13 Hoaxes and Misinformation About the March 22, 2024 Attack in Moscow

  • On March 22, 2024, an undetermined number of assailants opened fire and set fire to the Crocus City Hall entertainment venue, located in Northwestern Moscow   
  • The terrorist attack has resulted in the death of over a hundred people  
  • Here we debunk the rumours and misinformation surrounding this terrorist attack carried out in Russia 


On March 22, 2024, an unspecified number of individuals entered the Crocus City Hall entertainment venue, located in Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow, and opened fire on attendees. They subsequently set fire to flammable materials, causing the assault and fire to claim the lives of over a hundred people, as reported by the Russian news agency TASS. Below, we compile the rumors and misinformation surrounding this event.

No, this video does not show Russian soldiers simulating an attack at the same site as the Moscow terrorist attack. It is a play in the Russian city of Kaluga

"Russian troops AT THE SAME location as today's attack in Moscow simulating an attack" (sic). A video is circulating on social media allegedly showing Russian army soldiers rehearsing the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Mall in Moscow on March 22, 2024. However, it is a hoax. The footage is from a play called "Polite People" depicting episodes of the conflict in Donbass (Ukraine) in 2014. The footage was recorded in 2022 in the Russian city of Kaluga.

Misinformations pointing to Ukraine as responsible for the Moscow attack: 'ISIS-K' has claimed responsibility for it several times through the Amaq agency

"Ukraine was 100% behind the attacks in Moscow." Messages like these circulate on social media claiming that Ukraine is responsible for the Moscow attacks. However, the self-styled group "ISIS-K", a faction of Daesh in the Khorasan region, has claimed responsibility for the attack through various posts by its Amaq agency.

No, the Ukrainian General Budanov does not "threaten" with "further terrorist attacks" in Russia in this video after the attacks on March 22nd. This video is from January 2023

"The head of Ukrainian intelligence, Budanov, threatens with more terrorist attacks deep inside Russia." This is how a fragment of an interview with Ukrainian General Kyrylo Budanov is being spread, as if it were current, following the attacks that took place on March 22 near Moscow, Russia. It is a hoax that the footage is recent and that it refers to those attacks: it is from January 4, 2023, and Budanov was talking about the attack on the Russian Air Force base Engels in December 2022.

No, this man is not one of the detainees in the Moscow attack

There are contents claiming that one of the suspected terrorists detained after the March 22 attack in Moscow is a Ukrainian Army member. They have spread the image of Rustam Azhiev, a military individual who has fought in Ukraine against the Russian invasion, as if he were one of the detainees. However, this is a hoax: he is not among those detained for the attack. They make it appear that Rustam Azhiev is the same person as Dalerjon Mirzoev, one of the four detained for the attack.

The image of Daesh claiming responsibility for the Moscow attacks by making a Shahada gesture with the left hand neither proves a "staged performance" nor is it the only image with that gesture

"Muslims never make Shahada (oaths) with the left hand, considered 'impure, dirty'... cheap staging" (sic). With messages of this kind, a photo of Daesh members claiming responsibility for the attacks on March 22 near Moscow (Russia) is being shared on social media. In the image, four men are pointing upwards with the index finger of their left hand, and that supposedly demonstrates that they are not actually members of Daesh, since for "Muslims" the left hand is "dirty" and they do not use it in that way.

It is a hoax that Daesh militants never make that gesture with the left hand or that this proves they are not members of the terrorist group. There are images from different moments showing members of the group making the same gesture with that hand.

No, this van near the Moscow bombings does not have a Ukrainian license plate: it is Belarusian

Images of a white van circulating on social media claim it was near the site of the Moscow bombings and that it has a Ukrainian license plate. However, this is not true. In the images, the left part of the license plate is blurred, making it impossible to see the flag, but the structure corresponds to Belarusian license plates. Ukrainian license plates do not end in a dash and number, but rather in pairs of letters.

No, Ukrainian military official have not acknowledged Ukraine's involvement in the Moscow bombings in this video

A video is circulating in which a senior Ukrainian military official allegedly acknowledges Ukraine's involvement in the March 22, 2024, Moscow bombings. However, this is false: the video manipulates his voice, and it is a mix of two different interviews.

No, these videos do not show a Russian bombing over Kiev in March 2024: it's Iraq in 2003

"Is the third one coming? Putin bombing Kiev, the capital of Ukraine right now" (sic). Messages like this one are circulating with images of a massive bombing over a city. They are being shared as if they were from Kiev in March 2024, suggesting it is a response from Russia to the terrorist attack on a concert hall in Moscow on March 22. However, this is false; the sequences correspond to Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, which suffered a series of bombings in March 2003 in an attack led by the United States.

No, this video does not show a corpse smoking, and is not related to the Moscow bombings: it's footage from a music video

A video is circulating in which two men are seen placing alleged corpses, claiming they are passing them off as victims of the March 22, 2024, Moscow bombings. One of the bodies, with its head protruding from the bag, is seen smoking a cigarette. However, this is false: it's footage from a music video by a Russian rapper.

No, in the movie Tenet, they do not simulate a terrorist attack at the same site as the bombings

Messages circulating on social media claim that in the movie Tenet, produced in 2020, they simulate a terrorist attack at the same theater as the Moscow bombings. However, this is false. In the movie, they film a sequence at the Linnahall, built in Tallinn (Estonia), which simulates being the Kiev Opera House in Ukraine. No scenes from Tenet were filmed in Russia; the countries featured include Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, Denmark, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Daesh, the US and Israel: why it isn’t true to say that there have never been terrorist attacks in those countries

Messages are circulating claiming that Daesh has never carried out attacks in the United States or Israel. This is false: between 2015 and 2017, there were at least five attacks in the US committed by Daesh operatives, and in Israel, there were at least two attacks in 2022 attributed to militants of the organization or the terrorist group itself.

No, this image is not of a supposed Ukrainian soldier detained after the 2024 Moscow bombings

A broadly-shared image of a Ukrainian passport with a message claiming that they have detained a Ukrainian agent near the site of the 2024 Moscow bombings is a hoax: it has been circulating since at least October 2022, and the person depicted in the image is the American actor and comedian Sam Hyde.

This is what we know about the image of terrorists wanted for the 2024 Moscow bombings

There is an image circulating that shows five individuals with the message that Russian security forces are seeking them as the perpetrators of the 2024 Moscow bombings. One of the images has been circulating since at least June 2023, and the individuals are wanted terrorists for attacks committed in the southern region of the country. At least one of the pursued individuals was a resident of Ingushetia and was connected to three attacks in the southern region of Russia.

Primera fecha de publicación de este artículo: 25/03/2024

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