Top figures in Russia’s security apparatus blame Ukraine for Crocus City Hall attack

The secretary of Russia’s influential Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, has told journalists that Ukraine was behind last week’s terror attack on Moscow’s Crocus City Hall, state-owned news agency TASS reported on Tuesday.

Federal Security Service (FSB) director Alexander Bortnikov said on Tuesday that the terrorist attack had been organised by radical Islamists with the assistance of the Ukrainian secret services, though he added that it was still not known who had ordered the attack.

Bortnikov said the FSB was aware that Ukraine had trained militants in the Middle East, and suggested that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) be declared a terrorist organisation and pledged that Russia would retaliate. 

In an attempt to conflate the Moscow terror attack and Kyiv’s attempts to defend its own territory, Russia’s Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov said that the terrorist attack and shelling of Russian regions by Ukraine had one goal, “to intimidate people and sow discord among our people”. He added that “the perpetrators, masterminds and organisers” would all be punished and that Russia’s priority remained “to achieve the goals of the special military operation”.

On Monday Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Crocus City Hall terror attack has been carried out by “radical Islamists”, but that the massacre was the latest in a series of attacks masterminded by “the neo-Nazi Kyiv regime” who had been waging war against Russia since 2014. Putin claimed on Saturday that the perpetrators of the attack had fled Moscow towards Ukraine, which, he alleged, had organised a border “window” through which they could cross into the country.

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