Putin links Ukraine to Moscow terror attack

Putin links Ukraine to Moscow terror attack
Putin speaks to the nation on March 23 / Kremlin
By bne IntelliNews March 23, 2024

In an address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin has linked the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall in Moscow to Ukraine.

Speaking on March 23, 18 hours after the attack that killed at least 115 and wounded hundreds more, Putin stated that the gunmen responsible for the shooting had been caught, and claimed that they were in a car on the way to the Ukrainian border.

“All four direct perpetrators of the terrorist attack, all those who shot and killed people, have been found and detained,” he said. “They tried to escape and were travelling towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them on the Ukrainian side to cross the state border.”

He also noted that a total of 11 people have been detained and that the Russian Federal Security Service and other law enforcement agencies are working to identify and uncover the entire auxiliary base of the terrorists. This includes those who provided them with transport, plotted the escape, and prepared caches and hiding places with weapons and ammunition.

This followed a tweet by Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy, called any suggestion that Ukraine was linked to the attack “absurd.”

“Any attempts to connect Ukraine to the terrorist attack are absolutely untenable. Ukraine has not the slightest connection to this incident,” he said.

Also in the same address, Putin thanked doctors and security officers who helped the victims of the attack and announced March 24 as a national day of mourning.

“All the perpetrators, organisers and customers of this crime will be justly and inevitably punished. Whoever they are, whoever directed them,” he said. “Russia has repeatedly passed through the hardest, sometimes unbearable trials, but became even stronger. It will be the same now.”