Czech Republic is not Chechnya, diplomat points out

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:16pm EDT

Former Czech Republic Agriculture Minister Petr Gandalovic (L) talks with his Belgium's counterpart Sabine Laruelle (R) at the start of a European Union Farm Ministers council in Brussels March 23, 2009. REUTERS/Ezequiel Scagnetti

Former Czech Republic Agriculture Minister Petr Gandalovic (L) talks with his Belgium's counterpart Sabine Laruelle (R) at the start of a European Union Farm Ministers council in Brussels March 23, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Ezequiel Scagnetti

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(Reuters) - Make no mistake: the Czech Republic is not Chechnya. That's a distinction the Czech ambassador to the United States wants to make crystal clear after news emerged that the two suspects in Boston Marathon bombing had Chechen origins.

"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," Petr Gandalovič, the Czech ambassador, wrote on the embassy's website on Friday.

The unusual statement followed a series of Twitter messages from people who apparently struggled to distinguish the two places with similar names.

"Both the guys from the bombing are from the Czech Republic," wrote a geographically challenged user called Courtney Abbott, erroneously placing their origins about 1,500 miles to the west of Chechnya. "Wow," she added.

"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 ambassador said.

Gandalovič, who said he was shocked by the attack, stressed that "the Czech Republic is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism."

Chechnya is part of southern Russia's restive Caucasus, which also includes Dagestan, Ingushetia and other predominately Muslim regions that have seen two decades of unrest since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Two ethnic Chechen brothers were suspected in the bombings at the world-famous Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 167 on Monday.

(Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (5)
BrokenToaster wrote:
“he unusual statement followed a series of Twitter messages from people who apparently struggled to distinguish the two places with similar names.”

There was that big of a confusion that the Czech ambassador had to make a statement and this issue appear on Reuters?!(face-palm)

Really?!

Next people will think that McDonald Island is an island owned by Ronald.

Apr 20, 2013 10:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BrokenToaster wrote:
“he unusual statement followed a series of Twitter messages from people who apparently struggled to distinguish the two places with similar names.”

There was that big of a confusion that the Czech ambassador had to make a statement and this issue appear on Reuters?!(face-palm)

Really?!

Next people will think that McDonald Island is an island owned by Ronald.

Apr 20, 2013 10:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
littlelzard wrote:
The Ambassador shouldn’t be upset with a simple mistake like that. They were probably right wing gun nuts that, more likely than not, don’t know the name of thier own state anyway.

Apr 20, 2013 11:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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