Activist Adam Medaliev beaten up in Kabardino-Balkaria

Three masked men have attacked Adam Medaliev at his land plot in the village of Nartan and beat up the activist. The attack had to do with his social activeness, as Medaliev defends at court the rights of Nartan villagers to land, Ibragim Yaganov, an activist, believes.
The attack on Medaliev was committed today around 4:00 p.m. Moscow time; after the attack, unidentified persons disappeared.
Mr Yaganov, who is Medaliev's colleague, associates the attack with the conflict over the land in Nartan and his activities, as Adam has long been defending villagers' rights to the land at the Arbitration Court of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR).
"Adam Medaliev is an honest and decent person, not at all a conflicting one. Definitely, the today's attack was committed by his opponents on the land issue," Ibragim Yaganov told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported about other attacks on activists, who demanded, in different KBR villages, to transfer land plots to local residents. Thus, in October 2016, Murat Kishev, a resident of the village of Verkhny Akbash, was injured – along with a group of his fellow villagers he demanded to provide them with land that had been exploited by a local enterprise for many years.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 7, 2018 at 07:36 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Lyudmila MaratovaSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2018 18:28:00 +0000

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In Krasnodar, activist holds solo picket against torture in detention

On November 4, in Krasnodar, activist Alexei Nikitin came out for a picket. In his hands, he was holding a poster reading: "Stop torturing people."
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on March 26, 2017, in Krasnodar, Alexei Nikitin was detained at an anticorruption rally for violating the rules for participating in a public rally, and he was arrested on the same day. Alexei Nikitin served his sentence in a special detention centre, where his health deteriorated. He stated that such conditions of detention violated the Constitution and Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, prohibiting torture. The Krasnodar Territorial Court supported the activist's arguments and decided to collect 3000 roubles from the Treasury to compensate for "torture conditions."
Alexei Nikitin held a solo picket in Krasnaya Street in front of the building of the Krasnodar Territorial Administration. In his hands, the activist was holding a poster reading: "Stop torturing people."
According to Alexei Nikitin, he has got a decision of the Krasnodar Territorial Court stating that "the administratively arrested residents of Krasnodar were being held in torture conditions." "But the police do not close the special detention centre, do not plan to close it and do nothing in connection with all that. I repeatedly appealed in written to the appropriate authorities, but no results followed. I decided to draw public attention to the problem. Perhaps, then they will close the special detention centre," said Alexei Nikitin.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 4, 2018 at 10:25 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Alena SadovskayaSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Mon, 05 Nov 2018 18:33:00 +0000

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A Circassian journalist starts a lawsuit with law enforcers in Kabardino-Balkaria

Tariq Topçu, a student of the Kabardino-Balkarian State University (KBSU), a citizen of Turkey and Germany of Circassian origin, has complained that his permission to temporarily reside in Russia had been annulled.
Tariq Topçu notes that he explores the Circassian issues and is engaged in journalistic activities. "It is possible that could only be the cause, since I cannot explain other reasons," said Tariq Topçu.
"The decision of the police was a complete surprise for me, since I always distanced myself from violence. I have always been far from separatism and extremism," emphasized Tariq Topçu.
According to him, he challenged the decision in court.
The activist explained that in December 2016, he sent documents to be enlisted to the Philological Faculty of the KBSU.
"I received an invitation, and in May 2017, I arrived with a student visa. I planned to stay at the university to teach German," Tariq Topçu wrote on Facebook.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 29, 2018 at 05:26 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2018 18:30:00 +0000

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TV series episode with Circassian woman triggers protests among Caucasian Diasporas in Turkey

The natives of Northern Caucasus living in Turkey found the phrase about the Circassian woman in the "One Hope" TV series as offensive and demanded, at a rally, to stop further show of the serial.
The episode, which was considered offensive by natives of the Caucasus, was shown in the second film of the serial. In relation to a girl presented as a Circassian, a phrase was pronounced meaning an entry into extramarital relations and an unlawful birth of a child, Ali Viskhadjiev, the head of the Chechen Diaspora in Istanbul, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.
On October 21, representatives of about 40 organizations of immigrants from Northern Caucasus held a protest rally at the building of the "TV Channel D", demanding a public apology. The organizer was the "Platform of Associations of North-Caucasian Organizations of Turkey".
The demonstrators came out with flags of their republics and posters, condemning the actions of the TV channel. The participants chanted: "Circassians are here", "Adygs are here", "Ossetians are here", "Chechens are here", "Kabardians are here", "Dagestanis are here", "We are all together", "We demand apologies". According to the Turkish police, up to three thousand people from Caucasian organizations of Istanbul, Samsun, Izmir and other cities of Turkey took part in the rally, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent has reported.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 23, 2018 at 08:45 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Magomed TuayevSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2018 21:40:00 +0000

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Meeting of the Heads of Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Circassia took place in Maykop

20.10.2018 Delegations from Karachay-Circassia and Kabardino-Balkaria, led by the heads of the republics, visited Adygea with a working visit. Murat Kumpilov warmly welcomed the delegations of the fraternal republics.

In an informal setting, there was a conversation between the Heads of Republic of Adygea Murat Kumpilov, the interim head of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic Kazbek Kokov and the Head of the Karachay-Circass Republic Rashid Temrezov. Ex-Presidents of Adygea Aslan Dzharimov and Aslan Tkhakushinov, were also invited to the meeting.

Opening the meeting, the Head of Adygea Murat Kumpilov emphasized that all three republics have strong fraternal ties and long-standing partnerships, noting the significant role of the former regional leaders, through whose efforts effective mechanisms of inter-republican cooperation in various fields were created, a reliable basis for expanding interaction in the interests of peoples of Adygea, Karachay-Circassia and Kabardino-Balkaria.

“We are firmly supported by the fact that we are united in the issues of preserving and strengthening social harmony and stability in the North Caucasus. We stand for the cohesion of the peoples of our multinational republics and the whole country. We solve similar problems - it is to ensure economic growth, improve the quality of life of people. And such a community can serve as a guarantee for the successful implementation of our joint projects in the future, ”said Murat Kumpilov.

Rashid Temrezov and Kazbek Kokov expressed confidence that the fraternal regions have significant reserves for expanding cooperation in education and science, culture and sports, economics and lawmaking.

The discussion of specific aspects of interaction took place on the same day in an extended format with the participation of parliamentarians and heads of sectoral ministries.


Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2018 18:15:00 +0000

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Kabardino-Balkarian activists treat Magas action as unique


The protest action against the change of the Ingush-Chechen border is a unique example of residents' struggle for their rights, while in Kendelen, authorities manage to suppress the parties in conflict, activists from the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR), who visited Magas, have stated.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on September 26, Ramzan Kadyrov and Yunus-Bek Evkurov signed the agreement on securing the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia. Residents of Ingushetia took to mass actions in protest against the transfer of lands.
On October 9, KBR activists visited Ingushetia and spoke to the rally in Magas. In particular, Valery Khatazhukov, the head of the KBR's Human Rights Centre, noted that the entire Northern Caucasus is closely monitoring the events in Ingushetia.
Mr Khatazhukov noted the high self-organization of the Ingush society, its stubbornness in defending its interests, which, in his opinion, should be an example for other republics of Northern Caucasus.
Ibragim Yaganov, a horse breeder, said that he came to Ingushetia to witness a unique event in modern Russia. He noted that in recent years, people's interests were defined by bureaucrats, not elected by people, but appointed from above. "They treat us as an illiterate crowd, which is not able even to elect its leaders. You were the first to show the whole of Russia that people can manage their lives and defend their interests," Mr Yaganov has stated.
In his opinion, the recent events in the KBR's village of Kendelen are an opposite example, when authorities "put people to their place."
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 13, 2018 at 10:51 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Lyudmila MaratovaSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2018 06:25:00 +0000

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Viktor Kotlyarov reports threats after publishing a book about Kanzhali battle

Viktor Kotlyarov, an author and publisher of the book "The Battle of Kanzhali: A Look Through the Centuries", has filed a complaint to the Prosecutor's Office about the threats got through the Internet. He also sent a letter to Kabardino-Balkarian leader Kazbek Kokov, in which he called the Kanzhali battle a "litmus test" for the situation with interethnic relations in the republic.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in October, the book "The Battle of Kanzhali: A Look Through the Centuries" was published in Nalchik. The book describes the clash between the Circassians and the forces of Crimean Khan Kaplan-Girey on the Malki River. Viktor Kotlyarov, an author of the book, has noted that the battle is directly related to modern situation, in particular, to the unrest in the village of Kendelen.
On September 18, residents of the Kendelen village did not let participants of the procession organized in memory of the 310th anniversary of the Kanzhali battle to pass through the village. The refusal provoked clashes. Historians mentioned a land dispute as the cause of the conflict in the Kendelen village.
After the publication of the book about the Kanzhali battle, the publisher got a lot of insults and threats through social networks.
"They accuse me of corruption, falsification of history, and incitement of hostility between Balkar and Kabardian nations. Users of social networks call me a 'fascist,' and they propose to execute me," Viktor Kotlyarov reported.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 16, 2018 at 02:18 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Lyudmila MaratovaSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2018 18:16:00 +0000

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Recommendations of the International Circassian Conference in Nuremberg

Concluding Remarks and Recommendations of the
First International Circassian Conference

Nuremberg, Germany
September 21st and 22nd 2018

The First International Circassian Conference was held at the Karl-Bröger-Zentrum in Nuremberg, Germany on September 21st and 22nd, 2018 and it was attended by approximately two hundred participants from 14 countries. The program of the conference consisted of 35 scientific presentations as well as entertainment programs. The scientific program covered the following topics: the challenges of preserving the Circassian language; finding solutions to end the Circassians’ suffering in the 21st century; the Russian Occupation in 1864 – the Role of Europe – Solution of the Circassian question; the impact of globalization on the Circassian heritage, culture and tradition; Circassian challenges in the diaspora; the future of Circassians in the motherland and diaspora; the influence of globalization on challenges and solutions of maintaining Circassians in the diaspora.

One of the main objectives of this conference was to bring together Circassian experts and activists from the homeland and other countries to get to know each other, exchange ideas and practice their common role in serving the Circassian cause away from any political and ideological differences. This objective can be achieved by the following:

Building bridges of communication, by establishing collaboration and coordination efforts between Circassian intellectuals across the globe.

Identifying areas of cooperation and connecting with the scientific and educational institutions in the motherland.

Benefiting from the experiences of Circassian experts from across the globe and forming specialized committees to follow up on meetings and conferences.

Encouraging those interested in the Circassian culture to learn more about their history and inspire their children to enroll in Circassian universities, especially in humanities programs, in order to consecrate the connection with the homeland.

Striving to build a coalition to organize the common goals of all Circassian activists and institutions and address their concerns and work collectively to find solutions, which is consistent with globalization and the revolution of knowledge and communication.

Removing barriers that prevent cooperation among those interested in Circassian affairs, and benefit from the experiences of other peoples.

The General Assembly of the First International Circassian Conference calls upon the Russian Government to recognize the Right of Return of all Circassians who live outside North Caucasus. Returning Circassians to their homeland will bring back with them the diversity and economical breadth that will further strengthen the Russian Federation’s economy. Their integration into the societies of the North Caucasus will also enrich the cultural fabric of the entire country. We sincerely believe that any steps to be taken by the Russian Government in facilitating the immediate return of all Circassian compatriots will be in the benefit of the Russian Federation as well as the Circassian people. Therefore, it is time for the Russian Government to fulfill its honorable duty and recognize the right of all Circassians to return to their homeland in the North Caucasus.

The General Assembly of the First International Circassian Conference condemns the unfortunate events that took place in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria on Sept. 18th and 19th 2018 and resulted in dozens of casualties and the arrest of many, according to reports from the region. The General Assembly calls upon all parties to be mindful of the sensitivity of the circumstances of the region and not to drift behind the suspicious schemes of creating dispersion between various parties. Furthermore, the General Assembly calls on being vigilant of all attempts aimed at destabilizing the region.

Regarding “The Second International Circassian Conference”, the participants agreed on the following:

The Second Conference will be held next year (2019).

The Conference is to be held in Europe. The location and exact date will be determined and announced as soon as possible.

The official language of the Conference will be the Circassian language; however, the participants are welcome to present in any language they wish. Efforts will made to provide simultaneous interpretation to Circassian or Englishfor all talks

Circassian, international and local media outlets should be invited to future conferences.

Forming a Scientific Committee and an Organizing Committee for the Second Conference. The committee members will be announced as soon as the location of the Second Conference is determined.

The following recommendations were adopted by the General Assembly of the First International Circassian Conference:

Creating an international donation apparatus that takes into account the legal challenges related to fundraising in countries of interest. From this premise it follows that maintaining the legal safety of the organization and the donor is of utmost importance to the financial counsel – an objective only feasible via sophisticated cooperation among specialists whose primary task is to diminish, if not entirely prevent, potential legal violations on the part of the organization and the donors. It is worth noting that the CRO is an international establishment that is legally registered and fully capable of accepting memberships and donations.

Promoting a culture of donation among Circassians by implementing marketing strategies aimed at normalizing the concept of monetary philanthropic contribution within the community.

Reaching out to the younger generation not only by the mere call for contribution, but by the proper utilization of connections and the resources at hand so as to sponsor and accommodate the current needs of our youth.

Promoting a relationship of reciprocity between the Circassian organizations and the youth helps to reinforce the positive-sum nature of contributing to the organization.

Sponsoring and starting new businesses and investments in order to employ our qualified candidates and to secure a more stable financial footing for the Circassian organizations.

Creating a reliable, impartial and multi-lingual platform on the internet that contains resource persons and entities, an e-library, news outlet, language lessons and any matters that concern the Circassian world. This platform should connect to existing platforms, e.g. YouTube and other social media outlets, and especially to sites created by Circassians around the world. The common theme should be to respect all peoples and cultures.

Establishing a Circassian digital library that archives all documents, books, documentaries, songs, movies and all other Circassian related works and make them available and accessible to the public without the violation of any copyrights.

Encouraging the public to share all successful stories of people who have learned the Circassian language. These stories can be utilized to motivate the general public to learn the language.

Establish an electronic platform to facilitate communication between participants of the First International Circassian Conference to exchange ideas, build a stronger network and invite Circassian activists and those interested to join. The use of the Circassian language as the official language of the platform is highly recommended.

The general assembly of the First International Circassian Conference

Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2018 16:05:00 +0000

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Khabib Nurmagomedov v Conor McGregor: Dagestan celebrates win

People in the Russian republic of Dagestan have taken to the streets to celebrate Khabib Nurmagomedov's Ultimate Fighting Championship victory over Conor McGregor.
The Dagestani - who has never lost in his career - beat his Irish opponent in the fourth-round of the Las Vegas mixed martial arts (MMA) fight.
Ugly scenes marred the victory, with a brawl erupting immediately afterwards.
Nurmagomedov is the first Russian citizen to win a UFC title.
Supporters in his home town of Makhachkala, the republic's capital, were jubilant in the moments after the fight.

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There has been widespread criticism of the scenes following Nurmagomedov's victory.
Former UFC title contender Dan Hardy called for him to be suspended, while his father Abdulmanap reportedly said he would punish his son himself to teach him a lesson for his bad behaviour.
"We must have discipline and order," he told Russian Channel One TV. "In the ring you can do whatever you like. But beyond its bounds things have to be peaceful."
His fighter and his trainer, Nurmagomedov's father was denied a US visa and could not travel to Las Vegas to see his son's win.
However, he was reportedly filmed addressing the crowds after the bout.

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Makhachkala residents however did not seem to care about the controversy swirling around their champion.
Many donned traditional furry Dagestan hats which the fighter himself has made popular.

MMA supporters celebrate in the streets of DagestanImage copyrightREUTERS
MMA supporters celebrate in the streets of DagestanImage copyrightREUTERS

Bordering Chechnya to the west and the Caspian Sea to the east, Dagestan has high levels of violence thanks to separatist, ethnic and Islamist tensions.
The republic is famed for its ethnic and linguistic diversity, being home to more than 30 languages, while several dozen Muslim peoples have settled among the high valleys over the centuries.

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Dagestan jubilant

By Sandro Vetsko, BBC Monitoring
In Dagestan, there is jubilation.
"Hurray, Russia, our spirit is undefeatable!" veteran Dagestani politician Ramazan Abdulatipov wrote on Instagram.
"Well done Khabib, he withstood all the dirty attacks and won like a real man".
But many are worried about possible sanctions after the brawl in Las Vegas.
"America can whip up hysteria as much as it likes, and impose sanctions which will rid Habib of both his money and his career," says a comment on the Forum Dagestan website.
For some in Russia, it is McGregor's behaviour that is a subject for concern.
"Doing things for show and starting scandals is different from winning in the ring. Too much noise, and yet he was defeated," TV host and senior member of the Russian parliament's upper house, Alexei Pushkov, tweeted.
Official Rossiya 1 TV hails the Dagestani fighter as "our Khabib" who "almost literally tore McGregor's head off".
However, not all Russians were proud of Nurmagomedov. "It is Khabib who won, but it is I who feel ashamed," popular blogger Ruslan Usachov tweeted.

Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2018 16:24:00 +0000

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Historians explain ethnic conflict around Kanjali Battle in Kabardino-Balkaria

The scale and significance of the Kanjali Battle can be a subject of discussion, but the ethnic conflict in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic has arisen on this ground because of harsh political restrictions, historians believe.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on September 18, residents of the village of Kendelen refused to let the participants of the equestrian march organized in honour of the 310th anniversary of the Kanjali Battle through the village. Several people received traumas in clashes with marchers.
The Kanjali Battle that took place in September 1708 is perceived by KBR historians as a major milestone in the Circassians' (Adygs') history. At the same time, a number of historians have questioned its scale and consequences.
The 2013 conclusion of the Centre for Military History of the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences states that the Kanjali Battle "was of paramount importance in the national history of Kabardians, Balkars and Ossetians," noted Timur Aloev, a senior research fellow at the KBR Institute for Humanitarian Studies.
Alexander Yalbulganov, an expert on military history of the Nogais, has doubted the described scale of the Kanjali Battle.
In the opinion of Vladimir Bobrovnikov, an Orientalist, regardless of its scale, the Kanjali Battle belongs to the sphere of "historical and cultural memory."
Timur Aloev believes that misunderstandings in the evaluation of historical events in Russia are the result of the absence of political freedom.
"The attitude of the federal centre to North-Caucasian republics is purely colonialist ... We can't elect the head of our republic," the historian has pointed out.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 18, 2018 at 05:53 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Rustam DjalilovSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot



Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2018 18:15:00 +0000

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Circassian organizations ask European parliament to recognize the Circassian genocide (11.10.2006)

Circassian (Adygeyan) public organizations of Russian Federation, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Syria, the USA, Belgium, Canada and Germany have sent the president of the European parliament Mr. Joseph Borrell Fontelles the reference with request for recognition of the genocide against  Circassian (Adygeyan) people within and after the Russian-Circassian war of the XVIII-XIX centuries.

To the President of the European parliament 
Mr. Joseph Borrell Fontelles 

The reference of the Adygeyan (Circassian) organizations to the European parliament

We, Adygs (Circassians) are the aboriginals of the Northwest Caucasus. Our customs, ceremonies, traditions, language, the way of life were developed during the millenia in this territory. Vitality of our traditions is one of the brightest features of our people, and its material and spiritual achievements – the Maykop and the dolmen cultures, the heroic epos «Narts» - are universal heritage of the mankind.

During its formation the Adygeyan (Circassian) ethnos, often becoming an object of aggression, stood for protection of its freedom and independence. The military expansion of the Russian empire initiated in the second half of the XVIII century became for our people a real national tragedy, which consequences affect so far.

During the military actions of that time they carried out: occupation of territories, purposeful deprivation the peaceful population of the basic means of life-support - destruction of gardens and crops, stealing of cattle, burning completely of the peace settlements.

Massacre of the peace population - women, children, and old men - was committed, too.

For the middle of the XIX century any organized resistance of Adygs (Circassians) was broken down. Since 1862 mass violent deportation of the indigenous population was started. Hundreds thousand people, pushed down to the coast of the Black sea, perished because of colds, famine, epidemics.

According to underestimated information of Adolph Berge (1828-1886) - who was considered at that time as the official historian of the Russian-Caucasian war - from among over one million Adygs (Circassians) they lost in the war over 400 thousand people; 497 thousand people were deported; in their historical native land only about 80 thousand people remained. However the troubles of our people had not ended with that.

Huge masses of Adygs-emigrants appeared to be scattered on the extensive territory of the Ottoman empire. Great inflow of the immigrants and impreparation of the Turkish administration to their reception and accommodation caused mass extermination of the people.

In the numerous archival documents there are data of the participants of those tragical events that allow to make the key conclusion: the war the Russian state unleashed in the XVIII - XIX centuries against Adygs (Circassians) in their historical territory is impossible to consider as usual military actions.

Russia had as the main purpose not only capture of the territories, but also utter extermination or eviction of the indigenous people from the historical lands. It is impossible to explain in any other way the reasons for such inhuman cruelty the Russian armies demonstrated in the Northwest Caucasus.

The process of Adygs’ violent deportation - both of separate families, and entire settlements - proceeded till the World War I.

Small groups of Adygs (Circassians) that staid in their historical territories suffered from the policy of the violent cultural assimilation the imperial administration implemented.

The present Russian Federation, having proclaimed the democratic way of its political development for the country actually continues the policy pursued earlier by the Russian state. By the silent approval of the federal center during the last years in Adygeya Republic, as well as across all the Russian Federation, public organizations preaching the ideas of the national-chauvinism actively work.

The final goal of such organizations is carrying out of a referendum on the status of the republic by the principle of the mechanical majority, that is to take advantage of the quantitative superiority appeared as a result of the Russian-Caucasian war (the indigenous Adygeyan population in Adygeya Republic now makes 24 percent).

Today on their ancestors’ lands Adygs (Kabardians, Circassians, Adygs, Shapsugs) - about 700 thousand people - live in 4 subjects of Russian Federation (Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, Karachaevo-Circassian Republic, Adygeya Republic, Krasnodar territory) and now have no more than 20 percent of the territories from the historical lands they had occupied.

Over 3 million representatives of our people live outside the Northwest Caucasus in 50 states. Owing to that artificially created dissociation of the ethnic Adygs (Circassians) they gradually lose their culture and language.

During 142 years after the end of the Russian-Caucasian war Russia repeatedly changed its political system, but the attitude to Adygs (Circassians) remained constant - the violent cultural assimilation of the remained indigenous population in the historical territory and banning on returning for the Adygs (Circassians) expelled from the Northwest Caucasus.

On July 1st, 2005 the Reference to the State Duma of Russian Federation concerning recognition of the genocide against Adygeyan (Circassian) people was submitted. However deputies of the Russian legislature could not have overcome religious and ethnic prejudices, having refused to recognize the moral and the legal responsibility for the brutal acts the Russian state had committed in the past.

According to the Convention on prevention and punishment of genocide adopted by the United Nations Organization (New York, December 9th, 1948) and the Convention on inapplicability of limitation period for war crimes and crimes against humanity of November 26th, 1968

- following the standard principles of equality of all the peoples irrespective of religious and ethnic elements and origin,
- basing on the incontestable historic facts testifying to the extermination and the violent deportation of Adygs (Circassians) from the territory of the Northwest Caucasus,
- proceeding from that Russian Federation is the assignee and the successor of the Russian state,

We ask the European Parliament to consider in comprehensive and objective way our Reference and to recognize the genocide against Adygeyan (Circassian) people, being committed by the Russian state since the end of the XVIII till the beginning of the XX centuries.



Murat Berzegov
Chairman of the republican social movement «Circassian Congress»
Republic of Adygeya, Russian Federation 

Askerbi Namitokov
Chairman of the republican social organization «Nafna»(Khabze)
Republic of Adygeya, Russian Federation 

Ali Tliap
Chairman of Adygyesk City Branch of the republican social movement «Adyghe Khasa»
Republic of Adygeya, Russian Federation

Beslan Makhov
Chairman of the republican social movement «Circassian Congress»
Republic of Karachaevo-Circassia, Russian Federation

Yora Shanibov
Chairman of the republican social movement «Kabardinian Congress»
Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Russian Federation

Can Kesgin Khurma
Secretary of the organization «Caucasus Forum», 
Istanbul, Turkey

Set Akhmet Ubykh
Chairman of the «United Caucasus» association, 
Samsun, Turkey 

Can Sonmez Shapsug
Chairman of the «United Caucasus» Federation, 
Ankara, Turkey

Mustafa Esinlap
Chairman of the «United Caucasus» association, 
Bursa, Turkey

Fehmi Khuako
Chairman of the «North Caucasian Cultural» association, 
Istanbul, Turkey

Rukhi Shkhaltukh
Chairman of the organization «Friends of the Circassians of Caucasus» 
Amman, Jordan

Nawriz Pshidatok 
Secretary of the «Circassian Forum», 
Amman, Jordan 

Adnan Orkiz
Chairman of the «Circassian Congress» 

Rodin Blangabs
Chairman of the Circassian Association «Nafna» 

Entam Abreg 
Coordinator of the «Circassian Congress» 

Fawaz Der
Secretary of the «Circassian Cultural Institute» 

Zamir Shukov
President of the «World Circassian Brotherhood» 

Kuban Hatukai 
Secretary of the «Circassian Congress» 

Nart Abzakh 
Coordinator of the «Circassian Congress» 

Adel Khakoz 
Secretary of the «Circassian Congress» 

Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:46:00 +0000

Original link:

360 advocates demand to investigate the attack on lawyer Benyash

More than 360 lawyers from different regions of Russia have signed a petition demanding to investigate the beating of Krasnodar lawyer Mikhail Benyash. Vladimir Kolokoltsev, the Minister of Internal Affairs, has promised to clear out the Benyash's case, said Yuri Pilipenko, the head of the Russian Federal Bar Association (FBA).
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on September 10, Pavel Chikov, the head of the "Agora" Human Rights Group, posted, in his page on the Facebook, an appeal to the FBA, in which he urged the due state authorities to "efficiently investigate the attack on the lawyer Benyash." On September 11, the Amnesty International (AI), a human rights organization, recognized Mikhail Benyash as a prisoner of conscience and demanded his immediate release.
On September 9, in Krasnodar, in the course of an unsanctioned march of opponents of the pension reform, dozens of people were detained, including Mikhail Benyash, who reported that he was beaten after detention. The court placed the lawyer under arrest for 14 days and sentenced him to 40 hours of compulsory works.
"The attack and kidnapping of our colleague are not a single episode, but a daring attack on the corporation of lawyers," says the appeal to the FPA. Its authors also demand to convoke an open sitting of the FBA and of the commission for the protection of lawyers' professional rights.
As of 10:05 p.m. Moscow time, the appeal in defence of Mikhail Benyash was signed by 365 lawyers from different regions of Russia.
During the today's meeting with Vladimir Kolokoltsev, the Russian Interior Minister, Yuri Pilipenko, the FBA President, reported "on the available information about non-observance of the provisions of the law at detention of Mikhail Benyash."
"The Minister of Internal Affairs has promised to clear out the case," said Mr Pilipenko, as quoted by the "Advocatskaya Gazeta".
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 12, 2018 at 10:10 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2018 09:34:00 +0000

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“Adyghe Khase - Circassian Council" against «land-absorption” by Krasnodar


According to the website report of Krasnodar Administration, the treaty of creation a Krasnodar agglomeration or economic zone is to be signed by the leadership of Krasnodar region and Republic of Adygea.

Krasnodar and adjacent areas are expected to become members of an agglomeration and also Adygeysk, Takhtamukaysky and Teuchezhsky Districts - from the side of Adygea Republic.

Governor of the Krasnodar region is reported to make a unified decision-making structure - “Krasnodar economic zone Council”, which means that the decision-making process will not be accepted outside the Council. Therefore, the relevant ministries of the Republic of Adygea are going to lose their control function in a given area. Obviously, even after an accession of the government officials from the Republic to the Council, Krasnodar would dominate. It’s a dismantling of the Republic’s power.

The Maykop Organization “Adyghe-Khase - Circassian Council” is against an infringement of the statehood of Republic of Adygea. The Council assures that Circassian people would not support the draft.

By the way, there is no mention of “unified decision-making structure” on the website of Republic of Adygea Government. In our opinion, this fact indicates different parties’ views on prospects of the forthcoming cooperation. Probably, they are afraid of the renewal of the social tension which was caused by an attempt to eliminate the republican status a few years ago. Obviously, they also suggest it could give rise to indignation among the multi-million foreign Circassian diaspora, as well as among fraternal Kabardino-Balkarian and Karachay-Cherkess Republics. There are sufficient instruments and mechanisms for establishing closer cooperation between these regions in Russian Federation. Therefore, we call on the parties to abandon such a dangerous idea and we encourage to start using these instruments more effectively.

The Executive Committee of "Adyghe Khase - Circassian Council"

Maykop, 23. 08. 2018

Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2018 12:05:00 +0000

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Activists from North Caucasus disappointed from the law on native languages

The State Duma has adopted the law providing for voluntary study of native languages without taking into account the opinion of representatives of national republics, stated activists of the North-Caucasian NGOs. They have promised to seek the repeal of the law.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on July 24, delegates of the State Duma approved the bill on national languages and left the compulsory study of native languages to the choice of pupils' parents.
The bill providing for the voluntary study of national languages has outraged people of the republics. They treated the above law as a threat to the culture of their nations. About 90 linguists from European universities called on the Russian government to reject the bill.
According to Valery Khatazhukov, the head for the Human Rights Centre of Kabardino-Balkaria, the main requirement for the authorities was to make the study of native languages compulsory. He is afraid that schools will force parents and children not to learn their native languages.
According to Zaurbiy Chundyshko, the chairman for the Maikop city NGO "Adyge Khase", the voluntary study of native languages will lead to the disappearance of the national culture of nations.
Members of the State Duma are not interested in listening to the opinion of the society, believes Alikhan Khoranov, a blogger from North Ossetia.
Residents of Dagestan also criticized the adoption of the law on native languages. The new training order will encourage some parents to refuse to study national languages in favour of the Russian language, and the federal centre will continue the course on assimilation of small nations, believe residents of Dagestan.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 27, 2018 at 08:36 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Author: Gor AlexanyanSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2018 12:46:00 +0000

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Circassian activists against the Imperial Policy of Russia

The Duma’s passage on first reading of the Kremlin’s language bill that would make the study of all languages in Russia except Russian purely voluntary by a vote of 373 to 3 with one abstention has sparked outrage in the non-Russian republics generally and the Circassian  ones in particular as an appalling case of the center’s “purely imperial policy.”

Even before the vote, Kavkazr journalist Larisa Cherkes reports, deputies in the regional parliaments of Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachayevo-Cherkessia and  Adygeya had spoken out against the measure even though they recognized that Moscow doesn’t care what they think ( ‘purely imperial policy’

Aslan Beshto, the head of the Kabardin Congress, says he wasn’t surprised by Moscow’s actions because “they have made it clear that the opinion of society does not affect the deputies much.” He said that now he and other Circassian leaders plan to appeal to the Constitutional Court.

Martin Kochesoko, a Circassian activist from Kabardino-Balkaria says that “Russia has always conducted a policy of assimilating numerically small peoples.” The only thing that has changed, he adds, is that “now it is doing so openly. Today, in the Russian Federation, all the indigenous peoples except for the Russians are losing their languages and uniqueness.”

The Russian federation exists “only on paper,” he continues, but “we Circassians will do everything we can so that our people will live.”

A third Circassian activist, Zaur Zhemukha, says that the Circassians plan, if the Kremlin bill is approved on the third reading, to demand consistency from Moscow and call for the elimination of the requirement for the obligatory study of Russian” given that “Russian is not native for us.”

Despite these words, the Circassian activists both those and others have little hope that they will be able to stop this train.  But they will continue to work, and it appears that one of the most important consequences of this resistance will be continuing meetings among Circassian activists who now live in different republics as a result of Moscow’s divide and rule strategy.

The next such meeting is planned on 26 of June in Nalchik.

Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2018 05:45:00 +0000

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Memory of the Circassian Genocide helps Circassians preserve their national identity

The Memorial Day for victims of the Russian-Caucasian War is an integral part of modern Circassian identity, believes Zaurbek Kozhev, a researcher at the Kabardino-Balkarian Institute of Humanitarian Studies.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on May 21, prayer services, rallies and marches in memory of the victims of the Caucasian War were held in several regions of Russia, as well as in Turkey and Abkhazia.
The Caucasian War, which lasted from 1763 to 1864, put Adygs (Circassians) on the brink of complete extinction. After the war and mass deportation to the Ottoman Empire, just a little more that 50,000 of them were left in their homeland. Circassian organizations insist that Russian authorities should declare Circassian genocide during the Caucasian War.
"Unfortunately, 90 percent of the people now live in other countries. Modern Circassians associate such situation with the Caucasian War and its consequences, with the genocide and ethnic cleansing that occurred in the last years of the war," Zaurbek Kozhev told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.
According to the researcher, it is extremely important to pay tribute to the memory of the victims of the Caucasian War.
"This is our historical past, our historical consciousness. And to have some historical prospects in the future as a nation, we should not forget ... why 90 percent of Circassians are forced to live outside their historical homeland," noted Zaurbek Kozhev.
Apart from being the day of remembrance and sorrow, the day of May 21 is also a warning that no such things should happen to any other people, believes Madina Khakushaeva, PhD in Philology, Professor at the Kabardino-Balkarian State University (KBSU).
According to her, it is important that all the nations in Russia should be aware of the tragedy of Circassian people and understand what can happen with wrong policies.
"Unfortunately, those lessons were taken into account at no level. And that is of the highest concern for us. Russia ignored those lessons. I believe it is an alarming sign indicating absence of real democracy," the Professor said.
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.
Author: Gor AleksanyanSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2018 05:26:00 +0000

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan recalls 'Circassian Exile' tragedy

By Sarp Ozer


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday 21 of may remembered the deportation of Circassian people 154 years ago by Russian empire.

In his remembrance message posted on his official Twitter account, Erdogan said: “On the 154th year of 'Circassian Exile', I wish mercy from Allah for my Caucasian brothers and sisters. We did not forget this tragedy and we never will.”

Nearly 1.5 million Circassians were expelled from Caucasus region to the east of the Black Sea when it was overrun by Russia in 1864. Some 400,000-500,000 are believed to have died.

Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2018 05:11:00 +0000

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Circassians want genocide to be recognized by Russia, Turkey

MAY 21, 2014

Circassians in Turkey have called on Russia to recognize what they call a genocide against their ancestors, most of whom were killed or expelled from their homeland in the North Caucasus in the 19th century, and have appealed to the international community to bring them justice.

“The genocide against the Circassians was a crime against humanity and we urge Russia to recognize it as such, even though we know that these atrocities will not see justice,” Erdoğan Boz, a board member of the Ankara-based Circassian Foundation, said in an interview with Sunday's Zaman. Boz also said steps need to be taken to secure justice for Circassians, such as securing unconditional recognition from Russia of their right to return from around the world to their homeland, building up the status of the Circassian language in the modern sub-national republics in Russia with large Circassian populations and providing greater political rights to Circassians in their homeland.

Almost all Circassians were expelled from their native lands in the northwestern Caucasus in the aftermath of the 1817-1864 Caucasian War. Those remaining were later scattered, and mostly live in three semi-autonomous republics in Russia: the Republic of Adygea, the Karachay-Cherkess Republic and the Kabardino-Balkar Republic. Their homeland is now home to only 700,000 Circassians -- a fraction of the total community. Over 90 percent of Circassians were killed or forcibly deported to the Ottoman Empire or other parts of Russia. More than half of the exiled and deported people died of hunger and illness within a few years. The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) estimates that the Circassian diaspora is 3 million strong, of whom an estimated 2 million live in Turkey, about 150,000 in Syria, Jordan and Israel and about 50,000 in Europe and the United States.

Calling the historical experiences of the Circassians “a battle waged to maintain their population in their native lands,” Boz says the mass atrocities against the Circassians fit well with the concept of genocide as defined by Raphael Lemkin in 1948, and the international community should put pressure on Moscow, which is “responsible for the painful past of the Circassians and should recognize the genocide.”

“However, despite 150 years having passed since then, Russia has not taken any steps in the direction of recognizing the genocide,” Boz said, adding that there have actually been changes for the worse, with Moscow not only refusing to listen to their demands but continuing to increase oppression, especially amid the recent Sochi Olympics controversy.

A tragic history

The Circassians, a largely Muslim population of the North Caucasus, argued before the Sochi Olympics held in February of this year that holding the Winter Olympics in Sochi -- a city located on the site of Circassian massacres -- on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the alleged genocide is at odds with the Olympic spirit of peace and fair play. Moscow clamped down heavily on Circassian activists across the country, and President Vladimir Putin said in a statement on Feb. 10 that the Circassian issue is being artificially stoked to divide Russia and the West and aims to damage the country's image in the world.

Ethnic cleansing was not only led against Circassians in North Caucasus early 19th century. Russia waged a series of military actions against Caucasian ethnic groups including Chechens, the Abkhaz people, the Ubykh people and many ethnicities in Dagestan as Russia sought to expand southward into territories in geographically important places between Russia, Iran and the Ottoman Empire.

On May 21 of each year, Circassians living in different parts of the world, including Turkey, mark the anniversary of the massacre carried out against their ancestors in 1864. This year, it was commemorated more solemnly as 2014 is the 150th anniversary of the Circassian ethnic cleansing.

The ethnic cleansing of Circassians by Russia and their expulsion from their homeland constitute the most essential elements of the national identity of the Circassians, binding together groups scattered around the globe.

“No matter whether you call it the Great Circassian Exile, the mass ethnic cleansing of Circassians or a genocide, it forms a basis of Circassian identity, a nation forced to leave its homeland. Without this, it is impossible to talk about the Circassian identity,” Boz said.

Turkey needs to recognize Circassian genocide

The Ottoman Empire was one of the first stops for the deported Circassians.

Upon arrival in the Ottoman Empire, the Circassians did not know Turkish but after 150 years, they are on the brink of losing their native language, says Murat Yalçın, co-founder of the İstanbul Circassian Foundation, who told Sunday's Zaman that the Circassians are losing their own culture in Turkey.

“We have no TV stations that broadcast in the Circassian language seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Elective Circassian language courses in school are inadequate. We want our native language to be taught in schools. In history textbooks, there are statements that hurt Circassians and that need to be changed,” Yalçın said.

“In addition, the Turkish Republic, where hundreds of thousands of Circassians are now living, has to recognize the Circassian genocide. Turkey should support the study of the Circassian genocide and assist attempts to establish a museum of the genocide,” he continued.

Turkey maintains very close economic ties with Russia and has never issued an official statement on the Circassian genocide. On the eve of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Circassians in Turkey called on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan not to attend the Winter Olympics, claiming that his attendance would show that the Turkish government is insensitive to the feelings of its Circassian minority. Nevertheless, Erdoğan visited Sochi and met with President Putin before the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Date: Mon, 21 May 2018 12:08:00 +0000

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Activists in Kabardino-Balkaria call on KBR's authorities to protect national languages

The law on the voluntary study of national languages at schools will lead to the disappearance of the nations inhabiting the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR) and the republic itself, and may trigger conflicts. This was stated by Madina Khakuasheva, a philologist, and Valery Khatazhukov, human rights defender.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 23, KBR's figures of science and culture appealed to the authorities stating that the Kabardian and Balkar languages are under threat of disappearance.
The bill on the "voluntary" studying national languages "will lead to a sharp degradation of mother tongues," the activists have emphasized.
A new letter to the authorities urging them not to adopt the bill was signed by about 150 people, including scientists, activists and figures of arts.
Valery Khatazhukov, the head of the KBR's Human Rights Centre, believes that the authorities' inaction on this issue could lead to the emergence of radical groupings.
The loss of language will lead to the loss of cultural identity and the disappearance of the nation, Madina Khakuasheva, a Doctor of Philology, has stated.
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.
Author: Lyudmila MaratovaSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Mon, 21 May 2018 12:03:00 +0000

Original link:

Participants of equestrian crossing through Adygea report revival of Circassian traditions

About 100 horsemen from Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia and the Krasnodar Territory became participants in the equestrian crossing. The action is aimed at the revival of the Adyg traditions of horse breeding and horseman culture, which declined during the Soviet era, and the popularization of the Kabardian breed of horses.
The campaign is timed to the holiday of May 9, and the participants of the action intend to pay tribute to the memory of the people killed in three wars, including the Russian Civil War and World Wars I and II. This was reported by Albert Tkhapshokov, one of the organizers, the head of the Adyg branch of the "Shuuay Khase". Adygs were members of equestrian parts and took part in each of those wars.
Among the goals of the action, Albert Tkhapshokov mentioned popularization of the equestrian sports and fighting harmful habits.
Adygs (or Circassians) is a common name of a single nation in Russia and abroad, divided into Circassians, Adygs, Kabardians and Shapsugs. In Russia, the Adygs live in Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, and the Krasnodar Territory.
The equestrian crossing is a ritual to form the Circassian identity, believes Naima Neflyasheva, the author of the blog "Northern Caucasus through the centuries" at the "Caucasian Knot".
"People treated horse breeding as a prestigious occupation. Horse games and racing are a demonstration of the qualities of an ideal warrior. The equestrian crossing is a symbolic thread to bring back a modern Circassian in the era of the legendary ancestors," Naima Neflyasheva wrote in her post.
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.
Author: Oleg Krasnov, Karina GadjievaSource: CK correspondents

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Thu, 17 May 2018 04:24:00 +0000

Original link:

Social network users raise money for treatment of Syrian Circassian in Russia

The Ministry for Public Health of Kabardino-Balkaria is willing to help Dina Tamukh, a resident of Syria, with medical treatment in Russia, but she needs to raise money to travel to the Russian Federation, the NGO "Ochag" (Hearth) reported.

48-year-old Dina Tamukh sent her request for help through the Kabardino-Balkarian human rights centre. She said she was suffering from cancer and needed expensive medical treatment in Obninsk. The woman is a widow and takes care of two minor children, and she has no one to help her in Syria.
Dina Tamukh also reported that her ancestors lived in Kabarda. They left their homeland for the Ottoman Empire after the Caucasian War.

The NGO "Ochag" is engaged in raising funds for Dina Tamukh. In Nalchik, the NGO will help the woman find temporary housing and collect medical documents, reported Olga Begret, one of the leaders of the NGO "Ochag".

According to the activist, there have already been cases of medical care provided to natives of Syria at the expense of the Russian Federation. So, recently, in Krasnodar, a Syrian Circassian has been hospitalized, who is to undergo surgery, and a schoolboy from Syria underwent surgery on his scapula.

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 14:22:00 +0000

Original link:

Gvashev treats persecution for prayer on Circassians' Memory Day as mockery

The Lazarevskoe District Court of Sochi has found Ruslan Gvashev, the former chairman of the Board of Elders of Circassians-Shapsugs, guilty of organizing an unsanctioned action on the Adygs' Memory Day, and fined him by 10,000 roubles. Gvashev said that he was taken to court in the state of hypertensive crisis, and treated the trial as "mockery."
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on May 21 Gvashev took part in the mourning prayer at the Tulip Tree in the village of Golovinka.
According to Aslan Gvashev, a former deputy chairman of the "Adyge-Khase" – the organization of Black Sea Adygs-Shapsugs, an Honoured Teacher of Kuban, today Ruslan Gvashev "was forced to the Lazarevskoe District Court."
He has added that the 67-year-old Ruslan Gvashev is disabled: his leg was amputated. He felt bad at the trial; an ambulance was called to him. However, the judge "would not postpone the session, although the doctors insisted on urgent hospitalization."
In his turn, Ruslan Gvashev said that he "prayed in the forgotten Adyg language and called to remember the ancestors," and "he did not call to any unlawful actions."
He also confessed that he "did not ask whether the action was sanctioned."
Circassians (Adygs) mark May 21 as the day of remembrance and grief for the victims of the Caucasian War; they hold mourning events on this day.

Author: Anna GritsevichSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2017 19:49:00 +0000

Original link:

Maikop hosts march of mourning on Day of Memory and Sorrow of the Circassian Genocide

In Maikop, the capitol of republic of Adygea, hundreds of people gathered in the city park to take part in a mourning procession dedicated to the 153rd anniversary of the end of the Caucasian War.
The procession was led by political leaders and heads of national, cultural and human rights organizations of Adygea. The event involved children's ensembles, an equestrian detachment of jigits, members of the Cossack community and the Tatar Diaspora, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.
From the Maikop city park, participants of the procession passed along the central street of the city to the monumental complex "Unity and Consent". They were carrying green ribbons, symbolizing the Circassian Memorial Day.
"The special interest of young people in the symbolic of the Memory Day - a green ribbon - is still encouraged by the fact that it is not easy to obtain and impossible to buy such a ribbon," the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told by a teacher of the history of Adygea at the Adyg State University (ASU). And the teacher continued: "The number of ribbons is always limited, and they are distributed among friends and relatives. They are not on sale. A lot of people start wearing the ribbons already several weeks prior to the event and attach them to mirrors of cars."
The Caucasian War, which lasted from 1763 to 1864, put the Adyg peoples on the brink of complete extinction. After the war and the mass deportation of the Adygs to the Ottoman Empire, just a little more than 50,000 people remained at their homeland. Circassian organizations insist that the Russian authorities should make a decision to recognize the Circassian genocide during the Caucasian War.

Author: Evgenia BagdasarovaSource: CK correspondent

© Caucasian Knot

Date: Fri, 26 May 2017 23:06:00 +0000

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The Republic of Adygeya and the Krasnodar region signed an Agreement on Cooperation


Today in Krasnodar, the head of the Republic of Adygeya , Murat Kumpilov and the governor of the Krasnodar region Veniamin Kondratiev held talks on strengthening cooperation between the two regions.

Further in the expanded format, a meeting was held with the participation of representatives of state authorities, public of Adygeya and Krasnodar. It was attended by members of the delegation of the Government of Adygeya, all the deputies of the head of the administration (governor) of Krasnodar region, the heads of municipal formations of the republic and the region.

The result of the negotiations between the regional leaders was the signing of an agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Adygeya and the administration of the Krasnodar region on trade, economic, scientific, technical, socio-cultural cooperation. Murat Kumpilov and Veniamin Kondratyev signed the document.


Murat Kumpilov (left)

Veniamin Kondratiev (middle)

Date: Sat, 06 May 2017 05:18:00 +0000

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Events in Syria, Turkey and North Caucasus Prompt Moscow to Focus on Circassians

Violence in Syria that is prompting more Circassians there to seek to return to their homeland, Ankara’s new and more positive approach to that nation in Turkey, and increased activism among Circassians in the North Caucasus has forced Moscow to turn its attention to the Circassian issue, according to Filipp Gromyko.

The Kavkazskaya politika journalist says that Moscow had turned away from the Circassian issue after the Sochi Olympiad but these changes and divisions within the organized Circassian community have forced the Russian government to get involved more heavily once again (

This new Russian attention includes a recent meeting between Oleg Belaventsev, the presidential plenipotentiary of the North Caucasus Federal District and Khauti Sokhrokov, head of the International Circassian Association, two men whose similar ages and similar backgrounds suggest they’ll have better ties than the ICA and Belaventsev’s predecessor did.

But the relationship is about more than personalities, Gromyko says.  The ICA has lost influence as various republic organizations and KAFFED in Turkey have broken with it as a result of Sokhrokov’s authoritarian style, Russian clumsiness in handling Circassian claims, and the conclusion of many Circassians that the ICA is simply a “for show” organization.

And now both the Russian government because of developments abroad and in the North Caucasus and the ICA for its own survival have an interest in working together, something that could lead Moscow to make concessions to the Circassians on Syrian refugees and on their national media given Turkey’s moves in that direction.

“It is no secret,” Asker Sokht of the Krasnodar Adygey Khase, “that the ICA in recent times has been in a quite complicated situation. Being in essence a Russian NGO but international in its status, the ICA without major patronage from the government has been transformed into ‘an orphan,’ which the state doesn’t need at all.”

At present, the ICA does not receive real help from Moscow and so is increasingly a dead letter, Sokht continues; but Circassian groups abroad are developing rapidly – and that has changed the balance of power within the Circassian world from inside the borders of the Russian Federation to the diaspora, a change Moscow does not welcome.

The stronger the diaspora is and the weaker the ICA becomes, the less influence Moscow has over both groups and the more likely the diaspora will be able to play a greater role not only in each of the countries where its five million plus members are located but among the roughly 1,000,000 Circassians inside Russia.

The meeting between Belaventsev and Sokhrokov could be an indication that Moscow feels it has to do more on the Circassian issue, that it cannot afford a situation in which the Circassians of Turkey, the Middle East and the West set the agenda for that nation.  But for the Russian authorities to change the balance will require more than one meeting.

Nikolay Silayev, an MGIMO scholar who focuses on Circassian issues, says that he doubts the Belaventsev-Sokhrokov meeting was more than a protocol event, at least for the presidential plenopotentiary.  But there are some important issues before both men, and the Circassians may now be ready to seize the moment. 

Paul Goble, April 7, 2017 

Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2017 17:51:00 +0000

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