Defending Legitimate Rights

Defending Legitimate Rights

Adel Bashqawi

February 15, 2023

Jamestown Foundation is well-known through the important events, conferences and periodical publications that it publishes regarding all global issues that concern it, especially with regard to the affairs of the Caucasus and the developments that have taken place over the years in the region. Its work is developing with its cooperation with other institutions with similar activities and goals.

A prominent event was held by Jamestown Foundation in cooperation with the Hudson Institute on February 14, 2023. Although I was impressed by the holding of the event in form and content, which I watched online, I would like to comment in the following on some partially mentioned points, which are related to the Circassian Question:

— It is annoying and thus confusing for people to see and hear some words that were said and broadcasted online by Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko, which indicate contradictory meanings regarding the Russian description: the Kuban Province. The Russian Empire at the time, after occupation and extermination of the people, meant to change the original name of the region, which is Circassia. This description may lead to unfortunate consequences for the existing good relations between the Circassians and the Ukrainians.

— Changing the name and title of the Circassian homeland to Kuban, which is only a name of a river, was intended to change the name of the region to be Kuban Province. The invading forces commanders, being the administrative officers, issued a decree in the beginning of the 1860’s which cannot be considered except one of the colonial occupation decisions. The description he gave of the borders is invalid in itself as well.

— Interestingly, MP Goncharenko appeared in the video wearing a T-shirt with KUBAN written on it, which is surprising. Even though he and the Ukrainian state demand to enforce the international laws and norms regarding Russian aggression against Ukraine and its occupation of the Ukrainian regions. He knows like everybody else that the Crimean Peninsula, beside the provinces of Kherson, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Luhansk were occupied by the Russian invading army, and thus announcing formal annexation to the Russian Federation.

— Accordingly, with all respect, it is more appropriate, and in line with the international law, to write the name of any of the five occupied Ukrainian provinces on the T-shirt instead of writing the name of a region that belongs to a nation that still suffers from subjugation and deprivation of its rights by the Russian state. At least five million Circassians suffer from hardships of the Russian state’s disregard to retrieving their legal and legitimate rights, according to international laws and norms.

— Changing facts and usurping the rights of others is only mastered by the occupiers who have wreaked havoc on the earth since the time of Ivan the Terrible until now. Not on the backs of tanks, as it is happening nowadays in Ukraine, the settlers rather came at the time on the backs of horses and carriages of the invading forces. When each party makes decisions that conflict with the rights of the others, this will lead to complicating matters and not caring for a unified goal against the occupiers and colonizers.

— The speech that was given in person by the FM of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, addressed matters regarding the conditions that Chechnya and the region are currently going through. He elaborated on the idea of a United Caucasus that is similar to the European Union. Logic dictates that such a union shall take place between equal partners, who are free to choose and independent.

— It cannot be between enslaved or colonized nations, because such conditions will be similar to the Russian Federation for peoples and nations who were consulted or their consent freely taken. They were considered members of the so-called union or federation without their advice or consent.

— Where it was coveted by the colonial countries at that time, Circassia was attacked and invaded by an evil empire like no other in history, which  resulted in catastrophic repercussions. It will be useful and convenient for everyone to adhere to the way that the Circassian nation can achieve restoring its freedom and legitimate rights that will be in accordance with:

– United Nations Charter.

– Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

– International Bill of Human Rights.

– United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

– International Law and Justice.

– Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.


“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

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