Sunday, June 30, 2019
Moscow’s Efforts to Provoke Circassians into Violence Backfiring on the Kremlin
Staunton, June 28 – By planting drugs on Martin Kochesoko, an outspoken defender of Circassian rights, the Russian authorities hope to provoke that long-suffering nation in the North Caucasus to engage in the kind of violent protest that will give Moscow the pretext to crush its leaders with violence.
But that effort is backfiring in two important ways, a new article in Novaya gazeta suggests. On the one hand, by focusing on the Circassian national movement, Moscow has unintentionally highlighted how much stronger it has become in recent months. And on the other, it has provided the occasion for Circassians to take their case to Russians more broadly.
In the past, Circassian activists tell Ilya Azar of the Moscow paper, the Russian authorities have largely ignored Circassian protests, an approach that has tended to demobilize the national movement because its supporters ask why they should protest if they will only be greeted with silence (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2019/06/28/81058-v-ozhidanii-chuda). Read more