August 9, 2014

The Circassians Encounter Russian Propaganda Campaign


By: Adel Bashqawi
5th of August, 2014

Preface
Propaganda had been and still a main tool that the Russian consecutive regimes have adopted and maintained since Evan the Terrible until our present time, which is a phenomenon that is depicted on a regime which seemingly didn't mind following unethical methods to attain ill-gotten gains and achievements.

Formation of a nation in the title of ‘Rus’ or ‘Russia’ “originated from the principality of Muscovy in the 17th century, it expanded to become later on the Russian Empire;” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Russia and https://community.dur.ac.uk/a.k.harrington/origirus.html) and lead to establishing a “Russian language”, which is considered of an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group, and relatively a fledgling matter that had taken place approximately 1100 years ago, as the Russian language was founded as such to be a source of culture for the newly born entity (nation), which was assembled, resourced and collected from different sources and fundamentals. The human demography shows a combination of many elements of origin including Southeastern Slavic tribes, Vikings, Varangians, Norsemen, Germanic, and Asian at later stage (https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061012042010AAD2owX). That verifies a difference in rootage and deepness from other European nations such as the Greek, Italian, French, German, English, Spanish, and others.

The Mongol invasion of 1236, was considered a “catastrophic event” that brought Russia under the direct Mongol rule for the next 14th and 15th centuries, and “Russian culture became more influenced by oriental patterns during the Mongol period”. As a result, that contributed in “its political fragmentation”, which lead to the fact that “Russians lost whatever nationalistic sentiment they may have had”. The Romanov tsarism, introduced Muscovy, then Russia to a so-described “modernization and westernization of the army, government, and the nobility; created a Russian navy, controlled the church and eliminated all opponents” for the purpose of reforms. They waged colonial and territorial expansion wars against tens of nations in the Caucasus and elsewhere besides “conducting wars against the Ottoman Empire, Persia, and Sweden to expand Russia south and west” (http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/266LecN.html). All that unlike thousands of years of deep-rootedness, authenticity of the native nations of the Caucasus and the indigenous Circassians from ancient times being the original inhabitants of the Northwestern part of the Caucasus.

The Formation of the Empire of Fear

The Tsars’ wars and invasions had started more than 450 years ago, right after getting rid of Mongols’ tight control for several hundred years, against all the surrounding neighbors in all directions, starting with Novgorod in the year 1478, which got a territory from the Baltic Sea to the Urals and from the White Sea to Lake Seliger in the present Novgorod Oblast (http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2014/07/window-on-eurasia-when-russia-was.html), which resulted in either eliminating those peoples and nations or to be subjected to subjugation under oppression and tyranny.

Dozens of nations were victims of Tsarist Russian war, invasion, destruction, occupation, maltreatment, atrocities, murder, displacement, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Colonialism and direct autocracy always mired with racism that goes in line with apartheid. By use of force, Circassians, and after the total occupation of their homeland in May, 1864, 10% of the people ended up as a minority in their own homeland and 90% had to immigrate and to be deported to the Ottoman Empire, which ended up as “minority communities in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Europe, USA and 30 other countries of the world (http://www.aheku.org/articles/english/hist_en/1063).

Systematical Promotion of Misinformation

An example of this campaign is an article that was published in 8, December, 2012 on “kavkazoved” Website (http://justicefornorthcaucasus.info/?p=1251662272) known by its hostile orientations towards Circassians and other peoples of the North Caucasus, which published the events of a hostile “workshop” against Circassians, and “was held in the city of Rostov to elaborate on the "Circassian Question" in accordance with prejudiced and intolerant outlines and directives. It attracted the participation of “experts” from Rostov, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Cherkessk, and Pyatigorsk, in the presence of a number of representatives of the Russian media, educational institutions and social organizations. The theme of the meeting was the so-called the "Circassian Question" which has become the subject of different speculations with then, the approach of the Olympic Games in Sochi. The meeting was organized, commenced and held by Edward Popov, the Director of the Center for Information and Analysis for the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, pointing out that the “Circassian Question” has received wide attention and reactions both on the interior and exterior levels, and its related to “attempts of some external actors (some Circassian communities and non-governmental foreign institutions) to politicize the issue of the Caucasian war that had taken place in the period between 1817-1864 and the resulting adverse consequences for the peoples of the two regions of North-western and South-western Caucasus such as Kabardians”, ignoring that the Russian-Circassian War had taken place between 1763 and 1864, and the fact that Kabardians are an integral part of the Circassian nation!

ICA Promoting Russian policies

The well-known professional analyst, Paul Goble has published on the 25th of July, 2014, one of his “Windows on Eurasia” analyzing an interview in the title of “Moscow Works to Transform Circassians ‘from a Problem to an Asset’” (http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2014/07/window-on-eurasia-moscow-works-to.html) that was conducted with Khauty Sokhrokov, the president of the Russian-backed, Nalchik based, International Circassian Association (ICA), who was “angered by the success Circassians had at the time of the Sochi Olympics in focusing international attention on the Russian genocide”, which included many controversial issues; but concentrated on his wishful thinking about using the Circassians as a scapegoat for promoting the Russian tactics and strategies, and make them accept an assignment of guarding and supporting the Russian policies in existing world and regional conflicts.

Presiding a “Circassian organization reliable from Moscow’s point of view and thus in a position to deny other Circassian organizations of their ability to present their views as those of the nation as a whole”, Khauty Sokhrokov says, “‘the Circassian question’ can now become a resource for the advancement of the positions of Russia in the world and not a problem for the country”! This person seems to be as if he is addressing his speech and decisions haphazardly assuming that Circassians of the world got only one task that is to be slave to Russia regardless of, all inhuman acts perpetrated by Russians against their very survival during 101 years of long brutal war, crimes and genocide committed against their ancestors and deportation from their homeland to the wide world.

Alas, Sokhrokov mentions that “Circassians currently live in ‘more than 50 countries’ around the world as if he is happy about it and apparently doesn’t realize why Circassians reached this odd situation living in exile away from homeland. He suggests to “promote a pro-Russian position”, because as he stated “Circassians are Russian people”, which Russia would have had shown sympathy with Circassians even if they were only their friends and neighbors, and says so without even blinking an eye, ignoring the fact that Circassians who are denied their basic human right for repatriating to their homeland. Circassians of Syria had been suffering for more than three years now without Russia doing its duty towards people who were subject to Tsarist Russian genocide, followed right away by a forced deportation, and now the same victims and their descendants are trapped in a civil war that is still going on in Syria.

It is good to comprehend that the ICA “has been in operation since 1991”, but seemingly doubtful about the reason for establishing this association. It is shame to be part of a group that goes to the slaughter house without being familiar with the consequences of such reckless action. The real Circassians who founded the ICA know better than that, they could have helped themselves first, and restore the Circassian confiscated rights (God helps those who help themselves), instead of helping Russia in other imperial adventures in the Crimea, Ukraine or elsewhere, as the real Circassians strongly oppose and condemn occupation of states and nations, let alone the colonial oppression and domination!

How could a “cultural and spiritual heritage of the Circassian people” be protected without saving and protecting the Circassian identity and language? That cannot be attained in an assimilation environment whether in the North Caucasus or in Diaspora. Why to form “a stable pro-Russian trend” for Russia’s interest “and the use of their cultural, intellectual, and economic potential in Russia and abroad in the benefit of the Russian Federation”, while at the same time it is keeping to show it’s aggressiveness and hostility towards anything that is connected to Circassia and Circassians!

When will the promotion of resettlement of Circassians from Syria be over, if it has ever started yet? Khauty Sokhrokov wants to promote singling out for high praise regarding “the efforts of the Russian Federation for the peaceful resolution of the situation” for something that didn’t take place and it seems that Russia will not take this step unless it is obliged to do so. You don’t need to be Russian, you need to be human.

Circassia is a Nation Denied by Genocide

Khauty Sokhrokov should feel and act like human beings. Yes, what happened in 1864 is a genocide and the description given “contemporary Circassian society recognizes that the Caucasus war was the result of the policy of tsarist Russia and do not shift the blame for the tragedy of the Adygs [Circassians] onto contemporary Russia” is not acceptable, because the definition of the word Genocide is: “Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes; also extermination, atrocities, massacre, killing fields, ethnic cleansing or bloodbath” (http://www.preventgenocide.org/genocide/languages.htm). If Russia is honest and truthful in solving out the problems created for Circassians, Russia should recognize the Circassian Genocide.

It must be known that “objective discussion’ is a two way street, and doesn’t work if only one side accepts anything that is offered while everybody knows that nothing is offered to the Circassians. Obvious facts cannot be ignored as what Russia is doing is completely ignoring Circassians and their legitimate rights. The proof that the truth cannot be flipped, is the reaction and backfire triggered by Adygs in the North Caucasus and Diaspora to Russia’s efforts to tame Circassians in order to convince them to accept holding Sochi Olympic Games on the Circassians’ graves (http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/237791/), with the exception of some careless individuals, who have observed Circassian flags and anti-Sochi signs held in Nalchik (http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/237828/ and HTTP://WWW.KAVKAZ-UZEL.RU/ARTICLES/237908). A proverb says: “The history of a people is found in its songs”, which complies with the occurrence reported when 37 Circassians who were detained in Nalchik in February, 2013, for opposing Sochi Olympic Games, were singing well-known Circassian patriotic songs.

In January, 2013, the Russian Duma replied to the Head of the Adigha Khasa, the Circassian Association in the Republic of Adygea, Adam Boghos, in regard to helping Circassians of Syria to return to their original homeland, and the response said:

“Committee for Nationalities in the Russian Duma would inform you that your request to help the Circassians of Syria to return to the Russian Federation has been transferred to the Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation, and sending you this reduplication of the Ministry’s response”! The response declared: “Circassians of Syria are the descendants of immigrants of Adigha origins, from the Northern and Western Caucasus, who did not accept the Russian citizenship, and chose voluntary migration from the region after the end of military operations of the Caucasian War. Thus, the ancestors of the existing Circassians of Syria had resided in the territories that have not yet been within the Russian Federation until their migration in the year 1864 to the Ottoman Empire, which they cannot be considered as immigrants from the Russian State (http://justicefornorthcaucasus.info/?p=1251662840)”.

The above mentioned statement reflects the Russian State Duma’s recognition that Circassians have never joined Russia voluntarily, which was officially claimed that Circassians had voluntarily joined the Russian Empire 450 years ago that was officially celebrated in September, 2007, by the Russian government and its administrative staff including the International Circassian Association, in the Circassian enclaves in the North Caucasus.

The Head of the Adigha Khasa of the 21st Century, Amin Zekhizv, commented on the response and described it as it is true and means the following:
- Circassians are occupied people,
- Circassian territories are colonized by the Russian State,
- We are the descendants of the occupied people,
- As long as Circassia is within the Russian Federation, Circassians got no way to return home,
- The rulers of the North Caucasus region are the colonial administrative rulers in the Caucasus,
- Maria’s status, the Russian Tsar’s wife, in the city of Nalchik must be removed,

These are some of the issues that you have opened the Circassians and other Caucasian peoples’ eyes on (http://justicefornorthcaucasus.info/?p=1251666942 and http://kavpolit.com/otvet-aleksandra-zhuravskogo-na-obrashhenie-po-voprosu-vozvrashheniya-sirijskix-cherkesov-v-rossijskuyu-federaciyu/).

Conclusion

True loyalty to homeland rejects injustice, while Circassians believe that “Home is where the heart resides”, and after all the atrocities befallen on them, it is not fair to be given the choice between the devil and the deep sea! It is felt that Mount Elbruz is warmer to Adigha Circassians than the hearts of some individuals who pretend to be Circassians, and “Actions speak louder than words”…


Circassia
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