Truck carrying icons found to be smuggling explosives ‘from Ukraine’ into Russia

Screenshot: FSB

Screenshot: FSB

Russian customs officers discovered a truck attempting to cross from Latvia into Russia was carrying 27 homemade bombs hidden inside Orthodox Christian icons and other ecclesiastical paraphernalia, the Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on Tuesday.

According to the report, the bombs between them contained 70 kilograms of high-power explosives, which the FSB said had travelled from Ukraine through Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia before being discovered just before they reached their final destination in Russia.

The FSB also shared a video of the man they said had been driving the truck, whom it said was later detained. In the video, the man said he had been transporting cargo from Romania to Moscow, and admitted that the religious materials contained RDX, a high-powered explosive.

RDX is “one and a half times more powerful” than TNT, Dmitry Beloterkovsky, head of the forensic department at the Interior Ministry in Russia’s northwest Pskov region, told Russian state-affiliated daily Kommersant. The quantity of explosive material found in the truck would have been “sufficient to blow up a five-storey residential building,” Beloterkovsky said.

Both FSB director Alexander Bortnikov and Security Council secretary Nikolay Patrushev have said that Ukraine was responsible for the terrorist attack on Crocus City Hall on 22 March, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has conceded that the attack was carried out by “radical Islamists” but that the “neo-Nazi Kiev regime” and the West were both somehow involved.

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