"United Circassia" asks the parliament of Ukraine To recognize the Circassian Genocide

To: Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
5, Hrushevsky Street
Lypky, Kyiv, Ukraine

February 10, 2023

Subject of Appeal: A Request for Recognizing the Circassian Genocide committed by the Tsarist Russian Empire.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Russian Empire systematically conducted a genocide against the Circassian people, which targeted to take over the Circassia, our homeland, by exterminating a significant majority of Circassians. Those who survived were deported and exiled as a whole, and as planned by the Russian Empire, thousands of people died on the roads. 

Russian Empire desired only “the land that belonged to Circassians, not the Circassians themselves.” After 1864, the deportations continued for different reasons and under different disguises, and every kind of pressure was applied to our few kinsmen to leave their homelandas well. These sad events were recorded by eyewitnesses, and the relevant historical documents, some of which have been published, are preserved in the state archives.

Today, only one tenth of the Circassian population, about 700,000 people, live in afragmented and dispersed territory that can only be described as a small part of historical Circassia. Although Circassian people are a single nation, they were condemned to live inseparate political settlements, under different names, and isolated from each other by the Soviet administration and its successor, the Russian Federation administration, as if they were different nationalities. 

Currently, due to the Circassian Genocide and Exile, the 90% of the Circassians live outside their homeland, scattered in more than fifty countries all around the world. Circassians inexile are deprived of the “indigenous people's right to contact their own country,” which isdefined as the most basic human right by the Human Rights Convention. The Russian Federation refuses to allow the Circassians in exile to return to their homeland, even for urgent humanitarian purposes. The desire of the Circassians in Syria, who are in the middle of the conflicts between the rival parties in the ongoing intense war and who are experiencing all the pains of this civil war, to return to their own country due to the life-threatening danger is left unanswered and ignored by the Russian Federation.

In addition, activists who expressed their opinions on the "Circassian Question" in completely democratic, legal, and peaceful ways were detained, harassed, and put under pressure with open and covert threats. This unfair attitude is still maintained by the Russian Federation in different forms. The Parliament of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria (with its decision,dated 7 February 1992 and numbered №977–XII-B), and the Parliament of the Republic of Adygea (with its decision dated April 29, 1996, and numbered 64-1), recognized the Genocide, conducted during the 101-year Russian-Circassian War. They condemned the Circassian Genocide and demanded that the Russian Federation recognize the Circassian Genocide.

Georgia became the first member of the United Nations to recognize the Circassian Genocide, with the decision taken in its parliament on 20 May 2011, at the request of the Circassian People. According to this decision taken by the Georgian Parliament, during the war between 1763-1864, the Russian Empire implemented a policy of Ethnic Cleansing against the Circassians and settled another ethnic group (the Russian population) in the homeland of the Circassians. According to independent observers, Tsarist Russia launched barbaric military activities aimed at punishing Circassian civilians, completely exterminating a large part of the population in Circassia. In this brutally planned process, the famine and contagious diseases deliberately created by Tsarist Russia caused the destruction of the civilian population.

The Georgian Parliament declared acts committed against Circassians as genocide in accordance with the Hague Agreement No. IV of October 18, 1907 and the Treaty on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crimes of 1948. It has been revealed that the Russian Federation, which acts with the same arguments as the Russian Empire on the Circassian Question even in the 21st century, exhibits the same attitude in all respects with its invasion of Ukraine. The old- world habit of "conquest of land by occupation", which is thought to be an old way of thinking, was carried to the modern world by the Russian Federation and this situation shocked the whole world even more. The Russian Federation first organizes hybrid and proxy wars on the territory of independent states with bloody and barbaric attacks in front of the whole world, and when it fails, it directly resorts to war and occupation.

Today, the Russian Federation is forcibly sending the Circassians to the Ukrainian front, where many young people lost their lives. Their families organized many protests to prevent these young people from being used in this illegal war waged by Russia, but they could not prevent this result. The fact that the Circassian youth was sent to the Ukrainian front to their absolute death shows that the Russian policy of genocide is being continued with modern methods. This method also aims to create hostility between the Circassian and Ukrainian peoples.

As the Circassian Nation, we strongly condemn Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. We believe that there is no difference between the occupation of our homeland by the Russian Empire in 1864 and the occupation of parts of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. As a people whose country was occupied by the Russian Empire, we support the Ukrainian Government and the Ukrainians in their just struggle. In this respect, solidarity with the UkrainianGovernment and its people is extremely important for the Circassian People.

For the reasons indicated, we request your dignitaries of Ukraine to recognize the Circassian Genocide committed by the Tsarist Russian Empire. In addition, we ask the Ukrainian people to support the Circassian struggle, which aims to liberate our nation from Russian oppression and to re-establish an independent state within the framework of the United Nations Decolonization Resolution.


Chairman of the Council of United Circassia. 

Ibragim YAGAN 
Vice Chairman of the Council of United Circassia.

Selçuk BAĞLAR 
Vice Chairman of the Council of United Circassia. 

Dr. Mustafa CANBEK 
Secretary General of the Council of United Circassia.

Cherkessia.net, 16 Şubat 2023