Putin blames West for Gaza crisis, says US needs global chaos

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday sought to blame the West for the crisis in the Middle East, where Israel is bombing the Gaza Strip to try to eradicate Hamas militants who killed some 1,400 people in Israel on October 7.

In a televised statement to a meeting of members of his Security Council and the government and the heads of law enforcement agencies, Putin said the “ruling elites of the US” and their “satellites” stood behind the killing of Gaza’s Palestinians, and behind events in Ukraine, Iraq and Syria.

He also accused Western intelligence services and Ukraine of helping whip up trouble and called on Russian police to take “firm” actions after anti-Israel rioters stormed an airport in Russia’s Muslim-majority Dagestan region on Sunday evening in an attempt to intercept passengers who had just arrived from Israel.

“I want to draw the attention of heads of all regions, heads of law enforcement agencies and special services to the need for firm, timely and clear actions to protect Russia’s constitutional order, the rights and freedoms of our citizens, inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony,” Putin said.


Russia launches missile drills to test its ability to deliver ‘massive’ retaliatory nuclear strike

Russia launches missile drills to test its ability to deliver ‘massive’ retaliatory nuclear strike

The United States on Monday urged accountability by Russia over the Makhachkala airport riot and brushed aside the Kremlin’s charges that Ukraine was involved.

“I’ve seen their comments about blaming Ukraine. That is absurd,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

“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,” he said.

Mob storms Russian airport looking for Israelis

The Kremlin accused Ukraine of orchestrating the riot. Ukraine strongly rejected the allegation and pointed to Russia’s “deep-rooted antisemitism.”

Twenty people were injured before security forces – who were forced to close the airport – contained the protest.

Israel on Monday issued a ‘highest level travel warning’ for Russia’s Dagestan region

Meanwhile, the Crimean home owned by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s family has been auctioned off by the occupying Russian authorities, the Russian state news agency TASS reported on Monday.

The 120-square metre flat in the luxury resort of Yalta on the south of the peninsula went for 44.3 million roubles (US$480,000), almost twice the starting bid. There were only two bidders.

The official previous owner was Zelensky’s wife Olena, who bought it in 2013, a year before Russia seized the peninsula. At the time, Zelensky was still working as an actor.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena Zelenska. Photo: TT News Agency / AFP

The flat has three rooms with a view out over the Black Sea and of the Livadia Palace, the summer residence of Nicholas II, Russia’s last tsar.

It was expropriated earlier this year following a change in the law passed unanimously by the Crimean Parliament. Some of the proceeds are to be used for Russia’s war against Ukraine, according to reports.

The buyer, Olga Lipovetskaya, told the Mash news portal she had bought the property for its location and Crimea’s climate, not on account of its history.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

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