Russia says it's hard to believe Islamic State could have launched Moscow attack

Russia says it's hard to believe Islamic State could have launched Moscow attack

It is “extremely difficult to believe” that the Islamic State had the ability to launch the attack on a Moscow concert hall last week in which at least 140 people died, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.

In a briefing with journalists, Zakharova reiterated Moscow's claims, for which she has not yet provided evidencethat Ukraine was behind the attack on Crocus City Hall, the deadliest that Russia has suffered in 20 years.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the massacre and U.S. authorities say they have intelligence showing it was carried out by the network's Afghan branch, Islamic State Khorasan.. Ukraine has repeatedly denied having anything to do with the attack.

But Zakharova said the West had been quick to attribute responsibility to IS, also known as ISIS, as a way to deflect blame from Ukraine and the governments that support it.

To ward off suspicion from the collective West, they urgently needed to invent somethingso they turned to ISIS, they pulled an ace out of their hole and, literally, a few hours after the terrorist attack, the Anglo-Saxon media began to spread precisely these versions,” he said.

President Vladimir Putin has said the attack was carried out by Islamist militantsbut has suggested that it was to Ukraine's benefit and that kyiv may have played a role.

He has said someone on the Ukrainian side had set up a “window” for the gunmen to escape across the border before being captured in western Russia on Friday night.

On Tuesday, however, leader Alexander Lukashenko stated that the gunmen had initially attempted to cross into Belarus before turning around and heading into Ukraine when they realized the crossings into the country had been sealed.

The head of Russia's FSB security agency said Tuesday that he believed Ukraine, along with the United States and the United Kingdom, were involved in the attack.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron responded in X: “Russia's claims about the West and Ukraine in the Crocus City Hall attack are complete nonsense.”