‘Heinous, cowardly’: World reacts to attack on Moscow concert hall

Putin declares national day of mourning on Sunday after at least 133 people killed in assault claimed by ISIL affiliate.

At least 133 people have been killed and more than 100 injured after gunmen opened fire on concertgoers near Moscow and set fire to the venue in one of the deadliest attacks in Russia in decades.

An affiliate of the ISIL (ISIS) armed group, Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), which has been active in Afghanistan and Iran, claimed responsibility for the assault.

In a televised address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the attack a “barbaric terrorist act” as he declared a national day of mourning on Sunday.

Here are some of the global reactions:

United Nations

The UN Security Council condemned “in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly terrorist attack” at Crocus City Hall in Moscow’s northern suburb of Krasnogorsk.

“The members of the Security Council underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is on a visit to Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip, “firmly” condemned the attack on the concert hall.

“We consider absolutely intolerable the attack that took place in Moscow and we encourage all countries to cooperate with each other in order to make sure that ISIS [ISIL] will not have the capacity to strike anywhere else in the world,” he told reporters.

The UN secretary-general called ISIL “a terrorist organisation that is operating in several parts of the world and is a very serious threat to us all”.

“[It] needs to be fought with determination, with a lot of international cooperation,” he said.


NATO spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah said the military alliance “unequivocally” condemns the attack.

“Nothing can justify such heinous crimes. Our deepest condolences to the victims and their families,” she said on X.


President Xi Jinping sent his “condolences” to Putin, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported.

Xi “stressed that China opposes all forms of terrorism, strongly condemns the terrorist attack and firmly supports the Russian government’s efforts to safeguard its national security and stability”.


“We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist attack targeting innocent civilians,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a public rally in the capital Ankara.

“Terrorism is unacceptable no matter who it comes from or who the perpetrator is.”

Erdogan said Turkey shared Russia’s pain, adding, “We’ll continue to fight against terror, the common enemy of humanity.”

View of the burning Crocus City Hall concert venue following a shooting incident, outside Moscow, Russia, March 22, 2024. REUTERS/Yulia Morozova
A view of the burning Crocus City Hall concert venue outside Moscow, Russia, on March 22, 2024 [Yulia Morozova/Reuters]

United States

White House spokesperson John Kirby said, “The images are just horrible and just hard to watch, and our thoughts obviously are going to be with the victims of this terrible, terrible shooting attack.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced the deadly attack and said Washington condemns “terrorism in all its forms”.

“We send our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and all affected by this heinous crime. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and stand in solidarity with the people of Russia in grieving the loss of life from this horrific event,” Blinken said in a statement.

“The United States strongly condemns the heinous terrorist attack in Moscow,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a separate statement, adding that “ISIS [ISIL] is a common terrorist enemy that must be defeated everywhere.”

European Union

The European Union said it was “shocked and appalled” by the attack.

“The EU condemns any attacks against civilians. Our thoughts are with all those Russian citizens affected,” said an EU spokesperson.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also condemned the attack.

United Kingdom

Foreign Minister David Cameron said the UK condemned “in the strongest terms the deadly terrorist attack”.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences and express our deepest sympathy to the families of the many victims.”


“We strongly condemn the heinous terrorist attack in Moscow,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on X.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. India stands in solidarity with the government and the people of the Russian Federation in this hour of grief.”


President Emmanuel Macron said he “strongly condemns the terrorist attack claimed by the Islamic State [ISIL]”, in a statement released by the Elysee Palace.

“France expresses its solidarity with the victims, their loved ones and all the Russian people,” it said.

The foreign ministry said, “The images coming out of Moscow are terrible,” and added that “light must be shed on these odious acts”.


“The images of the horrific attack on innocent people at Crocus City Hall near Moscow are horrific,” Germany’s foreign ministry said. “The background must be clarified quickly. Our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims.”

“We condemn the terrible terrorist attack on innocent concertgoers in Moscow. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and all those injured,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on X.

A child places a toy at the fence next to the Crocus City Hall, on the western edge of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, March 23
A child places a toy at the fence next to the Crocus City Hall, on the western edge of Moscow, Russia, on March 23, 2024 [Vitaly Smolnikov/AP Photo]


Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi said the Taliban administration condemned the attack in the “strongest terms”. Kabul considers it “a blatant violation of all human standards”.


President Miguel Diaz-Canel said, “Cuba condemns the atrocious terrorist act that occurred in Moscow. Our sincerest condolences to the government and people of Russia.”


Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni condemned what she said was an “odious act of terrorism”.

“The horror of the massacre of innocent civilians in Moscow is unacceptable,” Meloni said, expressing her “full solidarity with the affected people and the victims’ families”.


Japan’s foreign ministry said it “strongly” condemned the attack. “Japan extends its sincere condolences to the bereaved families and expresses its heartfelt sympathy to those who were injured.”


“We express our strongest condemnation of the armed attack that has been carried out against civilians today in Moscow in the exhibition centre Crocus City Hall,” Foreign Minister Yvan Gil said.

“We send out condolences to the families of the victims and we stand in solidarity with the Russian government.”


“Saddened by tonight’s tragic events in Moscow. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and to all those affected,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz posted on X.

Palestinian Authority

The presidency of the Palestinian Authority condemned the attack and “affirmed its solidarity and support for the Russian leadership and the friendly people of Russia, emphasising its keenness on stability in the friendly Russian Federation,” according to the official Wafa news agency.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it “reaffirms its stance in rejecting terrorism and violent extremism in all forms and manifestations.

“Malaysia continues to underscore the urgent need for a concerted international effort to eliminate the scourge of terrorism in a comprehensive and effective manner,” it said in a statement.


Spain said it was “shocked” by the attack, saying it “condemns any form of violence”.

“Our solidarity with the victims, their families and the Russian people,” the Spanish foreign ministry wrote on X.


The foreign ministry condemned “in the strongest terms, the cowardly terrorist attack … which comes after the great achievements gained by the friendly Russian people”, adding that “Syria stresses the need for intensifying global efforts in facing such massacres and bring their perpetrators to justice.”


The foreign ministry condemned the “appalling terror attack”.

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families,” it said on X.


The foreign ministry said on X that it condemns “any attacks against civilians”.


Condemning the “terrible attack”, the foreign ministry sent its condolences “to the victims and their loved ones”.


Defence Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz said Poland was “constantly monitoring the situation.

“I am in contact with the general staff of the Polish Army, all services and our allies. We are analysing this situation in terms of its possible impact on Poland’s security.”

United Arab Emirates

“The UAE expresses its strong denunciation of these criminal acts, and its permanent rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism that aim to destabilise security and stability and are inconsistent with international law,” the foreign ministry said.

Saudi Arabia

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent condolences to Putin, the foreign ministry said.

“The crown prince strongly condemned this criminal act, and expressed deepest condolences and sincere sympathy to the president, the families of the victims, and the people of the Russian Federation, wishing the injured speedy recovery.”


“Egypt strongly condemns the shooting incident,” the foreign ministry said.

“The government and the people of Egypt express their sincere condolences and sympathies to the government and people of Russia in this painful tragedy and to the families of the victims, wishing them a speedy recovery to all the injured.”


The Greek Foreign Ministry wrote on X that it was “shocked by the terrible images coming from Moscow” and sent its “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the victims.

The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also said that the goverment and all Greeks condemn the “brutal terrorist attack” against innocent Russian citizens.

South Africa

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote on X: “We are deeply saddened and we pay our condolences to the people of Russia following the tragic terror attack that killed so many people. I will be talking to President Putin to convey our condolences”.


The Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on X: “The terrorist attacks in Moscow are appalling – attacks directed at civilians can never be justified. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families”.


The Belgian Foreign Ministry wrote on X that it was “appalled by the shooting in a theatre in Moscow”. It offered condolences to the families of all victims of “gratuitous violence”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies