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'Kill Them All,' Ex-Russian President Medvedev Says of Concert Hall Gunmen

Dmitry Medvedev. Valery Sharifulin / TASS

Russia’s former president and current senior security official Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that the perpetrators behind the deadly Moscow concert hall attack “will be killed,” as calls among officials to restore the death penalty grow.

“Should we kill them? We should. And we will,” Medvedev wrote on the messaging app Telegram the day after four suspects were placed in pre-trial detention by a Moscow court.

At least 137 people were killed and 182 others were wounded when four men opened fire and set ablaze Crocus City Hall, a popular venue northwest of central Moscow, on Friday evening.

The Islamic State affiliate ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest inside Russia in the past two decades.

Medvedev, who has emerged as one of Russia’s most vitriolic pro-war hawks following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, claimed “it’s more important to kill everyone involved” in the Crocus City Hall attack than just the four suspects being held in custody.

“All of them: those who paid, those who sympathized [and] those who helped,” said Medvedev, who serves at the Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council.

“Kill them all,” he said. 

Medvedev is among a growing number of top Russian officials calling for the lifting of a three-decade moratorium on capital punishment.

Critics have warned of unforeseen consequences given Russia’s broad use of counter-terrorism and anti-extremism laws that have ensnared anti-war figures from different walks of life. 

Authorities in 2023 opened a record number of terrorism cases, while the so-called “international LGBT movement” and the late opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s network had been designated as extremists.

In an English-language post on X (formerly Twitter) Sunday, Medvedev vowed to “avenge each and every” victim of the Crocus City Hall attack.

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