Putin pledges support for Boston probe

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his country's help with the investigation into Monday's attack in Boston even before Friday's revelation that the two suspects are Chechen. 

News reports said the two suspects are brothers of Chechen origin, but have lived in the United States for several years after immigrating legally. The news comes at a time of high tensions between the United States and Russia, which is reeling from the Obama administration's decision to publicly blacklist 18 Russian officials last week and continues to support President Bashar Assad in Syria.


Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in a firefight with police, is believed to have been born in Russia near Chechnya. His brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is still on the run and was born in Kyrgyzstan, much farther to the east near the border with China.

“Vladimir Putin strongly condemned this barbaric crime and expressed his belief that the fight against terrorism requires the coordination of the global community’s efforts,” the foreign ministry said in a statement of condolences Tuesday. “The president of Russia stressed that the Russian Federation will be ready, if necessary, to assist in the US authorities’ investigation.”

Putin followed up Thursday by calling the attack on a sporting event “particularly disgusting” as he opened the ice hockey youth world championship in Sochi, site of next year's Winter Olympics.

The motives behind the attack that killed three people and injured 176 remain unknown. Chechnya, a Muslim enclave in the Caucasus, saw a rise Islamist militancy when separatists fought for independence from Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union; two Chechen militants detonated bombs packed with metal nuts, bolts and screws in the Moscow subway in 2010, killing at least 40 people.