Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted that “radical Islamists” were behind last week’s deadly terror attack in Moscow, while suggesting without evidence that Kyiv may have “ordered” the attack.

The Afghanistan-based Islamic State (IS) group IS-Khorasan claimed responsibility for Friday’s mass shooting at the Crocus City concert hall, in Moscow suburb Krasnogorsk. Russian officials said on Monday that at least 139 people had been killed in the attack—including 137 who died at the scene and two others who succumbed to their injuries after being hospitalized.

Putin claimed over the weekend that the suspected attackers were apprehended while attempting to flee to Ukraine, suggesting that the incident was linked to Russia’s ongoing war with Kyiv. Ukraine denied that it was involved and instead suggested that the attack was carried out “at the behest of Putin,” a claim that was also presented without evidence.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow warned residents earlier this month “that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow” including “concerts,” a scenario that played out approximately two weeks later. Following the attack on Friday, U.S. officials said that their intelligence confirmed that the IS group was behind the bloodshed.

Putin Suggests Ukraine Ordered ISIS Attack Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday is pictured in Moscow. Putin claimed without evidence on Monday that Ukraine may have “ordered” Islamist terror group IS-K to carry out Friday’s deadly mass shooting at a Moscow…


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During a televised address on Monday night, Putin appeared to concede that the attackers were associated with IS-K but suggested that the U.S. had an ulterior motive in attempting to “convince” the world that Ukraine was not involved. He then claimed that Kyiv may have paid or otherwise convinced the Islamist group to carry out the attack.

“Using various channels, the USA is trying to convince its satellites and other countries that, according to their intelligence, there’s no Kyiv traces in the Moscow terror attack, that the bloody attack was carried out by Islam followers—members of ISIS, an organization banned in Russia,” Putin said, according to the WarTranslated account on X, formerly Twitter.

“We know by whose hands this crime against Russia and its people was committed,” he continued. “What we want to know is who ordered it … This atrocity can only be a link in a chain of attempts by those who have been at war with Russia since 2014 through the Kyiv regime.”

Newsweek reached out for comment to the U.S. State Department and the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs via email on Monday evening.

During his own nightly televised address on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to Putin’s accusations, calling the Russian president “sick and cynical” for attempting to pin the blame for the terror attack on Kyiv.

“Putin was talking to himself again, and it was again broadcast on television,” Zelensky said. “He accuses Ukraine. A sick and cynical creature. Everyone is a terrorist to him, except for himself, although he has been fueled by terror for two decades already.”

“He is the biggest opening for terror,” he added. “He and his special services. And when he is gone, the demand for terror and violence will disappear with him, because it is his demand. No one else’s.”