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Is ISIS involved in terrorist attack in Moscow region, why Putin hints at Ukraine: Expert opinion

Is ISIS involved in terrorist attack in Moscow region, why Putin hints at Ukraine: Expert opinion Russian dictator Vladimir Putin (photo:

The terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall shopping center near Moscow could have been carried out by the ISIS group. But dictator Vladimir Putin and Russian propagandists will not miss an opportunity to blame Ukraine, says Head of the Center for Military Legal Studies Oleksandr Musiienko.

"This is indeed ISIS, this is an attack by the Islamic State terrorist organization. This is the only version that will be considered today, at least by the entire Western world. The fact is that the US intelligence community knew that this terrorist attack was being prepared, and they warned their citizens in Russia and apparently tried to publicly inform the Russian authorities that it was being prepared," the expert noted.

He recalled that in early March, the US Embassy in Russia urged citizens to avoid crowds and public places, warning of the threat of terrorist attacks.

"Putin, commenting on this statement, actually accused the United States of lying. He refused to admit it. As it turned out, the Americans knew about it and were not mistaken, they were mistaken only with time, but it happened in March," Musiienko said.

According to the expert, the attack on the Crocus City Hall shopping center was not a Russian production, as dictator Vladimir Putin's address was prepared for a long time and postponed three times.

"It was really an Islamist attack, and they were not prepared for it. They (the Russians - ed.) are so obsessed with the war against Ukraine that they did not consider other directions. ISIS itself declared war on Russia three times - in 2015, then in 2018, and when Russia supported the Taliban in Afghanistan. Now everything is coming together, and I think this is just the beginning," he added.

According to Musiienko, Russia has the grounds for the development of Islamist groups and movements, in particular, because of Putin's interference in the war in Syria, the conflict in Chechnya and the oppression of Muslims.

Why Putin is hinting at Ukraine

Musiienko emphasized that Putin did not openly accuse Ukraine of committing the terrorist attack, but repeated the allegation that the terrorists wanted to cross the border.

At the same time, the expert is confident that Russian propagandists will not miss an opportunity to blame Ukraine.

"He (Putin - ed.) chose this form to find and attach a Ukrainian trace to his own, domestic audience. On the other hand, the United States, if necessary, without disclosing its sources, will provide confirmation (that it is ISIS - ed.) very quickly," the expert said.

He added that the Kremlin will not be able to recognize the threat posed by the ISIS group, as this will divert attention from the war of aggression against Ukraine.

What Putin said

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin commented for the first time on the terrorist attack in the Crocus City Hall shopping center. He repeated the claim that the alleged terrorist suspects wanted to escape to Ukraine, where a "window" had been prepared for them.

Russian security forces said that they had allegedly detained four people involved in the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall in the Moscow region. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation claims that the attackers allegedly had contacts in Ukraine and were about to cross the border.

In a commentary to RBC-Ukraine, Defense Intelligence representative Andrii Yusov denies the claims of the Federal Security Service and emphasizes that the Russian regime wants to bring the "Ukrainian trail" to light.

Earlier today, the Russians accused Tajik citizens of committing a terrorist attack, but later Russian media stated that all the detainees were Russians.

What is known about the terrorist attack

On the evening of Friday, March 22, several armed men in camouflage opened fire in the shopping center Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, Moscow region. According to the Russians, more than 100 people were killed in the attack.

Earlier, a number of media outlets reported that the attack was organized by the ISIS group. However, other sources deny this information.

The Defense Intelligence of Ukraine called the attack a planned and deliberate provocation by Russian special services on the instructions of dictator Vladimir Putin.