Putin blamed Ukraine in addition to “radical Islamists” for the tragedy in Moscow.

Vladimir Putin of Russia has admitted that “radical Islamists” were responsible for the deadly attack on a Moscow concert hall that occurred on Friday. However, he has reiterated his assertion that they were connected to the West and Ukraine in some way. Ukraine has dismissed the Russian assertion as nonsensical. The terrorist organization known as the Islamic State (IS) claims responsibility for the 139 fatalities and has made video of the assault public. According to Russian officials, 22 patients—including two children—remain critically ill in the hospital. During a televised conference on Monday, the Russian leader stated: “We know that the crime was committed by the hands of radical Islamists, whose ideology the Islamic world itself has been fighting for centuries.”

He continued, saying, “We want to know who ordered it.” He stated that there were still a lot of unsolved questions and restated the falsehood that the assailants had attempted to escape to Ukraine in the south. He questioned, “Who was waiting for them there?” “This atrocity may be just a link in a whole series of attempts by those who have been at war with our country since 2014.”  According to him, the US was attempting to persuade everyone that Kyiv was unrelated to the incident. Furthermore, he blamed the West, stating that attempts by those who had battled Russia through Kyiv were the only ones that might be connected to the incident. During his weekly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky refuted the Russian accusations, saying, “Putin was talking to himself again… Once more, Ukraine is to blame. A sick and jaded being.”

France has issued a warning of a rise in terrorist threats, while numerous European countries have increased security. The US claims that IS is “solely” responsible for the attack in Moscow. Four Tajikistani nationals have shown up in court on charges of carrying out the massacre. A 31-year-old man from Kyrgyzstan is one of four suspects accused of providing support to terrorism. He is suspected of renting out an apartment used by the assailants. The US embassy issued a warning that “extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts” just over two weeks prior to the incident. It was only last week that Mr. Putin dismissed the warning as inflammatory. The Russian president said that the US was exploiting its threat of an impending attack to “intimidate and destabilize our society,” three days before the shooters targeted Crocus City Hall on the northwest edge of Moscow.

In the meantime, the Russian security agency FSB declared on Tuesday that it had stopped pro-Ukrainian Russian fighters from attacking Samara, a city in the south of the country. It reported that a paramilitary member of the Russian Volunteer Corps had blown himself up after being captured. Antonio Tajani, the foreign minister of Italy, stated that while it was evident that Mr. Putin was seeking excuses to strike Kiev, the attack’s footage was unambiguous, and many claims from the IS supported the assumption that it was responsible. Ahead of a summer filled with significant international sporting events, concerns about fresh jihadist plots in Western Europe have increased following the attack in Moscow, which US intelligence has attributed to the Islamic State-Khorasan, a regional offshoot of IS.

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