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Russia arrests another suspect in Moscow concert hall attack

A Moscow court has detained another suspect as an accomplice in the attack by gunmen on a suburban Moscow concert hall that killed 144 people in March.

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Dzhumokhon Kurbonov, a citizen of Tajikistan, is accused of providing the attackers with means of communication and financing. The judge ruled Kurbonov would be kept in custody until 22 May pending investigation and trial.

12 defendants have been arrested in the case, including four who allegedly carried out the attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue, according to RIA Novosti.

Those four appeared in the same Moscow court at the end of March on terrorism charges and showed signs of severe beatings. One appeared to be barely conscious during the hearing. The court ordered that the men, all of whom were identified in the media as citizens of Tajikistan, also be held in custody until 22 May.

A faction of the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the massacre in which gunmen shot people who were waiting for a show by a popular rock band and then set the building on fire. But Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin have persistently claimed, without presenting evidence, that Ukraine and the West had a role in the attack.

Ukraine denies involvement and its officials claim that Moscow is pushing the allegation as a pretext to intensify its fighting in Ukraine.

‘Putin did not order Navalny death,’ US intelligence agencies say

US intelligence agencies have determined that Russian President Vladimir Putin most likely did not order opposition leader Alexei Navalny to be killed, according to an exclusive by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Navalny, who died while in custody at an Arctic prison camp in February, was one of Putin’s fiercest critics. He was 47.

Navalny’s allies, including his wife Yulia Navalnaya, accused the Russian leader of having him murdered – an accusation the Kremlin has always denied.

The WSJ cited reports by US intelligence agencies – including an analysis of classified intelligence – Putin is unlikely to have ordered the death of his opponent. Euronews has not been able to independently verify the cited intelligence reports.

The death of Alexei Navalny was strongly condemned by US president Joe Biden and the international community, who pointed to Putin as the main instigator of the death of his opponent.

The Kremlin continues to deny any involvement in Navalny’s death.

Kremlin says Russia will overcome any EU sanctions on its LNG operations

Russia will look for ways to overcome what it says are illegal sanctions the European Union will impose on its liquified natural gas (LNG) operations, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

It is thought the European Commission’s next sanctions package will propose restrictions on Russian liquefied natural gas for the first time, including a ban on trans-shipments in the EU and measures on three Russian LNG projects.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, any new EU restrictions would benefit the US and would mean European industry pays more for its gas. “Of course, in any case, we will look for ways to overcome these illegal obstacles, unfair competition and illegal actions,” Peskov told reporters.

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