MOSCOW: The foreign ministry on Sunday called on Kyiv to hand over all persons linked to terrorist acts in Russia, including head of Ukrainian security service.

A Russian Foreign Ministry statement listed violent incidents that have occurred in Russia since the Kremlin’s forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022, including bombings that killed the daughter of a prominent nationalist and a war blogger, and an incident in which a writer was seriously hurt.

The ministry said investigation of these incidents showed that “the traces of these crimes lead to Ukraine.” “Russia has turned over to Ukrainian authorities its demands ... for the immediate arrest and extradition of all those connected to the terrorist acts in question,” the statement said. Among those listed in the statement to be handed over are SBU head Vasyl Maliuk, who has acknowledged his service was behind attacks on the bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland since the Kremlin’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Russia arrests three attack suspects from Dagestan; Putin calls up 150,000 conscripts

“The Russian side demands that the Kyiv regime immediately cease all support for terrorist activity, extradite guilty parties and compensate the victims for damages,” the ministry statement said.

Dagestan arrests

Separately, Russian authorities also arrested three people in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan on charges of planning terrorist attacks, following a deadly attack on a concert hall near Moscow.

The arrests were made during an operation in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala and in the town of Kaspiysk, around 10 kilometres (six miles) to the south, the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee said in a statement.

“Three criminals planning to commit a series of terrorist crimes have been arrested,” the statement added.

The announcement comes more than a week after an attack on the Crocus City Hall in Moscow’s outskirts killed at least 144 people and injured 551. The Islamic State group (IS) has claimed the attack, while Russian authorities insist Ukraine is responsible.

An anonymous security source quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency said two suspects were “trapped” in their flat in Kaspiysk before being apprehended.

“An automatic weapon and its ammunition, as well as a ready-to-use improvised explosive device, were found during the search of the scene of the arrests,” the committee said, adding that the operation had not caused any casualties.

Conscription

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree setting out the routine spring conscription campaign, calling up 150,000 citizens for statutory military service.

All men in Russia are required to do a year-long military service, or equivalent training during higher education, from the age of 18.

In July Russia’s lower house of parliament voted to raise the maximum age at which men can be conscripted to 30 from 27. The new legislation came into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

Compulsory military service has long been a sensitive issue in Russia, where many men go to great lengths to avoid being handed conscription papers during the twice-yearly call-up periods.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2024

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