Circassian Memorial Day and Violating Ukraine’s Territorial Integrity

Circassian Memorial Day and Violating Ukraine’s Territorial Integrity 

Adel Bashqawi

25 May 2022

Online Conference of the Circassian Cultural Center in Tbilisi on the Memory of the Circassian Genocide Day

With the commemoration of one hundred and fifty-eight years since the annihilation and deportation of the Circassian nation, on May 21, it must be emphasized that the Circassian nation, as an ethnic group, has preserved its identity despite the exclusion attempts of tyrannical imperial and defunct Soviet regimes. However, the repercussions of the genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced deportation are still loom before us, without a solution. The absolute majority of Circassians that represent 90% who reside in the vast diaspora, live in dozens of countries of the world. They are unable to restore their legitimate rights, especially the right of return, while the ten percent who remained in their homeland, live in several local administrative regions, some of which are called autonomous republics.

The important thing is the matter of particularity of the Slavic/Russian ethnic personality that expresses the arrogance, snobbery and chauvinism that officials, commentators and bloggers affiliated with the authorities are trying to impose, and considering others that they are not at the cultural, civilized or civil levels that they enjoy and distinguish them from other citizens (Russians) of other ethnicities. Note that everyone (according to the laws under which they do not follow) are considered Russian citizens. 

This indicates that racial prejudice, intolerant hateful racist attitudes, and attempts of veiled ridicule and abhorrent mockery, are nothing but attempts to arrogance and a sense of superiority, which in their entirety do not differ from the behavior of Russian officers and leaders since the the criminal tsarism era, which committed the crimes of occupation, annihilation and deportation alongside ethnic cleansing. They always look at others arrogantly, as if they have characteristics that others do not have. However, all this is nothing but bubbles of illusion, which, as soon as they fade away, will show falsehood and discontinuity.

One of the reasons why they cling to abhorrent racism is the state policy that perpetuates such concepts through the generalization of the construction of monuments that commemorate the Russian leaders and officers who committed crimes when they led their forces with the intention of occupying and exterminating the different ethnic groups, partially or entirely. The fact that is absent from many of them is that the nations that they have controlled their capabilities in different periods, had prosperous civilizations that existed thousands of years before the emergence of Russia as an entity, or even the emergence of the Russian language and culture, not to mention the bloody legacy they left and is still present on the scene, as a result of the crimes committed in the past, during which the demographic character of the peoples of the region was changed.

Time was never appropriate or suitable before, as it is today, to expose the occupiers and restore the legitimate rights since the end of the Russo-Circassian War, and the perpetration of the heinous genocide by the invading Russian forces that preceded the end of the war on May 21, 1864, against the Circassian nation and other peoples of the caucasus. This made the shocked peoples and the world behind them need to understand and comprehend the mystery and ambiguity of the Russian policies that were followed since the imperial era against the oppressed peoples.

In conclusion, as it is the case now, and in flagrant defiance of all international laws and norms, the reckless steps taken by the Russian state to attack neighbouring Ukraine, which is the sovereign and independent nation, revealed the premeditated intentions that had been planned in advance on purpose and not by chance, in the same manner as usual, the way it took place in cases of invasion, occupation, and annexation of dozens of other peoples and nations throughout a bloody and brutal history.

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