Russia Announces National Day of Mourning Following Terror Attack at Moscow Concert Hall

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People lay flowers at a makeshift memorial in front of the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk on March 24, 2024, as Russia observes a national day of mourning after a massacre that killed more than 130 people. - Credit: Olga MALTSEVA / AFP
People lay flowers at a makeshift memorial in front of the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk on March 24, 2024, as Russia observes a national day of mourning after a massacre that killed more than 130 people. - Credit: Olga MALTSEVA / AFP

Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that the country would observe a national day of mourning Monday in memory of the 133 victims of the Crocus City Hall mass shooting outside of Moscow.

“The whole country, our whole people, mourns with you,” Putin said Saturday following the deadliest terror attack in Russia in two decades. The Russian president also vowed to punish the perpetrators of the attack on the concert hall. “The main thing now is to prevent those who were behind this bloody massacre from committing new crimes.”

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Despite the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian State Duma Defense Committee blaming Ukraine — which is at war with Russia — for the attack, and a faction of ISIS taking responsibility for the mass shooting, Putin did not single out either party in his address to the Russian people.

“We are counting here on cooperation with all countries that genuinely share our pain and are ready, in their deeds, to truly unite our efforts in the fight against the common enemy of international terrorism,” Putin added.

However, Putin said that the four men detained in the attack were attempting to escape to Ukraine “where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them on the Ukrainian side to cross the state border,” CNN reports.

On Sunday, hundreds of Russians gathered outside of what remains of Crocus City Hall to create a memorial for those killed in the terror attack. The company that owns the venue pledged in a statement to rebuild and restore everything destroyed in the attack, with the New York Times reporting the concert hall suffered over $100 million in damages.

The Russian band Picnic, which was scheduled to perform the first of two sold-out shows at Crocus City Hall the night of the mass shooting, said in a statement Saturday, “We are deeply shocked by this terrible tragedy and mourn with you.” The band added that the woman who ran their merch booth at the venue is believed one of the 133 people killed in the attack, which occurred before Picnic took the stage.

In his address at the Vatican Sunday, Pope Francis offered prayers to “to the victims of the vile terrorist attack carried out the other night in Moscow.” He also prayed for those in “martyred Ukraine, where many people find themselves without electricity because of the intense attacks against infrastructure, which, beyond causing death and suffering, bring about the risk of a human catastrophe of even greater dimensions,” the New York Times reports.

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