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US rejects Russia’s “nonsense,” “propaganda” claims linking Ukraine to IS’ Crocus concert hall attack

The US firmly rejected Russian claims alleging “Ukrainian nationalist” links to the ISIS-claimed deadly Moscow concert attack, calling them “nonsense and propaganda.”
Kirby, Russian invasion, military aid, White House
US National Security Adviser John Kirby at a briefing in the White House on 22 January 2024. Credit: Screenshot from the briefing, YouTube: @WhiteHouse
US rejects Russia’s “nonsense,” “propaganda” claims linking Ukraine to IS’ Crocus concert hall attack

In a briefing on 28 March, White House National Security Spokesperson John Kirby dismissed Russia’s allegations of Ukraine’s involvement in the attack on Moscow’s Crocus City concert hall as “nonsense.” Kirby stated that the US had provided Russian security services with a written warning of a potential extremist attack on large gatherings in Moscow, among many other advanced warnings.

On 22 March 2024, the Islamic State – Khorasan Province (IS–KP) carried out a terror attack at the Crocus City Hall music venue in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Oblast, Russia, resulting in 143 deaths and over 360 injuries. Four gunmen executed a mass shooting and set the venue on fire shortly before a sold-out show by the Russian band Picnic. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the incident a “barbaric terrorist act,” arbitrarily linking the assailants to Ukraine.

“It is abundantly clear that ISIS [Islamic State] was solely responsible for the horrific attack in Moscow last week. In fact, the United States tried to help prevent this terrorist attack and the Kremlin knows this,” Kirby said.

Kirby’s comments came shortly after Russian investigators claimed that they had discovered proof linking the gunmen responsible for the deaths of over 140 individuals in last week’s attacks to “Ukrainian nationalists.”

John Kirby characterized the Russian allegations as “nonsense and propaganda.” He stated that the US had provided multiple advance warnings to Russian authorities regarding potential extremist attacks targeting concerts and large gatherings in Moscow.

He said it was clear that Islamic State was “solely responsible.”

Kirby added that these warnings were conveyed “following normal procedures and through established channels that have been employed many times previously… a warning in writing to Russian security services.”

ISW: Russia ties West to “terrorism” to rally support for war in Ukraine

Russia claims to have evidence linking Ukraine to concert attack as ISIS reiterates its resposibility

Earlier today, Russia claimed that the gunmen responsible for killing over 140 individuals in a Moscow concert hall attack last week had ties to “Ukrainian nationalists,” according to the Russian Investigative Committee. The statement put out allegations that the attackers had received substantial amounts of cash and cryptocurrency from Ukraine, according to Sky News.

Russia’s Investigative Committee did not provide any evidence, and experts from the Institute for the Study of War have previously dismissed the idea that the Islamic State would conduct an attack on behalf of Ukraine, particularly because it is a Christian nation.

IS claimed responsibility for the terror attack, and after the first Russian allegations that Ukraine could be linked to the attack, IS published footage taken by the gunmen.

Today, in a recorded message posted on the group’s Telegram account, a spokesperson for the Islamic State lauded the lethal attack on a Moscow concert hall and urged supporters to strike “crusaders everywhere,” according to Sky News.

Earlier, US State Department spokesman Matt Miller dismissed the claims by Russian government officials about the alleged involvement of Ukraine, the USA, the UK, and other countries in the terrorist attack at a concert venue near Moscow as an irresponsible cynical lie. This came in response to recent statements by Russian MFA spokesperson Maria Zakharova and other officials.

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