Tunne Kelam, Member of the European Parliament
The appeal by the leaders of the Circassian Diaspora to the European Parliament deserves attention and support.
Circassians have been subjected to one of the most severe persecutions among the ethnic Caucasian nations. Since the 18th century, when the authorities of the Russian empire started massive ethnic cleansings and deportations of the native population, more than 1.5 million Circassians are estimated to have been killed. The continuation of Russian colonial policies has had a dramatic impact on today's Circassians. Sadly, their situation has not eased in the 21st century.
While Moscow is pursuing its preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics, it is only fair to take into account that Sochi and its surroundings are situated on the ancient territories of the Circassians. The playgrounds of the 2014 Olympics are located in the long-time post-Soviet conflict areas - ...