National mourning in Russia after Crocus City Hall massacre

The White House issued a statement assuring that Ukraine was not involved in the attack or related to the terrorists.

Two days after the tragedy, Russia is still shaken by the killing of at least 143 people in a terrorist attack claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS). On Sunday, the Russian government decreed a day of national mourning in memory of the deceased.

In solidarity and condemnation of the attack, many businesses and especially theaters and performance halls remain closed this Sunday in Moscow.

The events occurred on Friday afternoon, when several armed individuals entered the Crocus City Hall, a music venue in Moscow, when a concert was going to be held in its amphitheater. The terrorists opened fire and killed more than 100 civilians before setting fire to the building and fleeing the scene.

Shortly after, the first arrests were made by Russian authorities. Several leaked videos showed the alleged culprits detained and being tortured by Russian law enforcement.

Initial reports on the number of victims were 133 deaths. On Sunday, the number increased to 143, including at least three minors. According to AFP, the toll could continue to increase as authorities continue to search the rubble of Crocus City Hall, parts of which were burned after the attack.

According to AFP, there are 110 people hospitalized, 40 of whom are in critical condition. With these figures, it is already the deadliest attack by the Islamic State in Europe.

Initial theories are that the attack was carried out by the Islamic State, who claimed responsibility for the attack through its related media. The same terrorist group also released a video recorded by a body camera worn by one of the terrorists.

Putin's regime has yet to officially blame the Islamic State. He did, however, point towards Ukraine when he assured that the terrorists were trying to flee to the neighboring country, which Russia has been at war with since 2022.

White House exonerates Ukraine

Kiev has denied any relationship with the group of terrorists detained by Russian authorities. The Ukrainian president assures that the Putin regime is trying to shift the blame to Ukraine with the aim of increasing the intensity of its attacks and building support around the war.

The White House supported its Ukrainian ally in this regard. Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the National Security Council, assured that the Islamic State is solely responsible for this attack. Weeks earlier, the United States embassy in Moscow warned the Russian government that the city could be the target of an attack in the coming days.

"ISIS bears sole responsibility for this attack. There was no Ukrainian involvement whatsoever," Watson said in statements reported by AFP. "ISIS-K is actually, by all accounts, responsible for what happened," he added.

Russia has been the target of Islamist attacks before. One of the most notable came in 2010. The Russian government has been fighting against Islamist separatists in the Caucasus for more than two decades. Along with this, Russia has firmly supported the government of Bashar Al Assad in Syria, who the Islamists are fighting against.