(NEW YORK) — The Czech Republic and Chechnya are nearly 2,000 miles apart, but that didn’t stop people from mixing up their geography.
The Boston Marathon bombing suspects, the Tsarnaev brothers, are of Chechen ethnicity. When the similar sounding Czech Republic, a country in Central Europe, began getting buzz online, the country’s ambassador to the United States stepped in to clear up the social media confusion.
“As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect,” Ambassador Petr Gandalovič wrote in a statement, after first offering his condolences to the victims of the bombings.
“The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities – the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation,” he explained.
Chechens are an ethnic group hailing from the southern edge of the Russian border, known as the North Caucasus region, whose history has been marked by its violent struggles for independence. Chechnya, a republic, is bordered by Georgia.
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