Live updates: Moscow, Russia, concert hall shooting attack


Law enforcement officers are seen deployed outside the burning Crocus City Hall concert hall in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow, on March 22. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Barely a week since Vladimir Putin secured his fifth presidential term, Russia has been plunged into carnage and disarray.

The attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue and shopping complex near Moscow, which has been claimed by ISIS, has left hundreds of people killed or injured.

This is hardly the stability and security for which so many Russians voted for President Putin. For years, the Kremlin strongman has been cast as a leader able to guarantee order in this vast, turbulent country. But Russia today seems more insecure and volatile than at any point in Putin’s 24 years in power.

The Kremlin’s brutal war in Ukraine, now in its third horrific year, has cost Russians dearly. The military doesn’t publicize casualty figures, but US estimates suggest more than 300,000 Russians have been killed or injured.

The recent death of Alexey Navalny, Russian most prominent opposition leader, has permanently silenced a vocal Kremlin critic. But the thousands who attended his funeral in Moscow, or who turned out to vote in a Midday Against Putin mass gathering at polling stations on the last day of the presidential election, indicate a base of discontent.

Now, the focus is firmly on the apparent reappearance in Russia of large-scale Jihadi terror attacks, unrelated to the Ukraine war or domestic opposition to the Kremlin. For a leader who has promised security and stability to Russians, a major attack on Russian soil is yet another powerful blow.

Read the full analysis.


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