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25 Mar, 2024 16:05

No proof Ukraine involved in Moscow terror attack – EU

Brussels has sought to deflect blame for the Crocus City massacre away from Kiev
No proof Ukraine involved in Moscow terror attack – EU

The EU rejects the suggestion that Kiev had anything to do with last Friday’s Crocus City Hall massacre in Moscow, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said on Monday.

More than 130 people were killed when attackers began shooting patrons and then set fire to the concert venue. While the so-called Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) terrorist group claimed responsibility, Russian security services detained eleven suspects, including four of the alleged gunmen, attempting to cross into Ukraine.

“There is no indication, no evidence, that Ukraine was linked to this attack,” Stano told reporters at a press briefing in Brussels. The bloc was “naturally concerned” by Russian suggestions that Kiev might have been involved.

“We call on the Russian authorities not to use the terrorist attack in Moscow as a pretext or a motivation to increase the illegal aggression against Ukraine, or to use it as a pretext for increasing internal repression against critics of the Russian regime,” Stano added.

The EU would “probably not say no” if Russia submitted a “credible” proposal for jointly fighting terrorism, Stano told reporters, but noted that such cooperation had been “suspended” in 2022 due to what he called Russia’s “disregard for humanitarian international law.”

Mikhail Podoliak, the senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, has argued that “any attempts to connect Ukraine to the terrorist attack are absolutely untenable” and that his country “has not the slightest connection to this incident.”

The head of the Ukrainian security service SBU, Vasily Malyuk, took credit on Monday for a string of attacks on Russian civilian infrastructure, including the Crimean Bridge and oil refineries. Meanwhile, a popular Kiev restaurant unveiled a menu of fried foods dubbed “Crocus City,” in what appears to be a mockery of those who perished in the fire set by the terrorists.

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