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Overseas handlers behind attempts to destabilize situation in Dagestan — head of region

Sergey Melikov mentioned forbidden techniques related to stirring up inter-ethnic discord and inter-confessional issues
Head of Dagestan Sergei Melikov (center) Musa Salgereyev/TASS
Head of Dagestan Sergei Melikov (center)
© Musa Salgereyev/TASS

MAKHACHKALA, October 30. /TASS/. Attempts to destabilize the situation in Russia’s southern Dagestan Region are being stage-managed from abroad, including by pro-Ukrainian Telegram channels, regional head Sergey Melikov told reporters.

"Attempts to destabilize the situation in Dagestan, including by means of forbidden techniques related to stirring up inter-ethnic discord, inter-confessional issues, are being carried out by our enemies, enemies of our country," he said.

According to Melikov, one of the Telegram channels that has been issuing appeals for Dagestani residents to attend rallies is controlled from abroad. "Today we received absolutely reliable information that the 'Morning of Dagestan' [Telegram] channel is managed and regulated from the territory of Ukraine - by traitors, Banderites (radical Ukrainian nationalist followers of Stepan Bandera - TASS)," the head of the region added.

Melikov also said that those responsible for the previous day's protests would be found and prosecuted. "Criminal cases have been initiated over on a number of facts that became a precedent for yesterday's events, and all those responsible for the situation created yesterday will be held accountable, there will be no forgiveness for anyone. <...> Many things have been recorded on photo and video media. Therefore, no one should escape responsibility," the head of the region pointed out.

Meanwhile, according to Melikov, Makhachkala airport will resume work in the next few days and start operating international flights. "Today the director of the airport and I checked all the places that could be problematic after yesterday's events. I think that within two or three days the full functionality of our airport will be restored. We will resume flights, including international ones," the official pointed out.

The head of the region also added that the equipment of Makhachkala airport was not damaged during the riots.

"I have visited the territory of the airport. <...> In Terminal B neither equipment nor hardware was damaged. In Terminal A, where domestic flights are operated, everything for stable and reliable operation of the airport complex was preserved," Melikov said.

On the evening of October 29, several hundred people gathered at the airport in the regional capital of Makhachkala to protest against the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The demonstrators broke through the airport fence and entered the runway and an airport building. An operational headquarters was set up, headed by Melikov. He said that the actions of those gathered at the airport were a gross violation of the law and would be duly assessed by law enforcement agencies.