NATO Reacts to Events in Russia's Makhachkala: These Are the Consequences of Russian Propaganda

Monday, 30 October 2023

NATO has said that the riots at Makhachkala airport in Russia’s Dagestan were not beneficial to the Kremlin, even though they were the result of Russian propaganda inciting hatred.

"The Russian media is inciting hatred against Ukrainians, the West, and now Israel. Tensions are rising in Russia, and Dagestan is one of the places where many of those who died in Ukraine are from," Jānis Sārts, Director of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, said on air during the Morning Panorama Latvian TV programme.

He added that he was not particularly surprised by the events in Makhachkala and said that these clashes are one of the manifestations of the radicalisation of Russian society.

"Such manifestations are not beneficial to the Kremlin, and there will be attempts to suppress them," the expert said, adding that this would be done "in the only way they know – by force".

Sārts believes that nothing threatens the Kremlin and the central government, but from the point of view of the logic of the authoritarian system, such manifestations are something that cannot be allowed because events can go unpredictably far.

In Makhachkala, Russia, participants at an antisemitic rally stormed the airport on 29 October and tried to board a plane from Tel Aviv, looking for Jewish people. The airport was closed.

More than 20 people were injured in the riots at the airport.

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