Russia claims evidence tying terror attackers to Ukraine found

Evidence presented by the Russian Investigative Committee. Screenshot from a video

Evidence presented by the Russian Investigative Committee. Screenshot from a video

Russian investigators announced Friday that they had obtained evidence pointing to Ukraine’s involvement in the deadly terror attack at a concert hall near Moscow last month.

The Russian Investigative Committee said that it had obtained access to the instigators’ mobile phones, which contained “photographs of people in camouflage uniforms standing with a Ukrainian flag” against a backdrop of destroyed houses, as well as “a photograph of a Ukrainian postage stamp with an obscene gesture”.

The investigators added that they had found screenshots showing the entrances to the Crocus City Hall building and its access roads in the suspected attackers’ messages sent on 24 February, on “the two-year anniversary of the special military operation”.

This data “may indicate a connection” between the terrorist attack and the war in Ukraine, the Investigative Committee stated, adding that the service was continuing “investigative actions” designed to “verify the involvement” of the Ukrainian special services in the attack.

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin initially admitted that the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack was carried out by “radical Islamists”, he walked back his comments on Thursday, saying that Russia could “hardly be an object of attack by Islamic fundamentalists”.

Putin went on to say that the sole goal of the attack was to “undermine the unity of Russian society”, in line with the ongoing claims by the Russian authorities that Ukraine and the US had masterminded the attack.

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