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Radio Adiga: An Interview With Ruslan Keshev

posted by eagle on December, 2010 as CIRCASSIA ADIGA

An Interview with Ruslan Keshev

18 12 2010


Abkhaz-Circassian relations: An Interview with Ruslan Keshev, Chairman of the Circassian Congress. 

1. For nearly twenty years of Abkhazia de facto independent state. What contribution have the Circassians in the struggle for the independence of Abkhazia and in the formation of Abkhaz statehood. These facts are little known to the general public.

Since the beginning of the collapse of the Soviet Union were expanded contacts between the Circassian and Abkhaz society - and among politicians, and between culture and science. In addition, the city of Sukhumi was established by the Confederation of Peoples of the Caucasus, held the World Festival of the Abkhaz-Circassian culture. 

Since the beginning of the war in Abkhazia on Aug. 14, 1992 began a wide volunteer movement of many Caucasian peoples, which played a prominent role, especially initially, in the Abkhazian-Georgian conflict. With regard to the Circassian volunteers, it is sufficient to note that the chief of staff and then defense minister of Abkhazia during the war was a Circassian (Kabardian) Sultan Sosnaliev. That squad Circassians (Kabardins) under the command Muaed Shorova stormed the building and the Council of Ministers set up on it the banner of victory. Throughout Abkhazia know the names of commanders Yaganov Ibrahim, commander of the Kabardian volunteers, now chairman of the independent Circassian social movement "Khase" war dead Gena Kardanova, Adam Huadu and many others. During the military conflict in Abkhazia, the Circassians have lost about 100 people from 2 - 2500 Circassian volunteers fighting in Abkhazia. 

Circassian republics of Russia (Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia) have provided substantial humanitarian assistance to Abkhazia during the war and after it, when Abkhazia was a long-term blockade by Russia. 

2. Do you remember in Abkhazia contribution Circassian volunteers in the War of Independence? As he immortalized? 

The older generation remembers the course of Abkhazia on the participation of the Circassian volunteers but the youth does not know much. Textbooks on the history of Abkhazia also modestly mention this contribution, which is regrettable. Now in Abkhazia is a question of perpetuating the memory of Sultan Sosnalieva, considered various proposals. 

3. As evolved over the years, the Abkhaz-Circassian relations? 

Abkhaz government provides some support to the bereaved families of volunteers, organizes children's holiday on the Black Sea coast, cultural events. But, in my opinion, of any serious relationship now say no. 

There are problems requiring urgent solutions. For example, you know, without citizenship in Abkhazia is impossible to purchase and arrange real estate. Today is such a problem to us asking many Circassians. 

Abkhazia has positioned itself as unique in the modern history of the state of the Abkhaz-Circassian groups: the citizenship of Abkhazia under its legislation, provided the Abaza and Ubykhs. 

But apart from Abaza, Abkhaz and Ubykh this group includes all the Circassians (Adygeys "," Kabardian, Circassian and "Shapsugs). However, the legislation does not include Abkhazia citizenship Circassians. And it is certainly wrong: if citizenship is granted to representatives of other nations of the Abkhaz-Circassian groups, then why the Circassians should be an exception? This issue was raised the previous leadership of the Union of Abkhazian Volunteers of Kabardino-Balkaria, and we believe that it needs to be addressed. 

4. How do you assess the current ratio of political leadership of Abkhazia to the Circassian issue? 

Circassian issue - a legacy of the Russian-Circassian War 1763 - 1864 years., Which resulted in the Circassian people subjected to genocide, and today 90% of Circassians live in over 50 countries worldwide. Circassians who remained at home were artificially divided into six subjects, and four "different" people - "Adyghe", "Kabardins, Circassians and Shapsughs, despite the single self, and a common language. Today, Circassian Diaspora in numbers 10 times higher than the total number of Circassians of the Caucasus, and in fact has no opportunity to return to their historical homeland. 

Abkhazia's political leadership understands the severity of the Circassian issue and the problem of the Circassian diaspora. Abkhazia has the same problem - the Abkhaz diaspora, though not as numerous as the Circassian, Abkhaz also exceeds the population of Abkhazia. 

The Abkhaz leadership generally does not comment publicly on the Circassian issue. Given the political situation in which Abkhazia is today - a strong Russian influence in this country, we do not expect from Abkhazia, a decisive breakthrough in the Circassian direction and thank them for their silence. 

However, some political leaders of Abkhazia, including a rather influential, with the filing of certain forces in Russia, and express things that we did not expect even the most reactionary opponents. 

5. What is today is Abkhazia? What is the ruling elite of the Abkhaz and the society, their "quality"? 

Today in Abkhazia there is an unconditional growth. Increase the pace of construction, working all public authorities, law enforcement agencies, medical and educational institutions. 

In my opinion, despite the increasing presence of Russia, the Abkhaz ruling elite is heading to the strengthening of the statehood of Abkhazia, and this position has strong support in Abkhaz society. 

There is the criminalization of society and the corruption of power, typical for Russia. In this regard, amazing experience of Georgia, where these issues were successfully resolved. 

In the Abkhaz society during the siege of traditional values have been partially lost. Prevalent among the youth culture of thieves. Unfortunately, the same can be said about the North Caucasus, but in Abkhazia, these negative trends more striking. However, the Abkhaz youth patriotic enough, and, in general, is able to secure the future of Abkhazia. 

In my opinion, despite the increasing presence of Russia, the Abkhaz ruling elite is heading to the strengthening of the statehood of Abkhazia, and this position has strong support in Abkhaz society. 

6. Now the Russian media have written that the Krasnaya Polyana - a land just Abkhazians. The issue of Krasnaya Polyana, Olympics and the genocide of Circassians - the question of political or linguistic? 

Krasnaya Polyana - a place where planned for Sochi Olympics 2014. For the Circassians this place has a tragic symbolism - it is there, the last battle of the Russian-Circassian War, it was there 21 May 1864 the imperial troops carried out a victory parade over Circassia. Russian-Circassian War, which lasted from 1763 to 1864 years, ended disastrously for the Circassians. Circassian people subjected to genocide, more than 90% of the survivors of the Circassians were expelled from the Caucasus, and, as written sources "from numerous people in the whole Caucasus remained small ethnic islands ...." 

Circassian Genocide was recognized by the Parliament of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic on Feb. 7, 1992. Now we are seeking international recognition of the genocide of Circassians Circassians and repatriation to their historical homeland. 

In connection with the planned hosting of the Olympics in Sochi, the world's attention to the problem of the Circassian people increases. And right now, some Abkhaz politicians made statements that the Krasnaya Polyana - the land of the Abkhazians. I think the political subtext of these statements is obvious. 

We are trying to impose some kind of meaningless linguistic debate. In this connection it is relevant to note that specifically in the 19 century, including natural, and in 1864, ended when the Russian-Circassian War, the border Cherkessia and Abkhazia Principality took place on the river Bzyb, and this, as you know, far to the south, not only Krasnaya Polyana, but the modern borders of Abkhazia on the river Psou. 

Autonomous Principality of Abkhazia under the leadership of its ruling prince Michael Shervashidze did not participate in the fight against the Russian Empire, the Circassians, and therefore the tragic symbolism of Krasnaya Polyana in connection with the events of 21 May 1864 refers only to the peoples who make up Circassia in the 19 century. 

We are opposed to rewriting the Circassian history for the sake of whatever it was political expediency, with someone to feed it's not happening. 

7. Many Circassians have expressed dissatisfaction with some of the performances of Abkhaz representatives, for example, held in April in Moscow at the MGIMO Scientific and Practical Conference "Russia-Abkhazia: 200 years of friendship and relationships", dedicated to 200 anniversary of the occurrence of Abkhazia into the Russian Empire, speeches there Abkhaz delegation. Tell us what you mean, and how these views reflect the opinion of the Abkhaz society and political leadership. 

At a conference at Moscow State Institute writer Denis Chachhaliya called the position of the Circassians in connection with the Olympic Games in Sochi, unfriendly and suggested that the issue of Krasnaya Polyana is related to Abkhazia. This is what we just talked about. Russian media started writing about this just after the conference. I want to stress again that in the 19 century - a period which, in fact referred to the whole area down to the river Bzyb was part of Circassia. And even in the 20 century the Bolsheviks celebrated Bzyb River as the border of Abkhazia proper, therefore, such passages as a minimum, are unfounded, and may not lead to anything other than the deterioration of the Abkhaz-Circassian relations. 

Abkhaz political leadership, of course, does not express such assessments Chachhaliya. I hope that such statements will not find support in Abkhaz society. But what we can not worry - it's distortion of history Cherkessia in textbooks on the history of Abkhazia, which are issued there recently. We call on the Abkhaz historians more objectively and truthfully relate to writing these works, given that this is not a harmless occupation, and foundation work, which can spoil the Abkhaz-Circassian relations. 

The same can be said with respect to some of the Abkhaz politicians and public figures. 

It must be remembered that the Circassians and Abkhazians are united Abkhaz-Circassian language group Caucasian languages, and history has shown that this brotherhood is not only linguistic. 

8. Relationships Abkhazians and Circassians today - what it is: "the brotherhood for ever," "Divorce in a communal apartment? 

I think the time of euphoria "of the secular fraternity", observed immediately after the Abkhaz-Georgian war of 1992-1993. already taking place, and do not consider it a tragedy. Rather, it is a natural process, reflecting the development of modern Abkhaz and Circassian society. In my opinion, today, excessive euphoria, more typical of Circassian society, interferes to look at issues more objectively. However, there is an understanding that our people time to move on to building a clear, pragmatic and mutually beneficial relationship. 

9. You were the only Circassian figure of the Russian Federation, who participated in the work of the Tbilisi Conference. Why did you go there? And why are you alone? 

Invitation to attend the conference of the Circassian organizations in Russia received only Circassian Congress. Therefore, all the talk that some Circassian organizations have been invited, but refused to go - fiction and political speculation. 

I went not as a citizen and as a representative of the network organization Circassian Congress, which authorized me to speak on his behalf. 

10. The Russian press has already called you a "traitor." Who do you "betrayed" - the interests of the Russian Federation? Circassian people? 

If the press gives a similar assessment - it's her problem. The aim of our movement is the recognition of the Circassian genocide committed by the Russian state during and after the Russian-Circassian War 1763 - 1864, as well as the restoration of unity scattered around the world and divided by the Caucasus Circassian people in its historic homeland. 

In Europe today there is no nation, except for the Circassians, 90% of whom live outside the country. Circassians of the Caucasus are divided on their land for six subjects, and recently - for two different federal districts (South and North Caucasus). This is contrary to international law and the Constitution itself. Circassians now have to prove they are one people, to prove its right to live on their land as a united nation. 

Circassian diaspora has, according to various estimates, from 7 to 10 million people, and this is a problem that can not be ignored. Of all the peoples of Russia Circassians are the most numerous after the Russian diaspora. 

The Circassians are the indigenous people of the Russian Federation, and the Circassian issue, above all, would be to solve Russia itself. But this does not mean that we do not have the right to apply for solving a problem for other countries. In this connection I wish to thank the people of Georgia in the face of the conference organizers for this opportunity to convey our problems to the world community. 

We stand for peaceful and civilized solution to the Circassian issue within the framework of international law, and have every right to ask for help to the entire civilized world to solve their problem, which is international. 

11. Your vision for the future of the Caucasus and place it in Georgia, Circassia, Abkhazia. 

Circassia was the largest - the dominant terms of population and territory of the Caucasus. She played a crucial role in the region. The Russian empire was destroyed Circassia, but was unable to take her place to ensure geopolitical stability. 

Today there is a process of structuring the Circassian national movement, resulting in the Black Sea-Caspian region and the Middle East will be a new geopolitical reality in the form of structured disperse the nation. Our separateness from many countries in the world today is in something of our strength. Sooner or later the Circassian people will find unity in their homeland - the historical Circassia. Then begin a new stage in the development of the region associated with the reformation of the current situation created by the Russian-Circassian War years 1763-1864. It should be a process that takes into account the possible interests of all parties and all the peoples of the region, because we live in a single space and anywhere from one another not denemsya. 

On the issue of Abkhazia, Georgia and Circassia, that together they have always formed a distinct cultural and political community. This allowed the researchers to separate the Caucasus is not geographically (to the North and South), and on cultural and historical - to the Western and Eastern Caucasus. 

That is, Abkhazia, Georgia and Circassia - is historically common western Caucasian civilization, which has an ancient history and rich culture. And so it has a good historical and political perspective. 

Translation By - Google Translate. 



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