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USA accuses Russia of “nonsensical propaganda”.

The US has once again rejected Russian claims that Ukraine was involved in the attack on a concert hall near Moscow. Russian authorities had previously spoken of “evidence” without providing it.

The USA has rejected statements from the Kremlin that there were Ukrainian backers in the attack on a concert hall near Moscow. Russia is conducting “nonsensical propaganda” and the jihadist militia “Islamic State” (IS) is solely responsible for the attack, said US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

The Russian Investigative Committee, which is responsible for prosecuting particularly serious crimes, had previously claimed that Ukrainian backers were involved in the attack that left at least 143 dead. On Telegram, the agency claimed it had “information confirming that the assassins received large amounts of money and cryptocurrencies from Ukraine that were used to prepare this crime.”

The committee's Telegram message also said that there was now “evidence” of the attackers' connections to “Ukrainian nationalists.” This was the result of “work with the imprisoned terrorists, the examination of the technical devices confiscated from them and the analysis of information about financial transactions.” The alleged evidence has not been published.

Ukraine has not yet issued a statement on this. The Ukrainian government had already denied any involvement in the attack.

Investigators report another arrest

The Russian Investigative Committee also announced that it had arrested another suspect in connection with the attack. He was involved in financing the attack. The investigators would request custody for him. According to official information, a total of eleven people had previously been arrested in connection with the attack, including the four suspected attackers. There is evidence that they were tortured.

As the Russian state news agency Tass reported, the four suspected attackers are said to have been under the influence of drugs. “The expertise will determine which drugs or psychotropic drugs they have consumed,” reported Tass, citing investigators. Accordingly, the alleged perpetrators could have been under the influence of drugs not only on the day itself, but beforehand.

Meanwhile, the jihadist militia “Islamic State” (IS) once again claimed responsibility for the attack. In a recorded message on Telegram, a speaker praises the group's attack on the “Crocus City Hall” near Moscow. Shortly after the attack, the Afghan IS offshoot ISPK had already claimed responsibility for the attack. Western security authorities and experts consider this to be credible. However, Russia repeatedly claimed that there was a connection to Ukraine.

“The USA tried to prevent this attack”

According to Kirby, the US government had warned Russia of a possible attack around two weeks before the terrorist attack. Washington has provided Russian intelligence services with “clear and detailed information about the terrorist threat at large gatherings and concerts in Moscow,” he said. This was already done in writing at the beginning of March using the “usual procedures and established channels”. “The US tried to prevent this terrorist attack.”

The US Embassy in Moscow also publicly said at the time that it was monitoring reports that extremists had imminent plans to attack large gatherings in Moscow, including concerts. A corresponding warning from March 7th can still be found on the US Embassy website today. The attack was carried out on March 22nd.

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