Mar 25, 2024 - World

Putin says "radical Islamists" behind Moscow concert hall attack

Russian leader Vladimir Putin holds a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Monday on the Crocus City Hall attack that killed more than 130 people. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/Poo/AFP via Getty Images

Russian leader Vladimir Putin said Monday "radical Islamists" were behind the Moscow concert hall attack that killed more than 130 people.

Why it matters: Putin's comments in a televised address mark the first time he has linked Friday's shooting claimed by ISIS to anyone but Ukraine — though he continued to suggest the country his forces have invaded was involved, without providing any evidence.

What he's saying: "We know that the crime was committed by the hands of radical Islamists, whose ideology the Islamic world itself has been fighting for centuries," Putin said Monday in a televised meeting on the Crocus City Hall attack.

  • "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 with the hands of the neo-Nazi Kyiv regime," added Putin, in reference to a description of Ukraine's government he uses in an attempt to justify his war on the country.
  • Putin, who claimed another six-year term in stage-managed elections this month, again tried to suggest that the gunmen tried to flee to Ukraine.

Zoom out: He did not mention ISIS-K, a regional branch of ISIS that's active in South-Central Asia, once during his remarks.

  • Ukrainian officials deny any involvement in the attack.

Go deeper: Putin's weaknesses, exposed

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