Terrorist Attack in Moscow: Cautious Reaction of European Chancelleries, Lack of Solidarity with Russian People

The terrorist attack in Moscow that killed more than 115 people, including at least five children, with another 145 seriously injured and fighting for their lives in hospitals in the Russian capital, overshadowed the outcome in global media of the European Council, which ended hours before the massacre at the Crocus City Hall, for which ISIS (Islamic State) claimed responsibility.

The reaction of European chancelleries to the terrorist attack in Russia was characterized by horror at the massacre, but also by caution. Brussels immediately got ahead of the curve, stating that “there are no elements to suggest a role for Ukraine in the attack.” White House sources said the same, emphasizing that Russia had just recently received a warning on March 7 from US intelligence about possible attacks by Islamic terrorists.

The Kremlin “took note” of the meager and very general “condemnations of terrorism” coming from the West, while few political leaders “dared to express their solidarity with the Russian people.” In Italy, League leader and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini wrote on the X social network (formerly Twitter): “My solidarity and the League’s solidarity with the Russian people over today’s shocking attack.” In the note, M5 President Giuseppe Conte expressed “deep condolences and strong condemnation of the horror that has befallen Moscow and the citizens of Russia. The Five Star Movement is close to the families of the victims, as well as the women and men affected by this cowardly terrorist attack.”

To many Russian experts, the choice of the location of the terrorist attack seemed quite strange. The Crocus Center, which includes several shopping centers and a trade and exhibition center in addition to the concert hall, belongs to one of the most influential and wealthy Islamic families in Azerbaijan and is named after one of the most famous Azerbaijani singers, Muslim Magomayev.

Russian law enforcement authorities announced Saturday that they have arrested all four alleged suspects in the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall in the Moscow region. Besides them, 11 terrorist accomplices were arrested. According to Alexander Khinshtein, chairman of the State Duma Information Policy Committee, “the Renault car driven by the suspects was found at night near the village of Khatsun in the Bryansk region. The car failed to stop when requested by police and attempted to flee.” During the chase, gunfire erupted, and the vehicle the suspects were traveling in overturned. “One terrorist was apprehended on the spot, while the rest fled into the forest. When the car was searched, a pistol, a magazine for an automatic rifle, and passports of Tajik citizens were found. After a search around 3:50 a.m., a second suspect was located and arrested. The search for the others continues.


Dear citizens of Russia!

I am addressing to you in connection with the bloody, barbaric terrorist act, the victims of which were dozens of peaceful, innocent people – our compatriots, including children, teenagers, and women. Doctors are now fighting for the lives of the victims, those who are in serious condition. I am sure they will do everything possible and even impossible to save the lives and health of all the wounded. Special thanks to the ambulance and air ambulance crews, special forces soldiers, firefighters, rescuers who did everything to save people’s lives, get them out from under fire, from the epicenter of fire and smoke, and avoid even greater losses.

I cannot ignore the help of ordinary citizens, who in the first minutes after the tragedy did not remain indifferent and, along with doctors and special services, provided first aid and took the victims to hospitals…

We will provide the necessary assistance to all families whose lives have been affected by the terrible disaster, to the injured and victims. I express my deep, sincere condolences to all those who lost their loved ones. The whole country and our entire people are grieving with you. I declare March 24 a day of national mourning.

Additional anti-terrorist and anti-sabotage measures have been introduced in Moscow and the Moscow region, in all regions of the country. The main thing now is to prevent those who are behind this bloodbath from committing a new crime.

As for the investigation of this crime and the results of operational investigative actions, the following can currently be said. All four direct perpetrators of the terrorist attack, all those who shot and killed people, were found and detained. They tried to hide and moved towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them from the Ukrainian side to cross the state border. A total of 11 people were detained. The Federal Security Service of Russia and other law enforcement agencies are working to identify and uncover the entire terrorist support base: those who provided them with transport, planned escape routes from the crime scene, prepared caches, caches of weapons and ammunition.

I repeat: investigative and law enforcement agencies will do everything to establish all the details of the crime. It is already obvious that we are faced not just with a carefully and cynically planned terrorist attack, but with the organized mass murder of peaceful defenseless people. The criminals were cold-blooded and purposefully going to kill, shoot our citizens at point-blank range – our children. Like the Nazis who once carried out massacres in the occupied territories, they planned to arrange a demonstrative execution, a bloody act of intimidation.

All the perpetrators, organizers and those who ordered this crime will be justly and inevitably punished. Whoever they are, whoever is guiding them. I repeat, we will identify and punish everyone who stands behind the terrorists, who prepared this atrocity, this strike against Russia, against our people.

We know what the threat of terrorism is. Here we count on cooperation with all states that sincerely share our pain and are ready to really join forces in the fight against a common enemy – international terrorism – in all its manifestations.

Terrorists, murderers, subhumans who do not and cannot have a nationality, face one unenviable fate – retribution and oblivion. They have no future. Our common duty now, our comrades-in-arms at the front, all citizens of the country, is to be together in one formation. I believe it will be so, because no one and nothing can shake our unity and will, our determination and courage, the strength of the united people of Russia. No one will be able to sow the poisonous seeds of discord, panic and discord in our multinational society.

Russia has been through the hardest, sometimes unbearable trials more than once, but it has become even stronger. So it will be now.