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Bloomberg: Putin's close allies see no link between Ukraine, Moscow shooting

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent March 26, 2024 9:06 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Dec. 15, 2023 in Moscow, Russia. (Contributor/Getty Images)
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Some members of Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle think that there is no evidence of Ukraine's involvement in the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack outside Moscow, Bloomberg reported on March 26, citing unnamed sources with ties to the Kremlin.

Several gunmen opened fire at the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, a Moscow suburb, during a concert on the evening of March 22, killing 139 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack and released footage on March 23 from inside the venue.

Putin allegedly attended discussions at which Russian officials agreed that there was no link between the terrorists and Kyiv. However, the Kremlin's chief is still "determined to use the tragedy to try to rally Russians behind the war in Ukraine," according to one of Bloomberg's sources.

Hours after the attack, Putin attempted to connect the attack to Kyiv, claiming that the detained suspects planned to flee to Ukraine. Later, he recognized that the terrorist attack "was committed by radical Islamists" but still alleged that Ukraine was to blame without providing evidence.

The White House said there was no indication that Ukraine was behind the Moscow attack.

The news agency's sources claimed that Kremlin officials were "shocked" by the failure of Russian security services to prevent the shooting.

"Almost nobody they know within Russia's political and business elite believes Ukraine was behind the assault," Bloomberg reported, referring to unnamed sources.

Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR) called the shooting a "deliberate provocation by Putin's special services." The agency claimed the attack was intended to justify "even tougher" strikes on Ukraine and total mobilization in Russia.

A court in Moscow charged four men, all of whom are citizens of Tajikistan, with committing an act of terrorism on March 24. The next day, the court ordered three more suspects into pre-trial detention for their alleged involvement in the terrorist attack.

Russia’s response to terrorist attack, alleged torture of suspects, follows pattern of abuse in Ukraine
Photos and videos of the alleged torture of the suspects have been widely circulated on Russian social media.
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