Boston suspects’ hometown was Spokane sister city

SPOKANE — The Russian hometown of the two men suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon is a former sister city of Spokane.

Former Spokane Mayor Sheri Barnard visited Makhachkala in 1991 as part of a local delegation recognizing the civic relationship, and she tells The Spokesman-Review it was one of the highlights of her time in office.

Barnard says the people were “wonderful, helpful and friendly.”

A statue from the Russian city, located on the shores of the Caspian Sea near the breakaway republic of Chechnya, was given to Spokane as a gift in 1991 and remains standing along the Centennial Trail in Riverfront Park.

Spokane severed formal sister city ties during the early to mid-1990s after losing contact with Makhachkala leaders in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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