Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Czechs Aghast As Twitter Users Conflate Them With Boston's 'Chechen' Suspects (3RD UPDATE)

An FBI handout of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, ethnic Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
An FBI handout of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, ethnic Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
A surprising number of Twitter users were reportedly having a tough time getting their heads around the ethnicity of the two brothers -- one of whom was killed in a firefight with police and the second of whom was captured alive after a massive manhunt -- suspected of perpetrating the deadly Boston Marathon bombings on April 15. They're also thought to have shot and killed a campus police officer four days later, with authorities closing in on them.

The two are 26-year-old Tamerlan, who died in the shoot-out, and 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechen immigrants who have been in the United States for about a decade. (To further complicate things, both were the elder Tsarnaev was born in Kyrgyzstan and the younger's birthplace remains unclear was Daghestan, according to a former family neighbor in Kyrgyzstan.) Dzhokhar reportedly became a naturalized American citizen in 2012.

PROFILE Of The Tsarnaev Brothers

Media in the Czech Republic have picked up on a string of tweets erroneously linking the "Chechen" suspects with "Czechs." One of the most popular news websites in the Czech Republic laments the confusion in an article titled "America Rages At Czech Republic, Confuses It With Chechnya."

The iDnes.cz website also suggests major Western media made the same mistake:

In English, Chechnya is written "Chechnya," which some Americans preferred to regard as a shortening of "Czech Republic." It's possible, however, that media adopted this information. One user writes that the headline "Chechnya is a suburb of Czechoslovakia" appeared on the website of the "New York Post." Others insist that CNN and BBC wrote the same.

By the time the story came to our attention, there was no evidence of such mistakes by those media outlets.

[UPDATE: But a YouTube video is now circulating in which an on-air expert clearly confuses Chechnya with the Czech Republic or Czechoslovakia:

"...and also, you know, the young brother, Dzhokhar, named after -- the similar name, anyhow, to the first president of the Czech Republic, the Islamic republic, that was formed there. So I don't know if there's anything about identity there, when you're given a name like that as a youth, um, what kind of, uh, what does that do to your mindset and your identity and what's expected of you. It'd be interesting to hear the profilers talk about that."

All three of the CNN anchors standing next to the man making the statement (who is identified by "tilna65," who posted the video, as a "former CIA agent" but whom we have not identified) appear to visibly shudder at the comment. But whether they actually failed to catch the mistake or simply regarded it as inessential or impolitic to set the record straight, none offers a correction:

The perception proved sufficiently embarrassing to the Czech Republic that the Czech ambassador to Washington felt compelled to issue a public statement confirming that no, the Czech Republic indeed is not Chechnya (hat tip: Foreign Policy's Marya Hannun).

ALSO READ: Kyrgyz Former Neighbors Talk About Tsarnaevs, North Caucasus Ties

The statement came out within an hour or so of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dramatic capture, and read in part:

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. 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.]

Here are some of the Twitter posts conflating the two or, alternately, taking people to task for the mistake:

[UPDATE: @Courtneyabb0tt9's tweets were changed to "protected" status after this article was written, presumably after the user's mortification at being the center of so much unexpected attention. Here's an image that was circulating of the thread.]

The satirical website "The Onion" may have been too close for comfort with its item suggesting an appalling American lack of awareness about Chechnya, "Study: Majority Of Americans Not Informed Enough To Stereotype Chechens."

Here's an excerpt from that faux news brief:

Following FBI reports this morning that the suspects implicated in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing are of Chechen descent, efforts to thoughtlessly stereotype the alleged terrorists were impeded by the majority of Americans’ lack of basic knowledge about Chechnya or the Chechen people, a new study has confirmed. “Our research shows that, while many Americans would like nothing more than to make sweeping, insensitive generalizations about these two individuals based purely on their ethnic identity, this process is largely impeded by the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans truly know next to nothing about Chechnya, including even the very barest details of what or where Chechnya is,” said lead researcher Dr. Tim Kinane, adding that a majority of American citizens are almost totally unaware of Chechen history and culture, how to locate Chechnya on a map, whether Chechnya is a country or a city or a region, or that a person from Chechnya is called a Chechen.

Here's our effort, with our North Caucasus Service Director Aslan Doukaev, to help alleviate that real or perceived problem: "Interview: More About Tsarnaev Brothers And Their Ancestral Homeland."

-- Andy Heil
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Petra from: Redondo Beach
April 19, 2013 19:46
Go back to school people! You are embarrassing yourself. Czech Republic has nothing to do with Chechnya! Two different countries.
In Response

by: Tom from: STL
April 21, 2013 00:28
"Czech Republic has nothing to do with Chechnya! Two different countries." Chechnya is not a country.

Funny that you try and make a point about people embarrassing themselves and then you turn around in the same sentence and embarrass yourself.
In Response

by: Tom from: Prague
April 21, 2013 17:03
Well, they claim to be a country, even though nobody recognizes them as one. But does it really change the fact, that is it still not Czech Republic?
In Response

by: Petra from: Redondo Beach
April 22, 2013 21:25
Funny, Tom from STL, you tried to be a smart a** but in the end I think you are the same dumb a** like all those people who mistaken Czech Rep for Chechnya. What should I call Chechnya? City? Chechnya is a self-governing republic within the Russian Federation.

by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
April 19, 2013 20:45
I'll bet they have good beer in The Budweiser Restaurant in the Czech Republic, which borders Germany, and no Islamic insurgency there. And everything is so clean!
In Response

by: Jarduk from: Pilsen, CZE
April 19, 2013 23:01
Actually, Budweiser beer isnt so tasty. We have many better brands. :) But thanks.
And unfortunately islamic migration to our country is getting worse and worse and nobody can stop that because when somebody disagree with that, he is called a racist, xenophobe and so on. But dont worry, we wont give them our land. :)
In Response

by: Tom from: Prague
April 21, 2013 17:06
Wow, living in Prague, in one of the most "expat" quarters I don't really know any muslims living here. And no matter how hard you wanna justify your qoute, you are a racist.

by: Crimpy from: Australia
April 20, 2013 02:05

by: Conan S. from: Northern Virginia
April 20, 2013 03:19
I'm aghast at how some people don't know the difference. Makes me lose faith in my generation's ability to pick out locations on the map.

by: Ron from: Australia
April 20, 2013 06:54
I'm from Australia. We have kangaroos. However, when I visited Austria a few years back I was able to buy a funny t-shirt with a kangaroo logo and a cross through it and the slogan No Kangaroos in Austria. I guess people mix up Austria and Australia too, but they are 27,000 miles apart! What happened to geography???
In Response

by: Sam from: Not Austria
April 20, 2013 15:57
HAHA - This one resonates with me too!! When I first travelled to the US, a lot of people, when told I was from Australia, thought it was Austria. Then someone with the courage to claim his geography, in all earnest said yes, that place near Japan!! I. Kid. You. Not. - Gawd Bless 'Murrica. :)

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 20, 2013 09:02
Those geniouses who confused Chechnya with the Czech Rep. must have been from the US - a country, 40 % of whose population has still not figured out where Canada is. So, for representatives of this enlightened nation "Chechnya" or "Czech Rep.", "Austria" or "Australia", "Georgia" where Mischa is the President or "Georgia" in the US - it is all the same to the Beavuses. All they know about the world is that in the store on the corner of their house they can buy yougurt for 2,99, and everything else is unimportant. That's why they screw up time and again - losing one war after the other or getting bombed twice a week here and there.
In Response

by: Kwalify from: USA
April 20, 2013 14:09
@Eugenio - where do you get your facts? The National Enquirer? (re: 40% of US population still have not figured out where Canada is.) Does it make you feel better about yourself to hurl insults about a populace you most likely have never met? I'm sick of individuals who criticize people in the United States - we can't help it that the rest of the world is seemingly obsessed with anything and everything we do (I've been abroad and have observed this weird obsession with our country). Yet, why do so many foreigners long to come to "America" - it's epidemic. The worst are foreigners who come here, make money here, get an education here, enjoy the so-called excesses of this country (and believe me - they do!) and somehow still manage to criticize our lifestyle. Yes, this country has problems like any other - no better, no worse - so to those foreigners who live in the U.S.A., if you REALLY don't like it here, then get the hell out and go back to your homeland. What a bunch of hypocrites. I'll even buy you a 1-way ticket, as long as you promise not to come back.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 20, 2013 18:04
God, Kwalify, I have had the "pleasure" of having spent some two years in your disgusting country and have absolutely NO desire whatsoever of EVER repeating this experience. So, just keep the money that you would spend on this one-way ticket: you will need it to pay back a part of the sovereign debt of the US that currently exceeds 100 % of your GDP.
Cheers from Vienna and do make sure I do not see your Maul around here, Beavus!
In Response

by: justin from: usa
April 21, 2013 06:59
Well said. you buy the ticket and I will point them in the right direction....
In Response

by: Maggie from: USA
April 22, 2013 02:13
Well said!
In Response

by: JayHobeSound from: Florida
April 23, 2013 02:40
It is ignorant and arrogant tirades like yours that alarm people in other countries. You lack the empathy to consider how America's actions impact other countries. Intellectually deficient Americans would be comical if not for our habit of imposing "liberty and freedom" with bombs and bullets.

In Response

by: World Police
April 20, 2013 21:38
Anyone could miss Canada - all tucked away down there.
In Response

by: Mischa the President from: Georgia
April 23, 2013 00:43
"Georgia" where Mischa is the President or "Georgia" in the US" - This was funny, made my day. I am from that Georgia, where Mischa is the president haha
Gruesse nach Oesterreich!

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 20, 2013 09:14

Who would after so many years remember "Tea Party"?
Who would pull the strings on the new "Bostonian Elite"?
Whose national archetype would they use for a basting?
What nation would loose its land? Who would breed in it?

Putin told Obama remove obstacles...
Is it to expand Russia?
I wrote it in "Face Book" early in the morning.
Now I see in the news what I suspected right away!

News report says:
"Sullivan and Associated Press writer Stephen Braun reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Pat Eaton-Robb in Boston and Jeff Donn in Cambridge contributed to the report."
The report is very misguiding.
It hunches on gasping desire to find who did it and offering pro-Russian interpretation.
I saw right away on yesterday photos Caucasian futures of the suspects and decided right away that it could be only in Russian interests to publish reports about terrorism in Dagestan, Russia about to invade, as road to invade Azerbaijan and remaining Georgia, than pull strings on Bostonian Elite to let Russia conquer all Caucasus.
Is it what Putin asked Obama last time, to help "remove" interference?
April 19, 2013 Boston bombing followed right away.
A "Boston Tea party" for another kind of Revolution - to expand Russia?

News report says:
"...Chechen insurgents... ...in the southern Russian town of Beslan... ...more than 330 people, about half of them children, killed..."
But the killers were Russian Special Forces, "shape-shifters"!
Isn't it what Russia did to Georgia in 2008?
They murdered brothers and sisters of Georgians, Osetins from Beslan, than used it as excuse to invade Northern Osetia with the large armies and occupy the small country, than invaded Georgia through South Osetia and Abkhazia.
I managed in time to alert McCain and United Nations - Russia didn't conquer whole Georgia and Azerbaijan that time.

News report says:
"The suspects... ...Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechen brothers who had lived in Dagestan... ...in southern Russia..."
Is it what Russia pounding since 2008 Georgia invasion - to open the third corridor of invasion to Georgia and Azerbaijan,
beside "Abkahzia" and "South Osetia" - Dagestan direction!

News report says:
"...The bombings... ...raising the specter of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil...
...insurgency that has carried out deadly bombings in Russia and the region, although not in the West..."
Isn't it what was said by Russian proxies in USA, every time USA would invade, or, in this case, would allow Russia to invade?

News report says:
"...no light on the motive...
...the brothers traveled here together from Russia... ..."losers"... ..."thereby just hating everyone."...
...Tsarnaev traveled to Russia last year and returned to the U.S. six months later..."
How about "motive" of traveling to Russia to be brainwashed?
How about using Russian instigation to make life of non-Russians in USA unbearable,
As they did it to me and my mother since I came to USA in 1980?
My mother was killed, blackmailing me be plagiarized, 7/7/2012.
I am a Georgian and a Christian...

The news report wouldn't like such motive, it says:
"...Insurgents from Chechnya and neighboring restive provinces in the Caucasus have been involved in terror attacks in Moscow and other places in Russia..."
Is expanding Russia now a good guy?
Are victims of genocide and annexations of Russia now bad guys?
Is USA and Obama, with economy trashed by Russia, now supporters of Russia, invading all three corridors -
"Abkhazia", "South Osetia" and now also would-be Dagestan-Azerbaijan?
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 20, 2013 19:44
What USA have to do, not to blink, Eugenio?
As they did before, get bombastic and ruin USA,
Helping Russia to expand and to breed, smart Borgio,
In most of the World, instead of Human Civilization, "brat"?

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 20, 2013 09:22
VIDEO: Chechnya: Republic of Contrasts (RT Documentary) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e84rNrhv8yk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

by: Tyler from: Australia
April 20, 2013 12:51
I dont believe anything thats said on forums like this and especially news sites. I think its a bunch of lies creating panic and fear among the people and making the people think that the government has done good by capturing these so called suspects!

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 20, 2013 13:11
VIDEO: America blinks at Chechen terrorism - New York ex-mayor -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF6HD-bwvI4&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Comments page of 2

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