In the Footsteps of Sykes-Picot Agreement Consequences / When the Student Outshines the Master — Part 2

In the Footsteps of Sykes-Picot Agreement Consequences / When the Student Outshines the Master — Part 2

By: Adel Bashqawi

20 November, 2020

*Part One

mentioned the Sykes-Picot Agreement signed in 1916, between France and Britain with the approval of two false witnesses representing both the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy. The agreement aimed to divide territories, which were an “integral part of the Ottoman Empire,” between the two main signatories. [1]

*Part One [2]


The Russian Colonial Concept in the caucasus

Circassia Times: August 2015

Circassia Times: August 2015

— Scene can be shortened by depicting intruders playing a lousy game of chess on the territorial board to be divided between the aspiring partners, by drawing lines on the map to be reflected on the ground regardless of the consequences. However, on the other side, there are nations who did not know about the prepared conspiracies that were being hatched against their peoples and their destinies. Good gesture of the peoples of the Caucasus usually flip to be oddly toxic positivity, when the time comes and the game is exposed.

— There is a background to what Russia and the Soviet Union did in regard to mining and poisoning relations between different peoples across the Caucasus region. Thus, became a source of concern, a cause for the outbreak of armed conflicts, tension and wars from time to time. Not to mention depriving peoples to live in peace and harmony with their compatriots, countrymen and their peers from neighboring communities and peoples.

— Apparently, Soviet Russians were able to follow in the footsteps of their British and French teachers and advisers, and had even surpassed them. That is a background to what Russia and the Soviet Union’s legacy of dividing the territories according to own administrative sectors of other peoples’ territories. The evil and opportunistic game is drawing lines on the map so as to be reflected and implemented on the ground regardless of the consequences.

— Thence, those who created permanent problems in the first place, and their future successors have certitude that they will be eventually requested to intervene in order to stop bleeding, murder and destruction that occurs between the quarreling parties, until battles break out again. This gives the colonial powers the pretext for staying in the region under suspicious presence.

— At the same time, it grants and facilitates strategic grip and control over natural resources, material capabilities and economic potentials. Not to mention the actual military presence to monitor what is happening on the ground between the conflicting parties. Such issues become international limbo indefinitely, where the effective powers in these files act in accordance with the colonial principle: ruin if you can’t rule.

 The Circassian Examples

— Events have demonstrated that the aftermath of the Russian-Circassian War that ended in 21 may 1864, has left only 10% of the Circassians, who managed to stay in or around their homeland. As a result of the brutal occupation, they were subjected during the period of the Russian Empire’s mandate of military administrative and authoritarian procedures, simultaneously with cruel and tyrannical treatment by the occupation military administrators, to inhumane treatment. Moreover, they have been distributed and scattered in different non-contiguous geographical locations.

— It’s no secret that the Russian imperialists wanted Circassia without Circassians. Subsequently, what remained of the native nation have been distributed and scattered in different non-contiguous and divergent geographical regions and locations. Moreover, the occupiers and their successors did what they could to delete Circassia from the map of the region in order to conceal the traces of their heinous crime.

— Whereas, Circassian dwellers’ villages and towns, who were doomed in most locations to be murdered, ethnically cleansed or evacuated and displaced in accordance with arbitrary military decrees imposed by the military occupation, the Russian and Cossack settlements and colonies were founded in the Circassian territories, in order to replace the native population. They were deported from the mountainous areas adjacent to the Black Sea coast to inland areas in particular. The whole area has been cleared and cleansed to prepare it to receive strangers of various origins and ethnicities.

— The Republic of Adygea was originally established in 1922 as the Adygea Autonomous Region. It went through different administrative links, titles and names until it became described as the Republic of Adygea (Adygea) since 1992. The Adyghe Circassians consist of 25% of the total population, while Russians are 63%, beside others of Armenian, Ukrainian, Kurd and other ethnicities. [3]

— The Soviet era cannot be described as similar as its preceding regime,  but even worse, especially with its repressive measures and Iron Curtain after 1945. Criticism has been made of “the expansionistic policies of the Soviet Union. In addition to the ‘iron curtain’ that had descended across Eastern Europe, Churchill spoke of ‘communist fifth columns’ that were operating throughout western and southern Europe.” [4]

— In the Circassian part of the North Caucasus, Circassians were divided into five different enclaves. The Kabardino-Balkaria Republic consisted of several peoples, the Circassians, who speak Adyghe Kabarday language, and the Balkars, who are of Turkic origin and they speak Turkic language. Additionally, there are various types of inhabitants, such as Russians and others of different origins and religions. [5]

— The Karachay-Cherkess Republic consisted of several peoples, the Cherkess / Circassians, who speak Adyghe language, and the Karachay, they are of Turkic origin, who speak Turkic language. Hence, the republic contains Abazinsky District, where its inhabitants speak Abazin, which was established in 2005. Additionally, there are various sorts of inhabitants, such as Russians, Ukrainians, Nogais and others of different origins and religions. [6]

— But what is interesting is the fact that the Balkars and Karachay are of the same origin and speak the same Turkish language, while the other Kabardians and Circassians are of same origin and speak the same language. Despite this, the Circassians and Turks are merged in one of the two republics with the Circassians and the Turks in the second one, hence, there are peoples who are similar in origin and language, which they did not share the same republic. Culture and language can bring people together in harmony instead of dissonant, and instead of all being on a keg of powder that can explode at any time.

— In light of the disastrous results of the Russian-Circassian War, the invaders focused on occupying the land and displacing the indigenous population according to primitive and tendentious methods of demographic engineering processes under the auspices of the Russian state. That led to the fragmentation of the population that resided in the area, and thus the rest of their homeland was transformed into a fragmented minority enclave in multiple locations. Not to mention those who were either wiped out or deported to the Ottoman Empire.

— “Scattered fragments of the once unified ethnic mass of Adyge-Shapsugs were scattered in different settlements of the region, and their return to the mountainous-coastal zone in the 1870-80s from different points affected the distribution of indigenous families of villages (auls) [3]. Residents of the villages(auls) of Psebe and Aguy-Shapsug know the story that families from the village(aul) of Psebe did not mainly leave these places after the war, but simply hid in the mountains until the authorities allowed to return to their former places. Residents of the villages of Psebe and Aguy-Shapsug know the story that families from the village of Psebe did not mainly leave these places after the war, but simply hid in the mountains until the authorities allowed to return to their former places.” [7]

— During the Soviet era, the administrative Shapsug villages formed the Black Sea Coastal Shapsugsky National area or district in 1925. The issue of giving or removing its sovereign status remained in an unstable situation of constant change of guardianship and administrative link with the center. Eventually, the district’s title and status were dissolved permanently in 1945. However, the Soviet and local authorities persisted to create and fake harassment and difficulties that match with annexing or detaching portions from Shapsugsky. Those deceptive games kept Shapsug citizens, who are the indigenous inhabitants of the region, permanently at the temperament and under the thumb of the occupiers and strangers. Ultimately, the Circassian Shapsugsky name has been changed to Lazarevsky district. [8]

— It is well-known that Adygha Shapsug is one of the main Circassian tribes, who lost tens of thousands of its population as a result of the war of annihilation and destruction waged by the Russian Empire against their homeland. Thence, Shapsugsky was changed to Lazarevsky, as mentioned above, after Admiral Mikhail Lazarev. Knowing that he is one of those Russian commanders and generals, who participated in the siege that the Circassian coast was subjected to, in addition to the invasion and occupation of the entire Caucasus. [9]

North Caucasus

“Ossetians, ethno-linguistically and religiously different from their neighbors, have been Russia’s principal allies in the North Caucasus for two centuries. As Russia dealt with a host of ethnic nationalisms in the first years after the Soviet collapse, including Chechen separatism and later an armed Islamist movement, North Ossetia gained strategic importance and leverage in the eyes of the Russian leadership. It has used that leverage to ensure robust Russian support for South Ossetian separatism from Georgia.(10) Likewise, other ethnic groups in the mountains of the North Caucasus (for example, the Chechens, Kabardians, and Cherkes) saw in Abkhaz separatism from Georgia the validation of their own ethnic nationalisms.” [10]

Redrawing the borders between the peoples of the administrative regions is a common practice between different federal entities’ territories, where the authorities implement them according to the colonial principle: divide and rule. Under the rule of the Russian state, such redrawing create chaos and conflicts such as the controversy created for the recent changes of the borders between Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia. “As long as a pro-Kremlin strongman like Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov can overpower and outwit neighbors without overt force, expansionism based on ethnic allegiances is acceptable. This plan of action can only go so far before it becomes too heated to handle by federal courts.” [11]

Eurasian Geopolitics

South Caucasus

“Russian policy in the South Caucasus is intertwined with the North Caucasus—to which Russia has devoted the blood and treasure of generations and which post-Soviet Russia sees as key to the integrity of the Russian state. Russia’s domestic security concerns have intruded on the South Caucasus in a number of areas.” [12]

This has been proven every time when armed conflicts have erupted every now and then, with impossibility to find a lasting solution for anyone of them. A war has erupted recently between Arminia and Azerbaijan. “The unrest in Nagorno-Karabakh dates back to the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the region, backed by Armenia, declared independence from Azerbaijan.” [13]

Their well-known game is to create unsolvable problems and conflicts that they typically pretend mediating to solve, to keep fiddling around and Mediate between litigants to quell conflicts down the line. What happened recently between Armenia and Azerbaijan regarding Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as Nakhichevan, and Russia’s intervention as a mediator, then Turkey’s participation to stop the destructive war is a vivid example of such events. Let alone, the disputes that Russia caused on the borders between parties considered part of the Russian Federation.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia, have given Russia a reason to impose itself as a winner and beneficiary party in the conflict with Georgia. “In August 2008, the conflict spiral between Russia and Georgia initially centered on Georgia’s enclave of Abkhazia, but the actual war broke out in and around the separatist region of South Ossetia.” [14]

Future Prospects

It is inevitable that the Russian state will at some point act in a more realistic manor, which should be sooner rather than later, and come to the truth that the behavior and measures, committed by the previous regimes, specifically during the imperial and Soviet eras must be reviewed. The effects and repercussions must be taken in consideration. If a positive step is not taken, it would ascribe blame against the present authorities as the legitimate successor regime. This must select a parallel path with taking into account the rights of victims and  their descendants in order to take appropriate measures to act according to modern and civilized patterns that do not offend anyone. Accordingly, the people who corroborate the confirmed occurrences and the international community, must be taken into consideration as goodwill mediators. They would eventually take a role in accordance with international laws and norms. Normally, the situation will not stabilize without being bound by rules to implement.

Conclusion

The reason is known the surprise is blown. As per the mentioned above, secret and publicly announced meetings and agreements were held between the major players to plan colonial  and conspiratorial schemes, in the absence of the concerned peoples. Thus, the plans were implemented at the time those colonial powers deemed appropriate. Accordingly, the Russian Empire achieved its colonial goals of occupying the entire Circassian soil and getting rid of 90 percent of the citizens deported to the Ottoman Empire after a fierce war that lasted for 101 years. Not to mention the occupation of nations and/or the imposition of tutelage on other Caucasian peoples. Russia brought about demographic changes, confiscated properties, changed major landmarks, and annexed the occupied territories by force of arms to impose the sovereignty of the Russian state.

However, the question remains when will the Circassian nation and other peoples would regain their usurped rights. Thus, the international laws and norms, especially the United Nations Charter, [15] the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [16] and all related conventions must be observed and applied. “Regulations of the Hague Conventions of 1907 and, more importantly, the 1949 GENEVA CONVENTION for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War have attempted to codify and expand the protection afforded the local population during periods of military occupation.” [17]

References:

[1] (https://schoolhistory.co.uk/notes/sykes-picot-agreement/)

[2] (http://justicefornorthcaucasus.info/?p=1251682753)

[3] (http://council.gov.ru/en/structure/regions/AD/)

[4] (https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/churchill-delivers-iron-curtain-speech)

[5] (http://www.oseweb.org/regions/kabardino-balkar-republic)

[6] (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-20594308)

[7] (https://www.academia.edu/43237644/Experience_in_the_study_of_folklore_and_customs_of_Black_Sea_Adygs_Shapsugs)

[8] (http://www.natpressru.info/index.php?newsid=149)

[9] (https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Lazarev%2C+Mikhail)

[10] (https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/10/20/russia-s-stony-path-in-south-caucasus-pub-82993)

[11] (https://www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/ramzan-kadyrov-chechnya-ingushetia-border-dispute-russia-north-caucasus-security-news-00982/)

[12] (https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/10/20/russia-s-stony-path-in-south-caucasus-pub-82993)

[13] (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/09/europe/nagorno-karabakh-shusha-armenia-azerbaijan-russia-intl/index.html)

[14] (https://warontherocks.com/2018/08/the-august-war-ten-years-on-a-retrospective-on-the-russo-georgian-war/)

[15] (https://www.un.org/en/charter-united-nations/)

[16] (https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/)

[17] (https://law.jrank.org/pages/8569/Military-Occupation.html)

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