Over at The American Prospect, I have a brief article asking if the ethnicity of the Boston bombers will effect U.S.-Russia relations.
Russian officials are quick to underscore that they are victims of Chechen terrorism, not causes of it. As if to underscore this point, Ramzan Kadyrovv—the Moscow-approved strongman who currently governs Chechnya–left a comment on his Russian-language Instagram. It reads, in part, “Any attempt to make the connection between Chechnya and Tsarnaevys if they are guilty, [is] in vain… It is necessary to seek the roots of evil in America.”
Russia-U.S. relations are currently at a low point. Perversely, focusing so much on the two brothers’ ethnicity—even if they’ve barely ever been to Chechnya itself—might actually bring Washington and Moscow closer together. After all, it was Vladimir Putin, not George W. Bush, who was the first world leader to announce his country’swide scale campaign against terrorism because of the violence in Chechnya. And since then, one of the few places where Moscow and Washington have found room to cooperate has been on efforts against Islamist extremism.
Read the whole thing over at The American Prospect.