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Dimensions of Russian Duma’s Reply on Circassians’ Return to Motherland

posted by eagle on January, 2013 as CIRCASSIA ADIGA

Dimensions of Russian Duma’s Reply on Circassians’ Return to Motherland


By: Adel Bashqawi.

29, January, 2013.


The intensification of battles between the parties of the war that is going on in Syria since two years ago is clearly seen and had affected all walks of life and all segments of the Syrian people, the Circassians living in Syria who were expelled from their original homeland in the North Caucasus in the second half of the nineteenth century, have been exposed to the implications of the intensification of the battles and its extension to the areas of their residence as well as to all parts of Syria, and the exposure to the risk of killing, displacement and exhaustion of citizens’ capabilities in the midst of  the lack of possibility to reach results that would lead to end up the armed conflict between the parties in the foreseeable future. In order to solve any problem, it must be specified what its nature, to analyze its tensioned status, and then seek solutions and alternatives that provide an expanse of hope.


With the growing desire of Syrian Circassians and the urgent requirement for their return to their ancestors ( homeland in these difficult circumstances, as a result of their human suffering, the urgent need to move to a safe haven to shield them from the evil of civil war hell going on nowadays in Syria, and its negative effects on decent living at present and future, and taking into account all the expectations that a dark future awaits them and their children, serious attempts of the Circassians living in Syria have emerged, to move from the existing battlefield.


Several hundreds of them have managed to be displaced and have reached the cities of Nalchik and Maykop, however, everybody was surprised by the decision of the Russian authorities to stop granting visas for families to travel back to homeland, and the situation seemed to be in crisis, with provoking excitement and suspicion, especially since the official Russian decision that came at a critical time, which did not give those stranded amid raging armed conflict any more time or a reasonable space to move due to the limited options.


The freedom of Circassians to return to their homeland until the end of the twentieth century was impeded by the Soviet State’s stringent laws, and the presence of the Iron Curtain in the real tyrant sense of the term, as this curtain continued which was founded and sustained by the Soviet Union since the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1990, by the collapse of the Soviet Union. As soon as the conditions began to shift as a result of the enforcement of laws relating to human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples, the improvement that occurred on the individual, personal and cultural freedoms and the Right of Return, some segments of the Circassian Diaspora had started to return to homeland. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the Russian Federation as an independent state, consisted of more than one hundred different nationalities, the former Russian President Boris Yeltsin had said on the anniversary of the end of the Russian-Circassian (Caucasian) war in May of 1996 (, that "Russia is aware of those mistakes that were made during that period", and on the impact of that rational statement, the return of Kosovo Circassians to homeland and their residence in the Republic of Adygea in 1998 arose after the Kosovo war in the Balkans. In January, 2012, the author, "Naima Neflyasheva" published an article in "Caucasian Knot" on the "repatriation experience to homeland in the nineties of the last century” (


Since the outbreak of fighting in Syria approximately two years ago, the issue of Circassians of Syria had surfaced, in addition to other Caucasian communities, which led to the aggravation of this issue steadily as a result of the events.


In 17, January, 2012, an Abkhazian official delegation had suddenly visited Syria and discussed what has been described as: "Checking the status of the Abkhaz and Circassian population there” (


In 16, March, 2012, the Russian parliamentary delegation visited Syria, upon its tasks is to discuss ( the plight of Circassians in Syria and the possibility to return them to their homeland in the North Caucasus. The delegation included members of the Federation Council, which is the Senate of the Russian parliament, regional officials and activists from Adygea, Karashivo - Cherkessia and Kabardino - Balkaria, which they numbered 11 people. According to "Caucasian Knot” (, some participants said that the delegation would strive to enhance opportunities for migration of the Circassians living in Syria; following that visit, one of the participants in the delegation, Askar Sukht said: Circassians of Syria should consult the Russian Consulates in the locations they reside at (Syria, Jordan or Lebanon) to submit "applications to be able to obtain refugees status three months after submitting the application, initially for three years entry to the Russian territories to attain the citizenship of the Russian Federation within a special mechanism to speed up the process”.


With the approach of the Winter Olympic Games of 2014 in Sochi, the "Caucasian Knot” Website ( has published that Circassian activists spotted a children game so as to indicate the "GOOD" Cossacks fighting the "BAD" Mountaineers - in other words, people from the North Caucasus.


In 9, January, the Russian Duma replied to the Head of the Adigha Khasa, the Circassian Association in the Republic of Adygea, Adam Shoaib Boghos ( in regard to helping Circassians of Syria to return to their historical homeland, and the response said: "Committee for Nationalities in the Russian Duma would inform you that your request to help the Circassians of Syria to return to the Russian Federation has been transferred to the Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation, and sending you this reduplication of the Ministry’s response”! The response declared: "Circassians of Syria are the descendants of immigrants of Adigha origins, from the Northern and Western Caucasus, who did not accept the Russian citizenship, and chose voluntary migration from the region after the end of military operations of the Caucasian War (1817-1864).


Thus, the ancestors of the existing Circassians of Syria had resided in the territories that has not yet been within the Russian Federation until their migration in the year 1864 to the Ottoman Empire, which they cannot be considered as immigrants from the Russian State, in accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 1 of the Federal Law”, in addition to details regarding the considerations formulated by what was called the Russian Federal Law, as well as "the implementation of the governmental program for supporting the citizens residing abroad for their return to homeland, which is established in its new format with the Presidential Law No. 1289 of 14, September, 2012”, the "Director of Nationalities Relations Department, A. F. Joravsky” concluded the reply as the following: "Based on the above mentioned, we believe that the issue of reunion of Circassians of Syria and the citizens living abroad needs a comprehensive study in cooperation with the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Immigration Service Department in the Russian Federation”!


Regarding this controversial response, it must be noted that:


- The Committee for Nationalities’ Affairs, of the Federal Council of the Russian Federation / Sixth Session in the State Duma is transferring the response of another party (formal response) as if it acknowledges information and the positions of a high degree of importance, where it reaches to the extent of contradiction with the historical facts and realities on one hand and with the Constitution and Russian laws in force on the other one, and what came in the response, does not only allude to ignore the rights of the Circassian people (Circassian nation) as one of the indigenous or authentic nations in the North Caucasus, but even ignores its human rights, the UN principles and legislations of Human Rights, and the International Law.


- There is insistence by the Russian side on labeling the Russian / Circassian (Caucasian) War as the Caucasus War, which leads to ignore the real designation, and to divert attentions and interests towards reading between the lines in order to try to distort reality and to change facts.


- The Russian / Circassian War which lasted for a period of one hundred and one years (101) between 1763-1864, is reported in this scope: "The military operations of the Caucasian War (1817-1864)”, which is inconsistent with the correctness of the description and the accuracy of the history, that raises confusion in meaning and desire.


- There is a contradiction in the documented and verbal Russian policies and assurances, which did not see the light in serious and balanced form, starting from remarks by former Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, in the year 1996, what followed of Russian authorities dealing with the Nalchik-based International Circassian Association ICA, and concluding with the dead end which the humanitarian plight had reached, that the Circassians of Syria face as a result of the ongoing violence in Syria, and the unwillingness of the Russian authorities to cooperate in these tragic and repeated circumstances!


-The unprecedented ratification by the "Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation”, supported by the "Committee for Nationalities’ Affairs in the Russian Duma”," shows beyond any reasonable doubt that the Circassians of Adigha origins who are 90% of half of those who survived after systematical genocide, ethnic cleansing and deportation in tragic circumstances away from Motherland, forced to take refuge to a safe haven shielding them from evil organized crimes, which was described as  the existing Circassians of Syria who had stayed in the territories, were not within the Russian Federation until their migration in the year 1864 to the Ottoman Empire, they cannot be considered as immigrants from the Russian State, in accordance with paragraph 3 of article 1 of the Federal Law, and this an unprecedented Russian recognition, proves and declares that Russia had occupied their homeland in the year 1864, and thus, how it can be that citizens of occupied areas would hold the citizenship of the state that had occupied their homeland!


-At that, the Russian State Duma has recognized the non-joining of the Circassian nation voluntarily to the Russian Empire 450 years ago, in contrast to Russian official claims, which the Russian government celebrated accordingly in September, 2007, the anniversary of that event with the participation of Circassian parties considered part of the Russian official administration in the North Caucasus and some other Diaspora Circassians associated with the Nalchik-based International Circassian Association, meaning also, that the Russian State Duma has thankfully acknowledged that the Circassian homeland was not at any time among the properties of the Russian Empire, but the Tsarist Russian Empire had occupied in the nineteenth century after a brutal and devastating war.

Source: The Circassian Genocide Survivors on Page Book

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