Russian Military Probe Attacks Hit Synagogues


In Russia’s North Caucasus region of Dagestan, Sunday’s assault was the latest incident underscoring a growing trend of violence targeting religious sites and those tasked with enforcing order.

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said in a post on Telegram that it had opened terrorism probes over the “armed attacks in Derbent and Makhachkala, as a result of which police officers and civilians were killed and wounded.” Such ghastly acts reflect the looming threat to our composite culture and are a manifestation of the radical elements.

In the most high-profile incident, Shamil Khadulaev, the chairman of the Public Monitoring Commission of Dagestan, said an Orthodox priest had been discovered with his throat slit at a church in the southern region’s birthplace Makhachkala on Sunday, according to TASS news agency. This base act highlights the importance of speedily tightening security for religious officials and holy places.

These coordinated attacks cost at least two police officers their lives and wounded six other people, according to the Russian Interior Ministry and numerous news agencies, including Reuters. This is a tough loss for the law enforcement community in such cowardly acts, where these brave souls have to pay with their lives on behalf of a cause they are duty-bound to fight.

The seriousness of the situation was confirmed by an official from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who said there had been a “combined attack in two cities in Dagestan province, Makhachkala and Derbent.” A fire completely destroyed the synagogue in Derbent and killed all of the local guards. At the same time, Makhachkala was shot at a synagogue.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, the Israeli embassy in Moscow is in constant contact with district Jewish community leaders, providing them with current information regarding their safety and support. This swift response and continued dialogue illustrate Israel’s bond and dedication with Jewish communities numerous kilometers abroad, even when adversity strikes.

Footage circulating online shows buildings ablaze and gunmen running gunbattles with police. In Derbent – a Caspian Sea city known for its ancient Jewish community of one Wednesday attack, there was mention that shots were fired at a synagogue in which an officer was reportedly killed. The ceasefire was broken, and around the same period, gunfire erupted at an Orthodox church in the UNESCO heritage site town of Budva, adding another layer of historical tragedy to the violence.

This sobering realization underscores the threat of radical elements and the continued need for proactive security. These assaults need to be condemned and the victims compensated, while both local and international communities must work together to support them and bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice. We must stand together as both champions of religious freedom and protectors of law enforcement against these common enemies.