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Friday, May 20, 2011

Georgia recognizes mass killings of Circassians by Russia as Genocide

May 20, 2011 Bloomberg: "Georgian lawmakers voted today to recognize the 19th-century killing and deportation of North Caucasus natives by Tsarist Russia as genocide, becoming the first country to do so, parliament member Giorgi Gabashvili said."

May 21st marks the 147 anniversary of the announcement of Russia on ending the war in the North-West Caucasus. In honor of the victory over the Circassians in the Krasnaya Polyana "was a big military parade, hosted by the governor of the Caucasus, Mikhail Nikolayevich Romanov. The result of the Russian-Circassian War, which began in 1763 and lasted for 100 years, the deaths and the expulsion of 90 percent of the Circassian population. Most of them found refuge in Turkey, Syria and Jordan and scattered around the world. Today, the Circassians is a several million nation. A number of residents in their historic homeland is only 10 percent of the total number of Circassians, and they settled in the six different regions of the Russian Federation.

According to the official statistics of Russian authorities during the Russian-Circassian War, Russia lost more than a million Russian soldiers and officers.

It took a half-century for one of the world's largest empires to set up a shameful parade celebrating the "victory" over the Circassian people in "Krasnaya Polyana". 100 years this nation was at war with the enemy, one hundred times exceeding their number. Circassians lost the war, but were not down to their knees. The enemy failed to break their spirit.

The world has changed, the situation has changed. Circassians with renewed vigor to fight for their legitimate national interests. As one of the allies in their struggle they have chosen is Georgia, and it is no by accident. Circassians and Georgians are not only geographical neighbors, they share a common Caucasian culture, traditions and personal relationships. These two nations, along with Vainakh people most affected in the 200-year war Russia – Caucasus war, the results of which continue to threaten the very existence of these ethnic groups.

Unfortunately, the international community is not aware of the fact that the tragic events of the XIX century in the life of the Circassian people impacted Georgia: Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Georgians, but Muslims by faith, were forced to leave their own land and settle in Turkey. Add to this eviction for the same reason hundreds of thousands of people from the Meskheti-Javakheti region (region in Georgia) in 40s of the last century. Already there is no secret that the expulsion of people because of their affiliation to Islam has been only a politicized formal cause. This was confirmed again two decades ago, when to realize its imperial aims Russia artificially provoked conflict between Abkhaz and Georgian people and, with the same ferocity expelled from their homeland hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Christian Georgians.

In connection with the approaching the147th anniversary of the tragic events, the Circassian community organizations and associations operating in the Caucasus and beyond the region, turning the heads of states and international organizations to recognize the genocide of Circassians, which should just start solving problems of this nation.

In May this year the Georgian parliament received multiple requests from the community organizations representing Circassian people globally to recognize the genocide of the Circassian. Those organizations are "Circassian Congress of Israel", "Circassian Congress of Germany", "Circassian Congress of Belgium", "Adyghe Hekuzhi-Cherkessia" from Kabardino-Balkaria and “Circassian Forum of Jordan”

In their request to the Parliament of Georgia NGO "Circassian Congress of Jordan" on May 9, 2011, which is signed by the leaders of the union Adel Shapsug and Ali Kesht, said: “As a result of Russian aggression against Circassia its people have suffered from one of the largest exile in the history of mankind, and one of the ugliest tactics of genocide in which millions of Circassians were killed during the war and forcibly expelled.”

These developments reflect the sad reality, and anyone can see the consequences of these events, the authenticity of which is confirmed by the fact that today the Circassians in their historic homeland is only about 10%, while the majority of them, which account for 90% of the population lives in exile.

The Circassians suffered both at home and in exile, from the various methods of repression, intimidation, negative ideas, the loss of their language and traditions, and worst of all, the policy of eliminating their national ideology, which leads to the destruction of the Circassian national identity.

Circassians want and expect from the people of the free world, and people who are tired from the dominance of powerful nations that their issues are addressed fairly, civilized way, and under international law.

Circassians expect from free peoples and countries, who themselves have suffered for a long time trying to obtain the freedom and independence, to support now their attempt to preserve dignity. Inspired by their own history –other nations that gained freedom would supported the resolution of Circassian people issue.

Therefore the Circassian nation has confidence in the people of Georgia, which has struggled to gain freedom from the forces of darkness, and so has the confidence that the people of Georgia will help Circassians to fulfill their requirements.

Based on this, "Circassian Forum of Jordan" refers to the Georgian Parliament to recognize the genocide of Circassians, committed by the Russian government in the XIX century.

Recognition of the Circassian genocide by Georgia, as one of the most respected countries in the Caucasus region, will open a new page in the history of human justice, and bring hope to the survival of the Circassian people ~.

Recognition of the genocide - the most urgent issue not only for the Circassians living abroad, but also for the Republics of Adygeya, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia, which is still in the agenda. The history of this issue originated in the 90's of the last century.

On February 7, 1992 the Parliament of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria passed a resolution recognizing the genocide of Circassians (Circassians).

April 29, 1996 the State Council of the Republic of Adygea - Khase sent an appeal to the State Duma of the Russian Federation to recognize the genocide of Circassians.

May 28, 1998 Chairman of the International Association of Circassia Teuvezh Kazanok in Switzerland at a meeting of the UN Working Group on Human Rights raised the issue of recognizing the genocide of Circassians and the repatriation of the Circassian Diaspora to their historic homeland.

June 25, 2005 Non-Governmental Organization of the Republic of Adygea "Circassian Congress" has requested the State Duma of the Russian Federation to recognize the genocide of Circassians. The answer was the following: “during World War II genocide of Circassians (Circassians) did not take place.

November 17, 2006 Circassian organizations of the Russian Federation asked President Vladimir Putin to recognize the genocide. He was unable to use old trivial methods of blaming the Russian Tsarist regime and the Stalinist regime, because he was directly and personally involved in organization of the genocide of the Chechen people, and through his representative in the Southern Federal District, Putin provided the following response: ‘Russian legislation does not provide the relevant regulations, which could determine the procedure for solving the problem raised by the Circassian organizations.’

April 10, 2007 representatives of the Circassian ethnic community in the United States appealed to Vladimir Putin to examine in depth the issue of genocide of the Circassian people and take appropriate actions. But to date he has not found time to answer the Circassian Diaspora in the U.S. However Putin together with Dmitry Medvedev found time to defiantly ski for several times on the mountain slopes in “Krasnaya Polyana"- a place that is connected to the greatest tragedy of the Circassians nation.

While among the Circassian population of the Caucasus and beyond are developed active processes aimed at preserving national identity and return to their historic homeland, the North Caucasus is bleeding. High-rank Russian officials make cynical statements that there is such things as Circassian and North Caucasian problems and that it all inspired by Western forces and the Georgian authorities.

Attempt of the Russian leadership to turn a blind eye to problem of Circassian genocide and hide its real causes is doomed to fail. These attempts can only cause a bitter smile.

Translated from Russian: Original article: “Georgia and the Circassian issue” by Gocha Guniava
19/05/2011 Club of Experts