Moscow [Russia], March 27: Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said the gunmen who attacked the Crocus City Hall theater in Moscow fled to Belarus first, not Ukraine as Russian officials said.
After the attack in Moscow on March 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Ukrainian side had prepared an exit at the border for the gunmen to flee.
Ukraine has denied all accusations of involvement in the case, but top Russian officials, including Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev and Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov, have directly denounced Kyiv, even though no evidence has been released.
However, in a meeting with reporters on March 26, President Lukashenko told about the coordination of Belarusian and Russian security forces in preventing the gunmen from fleeing.
According to Belta news agency, the leader said that Belarus immediately strengthened security at the border. He said that he had received a report from the security leadership and had set up checkpoints on the ground and deployed army and border guard units to block the gunmen approaching from the direction of Russia's Bryansk province.
"That's why they couldn't enter Belarus . They realized that so they turned around and headed towards the Ukraine-Russia border," said Mr. Lukashenko, an ally of President Putin.
The Belarusian President also said he was in constant contact with the Russian President, in which Mr. Putin asked him to lock the border. "Mr. Putin and I did not sleep for 24 hours. We kept in touch all the time. When the right time came to speak to the whole country, he did so," President Lukashenko said.
The self-proclaimed Islamic State ( IS ) claimed responsibility for the attack. President Putin admitted that the incident was carried out by "radical Islamic" forces but vowed to investigate who was behind the order.
Russian investigative agencies said 139 people were killed and 182 others injured in the attack in Moscow , according to Sputnik news agency. Authorities arrested 11 people involved.
Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper