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Terrorist attack in Moscow region organized by Islamic State, Ukraine is not involved - ISW

Terrorist attack in Moscow region organized by Islamic State, Ukraine is not involved - ISW Photo: The terrorist attack near Moscow - weakness of the Russian special services (Russian media)

The terrorist attack by militants of the Islamic State Khorasan Province on the Moscow shopping center Crocus City Hall is a significant failure of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation. The nature of the attack indicates the involvement solely of Islamic terrorists, with no signs of Ukraine's involvement detected, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

It is noted that the explanation of the available evidence from open sources "does not require any wider and more complicated conspiracy theory either within or against the Russian state."

ISW also noted that the evidence indicates that the attack on Crocus City Hall was the result of a significant failure of Russian intelligence rather than a conspiracy initiated or directed against the Russian intelligence apparatus.

The organization pointed out the excessively slow response speed of Russian law enforcement to the incident - security service personnel first arrived at Crocus City Hall an hour after the start of the attack, despite the fact that the headquarters of the Moscow OMON (riot police) is less than three kilometers away from the building.

"The Kremlin may have balanced the cost of acting on intelligence from an adversary it does not trust with the risk of impacting a critical source of mobilizable manpower and found the risk of action too great," the ISW report states.

The Institute reminded that the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed that the attack was carried out by "radical Islamists," but immediately accused the United States of attempting to obscure the "Ukrainian trace" of the attack and directly blamed Ukraine for being the "mastermind" behind the attack.

"ISW continues to assess that the attack itself, as well as the claim pattern following the attack, is highly consistent with the way IS conducts and claims such incidents and has observed no evidence that Ukraine was involved in the attack," the report states.

Terrorist attack in Moscow region

On the evening of Friday, March 22, in the city of Krasnogorsk in the Moscow region, several armed men in camouflage opened fire in the concert hall Crocus City Hall. According to Russian reports, over 100 people were killed in the attack.

Later, Russian security forces arrested four individuals involved in the terrorist attack. Vladimir Putin claimed that the terrorists supposedly tried to flee to Ukraine, where a "window" had been prepared for them. In response, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the dictator a sick and cynical creature.

The responsibility for the terrorist attack was claimed by the group Islamic State. The United States confirmed this information and denied any involvement of Ukraine in the events.