Apr 19, 2013

    9 Things You Need To Know About Chechnya

    The two suspects in the Boston marathon bombings are reportedly from Chechnya. Here's what you need to know about the war-torn region in southwest Russia.

    1. This is Chechnya, a region of Russia more than 1,000 miles south of Moscow.

    2. In 2010, CNN estimated the population there to be between 600,000 and 800,000.

    Alexander Sorin / Getty Images

    But that number is in flux due to displacement from violence in the region. Many Chechens have been displaced to refugee camps like this one, north of the city of Magas.

    3. The population is made up mostly of Sunni Muslims and Russian Orthodox Christians.

    Dima Korotayev / Getty Images
    Dima Korotayev / Getty Images

    4. Chechnya is famous for its mountains, the site of several major battles in Chechen history.

    5. In 1921, Chechnya attempted to break away from the Soviet Union, but was reclaimed by the USSR. Since then, Chechnya has repeatedly attempted to gain independence.

    Dima Korotayev / Getty Images

    6. Since the Second Chechen War, Chechen separatists have repeatedly attacked targets across Russia.

    Oleg Nikishin / Getty Images

    This was the scene after a suicide bombing at a Moscow rock concert in July 2003.

    7. In 2006, The New York Times reported that the Chechen capital was starting to rebuild.

    Dima Korotayev / Getty Images

    8. In April 2009, Russia officially ended its decade-long counterterrorism operation in the region.

    Oleg Nikishin/Newsmakers / Getty Images

    Russian army troops patrol the streets of Kurchaloi in October 2003.

    9. Despite that, violence and fighting has continued in both Chechnya and in cities across Russia.

    Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

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