«Circassian congress» (Adygeya) demands to recognize genocide of Circassian people

ADIGEYA, 7 July, Caucasus Times – The Reference of Adygeyan republican social movement «Circassian congress» to the chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russian Federation Boris Gryzlov is accepted in the reception of this federal legislature, Caucasus Times correspondent informs.

About it it became known at the next session of the Public forum “Republic”held in Maykop on July, 5. As the representative of the organization who had given the reference informed, it contains the requirement of recognition of Adygeyan (Circassian) people’s genocide in the course and after the Russian-Caucasian war of XIX century. To the reference it is enclosed more than 500 archival documents – official documents of imperial generals, other military leaders who directly organized destruction of Adygeyan settlements, extermination of their inhabitants. All these documents are on a CD. The documents are handed over on June, 1, and the term of their consideration as it was explained in the reception, is 30 days.

In the reference it is written:

“On May, 21st, 2005 it has been 141 years since the end of the Russian – Caucasian war of the 19 century – one of the longest and bloodiest in mankind’s history.

In the historiography dedicated to the events of that time, numbering hundreds and thousands books, articles, essays in many languages of the world, there are available facts about features of the war.

Now it is possible to consider as a fact that the war of the Russian Empire against the mountaineers of the Northern Caucasus differed radically from the wars Russia had in Europe against France, Austria, Prussia and other countries in various periods of time. Within accidents with the European countries some written and unwritten war- rules Russia executed; still Caucasian people had been put outside of the civilized society’s laws.

Archival documents including reports, official papers, prescriptions of the commanders of the regular Russian armies, commanders of «groups» taking part in battles against the mountaineers, actions of atamans of the irregular Cossaks armies testify that grades of the Russian army were not satisfied with usual military actions against the mountaineers who resisted the Empire with weapons and hands. In numerous documents there are facts which allow to draw the main conclusion that Russian policies in the Caucasus during the 20th century can not be considered as usual military activities for the successful victory to impose a will to the opponent, but as a war in which a task of elimination out from the world ethnic map of the whole nation had been put. Otherwise it is impossible to explain the reasons for unprecedented cruelty shown by the Russian armies in the Northern Caucasus, and their reprisals against the peaceful population. There had been innumerable murders of old men, women and children; purposeful distraction of livelihood of Adyghe (Circassian) ethnos- villages, gardens, fields, fodder. There had been actions of the commanders of the Russian divisions and groups which followed direct instructions of their deputies in Caucasus, who considered starvation to be the only possible instrument for the mountaineers’ pacifying.

In 1859 the war in the North- East Caucasus came to the end with capitulation and capture of Shamil – the imam of the Chechen Republic and Dagestan.

The war in the North-West Caucasus against Adyghes (Circassians) continue on for another 5 years, till May 21st, 1864.However, the Russian politicians and generals were not limited by the reached victory and subjected the West-Caucasian mountaineers to a mass deportation. According to the official information ( A.Berje) out of one million Adyghes (Circassians) over 400 thousand people were killed during the war; 497 thousand people were deported, and only 80 thousand Adyghes people remained in the historical native land. That had become in fact the ethnic cleansing – unprecedented for that time, grandiose in its scales. Displacement of the Circassians population out of the limits of Caucasus continued till the beginning of the
First Word War.

In the historical scientific literature dedicated to the tragic events in the Northern Caucasus of the 19th century, the Russian Empire’s policies are designated with the term “genocide”.It is used by foreign and by the domestic science. It is necessary to note that scales of the reprisals against the Northern Caucasus people, especially Adyghe (Circassians), according to their destructive actions fairly fall under this definition. However the tragic events on of the 19th beginning of 20th centuries had not received any political-legal estimation until our days, by the official circles of Russian Federation, which proclaimed itself as a law successor of the USSR and the Russian State Empire. In spite of the fact that in the « Reference to the people of Caucasus» with which the Precedent of Russian Federation Yeltsin acted on May 18, 1994 in commemoration of the 130th anniversary since the end of the Russian-Caucasian war, had the recognition of validity of the mountaineers’ struggle for freedom and independence, in that document there was no recognition of the fault of the imperial government for the genocide committed against the people of the Northern Caucasus.

The decision of the Supreme Council of the Kabardino –Balkarian Republic of the February 7th ,1997 and the reference of the president of Adyghe Republic and the State Soviet -Khase of Adyghe Republic of April, 29th, 1996 addressed the State Duma with an offer to make a legal estimation of the genocide committed by Russian tsarism against Adyghe ( Circassian) ethnos, were left with out any recognition. Adyghean public till now has no information concerning further destiny of those documents.

Meanwhile hundred thousand of Adyghes ( Circassians) in Russia, and about 3 million of our compatriots abroad are waiting for the leadership of Russian Federation to pass a document which would state a political-legal estimation to the action of the Russian Empire’s rulers. No reasons of the Russian politicians, jurists, historians of the past and present ( which have the purpose to rehabilitate the tsrism policy in the Northern Caucasus of 19th beginning of the 20th century under an excuse of protection Russian economic and geo-politic interests in the region) can anyhow justify extermination of the entire people.

It is known that the State Duma of Russian Federation on April, 4th, 1995 made a statement in which is recognized the fact of genocide committed by Turkey against Armenians in 1915. In the statement it was written that the State Duma «basing on the incontestable historical facts testifying to extermination of Armenians on the territory of the Western Armenia in1915 -1922, following the spirit and the letter of the convention accepted on December 9th, 1948 by the United Nation Organization the Convention on the prevention of genocide and punishment for it , to the Convention on inapplicability of limitation period to war crimes and crimes against humanity, ( November 26th,1968), yearning for revival of humanistic traditions of the Russian State, condemns organizers of 1915- 1922 extermination, expresses the sympathy for Armenian people and considers the day of April 24th, as Memory Day of genocide victims.» Probably, if having recognized the fact of genocide committed by the Russian Empire against Adyghean ( Circassian) ethnos, Russian leadership and its supreme legislative organ – the State Duma- would have showed the whole world its good will and ability to be consecutive in realization
of freedom principles and democracy, humanism and validity, in aversion of xenophobia and national, racial and religious intolerance, proclaimed by Russia – in the same way as it is underlined in the statement about Armenian’s genocide.

Adyghean Republican social movement « Circassian congress» addressing the deputies of State Duma, express a hope that the supreme legislature of Russian Federation will consider understandably this reference as well as applied documents and will express the attitude
to this issue.”

Caucasus Times

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