This is how Vladimir Putin reacted to the terrorist attack in Moscow next – researcher answers three claims | Foreign countries

This is how Vladimir Putin reacted to the terrorist attack

At least 137 people died and hundreds were injured in an attack on a concert in Moscow on Friday. The terrorist organization Isis-K claimed responsibility for the attack.

We asked a senior researcher at the Foreign Policy Institute Jussi Lassilaa to answer the top three claims about what Russia will do next.

1. Russia returns the death penalty to the law

The restoration of the death penalty has been on the back burner in Russia even before the terrorist attack. The Russian Duma can even pass a law on the death penalty within a day.

Jussi Lassila considers it very possible that the death penalty will be reinstated in the law, based on how Russia has generally toughened its prison sentences in recent years and narrowed political freedom after starting the war of aggression against Ukraine.

The new law has to go through several steps, but according to Lassila, they are only formal matters in Russia. In reality, if Russia wants to, it can pass the law very quickly.

– These processing times are completely made up. If a law is to be passed in one day, it will be passed in one day, states Lassila.

2. Putin is trying to paint Ukraine as guilty

Although Isis-K has announced that it is because of the attacks, Russia has in various contexts brought up Ukraine’s connection to the attack. Ukraine has denied that the country had anything to do with the attack.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin didn’t even mention in his speech after the terrorist attack that Isis-K is probably behind the attack. Instead, Putin has hinted that the suspected attackers had links to Ukraine and claimed they were trying to escape there. The Russian media, on the other hand, have directly accused Ukraine of organizing the attack.

Ukraine has denied all the accusations, and among other things, the United States has found Ukraine innocent.

Jussi Lassila is also sure that Ukraine has nothing to do with the attack.

– It is absolutely undeniable that Russia is trying to instrumentalize and use this attack for its own purposes, which in this case is inciting hatred against Ukraine.

By blaming Ukraine, Russia is also trying to divert attention from the fact that Russia’s own security failed, even though Western countries had warned of a possible threat earlier, states Lassila.

– Ukraine is being tried by any means to get involved in this. It will be interesting to see if it succeeds and if this company takes off in Russia. There are few indications that this may not work out the way the authorities are trying to do it. However, that doesn’t prevent it from being attempted.

3. The powers of the FSB are increased

Russia watches its citizens very closely and restricts access to information from Western countries, among other things. It is also possible that with the terrorist attack, the powers of the Russian security service FSB will be increased.

Since Russia started the war of aggression against Ukraine, the country’s authoritarianism and control of the administration has grown so much that, according to Lassila, the Russian security service has not had to do any more tightening.

– However, it is possible that under the cover of this attack, the powers of the security services will be increased even more.

The FSB has brought a record number of treason charges against Russians in the past year. The task of the FSB has been to search for Russians who are considered to be supporting Ukraine.

Could the attack be orchestrated by Russia itself?

Experts’ assessments of whether Russia could be behind the terrorist attack are conflicting.

Among other things, Finland’s former ambassador to Russia Hannu Himanen said in the morning that it is entirely possible that the organizers of the attack can be found in the Russian security service.

Russia has a previous history of such actions. At the turn of the millennium, Russia lost the first war to Chechnya, after which several apartment building explosions occurred in Russia, killing 300 people. Russia blamed the apartment building bombings on the Chechens and attacked Chechnya again. However, it has been speculated that the Russian security service FSB, or the former KGB, could have been behind the apartment building explosions.

However, Jussi Lassila does not believe that Friday’s attack was staged. Many countries, for example the United States, had publicly warned Russia a few weeks ago about the possibility of an attack.

– Also, Putin’s caution, with which he came forward only on Saturday, speaks in my opinion to the fact that this did not directly fit the expectations that Putin has had in this situation. This type of terrorist attack feels even more humiliating when the United States has also warned about it.

According to Lassila, Putin’s eyes are so firmly on Ukraine and the West that the thought of a third threat does not fit into his head.

– It is very typical for an authoritarian leader that his ability to see beyond the dichotomous worldview are actors, such as Isis in this case. Isis is the enemy of the West, but also the enemy of Russia, and Putin does not agree to bend to this image now.

Do you have a story tip for ‘s news?

You can be in touch with confidence. Alternatively, you can also contact us by email: [email protected]. We read all communications, but we cannot guarantee a personal response to everyone.