6 June 2024

At least 133 people were killed and more than 140 wounded when gunmen opened fire on the audience and set fire to a packed concert venue at Crocus City Hall, in a western suburb of Moscow, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Photo: Olga MALTSEVA / AFP, UGC / AFP

At 15:32 Moscow time (19:32 ICT), over 18 hours after the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses his nation, describing the Crocus City Hall massacre as a “barbaric attack”. He maintains that the gunmen tried to escape towards Ukraine and announced a national day of mourning for March 24th. Putin said four suspected gunmen were arrested over the attack.

Photo: Mikhail METZEL / POOL / AFP

In response, Mykhailo Podolyak, aide to the Ukrainian president tweeted, “we expected Russian officials’ version of the “Ukrainian trace” in the terrorist attack…” and “Ukraine certainly has nothing to do with the shootings and explosions in the Crocus City Hall. It makes no sense whatsoever.”

The Ukrainian military intelligence spokesperson, Andriy Yusov, also said, “Ukraine was, of course, not involved in this terror attack…”

The death toll is still rising, as Russian emergency services continue to clear the wreckage of the Crocus City Hall. Many Muscovites are also queuing up to donate blood to help the injured.

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Russian Emergency Ministry / AFP

The Thai government says no Thais were injured or killed in the attack.

 

Floral tributes are being left at a makeshift shrine near Crocus City Hall and in front of Russian Embassies in other countries.

Floral tribute near Crocus City Hall – Photo: Olga MALTSEVA / AFP

Floral tribute outside Russian embassy in Berlin – Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

Floral tribute outside Russian embassy in London – Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP

An Islamic State (IS) affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack, but they did not specify to which branch of IS the attackers belong. Many terrorism experts believe it to be the IS-K, which is based in eastern Afghanistan on the border with Pakistan.

Russia has not yet officially condemned or blamed IS for the attack.

According to the US National Security Council spokeswoman, Adrienne Watson, the US did put out a warning on March 7th that intelligence indicated that there was a serious possibility of a terrorist attack on such a venue.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland, and NATO Spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah are among many world leaders and policy makers who use their social media accounts to condemn the attack.