The Moscow terror attack might cause a rift between Russia and one of its longstanding allies

Russia’s reaction to the terrorist attack in Moscow on Friday may potentially strain its relationship with one of its longstanding allies.

Gunmen unleashed a hail of gunfire inside the Crocus City Hall music venue, resulting in the tragic loss of 137 lives and leaving at least 145 others injured, as confirmed by Russian authorities.

According to Russian state media, four individuals who have been identified as citizens of Tajikistan are believed to be the suspects in question.

Tajikistan, a country located in Central Asia, has a rich historical connection with Russia and was formerly a part of the Soviet Union. Presently, it is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), led by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who aspires for the organization to become the equivalent of NATO for its member nations.

The suggestion that the attackers hailed from Tajikistan has the potential to spark fresh tensions between the country and Russia.

The image credit for the paragraph is attributed to STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images.

Tajikistan has already attempted to distance itself from the attack.

According to The Moscow Times, the foreign ministry of the country in question has dismissed reports suggesting the involvement of its citizens as “fake.”

According to The Moscow Times, the interior ministry of the country has stated that two of the individuals who were initially identified as suspects by Russian media were actually in Tajikistan during the time of the attack.

On Sunday, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon emphasized to Putin that terrorists lack any sense of nationality, homeland, or religion, according to his office.

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Russia has found itself increasingly isolated on the global stage after its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. While its relations with China and North Korea may have strengthened, the international community has distanced itself from Russia.

Tajikistan, despite being a long-term ally with close cultural and economic ties, has expressed its frustrations.

In October 2022, Rahmon confronted Putin directly, demanding respect for his country.

Rahmon expressed his frustration, stating that Tajikistan had to request Russia’s attendance at a forum in Tajikistan. He emphasized that they were not being treated as strategic partners and desired to be respected.

According to experts on Russia and post-Soviet states, the alliance between Russia and other CSTO members is becoming increasingly strained. They have stated that the relationship within the alliance is crumbling.

According to some experts, the members of CSTO have observed the invasion of Ukraine and are now skeptical about Russia’s ability to defend them. In fact, they fear that Russia might even turn against them and launch an attack.

Armenia’s president made an announcement earlier this year, revealing that the country has decided to suspend its participation with the CSTO. This decision comes after the president has been openly critical of both the organization and Russia.

The fact that the suspects in the attack are citizens of Tajikistan does not rule out the possibility of ISIS involvement. The nationality of the attackers has not been confirmed by either ISIS or the US authorities. According to The Guardian, there have been reports of ISIS recruitment in Tajikistan.

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Russia is actively accusing Ukraine of involvement in the incident, with Putin stating that the attackers are seeking refuge in Ukraine and that Kyiv is assisting them in their escape.

Ukraine firmly denies any involvement in the attack.

Experts who closely follow Russia had anticipated that when the attack commenced, Putin would likely shift blame onto Ukraine in order to evade accountability and exploit the situation to rally support for his military aggression.

According to the Financial Times, experts suggest that ISIS capitalized on Russia’s preoccupation with the conflict in Ukraine. Vera Mironova, an associate fellow at the Davis Center at Harvard University, explains that ISIS perceived Moscow as a vulnerable target due to these distractions.

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