450th Anniversary Celebrations Are Dictatorial Ceremonies!

Russian Federation , by Putin’s command, celebrates the year 2007 as the 450th Anniversary of Circassians’ Voluntary Adherence to Russia . Dozens of activities run by the governments of Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia and Adygey Autonomous Republic are based on a distortion of historical facts. A distortion which is a result of Russia ‘s imperial politics. These forced celebrations, run in capital cities -which are surrounded by hundreds of thousands of soldiers- remind us the dictatorial ceremonies. We render them illegitimate; we strongly condemn the Russian Federation .


Chechnya ‘s declaration of independence after the disintegration of USSR has been corresponded with an unmeasurable war that equaled with genocide, by the Russian Federation . And now Russia broadens its operations to take the whole Caucasus under siege. This regiment -that gives no living space to the opponents and leaves no area for the civil opposition via political murders- has intensified its military siege and practically turned each capital into a colonial province. Even though it may bring fatal consequences to resist against these ceremonies and this insidious policy, Circassian intellectuals and several NGO’s -which do survive but small in number- insistently confront to these ceremonies. Ceremonies – that only schools and government offices attend- do not reflect the actual reaction of the people. Celebrations are nothing less than the dictatorial ceremonies. We call the whole world to stop watching this forced drama.


These ceremonies are astonishing for the Circassian Diaspora. Circassians, after the independence struggle of hundreds of years, were torn away from their mother lands by Tsar’s Armies, via genocides and exiles. Even though 90 percent of its population lives away from its mother land, these people have forgotten neither the exile nor their mother land. Genocide is remembered everywhere that Circassians live, and reminded to the whole world on 21st of May each year -the date that once Russia celebrated as the day of victory. While the requiems are narrated from one generation to the other, the Russian ceremonies -labeled as “voluntary adherence”- awakens a feeling of hatred in Diaspora.

Russia , while it should take steps to repair the historical injustices, denies its responsibility and deepens the gap between Circassian Diaspora and Russia . Circassian Diaspora will not be silent to this false ceremony and will cry out that it survives.

We haven’t forgotten! We won’t let it be forgotten!

Caucasus Forum / October 2008

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