KABARDINO-BALKARIA, 8 March, Caucasus Times. Commemoration meeting devoted to the deportation of Balkarian people in March 1944 took place in a spa area of Dolinsk in Nalchik in the neighbourhood of the monument to the victims of political repressions.
Delegations from Karachaevo-Cherkessia, North and South Osetia, Terek cossacks, members of the government and parliamentarians of Kabardino-Balkaria as well as National Artist of Kabardino-Balkaria Mikhail Shemyakin took part in the ceremony. Participants of the ceremony laid flowers to the monument of a founder of Balkarian literature Kyazim Mechiev who died in exile and has just recently been reburied in his homeland.
After official part of the ceremony unauthorized meeting of Balkarian public devoted to the most burning problems took place. During the meeting, speakers discussed the course of the implementation of the law “On rehabiliattion of the repressed peoples”, which was not fully realized as far as Balkarians are concerned. In particular, they stressed that Balkarian administrative borders, which existed until 1944 have not been restored yet. Key issue discussed at the meeting was territorial rehabilitation and real local self-government.
Head of Kabardino-Balkaria Arsen Kanokov has recently addressed Balkarian people expressing his confidence that all peoples of Kabardino-Balkaria “will overcome all hardships and will unanimously continue their path towards democracy and social progress”.
According to archival materials, on 8 March 1944 members of Soviet NKVD deported 37.713 Balkarians, 52% of whom were children and 30% – women, to Central Asia and Kazakhstan. On 28 March 1957 Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet issued a decree restoring Kabardino-Balkarian Autonomous Republic. After 13 years in exile Balkarian people received a right to return to their home land. On 8 March 1994 when 50th anniversary of the deportation of Balkarians was commemorated, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin on behalf of the state apologized for the deportation. At the same time, presidential decree on rehabilitation and state support of the revival of Balkarian people had been issued.