With the news that the two brothers suspected of carrying out this week's attacks on the Boston Marathon were ethnic Chechens who spent time in Dagestan, the world's attention turned to a region of southern Russia and a conflict that, for all its destructiveness, rarely makes it onto the radar of Russians themselves, let alone the rest of the world's.
"Russians only pay attention to the insurgency when suicide bombers attack the Moscow subway or the airport," writes Anna Nemtsova in Foreign Policy.
The conflict that began in Chechnya spread to Dagestan in the late 1990s, and the number of bombings and counterinsurgency operations in the predominantly Muslim region has been rising steadily ever since, Nemtsova writes. Here's a look at the long-simmering conflict that may have shaped how the suspected Boston Marathon bombers saw the world.
Above, a militiaman looks at the bullet mark in a window of the Makhachkala-to-Moscow train after the train's arrival at Moscow's Kazanski train station on Jan. 16, 1997.