Support The Moscow Times!

Crocus Attack Suspects Claim Ukraine Link in New Interrogation Clips

Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, detained on suspicion of attack at Crocus City Hall. Vasily Kuzmichenok / Moskva News Agency

The four suspected gunmen in last month’s deadly Moscow concert hall attack said they were promised safe passage to and a financial award in Ukraine in new interrogation clips aired on state television.

Russian officials have pointed the blame at Ukraine and its Western partners for the March 22 attack on Crocus City Hall, which left at least 145 people dead and hundreds more injured, despite the Islamic State claiming responsibility for the massacre. Kyiv and the West deny any involvement and accuse Moscow of exploiting the tragedy for propaganda reasons.

“Toward Kyiv,” the four main suspects said in separate videos in response to the question “What did your group plan to do after the terrorist attack?”

The reliability of information obtained during police interrogations has been called into question after the suspects appeared in court with visible signs of abuse, while unverified graphic photos and videos circulated online suggest that they were tortured.

Russian law enforcement agents detained the four suspects the morning after the attack in western Russia’s Bryansk region, which neighbors both Ukraine and Belarus.

Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have claimed that the men were caught driving toward Ukraine.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in comments that contradicted Moscow’s claims, suggested that the suspects had initially tried to cross into Belarus but were met with heightened security measures.

According to Sunday’s report, which could not be independently verified, Ukrainian forces had removed mines from the border in anticipation of the suspects’ arrival.

Once in Kyiv, they were reportedly promised 1 million rubles ($10,800) each. One of the suspects previously claimed they were promised 500,000 rubles ($5,400).

The report further claimed that three of the four suspects were under the influence of drugs that produced adrenaline and “induced a state of narcotic euphoria.” 

It also dismissed the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the attack as propaganda peddled by Western media and “foreign agents.”

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more