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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in July 2023. (Photo by Russian Defense Minister/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu held a call with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu, and expressed "France's solidarity with the victims" of the mass shooting at the Crocus City concert hall outside Moscow on March 22, Le Monde reported on April 3.

Lecornu "also strongly condemned the war of aggression that Russia launched in Ukraine and recalled France's support for the Ukrainian people," Le Monde said. The two ministers last spoke in October 2022.

Russian state news agency TASS claimed that the call was made "at the urgent request at the French side."

Lecornu "tried to convince Shoigu that Kyiv and the West were not involved in the attack on Crocus," and that Islamic State (ISIS) was responsible, TASS claimed.

"Shoigu stressed that the investigation launched in connection with the terrorist attack will be completed," TASS said.

Despite IS claiming responsibility for the attack and releasing bodycam footage, the Kremlin is attempting to pin the blame on Kyiv for the attack, which killed over 140 people.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on March 25 that the group had recently made "several attempts" at attacks on French soil.

During the last conversation between the two defense ministers in October 2022, Shoigu made allegations that Ukrainian forces were planning to use a "dirty bomb" or a "small nuclear bomb" on the battlefield.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the head of Ukraine's President's Office, condemned Shoigu’s claims as "absurd."

Ukraine war latest: Russia preparing to mobilize additional 300,000 troops by June, Kyiv says
Key developments on April 3: * Zelensky: Russia preparing to mobilize additional 300,000 troops by June * Ukraine, Finland sign long-term security agreement * Zelensky: Russia launched over 4,000 missiles, Shahed drones, guided aerial bombs on Ukraine in March * Military intelligence: Russia ha…
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