Espreso. Global

ISW analyzes Russia's statements on terrorist attack in Moscow's Crocus City Hall

27 March, 2024 Wednesday
09:31

Russian President Vladimir Putin's statements on the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Mall near Moscow suggest a lack of a standardized approach in discussing such incidents in Russia

The Institute for the Study of War reports .

It is noted that Putin and other high-ranking Kremlin officials are likely attempting to maintain a consistent rhetorical line regarding the attack on the shopping center. This suggests that the Kremlin has not yet fully understood how to reconcile its information operations with the reality of intelligence failures and law enforcement.

Analysts speculate that Putin and other high-ranking officials have not fully consolidated around the fake narrative that Ukraine allegedly orchestrated and carried out the attack on the Crocus concert hall, claimed by the 'Islamic State'. This suggests internal discord or uncertainty within the Kremlin regarding the official narrative.

“Putin directly suggested that the attackers were connected to Ukraine in his March 23 address following the attack. Putin then addressed the board of the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office on March 26 and referenced the Crocus attack, calling for the Prosecutor General’s Office to establish all the facts of the case but not implicitly or explicitly blaming Ukraine for the attack,” analysts say.

On March 26, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov refused to directly assert that Ukraine organized the terrorist attack, in response to press inquiries about how Russia would respond if it were to 'confirm' Ukraine's alleged involvement.

“Putin’s oscillation between blaming Ukraine outright one day and then avoiding the issue the following day suggests that the Kremlin has not yet established a templated line on how to discuss the attack, likely partially as a result of the shock felt by the Russian elite in its aftermath,” the report says.

Terrorist attack in Moscow: Crocus City Hall shopping center

In Krasnogorsk, Moscow region, a shooting took place at the Crocus City Hall concert venue before the start of the Picnic band's performance. According to the latest information, at least 90 people were killed and more than 100 injured.

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 a number of other Western countries.

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

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.





 
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