We analyzed videos from Moscow’s FSB headquarters shooting. One of the injuries was likely caused by security agents after the shooter was dead.
Meduza has analyzed eyewitness videos from the December 19 shooting at Moscow’s Lubyanka Square. In the attack, 39-year-old Yevgeny Manyurov targeted the headquarters of Moscow’s Federal Security Service (FSB), and two FSB employees died. Their names are not yet known. Manyurov himself was shot by special forces. However, combining several videos of the shooting demonstrates that shots likely continued to be fired even after Manyurov was killed. This means at least one of the victims may have been shot by security officials because the various agencies on site did not coordinate their actions, multiple sources told Meduza.
On the evening of December 19 near Moscow’s Lubyanka Square, shots rang out: 39-year-old Yevgeny Manyurov had opened fire near the FSB’s reception area on Kuznetsky Bridge Street. He then kept shooting, moving toward the square, until he himself was shot by special forces. One FSB officer was killed at the scene, and another died from his wounds on the evening of December 20. Five more people were wounded, meaning that the attack had seven total victims, as Russia’s Investigative Committee noted (the Health Ministry had counted six victims the previous evening). By analyzing multiple eyewitness videos, Meduza has discovered that one of those injured may have been shot by security officials themselves after Manyurov had already been killed.
Warning! This video includes profanity and violence. Viewer discretion is advised.
The moment the shooter was killed is visible and audible in multiple eyewitness videos published online, including some that were taken from inside the FSB building with individuals who presumably work for the agency commenting behind the camera. However, even after the moment Manyurov was shot, machine gun fire can be heard, and the presumed FSB agents ask, “Who else are they shooting? Is he not alone?” On the day of the incident, the FSB announced that the attacker had been killed around 7:08 PM, but Meduza’s correspondent on the scene said shots could still be heard as late as 7:15.
In a different video recorded from another angle, someone can be seen running past the parking lot outside the FSB building where the shooter was hiding. The running figure is then shot down. Meduza compiled the videos and synchronized them using the sounds of the gunshots in each. The resulting analysis indicated that security officials did not know exactly how many shooters they were facing and that there was a lack of coordination among different agencies and divisions. That caused some groups to continue shooting even after the only attacker had been killed.
Sources told Meduza and Open Media that disagreements plagued the response from different law-enforcement agencies. The Telegram channel VChK-OPGU (“Cheka-Joint State Political Directorate”), whose reporting specializes in high-profile criminal cases, described the situation in the following words: “When the special forces arrived, FSB HQ officers refused to let them into the building, where they could have taken up an optimal position. Afterward, [special-forces snipers] waited 15 minutes for an order from the FSB command to eliminate [the shooter].”
A source who learned about the course of events on Thursday from a senior FSB officer told Meduza that some people were injured after the shooter was already dead: “He ran out [from the FSB entrance], shot at the police officer who was between the ‘Detsky Mir’ building and [guarding] headquarters. Then he tried to hide behind the columns, which is where they got him. He was firing, maybe even aiming okay, but he didn’t understand a thing. In combat operations, you’ve got to run from position to position. Everything that happened next was all an interdepartmental mess because nobody knew who they were, how many there were, or where they were. There was shooting everywhere and it kept going, even after they’d already shot [the attacker]. There was a police detachment a hundred meters off. They jumped out from below, from Lybyanka Square, and also started firing. Of course, nobody understood anything and there was zero coordination.”
Another source who “participated in the shootout” told the website Open Media that a special-forces detachment advanced around 6:50 p.m. from Myasnitskaya Street toward Furkasovsky Lane, as there was an exchange of gunfire outside the number four entrance to the FSB building. The detachment’s officers were informed that at least one of the attackers had been killed and another dressed all in black was still returning fire.
The newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets published the names of the two victims killed: 32-year-old traffic police officer Ilya Fisenko and 35-year-old FSB agent Konstantin Odnolepkov. The two men were the first to be shot when the attack started at 6:10 p.m. Both were hospitalized in critical condition at Moscow’s Sklifosovsky Hospital. Another victim, 35-year-old civilian Pavel Anisimov, was sent to the Botkin Hospital around 6:45 p.m., reported Moskovsky Komsomolets.
The newspaper says 29-year-old Alexander Zamchalin was taken to Inozemtsev Hospital, but it’s unknown if or when the officer was examined by doctors. On December 19, Russia’s Health Ministry reported one fatality and five individuals wounded; a day later, federal investigators said two victims were killed in the shootout and five were wounded, though officials named only four injured persons.
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Translators: Hilah Kohen and Kevin Rothrock