Crocus Hocus Pocus

A very curious Crocus video

I have a few questions about this terrorist attack


Two gentlemen calmly chatting as bullets fly everywhere. Watch the video and see for yourself.

Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking with Steve and Chris from AM WakeUp. Our 90-minute conversation focused on the terrorist attack at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall.

During our chat, Steve shared a video with me that was published by Zvezda, a TV network run by the Russian Ministry of Defense. The clip purportedly captured the moment when gunmen entered the building:

Let’s review the video together, for Science.

At the 0:00 mark, we see a man in blue camo with dog standing near the entrance of the building. This is not a civilian. He’s either private security, OMON (the Russian equivalent of SWAT/paramilitary cop) or National Guard (Rosgvardia):


As people start to hustle away from the doors, this law enforcement officer just … walks away. He’s not giving instructions. He’s not consulting with colleagues on a walkie talkie. He’s strolling with his dog, who also looks rather disinterested:


The cop saunters past a group of people standing near a pillar. A woman in the group is already crouching on the ground. The cop keeps walking:


We start hearing clearly audible gunshots two seconds later, at the 0:14 mark. The camera pans to the entrance, then returns to the group standing near the pillar, who are now all on the ground. One of them has a camera.

0:20. Several gunshots are heard. The group of people near the pillar are on the ground as people continue to run/walk past them. The individual on the far left of the screen literally just walks past them. Whatever.

At the 0:16 mark a man in a yellow jacket enters the building. At least five shots have already been fired.


The man in the yellow jackets proceeds to slowly walk to the corner of the room, while the people behind the pillar create a barricade using tables.

0:27. By now more than 20 shots have been fired

The firing continues and a glass door shatters, but the man in the yellow jacket continues walking without looking behind him, or flinching, or showing even the slightest sign of distress or mild discomfort.

Watch 0:23-0:30. Who is this guy?

The camera then turns to a nearby escalator, where two men are standing near a different pillar. They are not crouching. They are not even looking in the direction of the gunshots. They’re just hanging out:

0:34. Having a nice chat. Sure why not?

The man on the right is holding something. A puppy? Maybe a camera?

At this point there’s been more than 15 seconds of near-continuous gunfire, a glass door has been shattered, a group of people are huddled behind a pillar directly in front of them, and these guys look bored. Just look at their body language. Look at them! Are they at a corporate Christmas party or a mass shooting? (Maybe both?) Why are they completely ignoring the cameraman? Why is no one yelling? Why is no one saying anything? The barricade-people, the cameraman, the yellow jacket guy, the weirdos hanging out near the escalator…Not a single peep from anyone. And please just trust me, Russians routinely use liberal amounts of colorful language in far less stressful situations.

I just want to reiterate that bullets were presumably whizzing by these two guys as they stood around playing pocket-pool:

Tell me how this makes sense.

The cameraman—who has yet to utter a single word, and has been calmly walking around this whole time—gets on the escalator and takes a ride to the second floor. Does the cameraman run up the escalator? No, he does not run. Why would he run?

As more shots ring out he turns the camera to the first floor entrance. We see the barricade-people lying on the ground and the yellow jacket man just sitting there quietly in his corner.

0:56. On the escalator. Not in any hurry. Yellow jacket man just hanging out.

When the cameraman reaches the second floor, we see an individual standing near a door. Does the cameraman saying anything to this guy? No. Does this mysterious man say anything to the cameraman? Also no. Strange? Maybe.

Then the cameraman just starts walking around—emphasis on “walking”—and the clip ends.

Zvezda (which, again, is a media outlet operated by the Russian MoD) posted this video on Telegram with the caption:

‼️ A very detailed video of the moment of the attack on Crocus City Hall – this footage was published on the Internet.

Already at the beginning of the video, people are walking at a fast pace, as soon as the terrorists approach and the shooting intensifies, everyone starts running in panic, someone is trying to build barricades.

Is that true, though? Did “everyone start running in panic”?

People respond in different ways to traumatic acts of violence or when they find themselves in potentially life-threatening situations. Your correspondent was once on the receiving end of a rather scary act of physical violence and so he’s speaking from experience when he types that you just never know how you are going to react in these kinds of situations. It’s absolutely possible that during this very horrible event, some peoples’ brains just … turned off.

Maybe this explains the group of people who started crouching two seconds before you could hear a gunshot, and then proceeded to create a “barricade” and wait for certain death—even though they had more than a minute to run away. I’m not even being sarcastic. Maybe these people suffered from deer-in-headlights syndrome.

I’m not really sure how you can explain the behavior of the yellow jacket guy, who did not react in any way, shape, or form to numerous gunshots, a glass door shattering, and then dudes with guns walking past him. But who knows? Maybe another case of brain-malfunction.

However, we begin to bend the laws of nature when after about 30 gunshots, you have guys like this just standing there—not even looking at what is happening and showing absolutely zero interest in the horror that is allegedly taking place around them:

Sorry but no.

If I had to write a caption for this video, it would not be “as soon as the terrorists approach and the shooting intensifies, everyone starts running in panic”.

It would be: 2 + 2 = blueberry muffin.

Because this video is not tethered to anything even approaching reality. And you are expected to accept that. And if you don’t, you’re a very naughty boy/girl!

Why this mind-horror was conjured up and posted on the internet for you to watch, and what we’re really watching here, is a separate topic for another time.

But while we’re on the subject, the alleged author of this video claims that he was working as a videographer and that he thought the gunmen were part of a “performance”, because—as he claims—that’s something that the band Picnic would do. No, I’m not making this up. Turn on the auto-generated subtitles if you don’t believe me:

“At first I thought this was some kind of performance by Picnic [the band playing that evening]. They love to organize all sorts of such performances,” the videographer said.

Yeah…okay. Like I said, 2+2 = blueberry muffin. Why do you doubt your humble Novgorod village correspondent?

He then claims that once it was clear that it was “real”, he had no chance of escaping like everyone else who had more than a minute to walk/run away, and so he decided to take the escalator. Okay?

He also claims he was walking slowly and that the video is so “smooth” (his word) because he has “bad legs”. He attributed his calm demeanor to the fact that he served in the Soviet Army.

Again, just listen to his testimony if you don’t believe me. But this is exactly what this guy claims.

What the heck is going on, here? We report, you decide.

I have to go feed some village cows now.

More later. If you don’t hear from me in 24 hours, it means the guys hanging out next to the escalator all willy-nilly cut my ear off and made me eat it. Ha-ha. It’s a joke. Just relax. My poor little ear.

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One Response to “Crocus Hocus Pocus”

  1. ian says:

    Yes, a funny one Henry. The guy who went up the escalator, should have walked up it at least. I’m hesitant to judge too much, as I’m unfamiliar with public reactions in these situations. I can say however, had it not been for the people who made the barricade at the pillar, most people were behaving as if it wasn’t happening. As for having bad legs, or bad anything. fear would compensate for that, and render them teenage again at least for a short spurt. Even with my lack of experience, it did seem really bizarre as if it was a rehearsal for a film.