News : 'Black mark' scars Chechnya

Apr 22, 2013

From Seacoast Online

By Joey Cresta

KITTERY, Maine — Sarah Brown said she worries the connection of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects to Chechnya will negatively shape Americans' feelings about the Russian republic.

Brown, a Portsmouth, N.H., native and founder of the Green Alliance who now lives in Kittery, said she lived in Russia as a young journalist fresh out of Columbia University with a degree in Russian studies in the early 1990s. During her time there, she covered and visited Chechnya during the two wars over the republic's independence from Russia, working with the Associated Press and NBC.

Despite the inherent danger of visiting a region embroiled in war — Brown said a couple of her friends who were journalists died there — she recalled the Chechen people as hospitable, kind and generous.

"I have these incredible memories of these amazing Chechen people," she said. "It's horrible to see this black mark. Now, this is what every American is going to associate with this country. ... When they think of Chechnya, they're going to think of the Boston Marathon bombing."

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