Russia claims links of Crocus attackers with Ukraine

2024-04-10 China Daily Editor:Li Yan

Russia claimed to have found a link between the terrorists who attacked the Crocus City Hall near Moscow and Ukrainian security services, state media Tass reported on Monday.

"As of now, 11 people involved in committing this particularly heinous crime have been identified in the criminal case," the press service of the Russian Investigation Committee said. "They have all been charged and a measure of restraint in the form of remand in custody has been chosen.

"The investigation has already gathered significant evidence on the circumstances of the terrorists' preparation for the crime, which suggest their connection with the Ukrainian special services."

Work with victims and eyewitnesses is continuing, while investigative actions and criminal intelligence activities to identify and detain other participants in the crime — perpetrators, accomplices and masterminds — are being carried out, Tass reported.

The Russian Investigative Committee is reconstructing the full picture of what happened, down to the smallest minutiae of evidence.

The committee said its director, Alexander Bastrykin, has given a number of specific instructions on further investigation of the crime, and reiterated the need for a thorough review of the motives and factors that contributed to the crime.

A video on the interrogation of terrorists by Russia's Federal Security Service was shown on Channel One, in which the accused named their coordinator.

"Saifullo told us to go to Ukraine, to Kyiv. They will give us 1 million roubles ($10,800) there," one of the accused said.

Another said of the assistance promised to them when crossing the Ukrainian border.

In another development, Russia's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Mikhail Ulyanov said on Monday Moscow had called an emergency meeting of the watchdog's 35-nation Board of Governors over what it said are Ukrainian attacks on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

"Russia requested an extraordinary session of the Board with regard to the recent attacks and provocations of the armed forces of Ukraine against the#ZNPP," Ulyanov said on X.

'Directly targeted'

The plant reported multiple drone attacks on Sunday. It was the first time since November 2022 that the plant was "directly targeted in military action", the IAEA said.

The agency confirmed on Sunday night that the attacks caused damage to one of the six power units, but nuclear safety has not been compromised. However, it did not say who was to blame for the attacks.

Russia said Ukraine struck the plant, injuring three people working there.

Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said Russia will raise the issue at one of the forthcoming meetings of the Security Council.

"We are calling on the international community to condemn these irresponsible and extremely dangerous actions," Nebenzya said, stressing that Western countries supplying Kyiv with weapons and ammunition "should be held responsible for these reckless actions of the Ukrainian authorities".

Ukraine has denied involvement in the drone attacks.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe with a total capacity of 6 gigawatts. At the end of February 2022, the facility was taken under Russian control.

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