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The Circassian – Polish Relationship

posted by eagle on March, 2012 as CIRCASSIA ADIGA

The Circassian – Polish Relationship

By: Walid Hakouz

20, November, 2011

Translated by: Adel Bashqawi

8, March, 2012.

Polish troops in a battle with Russian forces

The Caucasus region was not present in the Polish political thought until early 1830. After the first failed Polish uprising against Russian occupation in 1831, which all the political forces had fled outside, that became the so-called "the Great Polish Immigration”, when 10,000 people from Polish political, military and cultural elite had migrated and had decided to go into exile to France and Britain in particular, which began to consider very carefully the current events in the North Caucasus, where the Circassians and Chechens were still resisting the colonial war against Russia.

The main reason for this interest is the presence of about 9,000 soldiers from the former Polish army, who were forcibly sent by Russians to the North Caucasus to fight against the Circassian resistance, after the suppression of the Polish uprisingCompulsory military service in the ranks of the Russian army as a form of persecution and punishment had been imposed on them after the collapse of the Polish resistanceMany of those soldiers had fled the battlefield in the Caucasus and were able to reach Western Europe, which were of great interest to the Head of the Right Wing of Polish Immigrants Prince Adam George Czartoryski, which made him interested in the Caucasus issue.

Prince Adam George Kzacorisky was born in 14/10/1770, for a family of Lithuanian Polish nobility. He became a Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of the Russian Tsar, then as prime minister in 1804. Left political life for the next 25 years to devote himself to writing, but returned in late 1830 as Head of the local government during the first Polish Uprising against the Russian oppression of his country. On 23, August, 1831, he joined the popular resistance of the Polish People against the Russian occupation of Poland, and he left his country to establish in February, 25, 1832 "Friends of Poland Organization”, then left for Paris, France and established a center for Polish immigrants, and became Head of the Government of Poland in Exile.

He sent his Special Envoy to Turkey Michał Czajkowski, who converted to Islam and became known as Mohammad Sadiq Pasha, who established a center named Adampol near Istanbul, for Polish migrants fleeing from the service in the Russian army, who were fighting in the Caucasus. With the increase in the arrival of Poles fleeing imprisonment in Circassia, and the arrival of information about the Circassian resistance against Russian forces in the North Caucasus, Prince Adam’s interest had begun in the Circassian Question.

Prince Adam Czartoryski

In the meantime, a dispute arose in the relations between the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud and Egypt’s Mohammad Ali Pasha, the Ruler of Egypt, which was called in the Ottoman Empire the East Crisis that led to political tension in Russian-British relations, especially after the İskelesi Hünkâr Treaty, held in 1833. Prince Adam Czartoryski had taken the advantage of this situation with high level of diplomacy, and planned for the possibility of developing its activities on an informal basis and is supported by the British Foreign Office. By collaboration with David Urqhaert, and some sympathizers with the Circassian Cause to publish the "Portfolio", which is a file that contains a series of confidential Russian diplomatic correspondence seized by the Polish rebels during the Polish Uprising in Warsaw in the year 1830, which contained many of the documents condemning the ongoing military operations in the North Caucasus.

Prince Adam, Assigned his nephew, Count
Władysław Zamoyski to contact a group of Urquhart Circassian supporters, and organized the famous boat trip "Vixen" loaded with weapons and equipment to help the Circassian resistance against Russian forces, which led more provocation in the Russian-British relations, and was almost to be a reason for the occurrence of war between them. From the Polish point of view, the war between Russia and any European power would have been a success for Poland regains its independence.

The war waged by Russia in the Caucasus has revived the hope of the Poles, which dreamed of developed into a Russian-British war that is necessary to support their goals, but that failure had followed the Poles in their attempts to obtain more effective support from the British Foreign Office to organize detachments of Polish military battalions, which has been created from the Polish soldiers fleeing the Russian army, to fight alongside the Circassians against Russians.

Nevertheless, Prince Adam has managed to send his envoy
Ludwik Zwierkowski to the Shapsough area in 1844, but returned to Istanbul in 1846 burdened with wounds. Then sent his second envoy Kazimierz Gordon in the hope reaching Imam Shamil in Chechnya, but he managed to reach the Ubykh territory only, and was killed by a Russian agent shortly after arrival.

Then came into existence the idea of ​​sending a Polish military Corps to Circassia earlier before the end of the Crimean War, in the year 1857, it was formed in the Ottoman Empire, led by Colonel Teofil Łapiński, and had landed near the Circassian village of Tuapse. It was formed out and in its core, there was a detachment consisting of 120 soldiers, that participated in the war against the Russian forces in the battles that took place during the years 1857-1860, and that was the last actions of this common fraternal Polish – Circassian operation with the use of all weapons, especially artillery, until the beginning of the month of January, 1863, at the start of the second Polish Uprising. Then sent another Corps led by Polish Colonel
Klemens Przewłocki, in the month of October, 1863, which had been organized and sent to Circassia under the supervision of his son, Prince Witold Czartoryski, and fought the war until the beginning of the month of May, 1864.

The joint Polish – Circassian armed resistance had encountered the bitter end at the same time, which resulted in the national disaster in 21, May, 1864, and the armed Circassian resistance in the Caucasus had ended by the displacement of large numbers of Circassian people to the Ottoman Empire. As had also led to the failure of the January second Polish Revolution in the Polish - Lithuanian territories, and led to the worst period of persecution and Russification (the
adoption of the Russian language or some other Russian attributes) of the country. The Polish and Circassian peoples thought and still continue to believe that God is great, and far greater than Russia.



1. Radosław Grajewski, Great Britain in the "diplomacy” of prince Adam George Czartoryski towards the Eastern Crisis (1832-1841). Warszawa 1999.

2. John P. Ledonne. The Grand Strategy of the Russian Empire, Oxford University Press, London 200.


Reference/Source: Circassian News

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