US dismisses Russia’s accusation of Ukraine’s involvement in airport riot

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The United States on Monday poured scorn on Russian President Vladimir Putin for blaming Ukraine and the West for an anti-Israel riot at an airport in Muslim-majority Dagestan and urged accountability.

Putin accused Ukraine and “agents of Western special services” after a mob descended Sunday evening onto the Makhachkala airport in Russia’s North Caucasus and demanded to find Jewish passengers on a plane that arrived from Israel.

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Asked about Putin accusing the West, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said sarcastically, “Isn’t that sweet?”

“Classic Russian rhetoric, when something goes bad in your country, you blame somebody else,” he told a White House briefing.

“The West had nothing to do with this. This is just hate, bigotry and intimidation, pure and simple,” Kirby said.

“Some people will compare it to the pogroms of the late 19th and early 20th century and I think that’s probably an apt description, given that video that we’ve seen out there,” he said of anti-Jewish attacks.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller earlier called Russian allegations of Ukrainian involvement “absurd.”

“We call on Russian authorities to publicly condemn these violent protests, to hold anyone involved accountable and to ensure the safety of Israelis and Jews in Russia,” Miller said.

Ukraine -- which Russia invaded last year -- has also strongly rejected the allegations and pointed to Russia’s “deep-rooted anti-Semitism.”

The riot took place as Israel bombards the Gaza Strip in response to a deadly assault by Hamas militants on October 7.

With AFP.

Read more:

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Russia says Ukraine played ‘direct, key role’ in Dagestan unrest; Kyiv denies

Airport riot ‘attempt to sow discord’ between Russia’s Jews, Muslims: Orthodox leader

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