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March 24 Moscow concert hall attack

March 24 Moscow concert hall attack
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4:51 a.m. ET, March 25, 2024

Our live coverage of the Moscow concert hall attack has moved here.

2:20 a.m. ET, March 25, 2024

Suspects in deadly concert hall attack facing life imprisonment. Here’s what we know

From CNN staff

People line up at a makeshift memorial outside Crocus City Hall near Moscow on March 24.
People line up at a makeshift memorial outside Crocus City Hall near Moscow on March 24. Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

All four suspects in the Crocus City concert hall attack case have been remanded into pre-trial detention until May 22.  

They are charged with committing a terrorist act, according to the courts of general jurisdiction of the city of Moscow, which under the Russian Criminal Code is punishable by up to life imprisonment.

Three of the defendants pled guilty to all charges, according to state media news agency TASS.

All four are from Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic, and had been in Russia on either temporary or expired visas.

Friday’s attack left at least 137 people dead. The attack is Russia’s deadliest in two decades.

Catch up on the latest developments:

  • Day of mourning: Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Sunday a day of national mourning for the 137 victims in Friday’s attack.
  • Authorities work to identify victims: Procedures to identify those killed in the attack have begun, the city’s Department of Health said, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. The Russian Investigative Committee said 62 bodies had been identified so far, adding that “for the remaining victims, genetic examinations are being carried out to establish their identities.”
  • Fighting terrorism in Syria and Turkey: Putin held separate calls with his Turkish and Syrian counterparts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad, on Saturday and promised closer cooperation in fighting terrorism following the attack, according to a Kremlin readout.
  • Russian Embassy says no warnings from US: The Russian Embassy in Washington says it did not receive any warnings about a potential attack in Moscow from the US. Last week, Putin dismissed warnings by the US embassy in Russia that there could be attacks on large groups.
  • Putin links attack to Ukraine: Putin said the main suspects arrested planned to flee into Ukraine. Ukraine has denied any connection. The UK warned that Russia was creating a “smokescreen of propaganda.”
  • Terror alert: France has lifted its terror alert to its highest level following the deadly attack in Moscow, French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said Sunday.
3:57 a.m. ET, March 25, 2024

Here’s what we know about the four suspects in the Moscow concert hall attack

From CNN’s Masha Angelova and Josh Pennington

Suspects in the shooting attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue, from left: Saidakrami Murodali Rachabalizoda, Shamsidin Fariduni, Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, and Muhammadsobir Fayzov.
Suspects in the shooting attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue, from left: Saidakrami Murodali Rachabalizoda, Shamsidin Fariduni, Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, and Muhammadsobir Fayzov. Yulia Morozova/Reuters

Each of the four defendants charged with committing a terrorist act in the Crocus City concert hall attack was brought to court individually in Moscow on Sunday.

They are accused of committing a crime under part 3, provision “b” of article 205 of the Russian Criminal Code (terrorist act), which the Russian Criminal Code states is punishable with up to life imprisonment.

Three pled guilty to all charges, according to state media news agency TASS.

Here’s what we know about the accused:

  • Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev: The 32-year-old was the first defendant brought to court. Mirzoyev, from Tajikistan, had a temporary registration for three months in the southern Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia, but it expired, according to RIA Novosti.
  • Saidakrami Rachabalizoda: He appeared as the second defendant, and told the the court that he had Russian registration documents but couldn’t remember where they were. He communicated through an interpreter, according to state media RIA Novosti. Rachabalizoda was reportedly born in 1994.
  • Shamsidin Fariduni: He was born in 1998 in Tajikistan and is a citizen of the Central Asian country. Fariduni was officially employed at a factory in the Russian city of Podolsk and was registered in the city of Krasnogorsk, according to state media RIA Novosti.
  • Muhammadsober Faizov: The fourth defendant appeared nonresponsive in a wheelchair and was accompanied by a doctor to his court appearance, as seen in Moscow City Court’s video shared on Telegram. Faizov was temporarily unemployed, before which he worked in a barber shop in Ivanovo, a city northeast of Moscow, and is registered in that city, according to state media RIA Novosti. He was reportedly born in 2004.

This post has been updated with more information on the charges against the suspects.

3:45 a.m. ET, March 25, 2024

Moscow court orders preventive detention for all four defendants in concert hall attack case

From CNN’s Masha Angelova and Josh Pennington

A suspect is escorted before a court hearing at the Basmanny district court in Moscow, Russia March 24.
A suspect is escorted before a court hearing at the Basmanny district court in Moscow, Russia March 24. Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

The Basmanny District Court of Moscow on Sunday granted the investigators’ motion for detention, as the chosen preventative measure, for all four defendants in the Crocus City Hall attack case.

All four men have been remanded into pre-trial detention until May 22, stated Moscow City Court via Telegram.  

They are all charged with committing a terrorist act, according to the courts of general jurisdiction of the city of Moscow, which under the Russian Criminal Code is punishable up to life imprisonment.

Each of the four defendants was brought to court individually on Sunday.

Three pled guilty to all charges, according to state media news agency TASS. 

The names of the four accused in the case are Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, Shamsidin Fariduni and Mukhammadsobir Faizov, Moscow City Courts announced via Telegram.

All four are from Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic, and have been in Russia on either temporary or expired visas.  

The court held closed hearings for each of the accused with no members of the public allowed, TASS reported, citing the court’s press service. 

This post has been updated with more information on the charges against the suspects.

2:06 a.m. ET, March 25, 2024

2 defendants identified in Crocus City Hall attack

From CNN’s Masha Angelova, Michael Bodenhorst and Josh Pennington

The first defendant in the Crocus City concert hall attack case, Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, has pleaded guilty on all counts, the press service of Moscow City Court told state media RIA Novosti.

He will be held in preventive custody at least through May 22. 

Mirzoyev is one of two defendants implicated in the attack who are facing possible life imprisonment, as reported by state media.

The suspects — Mirzoyev and Saidakrami Rachabalizoda — appeared in a Moscow court on Sunday on charges related to the attack.

Both individuals are accused of committing a terrorist act and could be sentenced to life imprisonment, according to state media outlet RIA Novosti. The prosecution has requested detention as a precautionary measure for both defendants.

Authorities have petitioned the court to conduct Mirzoyev’s hearing behind closed doors to safeguard the integrity of the proceedings, state media news agency TASS reported. 

10:48 p.m. ET, March 24, 2024

First suspect apprehended in the Crocus City Hall attack arrives in court

From CNN’s Masha Angelova

The first suspect apprehended after the attack on Crocus City Hall that killed at least 137 people has arrived in court at the Basmanny Court of Moscow. 

10:49 p.m. ET, March 24, 2024

Crocus City Hall killings are deadliest since Beslan school siege — these are some other recent attacks in Russia

From CNN Staff

Emergency services are seen on the scene of the deadly 2017 metro blast in St. Petersburg.
Emergency services are seen on the scene of the deadly 2017 metro blast in St. Petersburg. Anton Vaganov/Reuters

The attack on Moscow’s popular Crocus City Hall that left at least 133 dead has become the deadliest attack in Russia since the Beslan school siege in 2004.

Some other recent attacks include:

  • September 26, 2022: Eleven children and four adults were killed when a gunman wearing Nazi symbols opened fire at a school in the western Russian city of Izhevsk. The shooter, who was reportedly wearing a black T-shirt with Nazi insignia and a helmet, died by suicide following the attack.
  • April 3, 2017: At least 11 people were killed in a blast on the St. Petersburg metro. The explosion tore through a train as it was traveling between two stations in Russia’s second-largest city.
  • October 31, 2015: A Russian passenger jet, Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed on October 31 after departing from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board. US intelligence analysis suggested that ISIS or its affiliates planted a bomb on the plane.
  • December 30, 2013: A massive explosion at a train station in the Russian city of Volgograd killed at least 16 people, including one police officer, the Investigative Committee of Russia said.
  • January 25, 2011: A suicide bomber attacked Domodedovo Airport, Moscow’s busiest airport, killing 35 people and wounding about 100, authorities and state television said.
  • March 29, 2010: Two explosions rocked the subway stations in central Moscow during rush hour, killing at least 38 people and wounding more than 60 others, spawning widespread public outrage. A website associated with Chechen separatists, who have long fought for independence from Russia, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
10:50 p.m. ET, March 24, 2024

Rescuers, robotic systems and canine teams are currently on site of Crocus City concert hall

From CNN’s Darya Tarasova and Eve Brennan

More than 300 “specialists” and 154 pieces of equipment are currently on site at the Crocus City concert hall in Krasnogorsk, Moscow region, where a deadly attack took place Friday, Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations said on Telegram on Sunday.

The ministry said more than 400 cubic meters of structures had been dismantled by rescuers while specialized robotic systems, canine teams and psychologists from the ministry continue to work.

More than 1,600 calls have already been received on the department’s hotline, the ministry added.

The post was accompanied by a video showing dozens of emergency workers digging through the rubble of the partially burned-down concert hall.

Remember: At least 137 people died on Friday after attackers opened fire on civilians at the Crocus City concert hall, and set the building ablaze. The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, has claimed the attack and released graphic footage purporting to show the incident. 

10:50 p.m. ET, March 24, 2024

Putin lit a candle in memory of victims of the concert hall attack

From CNN’s Eve Brennan and Anna Chernova

In this photo from the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin lights a candle in memory of victims of the Crocus City Hall attack, at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence in the Moscow region, on March 24.
In this photo from the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin lights a candle in memory of victims of the Crocus City Hall attack, at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence in the Moscow region, on March 24. Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin lit a candle Sunday in memory of victims of the deadly attack at the Crocus City concert hall in Moscow region on Friday.

Putin also expressed deep condolences following the Moscow shooting, calling it a “barbaric terrorist act” in a video statement released Saturday.

More background: The deadly attack comes barely a week after Putin secured his fifth presidential term. The large-scale attack is damaging for a leader who portrays himself as someone able to guarantee order.

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