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Russian Defence Ministry claims terrorist attack in Moscow Oblast encouraged Russians to fight in Ukraine

Wednesday, 3 April 2024, 10:01
Russian Defence Ministry claims terrorist attack in Moscow Oblast encouraged Russians to fight in Ukraine
Photo: Getty Images

The Russian Defence Ministry has claimed an increase in the number of people wishing to enlist in the Russian army on a contract basis and noted that most want to go to war in Ukraine, allegedly to avenge the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall concert hall near Moscow.

Source: Russian Defence Ministry on Telegram

Details: "During the interviews held over the past week at recruitment points in Russian cities, most candidates indicated their desire to avenge the victims of the tragedy that occurred on 22 March 2024 in Moscow Oblast as the main motive for signing a contract."

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Details: The Russian Defence Ministry noted that since the beginning of this year, more than 100,000 people have enlisted in the Russian army under contract.

The Russian military claims that in the last 10 days alone, 16,000 people have signed up to fight in Ukraine, and 1,700 people come to recruitment centres every day.

Why it matters: Russia is persistently looking for a "Ukrainian trace" in the terrorist attack in Moscow Oblast, despite the fact that the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with CBS News that Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin will use the terrorist attack to mobilise Russian society against Ukraine. "He understands that his mobilisation is failing. […] He needs continuous, corresponding actions which could mobilise his society against Ukraine. At least to mobilise the spirit and the morale, which is already low… in the occupied territories," the President said.

US analysts have stated that after the attack on Crocus City Hall, the Russian authorities will escalate their rhetoric about alleged Western and Ukrainian threats in order to gain more domestic support for the war in Ukraine.

Background:

  • The 22 March attack on the Crocus City Hall concert hall in Krasnogorsk, near Moscow, was the deadliest in Russia in the last 20 years. A group of individuals opened fire on concert attendees, resulting in the death of at least 144 people.
  • ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting. However, Russia stubbornly continues to accuse Ukraine of the attack, providing no evidence. Kyiv strongly denies these accusations.
  • Vladimir Putin, the head of the Russian Federation, admitted that the terrorist attack on 22 March on Crocus City Hall was carried out by "radical Islamists" but blamed the shooting on "those who are fighting Russia at the hands of the Kyiv regime".
  • John Kirby, White House National Security Communications Advisor, has once again refuted Russian leader Vladimir Putin's claims that the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue in Moscow Oblast had anything to do with Ukraine.
  • The Washington Post, citing unnamed US officials, has stated that the US government informed Russian officials that the Crocus City Hall concert venue was a potential target for terrorists two weeks before the attack.

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