Monday, March 22, 2010

Will Georgia Recognize the Circassian Genocide?

By Giorgi Kvelashvili

On March 20-21, the Georgian capital of Tbilisi hosted the conference: Hidden Nations, Enduring Crimes: The Circassians and the Peoples of the North Caucasus Between Past and Future. Organized by the Jamestown Foundation and Ilia State University’s International School for Caucasus Studies, the two-day event brought together representatives of Circassian communities, as well as think-tanks, policy and research institutions and academia working on Caucasus-related issues. Several members of Georgian Parliament also attended the conference whose culminating part was the signing of an appeal by the Circassian participants to Georgian Parliament to recognize the massacres and deportations of Circassians orchestrated by Tsarist Russia in the North Caucasus as genocide.

No doubt, if Georgia agrees to recognize the mass killings of Circassians as genocide, it will infuriate Russia and risk further worsening the already-strained Russo-Georgian relations. But could the recognition benefit Tbilisi in some other ways which could outweigh the Russian ire?

The recognition issue has quite a history of its own. Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin's 1994 statement acknowledged that “resistance to the tsarist forces [in the 19th century] was legitimate,” but he did not recognize “the guilt of the tsarist government for the genocide.” A few years later, the leaders of Kabardino-Balkaria and Adygea sent appeals to the Duma “to reconsider the situation and to issue the needed apology.” In October 2006, the Circassian public organizations of Russia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan and several other countries where ethnic Circassians live in large numbers sent the president of the European Parliament a letter with a request to recognize the genocide against the Circassian people. There has been no action taken so far.

It appears the issue is now closely linked to the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympic Games, which are opposed by many Circassians on the grounds that the city of Sochi and large swaths of land in the northwestern Caucasus are their ancestral habitat saturated with Circassian blood. Their protests have taken different forms; from appeals to governments and international human rights and environmental organizations to organizing public awareness campaigns in printed media and on the Internet. Some enthusiasts have launched the website No Sochi 2014 with a countdown to the 150-year anniversary of the Circassian genocide in 2014 – a time when the Sochi Olympics are scheduled to take place.

Hundreds of thousands of Circassians and other ethnicities were killed and many more were deported to the Ottoman Empire by Tsarist Russia when the latter expanded to the Caucasus from the late 18th century to 1860s. Georgian writer of the 19th century Alexander Kazbegi has dedicated some of his novels to the Circassian tragedy.

Among those affected by Russia’s expansionist policies were Muslim Abkhaz as well. Living along Georgia’s Black Sea coast in the south Caucasus, Abkhaz, related to the Circassians by language but historically and culturally closely linked to Georgians living on the same land, had been Islamized after the Ottomans conquered western Georgia in the 16th century. Many Abkhaz deported from Abkhazia to the Ottoman Empire found shelter in Ajara, another Georgian province where a mainly Muslim Georgian population lived by then.

Since the Russian invasion in August 2008 and the subsequent occupation of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, Tbilisi has intensified its efforts to engage with the North Caucasus more productively. A parliamentary inter-faction contact group has been created in addition to the establishment of Georgian Public Broadcaster’s (GPB) First Caucasus TV channel to reach out to the audiences in the North Caucasus and elsewhere in the former Soviet space. Georgian Parliament has already appealed to “the republics and peoples in the North Caucasus” to underline the importance of “cordial relations” between “Georgia and its Caucasian brothers.” Although the First Caucasus has been taken off the French Satellite Eutelsat, allegedly under Russian pressure, GPB hopes it will be able to shortly return its Russian-language channel to the satellite in one way or another. Russian dissidents and human rights activists have been visiting Tbilisi more often than ever before, which apparently has a North Caucasus linkage given their role in exposing flagrant violations of human rights there.

A possible recognition of the Circassian genocide might be logically put in the aforementioned Georgian activities, which could strengthen the image of Georgia as a defender of “the Caucasus cause” in the eyes of not only Circassians but other ethnic minorities in the North Caucasus too. But if Georgia wants to achieve more than a PR success, it might be prudent to consider other additional measures as well: Georgia should act in concert with other nations, most importantly those where Circassian diasporas reside; mass deportations of Chechens and Ingush as well as other ethnicities by Soviet dictator Stalin in the 1940s and ethnic cleansings of Georgians from Abkazia and Tskhinvali must be closely linked to the Tsarist atrocities in the 19th century since they constitute virtually the same imperialist policy; and lastly, the scheduled Sochi Olympics must be closely tied to the Circassian and environmental issues as well as to the illegal Russian occupation of Georgian lands.


  1. Another Jamestown / Georgian classic.

    I am a Circassian and i have ZERO respect Georgia's so-called action on Circassians. I am really tired from Georgian lies.

    First of all Circassians and Abkhazians are RELATIVE people and Abkhazians are historically and culturally closely linked to Circassians! We have shared SAME destiny.

    Second, i should remind that in the 19th century the only people in Transcaucasia to fight against Russian encroachment were the Abkhazians, who battled alongside their cousins in Ubykhia and Circassia, whereas Georgia was already ALLIED to Russia and thus helped the tsars to crush North Caucasian resistance.

    I am wondering is Georgian will accept their responsibility on Circassian Genocide?

    And we know very well what happened after the exile of Circassians.

    Let's read from Stephen Shenfield's article ''Circassians: A Forgotten Genocide''

    ''...about 90 percent – of people of Circassian descent have lived in exile, mostly in Turkey, Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East. Only isolated remnants, currently about three to four hundred thousand people altogether, remain in Russia and other parts of the post-Soviet region. During the last decades of the tsarist regime, the emptied and devastated Circassian lands were resettled by Russian, Ukrainian, Armenian and other colonists. Later many GEORGIANS ALSO SETTLED IN ABKHAZIA, feeding resentments that culminated in the recent Abkhaz-Georgian war - a conflict which can only be understood
    against the background of the Circassian trauma of the last century.''

    By the way, during the Stalinist deportations, there was one notorious incident in the village of Khaibak, where in 1944 hundreds of people were herded into a barn which was then set on fire; any one escaping was shot. The commander of the NKVD group responsible was a Svan (Gvishiani), acting under the general directorship of Beria (Mingrelian), who was himself responsible to Stalin (Georgian).

    And again same LIE... Ethnic cleansing of Abkhazians? Dear author, i can strongly recommend you Mamuka Kuparadze's documetary 'Absence of Will' Can be found on net.

    At first Georgia should clean their BLOODY hands. We remember VERY WELL threat the Abkhazian nation with genocide

    We remember very well Giorgi Khaindrava's words on Le Monde.

    We remember very well how Georgians destroyed Abkhazian state archives and library

    WE, CIRCASSIANS fought against Georgians invaders in 1992 - 1993 war.

    You should NEVER for that that Abkhazian forces - backed by the Confederation of the Peoples of the North Caucasus and volunteers from the diaspora Abkhazian/Circassian community based in Turkey.

    WE CIRCASSIANS follows closely developments affecting the fate of our Abkhazian brothers and lends its strongest support to the struggle for the independence of Abkhazia.

  2. IDO THINK THAT gEORGIANS HAVE NO MORAL AND HISTORICAL RIGHT TO DO SUCH THINGS.As all they do is so cinical and disgustive and utterly insincere.
    They do not care about Circassians at all , their aim is to blame Russia , just so, and they forgot what an ugly role they played at that black time of the history of the Caucasus.
    I am so sorry to see all this and just I do not understand as it is beyond human understanding that blaming someone and acusing , saying such things , after they themselves made an aggression against Abkhazia to organize a genocide against Abkhaz and Xouth Ossetian peoples

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  3. It is possible for Georgians to recognize Circassian Genocide in order to use this against Russia. But Georgians should recognize first of all Abkhaz Genocide caused by themselves during 1992-1993 war.

  4. Another Circassian World classic.

    I always find it interesting and quite a bit ironic that advocates of the Circassian peoples are often the quickest to attempt to tie Georgia to Russia. While Georgians were certainly manipulated by Imperial Russian policies in the past, the same could be said for many Caucasus peoples. More to the point, the situation TODAY is such that Georgians are seeking genuine independence from Moscow. And yet, for some reason, the same Circassians would somehow prefer Russian suzerainty to self determination by their Georgian cousins. How they manage this complex geopolitical contortion is a subject of great dismay (and a little humor) to me.

    Essentially, Circassians are being self-isolating by trying to delegitimize the right of self determination of Georgians. We may have our differences over Abkhazia, but that doesn't mean there aren't other shared goals and a shared heritage of proximity. Abkhazia's final status is likely not to be a fully federal component of Georgia (if part of Georgia at all), but there's no eternal, inherent reason that Abkhazians, Circassians, and Georgians can't find ways to cooperate and overcome their differences.

  5. Yes, i have repeat the classical TRUTHS, NOT classical LIES... That's the our difference! And the truths are always giving pain to Georgians and their backers.

    And the question is simple: Is Georgia will accept their responsbility in Circassian Genocide?

    I have also asked; what about after the Genocide? When most of Abkhazia was denuded of its native population in the wake of (a) the end of the Great Caucasian War in 1864 and (b) the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, the question arose as to who would make the most appropriate substitute-population.

    It was no accident that the Georgian newspaper ‘Shroma’ considered Georgian acquisition of the land in Abkhazia and Circassia as ‘one of the most wonderful events’ in the life of the Georgian nation ['Shroma', 1882, No: 15 (in Georgian)].

    You should read again and again: 'MOST WONDERFUL EVENTS'

    Is this classical truth enough?

    At first Georgia should APOLOGIZE from the Circassian and Abkhazian nation, OFFICALLY! Not only because of their responsbility in genocide of Circassians also because of Georgian fascism in 1992 - 1993 war.

    First Georgia should clean their BLOODY HANDS, and then we can take serious and of course we can cooperate.

    I will be glad continur to write CLASSICAL TRUTHS...

  6. Probably, most of the negative critique here is written on the FSB orders and is aimed at stoking animosity between Georgians and North Caucasians.

    Anyone who is familiar with Georgian history and literature knows that Georgia's sovereignty and political independence are directly related to the freedom of the Caucasus in general and the North Caucasus in particular. With the loss of Georgia, Russia loses the entire Caucasus. Is not this axiomatic?

    As concerns the humanitarian aspects, many Georgian writers have written on the problems of the North Caucasus and their literary works are saturated with sympathy toward the Circassians, Chechens and others in the North.

    Georgian novelists Alexander Kazbegi and Poet Vazha Pshavela best illustarte this approach and Kazbegi in particular exposed the atrocities committed by the Russians throughout the 19th century in Circassia, Chechnya and Georgia.

    Georgia itself suffered a great deal from Russian imperialism, both Tsarist and Communist.

    In Georgia's public discourse and perception, the North Caucasus is imprinted as the land of the free fraternal peoples, and independent Georgia’s political leaders have always had the same understanding as well.

    Without the Russian empire as the master, we can all live in peace and harmony in the beautiful and eternal Caucasus!

  7. The real Classical Truth is that Russia was actively involved in all the atrocities of north Caucasian people for last 200 years.
    Russia-Turkish War of IXX century
    Soviet Mass Deportations of XX
    Geo- Russian (involving Abkhazians) / Russia-Chechen wars of 90s
    Geo – Russian (involving Ossetians) / Ongoing war in Ingushetia of XXI
    Although Georgia totally agrees with recognition of Circassian Genocide, Golodomor, etc., they cannot take any responsibility for Stalin-Beria actions, because most Georgians also were victims. The country, who claims to be the proud successor of both Tsarist and Soviet Empires, should take responsibility and apologize!
    But until the overall IQ level of an average Caucasian (both North and South) is as high as that of donkey, Russians are going to dominate the region with their bloody imperialist policies.

  8. Among those affected by Russia’s expansionist policies were Muslim Abkhaz as well. Living along Georgia’s Black Sea coast in the south Caucasus, Abkhaz, related to the Circassians by language but historically and culturally closely linked to Georgians living on the same land, had been Islamized after the Ottomans conquered western Georgia in the 16th century. Many Abkhaz deported from Abkhazia to the Ottoman Empire found shelter in Ajara, another Georgian province where a mainly Muslim Georgian population lived by then.''

    This is real nonsense.
    The author of the article as well the organizers of the conference should simply learn the history and be careful writing this.
    Do they know that just 10 % OF ABKHAZ DID NOT LEAVE Abkhazia and those who did not leave were considered as giulty people and were not allowed to live at the seaside?
    Has it been told at the conference that the Georgian battalions were supporting Russians, and that the Georgians started the war in Abkhazia in 1991-92 to demolish the very name of Abkhazia and Abkhaz nation?
    This conference - and this strange appeal- especially to the Georgian Parliament - is a hufe misconfusion of teh whole history of the Circassian geocide including that cleansing of the Abkhaz - and Abazin peoples made by the Russian Empire supported by the ansectors of those on which land this conference was organized.
    Sorry for them .

  9. Of course Circassian, Abkhazian and Ubykh Genocide was a wonderful event for the Georgians. Many Georgians settled empty lands of those people.

    See Demographic change in Abkhazia 1897–1989

    Settlements cotinued also Stalin/Beria period.

    Below excerpt canbe useful to understand well:

    ''Abkhazia suffered considerably under Stalin during the 1930s. In February 1931 the status of Abkhazia was reduced to that of an autonomous republic within Georgia. In 1937, the head of the Georgian Communist Party, Lavrenti Beria undertook his 'anti-Abkhazian drive', involving the forced immigration of thousands of non-Abkhazians (especially Mingrelians) into Abkhazia. After Beria's transfer to Moscow in 1938, anti-Abkhazian measures continued under his successor, Kandida Charkviani. The Abkhaz alphabet was changed to a Georgian base. During 1944-45 all Abkhazian schools were closed, replacing them with Georgian schools, and the Abkhaz language was banned from administration and publication. [Potier, Tim. Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A legal Appraisal. Kluwer Law International. The Hague. 2001. p.9.] ''

    I think author do not much about Circassians and Abkhazians. Abkhazians are historically and culturally closely linked to Circassians, not Georgians.

    Georgians may see themselves as natural leaders for the Caucasus, what those who think this way should ask themselves is why their neighbours do not accept them as natural local leaders and in fact see this attitude as one of the reasons not to award them this leadership role.

    By the way, i think aafriend forgotten that in the 1st Chechen war Shevardnadze allowed Russian bombers to take off from Georgian bases/air-space to bomb Chechenia.

  10. Georgia must recognize the independence of Abkhazia to be backed by Circassian diaspora!

    We the circassians always backed our Abkhazian brothers and will never forget them. Georgia must think about that clearly.

    On the other way, If Georgia accept her historical mistakes that were effectuated during the Circassian genoside and colonization of whole North Caucasus, Georgia should be the hearth of United Free Caucasus.

    The second and essential condition is the recognition of our free Abkhazia(Apsni)..

    We Circassians and Abkhazians are waiting for Georgia's peaceful moves to fight together with our Georgian brothers against Russian bear!!!

    The prometheus is waiting for Georgia's peaceful moves...

  11. How Georgia dare to make a move in this respect? In the Coucasus everyone knows that Georgia has contributed to the Circassian genocide. It was the only caucasian country that acted as an ally of Russia and let the Russian troops enter the Caucasus from the Georgian territory. Like Eltsin's Russia Georgia has to both appologize for the Circassian genocide and the was in Abkhazia if it wants peace with its neightbours.

  12. Why are Circassians appealing to a country's parliament whose territorial integrity is not yet recognized by Circassians both in the Caucasus and Diaspora? Why do not They clearly announce that They condemn the declaration of independence in Abkhazia and South Osetin that violates the territorial integrity of Georgia? What is Their problem with Russian Armed Forces? They support the existence of Russian Armed Forces in Abkhazia and South Osetin that protects them from "Georgian Fascism" but oppose Russian Armed Forces in Kabardin-Balkar, Karachay-Cherkes and Adygeya. Do not those soldiers belong to the same army (Russian Armed Forces)? When They are fighting against Geogians, They are GOOD BOYS but when they are in war with terror in Kabardin-Balkar and Karachay-Cherkes, They are BAD BOYS. Is that all logical?

  13. its getting really old..!
    i cant believe that the Georgian still think that they can fool the people with this kind of old games,and what make it really funny that theirs some Georgians start to believe there leaders lies too..!
    we all know how its start it in the late 80s since the colleges war in abkhazia at that time ,till the big conspiracy between Russia and Georgia to occupied abkhazia based on the Russian theory that (no body can control the Caucasians except a caucasian)as attempt to make the Georgian the new cossacks ...!
    but the people stand up for each other and start to win and become so close to be free not only abkhazia but all circassia then Russians betrayed there little servants and stepet on the side like they have nothing do with anything,and tray to play the peace maker because they where so close to lose all the northwest Caucasus.!
    and that's what makes Georgian leaders sell them self's but this time not to the old Russian master but to the Western one ..!
    i still remember Dzhaba Ioseliani screaming on the TV holding the original copy from an secret agreement between Russia and Georgia declare that Russia well be giving all the military support to Georgia to take over abkhazia and a little more..! and he was asking his Russian masters why they left him and the Georgians alone on the half of the as a circassian i ask my self are they really that lazy or just playing dumb,at least put some effort in it ,and come up with a new conspiracy ...!because as i saide before ITS GETTING REALLY OLD .
    P.S regarding the circassians who attend this so called conference am not gonna say a lot (for now)but let every body know this

  14. this conference is another idiotic provocation of Georgians
    who simply would like a new devastating war bein at the Caucasus aqnd then they will come to the empty lands of Abkhazia and moreover , Circassia.
    Who advised those Circassians to hold this conference and appeal in Tbilisi_
    They have no conciesce those ones whoever they are , especially Circassians participating in such things, are they blind ._

  15. Tbilisi have bought a few Circassians but the Tbilisi do not buy all the Circassians.

  16. The real issue is, why are Americans trying to organize Circassians against Russia? Last time I looked at the map, America is on the other side of the world...

  17. It's all about oil,oil,oil...
    and big $

  18. Regarding the petty comment about FSB factors, why is this the go-to retort for Georgian "intellectuals" when it comes to discussing anything that may conflict what the Georgians want/need/desire? If anyone knows anything about becoming butt buddies with Russians, it's the Georgians. You have proved this time and time again! This conference is a joke! There are obviously ulterior motives playing a part here, and I am worried about Jamestown's role in this as well. Smile in your back and stab you in the back, typical.

  19. Mr. Kvelashvili, who gave you free reign to write such a poorly researched and blatantly biased (if not ridiculous) article? Half your "facts" are incorrect and you have not addressed the Georgian people's role in the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of North Caucasians by Russian imperialist forces during the 19th century. You have also not addressed the fact that Georgians did this as well to their own, and this is why there is also a large Georgian diaspora in Turkey, etc. today besides the Apsua one. If you are going to write a concise and informative piece of journalism, do it the right way. But sadly, I have come to expect this type of "professionalism" from Georgian "journalists". Oh well. When will your people apologize for their actions and make amends to their neighbors? Your nation needs to stop kowtowing to the West or Europe a bit less and work on making peace and economic/political stability a reality in the Caucasus. No more threatening to take Abkhazia and Ossetia back (they were not really yours in the first place, sorry, these people do not want any part of you anymore!), no more harboring Chechen terrorists and criminals, no more wrongdoings. Enough is enough!

  20. Of course, Imedi would highlight a hijabi as a Circassian representative....HAHA

  21. using GRAD and another destructive weapon against Abkhazia in 1992...
    my dear gerogian warriors - you realy THE ONLY friend and defender of Abkhazia)))))))
    Glory for Russia!

  22. Lol It';s a Russian gay parade in the comments here. I did not expect anything more. :)

  23. It is a good step for the beginnig, but however not enough at all. Georgia, US and other world countries must recognize the mass killings of Chechen people in their homeland by Russian forces since 1994 as "Genocide" and "war crimes", "crimes against humanity". Then it will be more effective and true...

  24. Well I am Circassian myself and I truly support Georgian initiatives in this regard.

    We Circassian people should manage to escape this bloody empire and I will b very grateful if the honorable people of Georgia would aid us in this.


    NO SOCHI! Mass Murderers and aggressors DO NOT DESERVE ANY OLYMPIC GAMES!

  25. Perhaps a compromise?
    Russian in the second Russian-Georgian war should have to drive 100 000 Kartvels to Tbolisi and give their land to live circassians. Gali, Poti and Batumi are good places for circassians.
    It will be a good excuse for anti-Circassian War of 19 century.

  26. Anonymous said...
    Well I am Circassian myself and I truly support Georgian initiatives in this regard.

    We Circassian people should manage to escape this bloody empire and I will b very grateful if the honorable people of Georgia would aid us in this.


    NO SOCHI! Mass Murderers and aggressors DO NOT DESERVE ANY OLYMPIC GAMES!

    Who are you to talk on behalf of all Circassians ?

    Have ever been to Circassia or Abkhazia and talk to those who still leve on their own lands and wait when people liek you considering it their Motherland will come back instaed of supporting provocative intensions of these Georgian who just would like to push Circassians , Abkhazians and Russians to other clashes then to come and live and flourish on our blessed lands/
    I am astonished and you get me sad when I read how you , if you are a Circasian , write such things whch do not make you nice in this situation.
    I think you and those whom they bought and they went to this conference are simply traitors and the matter of the Caucasus is not your deal at all.

  27. Anonymous said...
    Perhaps a compromise?
    Russian in the second Russian-Georgian war should have to drive 100 000 Kartvels to Tbolisi and give their land to live circassians. Gali, Poti and Batumi are good places for circassians.
    It will be a good excuse for anti-Circassian War of 19 century.

    Why do you want such comromise ,
    this Poti Batumi /
    Gal is Abkhaz , you can come , but we do not need their towns , let them live there and leave others in peace.
    Have you seen their comedy in the Imedi TV , this is the way they live and do their life, and they think that others are as stupid as Saakashvili who had so many problems in his childhood.

  28. The paradox consists that the Russian empire was at war with Moslems Circassians not for the blessing, but for rescue of Georgia. Christian Georgia was on the verge of physical destruction by Turkey and Iran (both countries are Muslim). On November, 17th, 1800 last gergian tsar George of XII Bagrationi has addressed to russian emperor Pavel I with «the Application in a lap» about a capture of its people in «eternal citizenship». Between Georgia and Russia lived Muslim tribes of Circassians loyal Turkey. To release Georgia the Russian armies have been compelled to make the way through Circassian territories. After victories of Russia over Iran and Turkey and clearing of Georgia many Circassians under the agreement between Turkey and Russia have been moved to Turkey as the people unreliable to Russia. Certainly, during war Russian armies killed the armed opponents of Circassians, also as well as Circassians killed Russian soldiers. But Russian did not cut out the whole Circassians tribes as it did the Yankee with the whole American Indian tribes.
    As it has been told earlier in territories of Circassians Georgians have lodged as the people reliable to Russia.

  29. You are right .
    But today they turned the plate .
    They play dirtiest plays in the history of the Caucasus.
    To my regret , they find people like those who went to them and appealed to their Parliament without thinking that the same they can do going to Russia and applying to Russian Duma , as both these countries were doing their best in fighting with Cicassians and Abkhaz peoples.

  30. Should we go to the European Parliament with an appeal against the huge assistance of Georgians to Russian Empire in the mentioned in this shameful article events ?

  31. LOL, LOTS of Russskiez here pouring from this FSB portal ->

    My name is Aslan and I am Ossetian from Vladikavkaz. I am the professor of Ossetian history and culture. Russians have brought us nothing more than a pain and conflict. We ask the world to aid us escape this Neo-Soviet empire. We should have never forgiven you for Beslan and for a bloody wars Kremlin has initiated in the North Caucasus. Georgians should not only recognize the genocide of Circassian people but also of Ossetian people, Russian empire has always used our nation as a dumb stick... to hit Ingush people, to hit Georgians... it hurts both ways. Russians never cared about any nation... including their own. Please Georgians we Ossetians appeal to you, we are used agaist others and against ourselves against our own will. We don't want to suffer any longer. My neighbor has lost two children in Beslan, never more! Criminals like Putin and 58th army (which was killing Ossetian children in Beslan using tanks... and was killing Ossetians and Georgians in South Caucasus, which indeed does not belong to us. This war was for Oil pipelines and military bases for Russia. We Ossetians where sacrificed for it by Russians. As always!)

    PLEASE HELP! We are loosing our culture, our language and our friends all because of the Russian government.

  32. regarding the Anonymous who said that Russia had to fight the circassian to save Georgia becoming surrounded by moslems from north and south ....
    darling for the love of god if Ur Russian please stop the lame attempt to write a false history,and if ur not a russian please go read more before start talking about history circassian where Christians since the time of emperor Justinian in the sixth century.and where majority Christians during the the north caucasian war ,the moslems where the east Caucasians (Chechen and daghstan),the circassian forced to become moslems after the exil in turkey because the Turks start to kill every circassian family who refused to convert to Islam,they where killing the man and kidnapping the girls ,who a lot of them killed them self's to escape the evil Turks,so how dare you to ignore all the saints who died defending there land and there family's from people supposed to believe in Jesus Christ like them ......

  33. in fact i think the Georgians knows who where the moslems in the Caucasus in the old times,especially when the so called georgian kingdom was a part from the islamic kingdom at the Abbasids rule at that time and every one of them where a moslem there ,and the abkhazian czar at that time is the one who push the moslems back to Tbilisi because Tbilisi at that time was the headquarter of the moslems,and he kept fighting with them constantly...

  34. For the history Circassians had some religions - pagans, Christianity, Moslem. By 18 century (to a campaign of Russian to Georgia) under Turkish pressure Circassians completely became Moslems. Circassians Christians were dissolved in Russian Cossacks. By Turkish tradition of the reference in Islam to the subdued people occurred so: before the head of the family built its relatives and threatened with murder to accept Islam in default.
    Therefore in the former territories of Ottoman empire there are also Georgians Moslems (chveneburies, lases) and Moslems Slavs (Bosnia and Herzegovina, a part of Bulgaria)

  35. I see too many brainwashed persons here, who are so blined with hatred that can really evaluate the real situation over Caucasus!!! Circassions, Abkhazians as well as Georgians are definitly oppressed by Russian tsarists in past and imperialists for now!! Baltic states managed to create a strong Union against Russians and now they are developing peacefully, while we Caucasians eat and kill each other, and make our common enemy get stronger and stronger!!
    Why don't u Circassians/Apsuas realize the fact, that this kind of relationship between us had been caused by the Third ugly power, who has always tried to play in Caucasus with this principle : "Divide et Imperia" and it is a fact!!! only feeble-minded, brainwashed or blined with envy and hatred can talk about Geortgia's bloodshed, becouse it had never happened! the persons who have a strong hatred against Georgians are Just typical Chauvinists, who try to glorify their little nation and curse the rest of the world or blame the others in their luckless subsistence!!!

  36. Regarding the above comment: it is true that if the Caucasus were united, we would be able to fend off the Russian bear more effectively. However, that also depends on the nature of the Caucasian nation as well. What I mean by this is that if others are sincere in their desire to unite, but another is bound to a foreign force through monetary promises, or dreams of riches and prominence or a seat in an all-boys club far away, how would this work out? And why are you so upset about people calling Georgians out? Do you think their nature has changed? They know exactly what they did, and I would have to wonder if their involvement in the Russian expulsion and genocide of North Caucasians was mentioned in the conference (I bet not!)

    Face the facts: THIS HAPPENED. Get over it. But don't attempt to bury it or cry foul.

    And last, I am tired of seeing the few idiots on here crying about FSB involvement or FSB mouthpieces coming on here and spouting off, especially if their comments seem anti-Georgian. Get a grip, for once, not everyone who opposes Georgian garbage is pro-Russian.

  37. It turns out that people who says the truth about Georgians they are considered to be Chovinists , and then my question is - how would we call people who started the war against South Ossetia , then in Megrelia, after in Abkhazia in 1992, 1998, 2001, and in August 2008 in Soth Ossetia - are the most loving and peaceful people ?
    I would like to ask those Circassians who participated in this conference who delegated them there and gave them the right to appeal to the Georgian Parliament on behalf of all Circassians ??

  38. S. Dishack
    My deepest admiration to Georgia’s and America’s propagandists, yet my deepest sympathy to those Circassian fools who fell into their tricks and drank the cool aid in Tblisi. Both our past and present issues with Russia are in complete difference with Georgia’s. Instability in the North Caucasus is in Georgia’s best interests to entangle Russia in an internal war in its Southern peripheries to create a buffer zone and diminish Russia’s influence in the southern Caucasus. Separating Circassian from Abkhazian will further support such a strategy by cutting off the Circassian support to Abkhazia, thus forcing Abkhazia to accept Georgia’s demands for resolution. As for us Circassians, stability in the North Caucasus is in our best interest to create the needed environment for sociopolitical and economic development. Moreover, Stability, Economic and sociopolitical development, in our current situation is only achieved through constructive dialog and rapprochement with Russia. Normalization and Stability will also impact our pressing issue of repatriation, and also serve our long term objectives in unification. Saying that, and despite all past and present grievances, those who went to Tbilisi should have asked themselves who’s interest I’m serving by going to Tbilisi? If such a simple fact cannot be comprehended by those Circassian who attended the conference, I’m afraid to say that either they are naïve or they have been co opted by the conspirators. And one thing I might add, while those patriot Circassians were there, have they tried to appeal to the Georgian Parliament to consider Abkhazia’s independence? Unfortunately, that what happens when you make a deal with the devil, HE ALWAYS COME BACK TO COLLECT.

  39. I very much do hope that this time the devil will not come back and will not collect anything but just the shame of Americans who think that just Georgians deserve freedom and independence.........

    1. Abjasia es Abjasia!
      Abjasia no es una parte de Georgia o de Circasia!
      No te olvides de esto!

  40. I appreciate that now the "circassian-issue" will become more spoken in the public of the world - even when it started from georgia.

    But georgia should also look into their own history-ties with russia in the russian conquest of the caucasus and show some self-view. It has also blood on their hands!

    The big question is, what kind of interest does the USA has in this issue?! Helping circassians or just following their own political issues?

    Will a new "Great-Game" restarted with the circassians?

  41. Of course, someone needs a great dirty and probably a bloody game .
    Let THEM have it on their own territories and leave Caucasus in peace.
    These idiotic attampts of Georgians showing their love sudden to Circassians - are awful and ugly.
    Better for the owners of this site and some Georgians look thoroughly into the history and learn it in order not to make crucial mistakes again .

  42. S. Dishack
    The Circassian national resurrection has been in a steady and constant development in the Diaspora since the sixties and it gain more momentum after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It is those who think they are reinventing the wheel that undermining this effort with their reckless actions. “Reborn Circassians” who neither have the mentality nor the proper background to compete in the world wide Circassian national movement and with no touch with the realities in the ground and with radical agendas that is obviously serving other’s interests. Bloodshed and destructive rhetoric’s spot lighted by the western conservative media is the easiest and shortest way to achieve fame, not minding the death and destruction that it might cause. Circassians have a saying for those kinds of people “do not hustle after fame, do what you have to do as a dignified person and glory will come to you”. Those people should have considered their place among the Circassian intelligentsia before speaking loud about Circassian issues and should have looked around before claiming a place in the national movement : like wise Circassian also said: “thinks then speak, and look around then pick your proper place to sit in”. Thank god, today we have more educated Circassians that can lead our nation towards achieving our national objectives without entangling us in a big geopolitical game thus undermining those objectives. It is a long generational journey that needs educated and devoted Circassians to maintain it. It took hard effort and more than one hundred years to gain back our balance and strength after the devastating event in 1864. But now I think it is our time in history, and we should be careful and cautious not to repeat past mistakes. Let the wagon proceed in its journey not minding the dogs that are barking along its way.

  43. Americans, if you read these comments, let's think! All people wanted to live in peace and harmony, raise children and to respect the elderly. We live in Russia, and we want to have friendly neighbors, we want to in Georgia and in Abkhazia, and anywhere else in the family was peace. Nobody wants war! I hope you understand that this kind of article written by the order of certain political circles who do not want the wounds healed Caucasus. They do so to have money, a lot of money. But the people are suffering. Just believe of your nous, not to the authors of such articles.

  44. They will not think and they will not even think a second about it , as they do not care just their buziness and nothing else exists .

  45. I've read this discussion and what strucks me most, is how easily some people blame a whole population for things politicians and leaders have done in the past.
    People seem to forget that actions done by governments, not always represent the will and opinion of its population. Let alone actions commited some 200 years ago. Just imagine that France, Britain etc would still actively blame Germany for everything what happened during WW1 and WW2 instead of seeking mutual cooparation. There would be no EU and most likely war would still rage over Western Europe.

    Secondly, the history of the Caucasus is very complex. Things aren't as black and white as they often seem to be. Many historical 'facts' need to be placed in context with local cultures, political motives, powers striving for domination, nations desire for freedom etc etc.

    In regard to the nature and character of Caucasian peoples, one shouldn't forget their high level of pride and patriotism. To give a small example: watch a vid on youtube of Caucasian dancing (mtiuluri, lezginka etc) and read the comments. Circassians, Vaynaxs, Georgians, you name it, they all claim they've invented Caucasian dances. This might seem irrelevant in regard to this discussion but it's not. This example perfectly illustrates why there are so many struggles among Caucasians.
    Keeping the above in mind, you'll soon come to realise that it's too easy blaming everything on third parties (Russia, the US etc). People need to take responsibilty for their own actions. It was the snake who seduced Eve to eat from the forbidden fruit. It was Eve's discision however to take a bite from it. I'm not saying that Russia has no part in dividing Caucasian nations. However, Caucasian nations are also dividing themselves from eachother. This fact is often overlooked.

    If you guys wanna get along, stop relating everything to politics and history. Peace and friendship among nations doesn't start with its leaders and governments. It starts with ordinary people like you and me inhabiting those nations.

  46. Dear last Anonimous,
    I fully agree with you in many aspects and would like to agree with all of your thoughts.
    Just think also in this regard that Caucasians are dividing themselves as you have written .
    Even Caucasians , with lots of similarities in the mentality or culture , or proud dancings , or unthinkable miracklulous and sometimes so sad singing, just listen to "Akhra ascha" in the Abkhaz, we are also different, being sisters or brothers, very anciently coming from one mother, even twins are different , is not so ?
    And ,like in any family, there always is somebody , who like being programmized by that snake , ruins the best which is between others in that family.
    I would not like to go very deep into the all this kind of philosophy, but what we have today , we have and we have to face many things and be irresistible and prudent.
    The conference , which has taken place in Tbilisi, Abkhaz and many other Caucasians are not appreciating. aND YOU KNOW WHY.
    Let the organizers at least in a such way learn more .

  47. so many stupid comments here,

    and these are from the so called activists for the circassian problam.

    god help us all.

  48. Circassian problem is not yours , look at your problems and especially those you create.....

  49. Reading this article and looking at other websites I do see a trend that Circassians are:
    1)Satisfied with resolution submitted
    2)Questioning why Georgia since our brothers the Abkhaz went to war with them
    3)Angry because THEY themselves did not participate

    After speaking to one of the attendees I will inform all on this blog the following:

    1)The organizers submitted a resolution that asks a UN member to recognize the Circassian Genocide and honor the perished by making MAY 21 Circassian Genocide Day (this same group sent the Russian Government in the last 5 years 3 appeals and each time was told there was no genocide)...after this event they are hoping to go to many more countries to request the same resolution..

    2) The Abkhaz question was clarified by the group informing the Georgian government that NO topics on Abkhazia's independance will be discussed and the group even went as far as declaring Abkhazias independance in front of the Georgian Government (who else has done this in a peaceful manner)

    3) On one of the postings above the comment states that there has been work being done since the 1960's....the world has changed and whatever strategy that had been hatched at that time does not work today....the world changes every couple of years. There is not one group in the world that is working on Circassian Rights and now there is a push forward with these kind and brave men and women involved.

    Thank you to all who participated and hoping Georgia Recognizes the Circassian Genocide

    Aslan Misost

  50. A Global Voices post about the issue:

  51. A lot was said here, mostly lies. I suspect that some people here are from FSB - we all know how they work in internet and against Caucasian Unity. Anyway, I'd like to say.

    Yes there were some Georgian who participated in Caucasian war, but it was very small number of our ancestors. Couple of nobleman who were in service of Czar.

    And about Abkhazian Genocide in 1864-67, How come that some1 saw there Georgian Fault? I just don't understand that.

    In 1992-93 Ethnic Cleansing was committed against Georgian population not against Abkhazians.

  52. some people are really feeble-minded and deeply brainwashed i guess!!! Blaming someone all the time in your stupidity is a shame!!! Caucasians are slave mentality people and that makes them weak! Ruso mongolians definitly win in the politics of north or south caucasus!! Russia is oppressing these people over these centuries and meanwhile caucasians blame each other in it.... It would be better if u Guys try and join DOkku Umarom Emirate for saving your lives!!! don't u remember 250 000 dead people decade ago, where from 53 000 were children and PUTAN made the Genocide of CHechens??? and don't u remember the civilians brutally killed in Georgia by the russian su bombardment???? that is so ugly to see only what is acceptable for u and not the Reality which is true!!

    Some Georgians helped Russians (mostly nobles were on russian side) in the Caucasian wars, but Majority of Georgian people gave bread and home to north Caucasians!! why u all forget the thing How Georgians left houses and Auls after the return of stalin deportation of Chechens and ingush people??? Georgians at the same time left houses and villages and give north caucasians their land back!!!

    why all remember bad things and never remind the positive side of Caucasian brotherhood!! becouse such kind of people have ugly spirit an they would never see the truth, no matter what facts or arguments u give them!!!

    From Israel Tamara

  53. to Tamara from Izrael
    I have read your so emotional thoughts about Caucasians and which so specially reveals your attitude to Georgians . And who you are to talk about the ohers in such ab ugly tone ?
    And , of course , no wonder.
    But , there are things one has to know , wnen started such talk . There are facts and history , no one can washe them out from the memory of the peoples.
    But , tel me how many times someone must be forgiven ?
    I will not go deep into the history, if you have time you can find and read it yourself.
    But with such justifications you present here for Georgians say about your poor knowledge of the whole history and even of the recent one .
    Better tell us , when will peace come between Izrael and Palestina ?
    Or do you think that the huge violations of human rights no one could notice there ?

    The Northern Caucasus peoples, the Ubykhs and Abkhaz had to flee from their own homelands to save their lives in the other coast ofthe Black sea , the genocidee was committed to the Ubykhs , which had been partly killed in there coulntry and mostly could not survive crossing the Black sea , others , even living outside of their Motherlands, survived.
    The Ubykh language is consudered today as a dead one .
    As for the Abkhazians , they were not the first ones who started the most bloody war in Abkhazia , after that 1864. it was Georgai ruled by Shevarnadze.
    Why did they become the minority on their own Motherland once and why ? Who and how become a majority and why this majority did not respect the minority ?
    Or just the one who is bigger has the right to enjoy a decent life ?

  55. to Aslan Misost
    Could you kindly tell me how did you declare the Abkhaz independence in front of the Georgian government if as above you say that

    "NO topics on Abkhazia's independance will be discussed ...."

  56. Abkhazia is Abkhazia!
    Abkhazia is not a part of Georgia or Circassia!
    Don't forget this!

  57. I am a Apsuwa Abkhazian from Sukhum.
    We Abkhazians are a Independent nation, we are NOT CIRCASSIANS OR GEORGIANS! Circassians must recognise that we are not their part!!!
    Circassian genocide happend long a time ago and not worth panicking about.
    Russia is number one garant of Abkhazian Independence, we Abkhazians need Russia!

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  59. The so-called circasian activists who went tothis conference only did so for selfish reaosns. I know of at least two who went so that they can raise their profile and look for husbands

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  64. You guys have a lot of problems to sort out.
    What I read here is typical for the first months after the end of a relationship - both partners accuse each other "you did that" "no, you did that first" "it was all because of you" etc etc etc.

    First get over with it, pt history as it was, take the opportunity of NOW to start anew (as most events referred to are really of no-ones direct experience, f.e. the so called circassian genocide) and then shake hands.

    Accepting the past as it was, and realize you just have to live as neighbours. You guys are not the only ones in the world who have had bad histories with each other. Look at Europe. Why can they be good neighbours with each other now? Because they need each other.

    Take a lesson from it and stop talking victim-bullshit.

    Abkhazian genocide in 92-93? hah. It actually shows that most people don't have a clue what genocide really is. That is why it is such a silly point to make.

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