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Meduza geolocates arrest video of Moscow terrorism suspect to town 85 miles from Ukrainian border

Source: Meduza

Meduza has geolocated the filming location of the reported arrest of one of the Crocus City Hall terrorist suspects. According to footage presumably provided by the Federal Security Service, officials apprehended 30-year-old Rajab Alizade near the town of Khatsun in Russia’s Bryansk region, located 140 kilometers (about 85 miles) from the Ukrainian border. Russian State Duma deputy Alexander Khinshtein was the first to report this information. Meduza verified the claim, also reported by members of the GeoConfimed community, by studying landmarks visible in Google Street View images from July 2018. Meduza notes the blue-green posts between a pine and an oak tree by the road, as well as a firebreak along the road.

Videos are circulating online showing how a federal agent cut off one of Alizade’s ears and forced it into his mouth while beating him.

Previous reports claimed that the vehicle carrying the alleged terrorists was stopped near the town of Teplyi, more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) to the west, just 16 kilometers (10 miles) shy of the Belarusian border, and roughly 200 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Dmitry Krutoy also stated that Minsk’s special forces “helped prevent the terrorists from escaping across the shared border.”

Alizade’s apparent arrest location is less than five miles south of the intersection of the M3 and P-120 highways, which leads west to the border with Belarus and south to Ukraine. The location seemingly bolsters Russian state officials’ claim that the suspects were heading to Ukraine. However, the Federal Security Service has been accused before of staging arrest videos. After the 2017 terrorist attack in the St. Petersburg subway system, for example, experts at the Memorial human rights group concluded that the FSB filmed its agents arresting suspects outside Moscow, even though they’d actually been apprehended elsewhere.

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