Chechnya Facts: What You Need to Know About the Homeland Of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Investigations surrounding the recent bombings in Boston have revealed the suspects to be two brothers from Chechnya, a republic in Russia bordering Georgia. While many Americans know about the horrific events in Boston recently, few know about this region.

Situated in southwest Russia, Chechnya is made up of mainly Chechens, Russians and Ingush people. Protected from many enemies by The Caucasus Mountains, the people of Chechnya have been able to maintain a lot of their old traditions. The Chechens and the Ingush speak a language belonging to the Nakh group that used to have Russian influences in it until 1991 when movements were made to remove Russian words. Both these peoples are also Muslim. The main export of this area is petroleum, having supported the economy there for some time.

Chechens have been known to commit terrorist acts ever since they declared independence from Russia in 1991. A separatist’s war began in 1994 and lasted for a few years. Until now, Russia has been the main focus of Chechen terrorism with many attacks including one in March 2010 where there were bombs placed in the Moscow subway system and over 40 people were killed. Russian security forces have made a big effort to try to calm things down with Chechnya, performing large scale sweeps of Chechen houses, causing much controversy for those subject to having their home searched.

With its people’s fierce commitment to independence, Chechnya has been known as a place with much turmoil and bloodshed. It is truly unfortunate that that unrest and violence has now been brought to the United States.

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Julia Birnbaum

Julia Birnbaum is a student at Sarah Lawrence college with a passion for writing and a love for all things pop. Julia is currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy.

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