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March 23, 2024

‘Absurd ’- Zelensky’s aide slams Putin for linking Ukraine to concert hall attack

‘Absurd ’- Zelensky’s aide slams Putin for linking Ukraine to concert hall attack

By Biodun Busari

Ukraine has slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin for linking the terror attack at the Crocus City hall in Moscow in which 133 persons were killed on Friday evening.

Islamic State terrorists have claimed responsibility for the deadly attack where over 140 people were also injured.

But, in a national address on Saturday, Putin fingered his country’s war-devastated neigbhour for the attack.

While disclosing that the perpetrators have been arrested, Putin added that they were captured as they attempted to move towards Ukraine, fuming that all assailants and their sponsors would be punished.  

“All four direct perpetrators of the terrorist attack, all those who shot and killed people, were found and detained,” Putin said.

“They tried to hide and move towards Ukraine, where according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them from the Ukrainian side to cross the state border,” he added.

Reacting to the Russian leader’s allegations, Mykhaylo Podolyak, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said it was “absurd.”

“The versions of Russian special services regarding Ukraine are absolutely untenable and absurd,” Podolyak said in a post on X.

The FSB had said the perpetrators had “tried to escape, travelling by car towards the Russian-Ukrainian border … the criminals intended to cross the Russian-Ukrainian border and had appropriate contacts on the Ukrainian side.”

Meanwhile, some Russian lawmakers, as well as former president Dmitry Medvedev, have also evoked a possible Ukrainian connection, without providing evidence.

Russia said Saturday it had arrested 11 people in connection to the concert hall terror attack, but has not responded to IS’s claim of responsibility or said who it believes was behind the attack.

Kyiv’s own intelligence services had on Friday said it was a “planned and deliberate provocation by the Russian special services on Putin’s orders.”