Ramzan Kadyrov, president of the Russian republic of Chechnya, has posted a statement on the Boston Marathon suspects' alleged ties to Chechnya. Kadyrov, who is known for his eager media campaigns and for his effort to build something of a cult of personality since taking office in 2004, posted the statement to his official Instagram account imposed over a photo of himself.
The statement condemns the bombings at the marathon and then attempts to preemptively downplay the idea that the suspects' ideology or possible use of violence might have anything to do with Chechnya. "You must look for the roots of [their] evil in America," he writes, according to one translation. A translation that is circulating more widely has this phrase as, "Seek the roots of this evil in America."
Chechnya has been a site of conflict for decades, culminating in the 1990s with two failed wars for independence. More recently, those wars and their aftermath have, according to a report by the International Crisis Group, "transformed the nationalist cause into an Islamist one, with a jihadi component."
Here, via Quartz, is an English translation of the full statement.
The events that took place in Boston are tragic. People have been killed as a result of a terrorist act. Earlier we expressed our condolences to the residents of the city and to the American people. Today, according to media reports, during an arrest attempt a certain Tsarnaev was killed. It would have made sense to arrest him and carry out an investigation, clarify all the circumstances and his degree of guilt. Evidently, the security services needed a result at any price in order to calm the populace.
Any attempts to link Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs, if indeed they are guilty, are futile. They grew up in the USA, their viewpoints and beliefs were formed there. You must look for the roots of [their] evil in America. Terrorism must be fought everywhere. We know this better than anyone. We wish all the victims a [speedy] recovery and share in Americans’ grief. #terroristact #Boston #consequence
Quartz's Gideon Lichfield says he believes that the commonly cited translation of one of Kadyrov's lines as "seek the roots of this evil in America" may be a mistranslation and explains why he chose "look for the roots of their evil in America."