Maria Zakharova
© Sputnik / Russian Foreign MinistryFILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
The US is covering up for Ukraine by denying that Kiev was involved in the deadly shooting at the Crocus City Hall outside of Moscow last week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

On Friday evening, a group of gunmen armed with automatic weapons attacked the venue ahead of a rock concert, indiscriminately shooting at civilians and setting the building on fire. The terrorist attack, the worst in Russia's history since the early 2000s, killed at least 140 people and injured almost 200. In the aftermath of the shooting, law enforcement detained several suspects, including four accused of carrying out the attack.

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the latter - who he described as "radical Islamists" - were caught fleeing "towards Ukraine where, according to preliminary data, a window to cross the border was prepared."

Meanwhile, the US, along with many of its allies, insists that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists are solely to blame for the shooting, saying there is no indication that Kiev had anything to do with it. Ukraine has also vehemently denied any involvement.

Commenting on the position of the West, Zakharova said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Wednesday that "they [Washington] have exposed themselves."

"They started crying, not calling for an investigation, but covering up for Ukraine. Their bias and involvement in this issue is evident."

She claimed that if Kiev had not actually been involved in the attack, Washington's first reaction would have been to stress the need for an investigation.

Zakharova's comments come after the head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), Aleksandr Bortnikov, suggested that not only Ukraine, but also the US and UK - Kiev's main backers in its conflict with Moscow - may have been behind the shooting. He described the information on the matter as being general, but added that investigators already have "concrete results."