Putin Vows Revenge For “Bloodbath” Moscow Attack, Points Finger At Help From Ukraine, As 11 ‘Terrorists’ Captured

March 23, 2024   |   Tags:
Putin Vows Revenge For "Bloodbath" Moscow Attack, Points Finger At Help From Ukraine, As 11 'Terrorists' Captured

The official death toll from Russian authorities in the wake of Friday's terror attack on a Moscow concert hall has reached 133 killed, with some unofficial reports saying there could be as many as 140 or more. As the scene continues to be processed and investigated, and given some of the hospitalized are in critical condition, the death toll is likely to rise. Over 150 were wounded in the attack, which involved a group of well-equipped attackers sporadically shooting into crowds as they walked through the mall and into the concert hall. Three children are still in the hospital, with one in critical condition.

The mall and complex at the Crocus City Hall music venue appears to have burned for many hours through the night. Russia's Investigative Committee later said more bodies were recovered from be smoldering building. Importantly, authorities on Saturday announced the capture of four suspected gunmen, also amid unconfirmed social media videos purporting to show some of the detained alleged gunmen.

Stillframe images: Daily Express

Eleven people total have been detained connected with the terror attack which the Federal Security Service (FSB) has said includes "four terrorists who were directly involved in the terrorist attack on Crocus."

After the Friday night rampage at the venue just outside Moscow, "the perpetrators tried to escape by car, fleeing towards the Russian-Ukrainian border," the FSB said Saturday "The criminals intended to cross the Russia-Ukraine border and had relevant contacts on the Ukrainian side," the FSB statement alleged.

The four alleged gunmen were detained "not far from the border with Ukraine". This has raised suspicion in the Kremlin over Ukraine's involvement, despite the widespread media reports in the West that it was ISIS-K. As we noted earlier, Russian media has not echoed the Western reports highlighting an ISIS-K statement of responsibility.

Instead, in addressing the crisis President Vladimir Putin has vowed to punish the perpetrators of the barbaric terrorist act while also charging that Ukraine prepared a "window" to help the terrorists escape.

At one point during the five-and-a-half minute video address, Putin said: "All perpetrators, organizers and customers of this crime will suffer fair and inevitable punishment. Whoever they are, whoever guides them. I repeat, we will identify and punish everyone who stands behind the terrorists, who prepared this atrocity, this attack on Russia, on our people."

He continued while pointing the finger at Ukraine: "All four direct perpetrators of the terrorist attack, all those who shot and killed people, were found and detained. They tried to hide and moved towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them on the Ukrainian side to cross the state border. A total of 11 people were detained."

Putin then added: "The Federal Security Service of Russia and other law enforcement agencies are working to identify and uncover the entire accomplice base of terrorists: those who provided them with transport, outlined escape routes from the crime scene, prepared caches, caches of weapons and ammunition."

"The main goal now is to prevent those who are behind this bloodbath from committing new crimes," the Russian leader stressed.

But both Washington and Kiev have been quick to reject any narrative of Ukraine's involvement. White House spokesman John Kirby said Friday, "The images are just horrible. Just hard to watch, and our thoughts obviously are going to be with the victims of this terrible, terrible shooting attack," before emphasizing that there's "No indication at this time that Ukraine or Ukrainians were involved in the shooting."

Crocus City Hall gutted by fire, via Sputnik

US intelligence officials speaking to The New York Times said the Islamic State (ISIS-K) was behind it, and claimed Washington even tried to warn Moscow that some kind of big terror attack was coming.

Early this month the US Embassy in Moscow issued a security alert calling for all US nationals in Russia to avoid public venues. This has since raised questions, resulting in Russia's foreign ministry to demand answers as to what US intelligence officials knew and when did they know it.

The Ukrainian government itself quickly sought to distance itself from the attack, with adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, stating the following

"Ukraine certainly has nothing to do with the shooting/explosions in the Crocus City Hall (Moscow Region, Russia)," Podolyak said in his post. "It makes no sense whatsoever."

"First of all, Ukraine has been fighting with the Russian army for more than two years. And everything in this war will be decided only on the battlefield," Podolyak continued. “Only by the quantity of weapons and qualitative military decisions. Terrorist attacks do not solve any problems…"

Complicating matters for Moscow, or perhaps clarifying them, is that ISIS has reportedly issued follow-up statements claiming responsibility...

Still on Saturday Kremlin authorities kept up their accusations centered on Ukraine, and also hit out at the West, with foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova saying on Telegram, "The main point is that American authorities don’t forget how their information and political environment linked the terrorists who shot people in Crocus City Hall to the banned terrorist organization ISIS."

"Now we know in which country these bloody bastards planned to hide from persecution — Ukraine," Zakharova continued. "The same country which for ten years has been turning via Western liberal regimes into a center of terrorism spread in Europe."

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/23/2024 - 11:05


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