Putin says ‘radical Islamists’ carried out Crocus City Hall attack but continues to blame Ukraine



Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that the terror attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue in Moscow was carried out by “radical Islamists”, but continued to hint that Ukraine and the West played a part in organising it.

In a meeting with his top security officials, Putin acknowledged widespread reports of terror group Islamic State’s involvement for the first time, but appeared to cast doubt on the organisation being the “mastermind” behind the attack. He went on to question why radical Islamists would target Russia, which “advocates for a just resolution of the escalating conflict in the Middle East”.

In an apparent attempt to again implicate Ukraine and the US, Putin suggested the massacre was the latest in a “series of attempts by those who have been waging war against our country since 2014 at the hands of the neo-Nazi Kiev regime”, with Ukraine resorting to “bloody intimidation actions” due to its lack of success against Russia on the battlefield.

The US, he said, had been trying to “convince its satellites and other countries” that Ukraine was not involved in the attack.

Putin also emphasised that despite a “legitimate desire to punish those responsible”, the investigation into the attack should be conducted “with the utmost professionalism, objectively, and without any political bias”.

His comments came after footage emerged over the weekend of four Tajik citizens suspected of carrying out the attack being tortured upon their arrest, with those responsible for the brutal arrests subsequently awarded medals “for bravery”.

Several prominent Russian politicians, including former President Dmitry Medvedev, had also called for the perpetrators to be subjected to the death penalty, which has been under a moratorium in Russia since the 1990s.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Putin a “sick, cynical creature” for trying to implicate Ukraine in the attack, repeating his claim that Putin and his own special services were behind it.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.