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Former CIA agent: Putin putting blame on Ukraine for Moscow attack is ‘nonsense’

Former CIA agent Marc Polymeropoulos said that Russian President Vladimir Putin casting blame for the Moscow concert hall shooting on Ukraine is “nonsense.”

Polymeropoulos dismissed Putin’s attempt to link the gunmen that killed at least 133 people Friday at the Crocus City complex near Moscow to Ukraine, the country his military is currently invading.

“So we heard today, Vladimir Putin in about a five-minute address, he mentioned Ukraine, he’s claiming that the terrorists were actually trying to get across the border into Ukraine,” he told MSNBC’s Alex Witt on Saturday. “There’s absolutely no evidence for this. And then you also see on Russian TV networks over the last hour or two, even some deep fakes that have been generated, which seem to implicate Ukrainian security officials. And of course, this is all nonsense.”

The day following the attack on the venue, when 11 people related to the incident were detained, including four people directly involved, allegations of Ukraine’s involvement started coming out in Russia. Putin partially echoed some of it during his public address on Saturday.

“All four direct perpetrators of the terrorist attack, all those who shot and killed people, were found and detained,” Putin said. “They tried to hide and were moving towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a passage was prepared for them on the Ukrainian side to cross the state border.”

Polymeropoulos said Putin made those claims for multiple reasons. He used his speech to deflect from the “incompetence” of the Russian security service, intensify the crackdown on dissent and create an opportunity to mobilize more people for the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“One, of course, to deflect kind of the incompetence of Russian security services,” he said. “But there are some things that I think Putin can take advantage of with this unfortunately. Additional crackdown on dissent inside Russia, but also the possibility of mobilization. Alex don’t forget almost 400,000 casualties from the war in Ukraine. That’s that’s Russian soldiers killed and injured. They need mobilization. Perhaps something in the days ahead, we would see is Vladimir Putin calling for more people to be called up so he’s going to try to take advantage of it.”

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