Espreso. Global

Kremlin expected to amplify 'terrorist threats' rhetoric to bolster support for war against Ukraine – ISW

28 March, 2024 Thursday
09:45

Russian officials are poised to ramp up rhetoric about "terrorist threats" from the West and Ukraine to bolster domestic backing for the war in Ukraine

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The Institute for the Study of War discusses this scenario.

It's observed that Russia's Investigative Committee and Prosecutor General's Office will review the State Duma's appeal regarding the alleged financing and orchestration of terrorist attacks against Russia by Western entities, including the United States. Notably, there's no direct mention of the shopping center attack.

"The Kremlin likely aims to seize on wider Russian social fears and anger following the Crocus City Hall attack by portraying Ukraine, the US, and the West as immediate terrorist threats," the report states.

Analysts suggest that the Russian Federation hopes that linking Ukraine and the West to the Crocus City Hall attack will rally domestic support for the Ukraine war. Russian officials are likely to portray Ukrainians as terrorists and the West as terrorism sponsors.

Terrorist attack in Moscow’s Crocus City Hall 

In Krasnogorsk, Moscow region, a shooting took place at the Crocus City Hall concert venue before the start of the Picnic band's performance. Over 130 people have been reported dead as well as many wounded. The FSB says it has allegedly detained the suspects.

Starting on March 7, American diplomats warned of the threat of terrorist attacks in the Russian capital, Moscow. Subsequently, similar statements were made by representatives of several other Western countries.

Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate is convinced that the shooting at the Crocus shopping center in Moscow is a deliberate provocation by the Putin regime, and the Foreign Ministry said the world should strongly reject Russia's false accusations of Ukraine's alleged involvement. The White House also rejected Ukraine's involvement. 

On March 23, Vladimir Putin made an address on the terrorist attack. According to the Russian dictator, Ukraine was "preparing a window" to allow terrorists who had staged a terrorist attack in Moscow to escape. 

On March 25, at a meeting with security officials, Putin admitted that "radical Islamists" had carried out the attack, but blamed the shooting on "those who are fighting Russia with the hands of the Kyiv regime."

The Secretary of the Russian Security Council, the Director of the FSB, and the spokesperson for the Russian President repeated Putin's version of the "Ukrainian trace" and the involvement of Western intelligence services in the terrorist attack in Moscow. At the same time, self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko denied that the alleged perpetrators of the terrorist attack were trying to escape to Ukraine.

The Center for Countering Disinformation doubts that the Crocus attack could have been carried out by the perpetrators identified by the Russian authorities.

The US National Security Council (NSC) on Sunday, March 24, unequivocally rejected Russia's attempts to accuse Ukraine of organizing the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall shopping mall near Moscow.



 

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