Putin: Russia Invading Ukraine ‘Can Help Palestine’

vladimir putin ukraine war
Sue Ogrocki, File / AP

Russian strongman Vladimir Putin repeated his regime’s claims on Monday that a Muslim lynch mob formed in the region of Dagestan this weekend, which invaded the Makhachkala airport looking to kill Jews, was “instigated” by Ukraine. He further made the bizarre claim that, by invading Ukraine, Moscow is helping the Palestinian cause.

Putin presided over a top-level government meeting to address the Makhachkala riot, which left at least 20 injured and, Russian officials claim, resulted in over 80 arrests. The mob storming the airport reportedly targeted gates where they believed flights were arriving from Israel, then less directly began demanding passengers and others at the airport show their passports and other identification to prove they were not Jewish. The mob reportedly assaulted alleged Jewish people at random before Russian police managed to subdue it.

Putin categorically condemned the mob attack, but attempted to put Russia’s Muslim population at ease about the nation’s anti-Israel status by claiming that the “special operation” to colonize Ukraine “can help Palestine.” Putin began the “special operation” in February 2022 with the goal of ousting democratically elected President Volodymyr Zelensky and destroying Ukraine’s armed forces. Putin routinely refers to Zelensky, who is Jewish, and his government as a “Nazi” regime.

Putin and Zelensky have vocally taken opposing positions on the current conflict in Israel, triggered by an unprecedented terrorist attack by the genocidal jihadist group Hamas on October 7 that resulted in over 1,200 people in Israel killed, hundreds abducted, and thousands injured. The attack, which Hamas called the “al-Aqsa flood,” specifically targeted families in their homes. Terrorists attacked residential communities and butchered children in front of their parents, including babies, and killed elderly people and uploaded videos of themselves desecrating their corpses to their victims’ social media accounts.

The terrorists also massacred concertgoers at a music festival taking place that day, leaving at least 260 dead.

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Russian Ministry of Defense via Storyful

The Russian government welcomed a delegation of senior Hamas terrorists to Moscow less than a week ago in solidarity with their cause. Zelensky issued a statement categorically supporting Israel and urging world leaders to visit the country in solidarity.

On Monday, Putin did not give any indication that his country’s open support of Hamas facilitated the antisemitic lynch mob in Dagestan, blaming Zelensky’s government, instead.

“Yesterday’s developments in Makhachkala were instigated in particular via social networks, not least from Ukraine’s territory, by agents of Western special services,” Putin said, according to the Russian news agency Tass.

“At a recent meeting with leaders of religious associations, I pointed to the attempts to use the dramatic situation in the Middle East, other regional conflicts against our country, against Russia,” he claimed, “to destabilize and split our multiethnic and multi-religious society. We see that various tools are used for that, lies, provocations, sophisticated technologies of psychological and information aggression.”

Putin claimed that it was “obvious for all” that the United States, and not his ally Hamas, was responsible for “the tragedy of the Palestinians, the Middle East massacre, the conflict in Ukraine and many other conflicts across the globe – in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and so on,” and that Russia’s various nefarious activities around the globe aid the Hamas cause more than attempting to kill suspected Jews at a Russian airport, scolding the Dagestan mob for directing their efforts poorly.

“How one can help Palestine [sic] by attacking the Tats (Caucasian Persians) and their families? By the way, the Tats are a titular ethnic group in Dagestan,” Tass quoted Putin as saying.

“One can help Palestine only by fighting against those who are behind this tragedy. We, Russia, are fighting against them during our special military operation,” he claimed. “Against them and for ourselves and for those who want real freedom.”

The Russian propaganda outlet RT noted that Putin went on to claim that “the American-run world … is falling to pieces” and is “becoming a thing of the past,” using the violence by Hamas as an example of this decline. He did not describe hundreds of people in Russia storming an airport to kill Jews as a damaging event for Russia’s geopolitical stature.

Putin’s claims that the Ukrainian government created a Muslim mob in a restive region – one known in America for having potentially radicalized the Boston Marathon bombers – is consistent with the official Russian stance on the riot as presented by other top officials. Putin’s top spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on Monday that it was “obvious” that the riot was “largely the result of outside interference.”

The Russian government’s claims stem from the accusation that a Telegram channel known as “Utro Dagestan” was used to spread rumors that a flight arriving in Dagestan from Tel Aviv was the beginning of an alleged Jewish invasion of the territory and to organize a mob to attack the flight.

“We call on all brothers in their republics to track arrivals from Israel and greet them as hospitably as we do!!! The descendants of the monkeys thought that they could get away with anything – not this time!!! You scum will chew and swallow your passports all over the world!!! In sha Allah!!” a message on the channel read.
While the Russian government appeared to attempt to link the Islamist Telegram channel to Ukraine, its anonymous owner had vocally condemned Ukraine and Zelensky in particular for supporting Israel.

Telegram banned the channel in the aftermath of the riot on Sunday.

While Zelensky’s public comments placed Ukraine squarely behind Israel in support following the October 7 Hamas terrorist invasion, Russia has been using its stature at the United Nations and its diplomatic avenues at home to support Hamas. A Hamas terrorist delegation visited Moscow on Thursday and met with deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov, reportedly to discuss the release of hostages.

Lebanese Ambassador to Russia Chawki Bou Nassar (C) makes a statement during the meeting of Muslim and Arabic countries’ ambassadors at the Palestinian Embassy in Moscow on October 25, 2023. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)

“The hands of senior Hamas officials are stained with the blood of over 1,400 Israelis who were slaughtered, murdered, executed and burned, and they are responsible for the kidnapping of over 220 Israelis including babies, children, women and the elderly,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement following the delegation’s arrival, condemning Russia for hosting a group “worse than ISIS.”

At the U.N. Security Council, Russia vetoed a draft resolution by the United States last week that would have condemned Hamas for the “taking and killing of hostages, murder, torture, rape, [and] sexual violence.” Russia also presented its own draft resolution that omitted any mention of Hamas and commanded Israel to engage in a “ceasefire,” effectively demanding Israel does not address the Hamas terror threat at all.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

Editor’s Note:  This story was updated to reflect a revised number on the death toll from the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel.  The Israeli government estimate of 1,400 was revised to around 1,200, according to Reuters. 


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