Russia says it is hard to believe Islamic State could have launched Moscow attack; FSB alleges Ukraine, US and UK’s involvement – World News


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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed skepticism on Wednesday regarding the Islamic State’s capability to execute an attack on a Moscow concert hall last Friday, resulting in the deaths of at least 143 individuals. 

Zakharova reiterated Moscow’s claim, yet to be substantiated, alleging Ukrainian involvement in the assault on Crocus City Hall, marking Russia’s deadliest incident in two decades. The Russian Emergencies Ministry released a roster confirming 143 fatalities from the recent mass shooting, contrasting with previous estimates of 139 casualties. 

Zakharova accused Western nations of hastily attributing blame to Islamic State (ISIS) as a means of diverting attention from Ukraine and its supporters among Western governments.

“In order to ward off suspicions from the collective West, they urgently needed to come up with something, so they resorted to ISIS, pulled an ace out of their sleeve, and literally a few hours after the terrorist attack, the Anglo-Saxon media began disseminating precisely these versions,” she said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the attack was carried out by Islamist militants but has suggested it was to Ukraine’s benefit and that Kyiv may have played a role.

He has said that someone on the Ukrainian side had prepared a “window” for the gunmen to escape across the border before they were captured in western Russia on Friday night.

On Tuesday, however, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said the gunmen had initially sought to cross into his country before turning away and heading towards Ukraine once they realised that crossings into Belarus had been sealed.

The director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Tuesday that he believed Ukraine, along with the United States and Britain, were involved in the Moscow attack.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron responded on social media platform X, saying: “Russia’s claims about the West and Ukraine on the Crocus City Hall attack are utter nonsense.”

The head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, told a security conference in Kyiv he believed Russian authorities had known about preparations for a major attack since at least mid-February.

Budanov, whose comments were reported in Ukrainian media, said authorities chose to say nothing either because they underestimated the scale of the attack, or to pin the blame on Ukraine and proceed with the dismissal of officials.

After the shooting, a U.S. official said Washington had warned Moscow in recent weeks of the possibility of an attack.

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