A mob stormed an airport in southern Russia where a commercial flight from Tel Aviv had arrived on Sunday night, according to Russian state media and videos posted from the scene. The episode followed several anti-Israel protests in the region that could signal a new point of friction for the Kremlin as it wages a war in Ukraine.
The Russian authorities announced that the airport where the mob had formed, in Makhachkala, the capital of the predominantly Muslim Dagestan region, was temporarily closed and riot police were dispatched to the scene.
The Israeli government said in a statement that it was following the events closely and expected the Russian authorities to protect all Israeli citizens and Jews, and to act firmly against the rioters and against what it described as “the wild incitement directed at Jews and Israelis.”
President Vladimir V. Putin has listed interethnic and interreligious accord in Russia as a main policy priority. Anti-Israel and antisemitic protests in the North Caucasus, a region where Mr. Putin fought his first war as Russian leader, could jeopardize that at a time when the Kremlin is also waging a long and bloody war in Ukraine.
There were no immediate reports of arrests at the airport, and it was not clear exactly what had taken place, as unverified videos of the chaotic scene spread across social media. Some people in the videos held Palestinian flags and carried signs opposing the war in Gaza, and some chanted “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great.”
RIA Novosti, a Russian state news agency, posted a video of what it said were law enforcement officers assembling on the airport’s tarmac.
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