Czech Republic: We’re Not Chechnya

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 20 2013 11:29 AM

Czech Republic: We’re Not Chechnya

Czech chechnya
Kevin Kinkead posted this "infographic" on his Twitter account (@PhilUnionKevinK) to help people who might be confused by geography


It seems there were so many people on social media who thought the country of origin of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was the Czech Republic that Petr Gandalovic, the country’s ambassador to the United States, was compelled to keep the record straight. In a statement posted on the embassy website, the ambassador makes clear this wouldn’t happen if people just took a look at a map:  

As many I was deeply shocked by the tragedy that occurred in Boston earlier this month. It was a stark reminder of the fact that any of us could be a victim of senseless violence anywhere at any moment.
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.
As the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman noted in his message to President Obama, the Czech Republic is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism. We are determined to stand side by side with our allies in this respect, there is no doubt about that.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.