Zelensky Responds After Putin Links Ukraine to Moscow Attack

Zelensky Responds After Putin Links Ukraine to Moscow Attack

In his recent nightly video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of attempting to deflect blame for a massacre at a concert hall near Moscow on Friday.

Zelensky criticized Putin's initial silence, stating that it was "absolutely predictable" for Putin to wait 24 hours before linking the shooting rampage to Ukraine. He pointed out that the large number of "terrorists" sent by Putin to fight in Ukraine would have been sufficient to prevent such attacks in Russia.

The attack at the Crocus City Hall music venue in Krasnogorsk resulted in the death of at least 133 people, as reported by Russian authorities, with hundreds more injured. The Islamic State group's Afghanistan affiliate claimed responsibility for the assault, which Kyiv vehemently denied any involvement in.

Zelensky accused Putin of trying to shift blame onto Kyiv, stating, "What happened yesterday in Moscow is obvious: Putin and the other scum are just trying to blame it on someone else." He criticized Putin's delayed response and dismissed Putin's claims that the suspects were fleeing towards Ukraine.

In his own televised address, President Putin claimed that the gunmen arrested for the attack were heading towards Ukraine, alleging that a route had been prepared for them to cross the border. Kyiv rejected these claims, calling Putin's accusations baseless.

The attack, claimed by IS, marked the deadliest in Russia in almost two decades. Putin labeled it a "bloody, barbaric terrorist act" and announced the capture of four suspected gunmen trying to escape to Ukraine.

Russian media aired videos of the suspects' detention and interrogation, revealing details of their alleged involvement. The gunmen were identified as Tajik citizens, and US intelligence officials confirmed IS's responsibility for the attack.

The incident raised questions about Russia's security measures and response to warnings from US intelligence about potential extremist activities. Despite calls for stricter measures, Putin emphasized unity and rejected divisive actions targeting Tajik migrants.

The attack, occurring shortly after Putin's reelection and amid heightened political tensions, has stirred debates about security, dissent, and Russia's handling of external threats.

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