The Duty of Putting the Record Straight
May 25, 2023
It has been brought to my attention that the Russian Embassy in Amman, Jordan, has published a post in the English language on its Facebook Page. The post was accompanied by photos and appeared to be developed using a template based on the Russian administrative divisions in the Circassian homeland, where the map of Circassia was omitted from the region’s map since 1864.
The post showed no sympathy towards the Circassians, regardless of the new names assigned to them. This is despite the fact that Circassian youth in the North Caucasus are being forcibly recruited to participate in a futile war in Ukraine that is not their own.
This rather modest media effort coincided with the commemoration of Circassian Memorial Day, which falls on the twenty-first of May. This day marks the 159th anniversary of the occupation of Sochi in 1864 by the Russian Empire, signifying the “end of the war in the Caucasus” that lasted for 101 years.
What is particularly intriguing is the intended message of the post, especially for the Circassians, whether in their homeland or in the diaspora, who have been marginalized by the exclusionary Russian policies. These policies have consistently failed to acknowledge their responsibility in marginalizing the Circassians both in their homeland and in the diaspora.
The provocative manner in which the article was published prompted some Circassian commentators to reflect on the tragedies and negative consequences that have affected the entire Circassian nation without exception.
Regrettably, Russia has avoided and neglected its duty to rectify the injustices committed against the Circassian nation, as well as other peoples and nations in the Caucasus and beyond. This should be done in accordance with international laws and norms.
Disregarding responsibility and duty does not absolve the legitimate heir of the Russian Empire from taking appropriate action, including offering an apology and acknowledging the genocide, forced deportation, and other atrocities inflicted upon the Circassian nation. This is necessary to fulfill obligations under international laws and norms.
It seems that ‘It is easy to ignore responsibility when one is only an intermediate link in a chain of action.’ – a quote.