Despite ISIS Claim of Responsibility, Russia Blames Ukraine for Concert Hall Attack

In the aftermath of the attack on a Moscow concert hall that left at least 133 dead and over 140 wounded, Russian President Vladimir Putin used a television address to the Russian people to blame Ukraine for the incident.

(Note: I assume more of the transcript will be generated over the next few days. The Kremlin, for their own reasons, releases official transcripts a few paragraphs at a time over several days.)

As was posted last night, ISIS is operating in Russian territory in the northern Caucasus, and that group has taken credit for the attack. The Russians carried out counterterrorism operations in Moscow earlier in March to prevent an attack on a synagogue. The US and several other countries’ embassies issued a public warning of an imminent attack on a large gathering in Moscow — a concert hall was specifically mentioned. Putin ignored the warnings as some sort of Western plot to destabilize Russia.


US Embassy Warned Russia of Terrorist Attack and Putin Ignored It

NEW: ISIS Claims Responsibility for Moscow Attack in Surprise Twist, Skepticism Follows

The Moscow Terror Attack: Some Initial Thoughts and Impressions

(UPDATED): Terror Attack in Moscow Concert Hall – Multiple Fatalities Reported

Putin’s statement of Ukrainian involvement is based on the capture of four of the 11 alleged perpetrators in Bryansk Oblast, which borders Ukraine.

Why Putin thinks fleeing to Ukraine, rather than to the EU, is a plausible story is beyond me. Moving through one heavily militarized frontier into another without getting detained or shot is a low-probability exercise. What isn’t important here is that any of what Putin says is plausible, but, rather, that he says it. In the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

The Russians have acknowledged that the men are Russian citizens from Central Asia. 

The video of the on-the-spot interrogation is not for the squeamish.

Regardless, it is obvious that “Ukraine did it” is now the official Russian narrative. This is Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

This is RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.

As I pointed out yesterday, the bodies had hardly hit the floor in the concert hall when Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Russian Security Council, blamed Ukraine.

This campaign is designed for a domestic audience. The only people in the West who are going to buy it are those still hyperventilating over Victoria Nuland and bioweapons labs, and, quite honestly, they are self-discrediting. Russia will apparently try to increase mobilization in the coming year in a very hostile domestic environment.

A Ukrainian attack on a soft target like a concert, while not on the scale of the Russian attack on a theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 16, 2022, that killed up to 600 civilians, could possibly create the national outrage needed to support increased mobilization.

Given the laser-like focus of the Russian government on blaming Ukraine, you can’t help but recall the apartment block bombings in 1999 in Russia that killed over 300 and injured nearly 1,000. Those attacks were immediately blamed on Chechen guerillas, but it became clear that the FSB had carried out the bombings to create casus belli for the Second Chechen War.

To the extent this propaganda campaign is intended for the West, it will be used to justify increased attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lawmakers Advance Nebraska Bill Allowing Armed School Staff

Nolte: Majority Say Media ‘Enemy of the People,’ Parrot Biden Talking Points