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4 Apr, 2024 11:37

Russia cannot be target for terror attacks by Islamic fundamentalists – Putin

The Crocus City Hall shooting sought to undermine the country’s unity, the Russian president has said
Russia cannot be target for terror attacks by Islamic fundamentalists – Putin

The main aim of the Crocus City Hall massacre was to undermine the unity of the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. No other goals are visible because Russia couldn’t be the target of attacks by Islamic fundamentalists, he added.

Speaking at a congress of the Russian trade unions federation on Thursday, Putin touted Russia as “a unique example of interfaith harmony and unity.” He noted that the country professes those values not only at home, but also abroad. “Thus, it cannot become a target for attack by Islamic fundamentalists,” he stressed.

The Russian president went on to say that Moscow has every reason to believe that those who masterminded the attack sought to undermine the country’s unity. “There are no other goals visible,” he added.

The Crocus City Hall shooting occurred on March 22 when a group of armed men – later identified as Tajik nationals – stormed the venue ahead of a rock concert, killing at least 145 people and injuring more than 500 others. 

The four alleged culprits directly involved in the attack were caught while fleeing towards Ukraine where, according to Putin, a “window” had been arranged for them to cross the border. Kiev has vehemently denied any involvement in the attack.

Those denials were echoed by its numerous Western backers, including the US, which was quick to pin the blame on the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Russian officials, meanwhile, have voiced suspicion about Western attempts to absolve Ukraine of any responsibility before the investigation has been carried out.