hiding.
Russian National Guard and security forces were later able to clear the mob that stormed the tarmac.
Another video clip showed the mob circling in on an arriving passenger who they suspected to be Jewish. The passenger can be seen explaining he is an Uzbek, and was born in Smolensk. One member of the crowd is seen holding the man’s passport, as he is advised to “wait” until they decide whether to let him go or not.
Dagestan’s Ministry of Health said more than 20 people were injured during the incident, with two in critical condition. The injured included both police officers and civilians.
60 people were arrested and more than 150 protesters have been identified.
Due to the incident, Uytash Airport in Makhachkala will be closed until November 6, 2023, according to a report by The Times of Israel.
Dagestan is a republic situated within the Russian Federation and is located in the country’s southernmost tip. It has a population of approximately 3.2 million, of which around 83% are of Islamic faith.