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3 Apr, 2024 08:58

US shielding itself by ‘whitewashing’ Kiev over terror attack – Moscow

Evidence suggests that the Ukrainian government was behind last month’s concert hall massacre in Russia, a senior official has claimed
US shielding itself by ‘whitewashing’ Kiev over terror attack – Moscow

The US refuses to allow any discussion of potential Ukrainian involvement in last month’s terrorist attack near Moscow because Washington is ultimately accountable for Kiev’s actions, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, has insisted.

The US government has claimed that all evidence points to an Afghanistan-based offshoot of the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) as the mastermind behind the Crocus City Hall massacre on March 22. Any Russian suggestions to the contrary are “nonsense and propaganda,” White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby claimed last week.

Speaking at an international event in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, Patrushev said Washington is determined to “impose” its preferred narrative regarding the attack.

“Identifying the mastermind and sponsor of the monstrous crime is what is most important. The trace leads to the Ukrainian special services,” he claimed.

“It is well known that the Kiev regime is not independent and is fully controlled by the US. We should also take into account that ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations were created by Washington,” the senior official added.

The US role in “creating” the two Islamist terrorist organizations is a matter of debate, including in America itself.

Donald Trump infamously described then-President Barack Obama as the “founder of ISIS” during his 2016 White House campaign, while branding fellow candidate Hillary Clinton as the “co-founder” of the group.

IS arguably managed to emerge as a major threat in 2014 due to the US destabilization of Iraq and Syria, which radicalized sections of the population in both nations and undermined the ability of their governments to keep militants in check. The US and Russia have both since played a role in quashing IS.

Russian officials have suggested that ISIS-K, the group that claimed credit for the Crocus City Hall attack, now serves as a US tool, launching strikes at Washington’s opponents, including Iran and the Taliban government in Afghanistan. US officials deny the allegations.

The Crocus City massacre saw a group of gunmen shoot their way into the main hall of the music venue, setting it on fire and killing more than 140 people. They were caught hours later in a Russian region bordering Ukraine, where they were allegedly heading to escape pursuit.

Washington issued a public warning about an imminent attack in Russia in early March, weeks before the Crocus City assault. US officials have claimed a more detailed private alert was given to Russian law enforcement, although Moscow has said the tip was not sufficient to identify and stop the terrorists.