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Not Just Putin, Russian Security Chief Accuses Ukraine of Terror Attack Involvement

The aftermath of Friday's terror attack. Shutterstock
The aftermath of Friday’s terror attack. Shutterstock

Officials in Moscow continue to suggest that Western security agencies aligned with the Ukrainian government played a role in last weekend’s deadly terror attack at a suburban theatre. The mass shooting, allegedly by four Tajik nationals, killed 139 people.

The head of Russia’s Federal Security Service, Alexander Bortnikov, told a television interviewer on Tuesday that the Friday massacre "was prepared by both the Islamist radicals themselves and was facilitated by Western special services," and claimed that Ukraine’s government "had a direct part in it." The comments echo a previous statement made by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bortnikov also indicated that retaliatory measures are being considered by his organization.

The comments come as the Afghan branch of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the horrific event. ISIS has attacked Russian targets in the past, including a 2022 suicide-bombing in front of the country’s embassy in Kabul.

In addition to the terror group’s statement, British and American intelligence agencies reportedly issued warnings about potential attacks from Islamist militants two weeks before the incident.

Russia's explanation for assigning blame to Kiev is based on the premise that the alleged gunmen were headed towards Ukrainian territory when they were arrested. However, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Putin, countered this claim by suggesting that the suspects' movement was influenced by the heightened security measures he had implemented on his own border.

Related Story: Putin Still Blaming Ukraine as He Acknowledges ISIS Involvement in Friday’s Shooting Attack

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