Initial media reporting on Thursday evening's attack on the Federal Security Service headquarters building in Moscow included conflicting information regarding the number of casualties, the suspect(s) involved, and other key details. Sputnik presents a summary of everything we know so far, with the information below verified by Russian government agencies.
- One FSB officer was killed, and the suspected gunman eliminated in a shootout in central Moscow near the FSB’s Lubyanka headquarters on Thursday evening, the security services have confirmed. The neutralised suspect’s identity is yet to be determined.
- The FSB clarified that only one shooter was involved in the attack. This information dispels earlier media reports that up to three gunmen took part. The attacker did not manage to gain entry into the agency’s headquarters.
- According to the Russian Ministry of Health, five people wounded in the attack are receiving medical assistance. Earlier, the ministry said that two FSB officers had received serious injuries (with one of them subsequently succumbing to his wounds).
- Russian investigators have opened a criminal case into the incident under article 317 of Russia’s criminal code – an attempt on the lives of law enforcement officers.
- The Kremlin has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had just completed a marathon end-of-year press conference in another part of Moscow, has been informed of the incident, and was being updated on its details.
- The shootout led Moscow authorities to invoke Sirena, a contingency plan introduced during emergencies to help coordinate the search for and detention of especially dangerous criminals. Separately, traffic police shut down the movement of civilian vehicles around the FSB headquarters building.
- Later Thursday, an eyewitness told Reuters that a blast was heard near the FSB’s headquarters building. Local media similarly reported that a blast had been heard. This information has yet to be officially confirmed.