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29 Mar, 2024 14:04

M.K. Bhadrakumar: Moscow massacre proves the West has created a Frankenstein monster on its own doorstep

The Crocus Hall terrorist attack rallied world sympathy massively for Russia, while Biden‘s prime concern is to sequester Zelensky so that all is not lost
M.K. Bhadrakumar: Moscow massacre proves the West has created a Frankenstein monster on its own doorstep

With hindsight, it was not a coincidence that the retirement of US Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was announced on March 5 so soon after her return to Washington from Kiev, where after consultations with top Ukrainian security officials she announced dramatically“I leave Kyiv… more confident that, as Ukraine strengthens its defenses, Mr. [Vladimir] Putin is going to get some nice surprises on the battlefield and that Ukraine will make some very strong success.” 

Nuland did not divulge what those “nice surprises” might be, but her superiors in DC were certain to have been curious to know since they know her ingenuity is limitless. At any rate, we now know that within hours of the superhawk’s premature retirement on March 5, instructions went out from Washington to the American embassy in Moscow to issue an advisory that “extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts” and warning US citizens to “avoid large gatherings.” 

The wording of the March 7 advisory suggests that Washington was in possession of some information credible enough in terms of its source. Meanwhile, the UK embassy in Moscow also issued a similar advisory cautioning British citizens against visiting shopping centers.  However, the State Department scrambled to issue a statement within two hours of the horrific attack on the mall in Moscow’s Crocus City Hall on March 22, declaring that Ukraine was not responsible.   

Yet, the very next day, President Putin stated in his address to the nation that what happened was “a premeditated and organized mass murder of peaceful, defenseless people,” harking back to the Nazis – “to stage a demonstrative execution, a bloody act of intimidation.” Importantly, Putin disclosed that the perpetrators “attempted to escape and were heading towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary information, a window was prepared for them on the Ukrainian side to cross the state border.” 

Plainly put, the perpetrators’ Ukrainian mentors or handlers gave them instructions to exit Russian territory after their mission through a particular route. What remains in the realm of the ‘known unknown’ pertains to the chain of command. 

Precisely, does the trail end with Kirill Budanov, the chief of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (GUR) since August 2020, who had previously served as deputy director of the country’s Foreign Intelligence Service and specialized in covert operations inside Russia? 

Or – the big question is – does it go all the way to President Vladimir Zelensky, considering the far-reaching, explosive nature of the operation? This is the first thing. 

Secondly, the perpetrators did not behave like vintage ISIS killers on suicide missions nor were they answering the call of ‘jihad’. They were ethnic Tajiks who admitted that they were lured by money. 

Expert opinion based on the published videos is also that their movements inside the mall during the operation did not show battle skills characteristic of well-trained fighters, and they had ‘poor muzzle discipline’, which means they had only minimal rifle training. Simply put, the storyline that this was an ISIS attack won’t fly. It is intended as a red herring to confuse dumb-witted folks abroad. 

That said, the US military has been ‘retooling’ erstwhile ISIS fighters who are largely unemployed nowadays after the deadly Russian-Iranian offensive in Syria to crush them. Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) went on record as recently as February 13, saying that the US is recruiting the erstwhile jihadist fighters to carry out terrorist attacks on the territory of Russia and CIS countries.

According to the SVR statement, “Sixty such terrorists with combat experience in the Middle East were selected this year in January… they are undergoing a fast-track training course at the US base in Syria’s Al-Tanf, where they are being taught how to make and use improvised explosive devices, as well as subversive methods. Particular emphasis is paid to planning attacks on heavily guarded facilities, including foreign diplomatic missions… In the near future, there are plans to deploy militants in small groups to the territory of Russia and the CIS countries.”

The SVR noted that “special attention was paid to the involvement of natives of the Russian North Caucasus and Central Asia.” 

This is not to say that the four perpetrators set out from Al-Tanf like the four knights in TS Eliot’s play ‘Murder in the Cathedral’. As a matter of fact, the men could have been picked up from anywhere. 

Significantly, US President Joe Biden who is not lost for words to vilify Russia on any account — even using abusive epithets — has in this case chosen to keep mum and would rather wait for the findings of the Russian investigators. The Americans appear to be nervous about what the Russian side already knows about their involvement in the affair. Not a single leader in the non-western world parroted the US narrative about the ISIS role.

The high probability is that US intelligence had gotten wind of something brewing in Budanov’s kitchen after Nuland’s visit. Evidently, the prime concern of the Biden Administration is to sequester Zelensky so that all is not lost downstream.

Indeed, the Crocus City Hall attack rallied world sympathy massively for Russia. It is a huge challenge of statecraft for Putin now to garner this outpouring of world sympathy and yet act decisively to completely uproot the dark forces entrenched next-door, which may involve shaking up the very foundations of the house that Washington built in Kiev after the 2014 coup. Eliot’s immortal lines come to mind: ‘What peace can be found / To grow between the hammer and the anvil?’

Meanwhile, it is going to be an even bigger challenge for Biden to figure out the pathway for future dalliance with the Frankenstein he created at the doorstep of what used to be a well-groomed garden that was Europe. 

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.