On March 22, just five days after Vladimir Putin won his fifth presidential election, terrorists struck Russia, killing over 140 people, with many more still missing.

At least four people thought to be members of Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K), a branch of the Islamic State (IS) group, indiscriminately fired on the crowd at the Crocus City Hall concert venue in a Moscow suburb. Eleven suspects, including four Tajik nationals, were detained.

Putin criticized the attack as a "bloody, barbaric terrorist act," while suggesting that Ukraine was to blame. Kyiv has flatly denied any involvement, and with IS releasing a statement and video connecting its operatives to the attack, Ukrainian involvement seems even more unlikely. Eventually, Putin determined that Islamic extremists were behind the onslaught, though Russian officials insist that Ukraine and its Western backers played a role.