Statement of the Free Russia Forum on the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall

The Free Russia Forum harshly condemns the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall, carried out on the evening of March 22nd . We condemn any acts of violence directed against a peaceful civilian population. We also issue a reminder that the position of the Free Russia Forum in regard to anti-Putin protest—including uses of force—has from the beginning been founded on the principled exclusion of any attacks on the civilian population. This position was further strengthened in the Tallinn resolution of the Forum in October of last year. It remains unchanged.

We would like to also call attention to the fact that, just today, the topic of potential wartime mobilization was being actively discussed in the Russian media. Moreover, announcements in recent days by top-ranking officials of the Putin regime, including Putin himself, his war minister Sergei Shoigu, and his press secretary Dmitry Peskov, further evidence their plans to increase the number of armed forces and intensify battlefield efforts in Ukraine. These facts, taken together with today’s terrorist act, could indicate a unified special operation by the regime to mobilize Russian society in the war against Ukraine.

We recall how the Putin regime and its security services laid the groundwork for the Second Chechen War in 1999. Looking now at photos from Crocus circulating online, it is impossible to shake the sense of historical déjà vu. It is very probable that this act of terror, too, was organized by Russia’s security services. If so, it is only a matter of time until the blame is laid on Ukrainians, or the armed Russian opposition.

We call on Russian society, media, and the international community to resist succumbing to the regime’s manipulation. The most dangerous terrorist of modern times resides in the Kremlin.

The Free Russian Forum

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