Violent Attacks Rock Churches and Synagogue in Dagestan, Russia

In a series of coordinated attacks on Sunday, June 23, 2024, unknown assailants targeted religious and law enforcement sites in Dagestan, Russia, resulting in multiple casualties and widespread condemnation.

Derbent Attacks

In Derbent, a synagogue was set ablaze, and an Orthodox church was attacked. A local priest tragically lost his life in the church assault. The attackers fled the scene, prompting an intensive search by local authorities.

Makhachkala Under Siege

Simultaneously, in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, gunmen attacked a church and a synagogue, killing a church guard. A traffic police station also came under fire, leading to the deaths of several police officers. The chaotic scenes left the city in shock, as authorities scrambled to secure the area and search for the perpetrators.

Casualty Report

The attacks have left at least six police officers dead and twelve others injured. The priest in Derbent and a church guard in Makhachkala were among those killed. The violence has brought both grief and outrage to the affected communities.

Investigations and Reactions

The Russian Investigative Committee has launched a terrorism investigation. While the identity of the attackers remains unknown, some officials have speculated about possible links to Ukraine and NATO, although no concrete evidence has been provided to support these claims.

Russian authorities, including the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, have condemned the attacks. Kadyrov described them as “villainous provocations” aimed at inciting religious discord. Local Muslim leaders echoed this sentiment, denouncing the attackers as “brutal and hateful beasts.”

Historical Context

Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim region with a significant Jewish population, has a history of ethnic and religious tension. This latest violence has intensified fears of further instability in the region.

Community Response

The attacks have drawn widespread condemnation from various religious and community leaders, emphasizing unity against terrorism and violence. Efforts are underway to support the victims’ families and rebuild the damaged sites.


As Dagestan mourns the loss of life and grapples with the aftermath of these brutal attacks, the focus remains on bringing the perpetrators to justice and restoring peace and security in the region. Authorities continue their search for those responsible, vowing to prevent further violence and protect all religious communities.

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