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Kyiv rebuffs Putin’s claims that gunmen who killed 133 Russian concertgoers had links to Ukraine

Published:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin linked Moscow concert hall attackers to Ukraine.

  • At least 133 people were killed by gunmen, and 11 have suspects been detained, say Russian sources.

  • ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack.

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the gunmen who attacked a Moscow concert hall and killed 133 people had links to Ukraine, an allegation Kyiv completely rejected.

“They tried to escape and were moving toward Ukraine, where, according to preliminary information, a window was prepared for them from the Ukrainian side to cross the state border,” Putin said.

Putin alleged the connection when he broke his silence on the attack 20 hours after at least four gunmen infiltrated Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, on the outskirts of the Russian capital.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) had earlier claimed a link between Ukraine and the gunmen in a statement, said Russian news agency TASS.

“The terrorists planned to cross the border and had contacts on the Ukrainian side,” the message read.

Pro-Putin supporters on social media platformed the baseless theory in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Kyiv denied any involvement and called the FSB claims a”provocation,” per the Kyiv Post.

Andrii Yusov, a representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) of the Ministry of Defense, rejected the FSB’s statements as “absurd.”

Putin had dismissed US warnings

Emergency services vehicles are seen outside the burning Crocus City Hall concert hall following the shooting incident in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow on March 22, 2024.

Emergency services vehicles are seen outside the burning Crocus City Hall concert hall following the shooting incident in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow on March 22, 2024.Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

The four gunmen have been detained, said Putin, alongside seven other detainees.

According to Russia’s Investigative Committee: “The death toll will rise further. According to preliminary data, the causes of death were gunshot wounds and poisoning by combustion products.”

ISIS-K, one of the most active regional affiliates of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The militant group previously hit the headlines for orchestrating the suicide bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul that killed 13 US military soldiers and 169 civilians in 2021.

Putin called on international cooperation to address terrorism.

“We will stand united against this common enemy of international terrorism no matter where it shows its ugly head,” he said, per Politico.

Just three days before the rampage, Putin dismissed US warnings about an incident as “blackmail.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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