Exactly one year has passed since the beginning of civil clashes in the Arab Republic of Syria. According to latest data of the United Nation organization, more than 7500 people died in Syria since March 2011. The Syrian authorities claim that this figure is exaggerated and declare that on the course of this one year 2493 rebels and 1345 law enforcers and the military that fought against them died in the country.
In both cases we are dealing with thousands of dead and devastated people. From the start of the conflict till this day international and public organizations, as well as western leaders many times called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop repressions against his own people and step down that Assad categorically refused to do. Neither several resolutions of the similar content passed by the UN that were blocked by permanent members of the UN Security Council - China and Russia were taken into account. Some western countries even withdrew their ambassadors from Damascus and some even closed their embassies there after this. After a long deliberation Turkey made tough statements regarding Damascus. Only Russia, Iran and China remain loyal supporters of the Syrian authorities. Though the statement that representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich made on March 2nd reminded the Syrian government and other interested parties that the agreement on cooperation and mutual assistance that was signed in 1980 between Syria and the Soviet Union and is still valid does not bind the Russian side to render military assistance to Syria.
Despite the international pressure on the course of the year the Syrian government managed to suppress main hotbeds of the rebels and pass a new constitution through a referendum and introduce liberal amendments there that the opposition demanded.
Population of Syrian of Adyge and Abkhazian origin found themselves in a very difficult situation since the majority of them are involved in the Army and other law enforcement agencies and therefore it is their duty to take part in operations carried out against the rebels.
The rebels directly call on Circassians and Abkhazians either to stand beside them or leave the country.
Information already appeared on distribution of their houses and other real estate or removable assets to Arabs that in the event of repulsion of Circassians and Abkhazians will fall in their hands.
And Adyge and Abkhazian population of Syria that amount to more than 130 thousand people find themselves between the rock and the hard place and they are searching for ways to leave the country. And they are sending requests to leaders of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Adyge, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria to help them to return to their historical homeland.
So far there has not been a practical result of many-times voiced statements of dozens of international and local public Abkhazian and Circassian organizations, their requests and resolutions. There was an impression that all that has only one goal - to score some political points and present themselves in a good light.
No results were brought also by visits of Abkhazians and Circassians of Syria to Abkhazia and the North Caucasus as well as delegations sent from Circassian republics to Syria. Those national public figures who sincerely were trying to use the existing situation and help their Syrian compatriots to return to their historical homeland were left aggrieved.
The main reason is one. That Moscow does not want and will not let mass return of Abkhazians and Circassians of Syria to their historical homeland. The following arguments give basis to conclude this:
For the entire 2oo years after coming to the Caucasus every generation of the Russian authorities steadfastly have been carrying out mass destruction and expulsion of peoples unacceptable to them in the Caucasus as well as seizure and appropriation of their lands and other movable or immovable assets. A reason for this was cited their disobedience, different ethnic and religious background and so on.
This was a pretext used for destruction and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of those Circassian and Abkhazian Muhajirs from their homeland descendents of which appeared in such a difficult situation in Syria now. Moscow is well aware that though a long time has passed since those events hurt and offense that ancestors passed on modern generation still persists in their hearts and minds.
The second wave of repression engulfed the Caucasus during the First World War. Muslim Georgians, Abkhazians, Dagestanis and others were forced to leave their homeland.
Muslim Meskhetians, Chechens, Ingush, Balkars, Karachais, Hemshins fell victims of yet another explosion.
Twenty years ago for the purpose of getting hold of their land and property 300 000 Georgians were expelled from Abkhazia and forced to abandon their land and properties.
For twenty years an armed confrontation is under way in the North Caucasus between the armed rebel underground and regular army forces and police as a result of which thousands of people are dying each year and lives are being devastated on both sides. The confrontation acquired an anti-Islamist character and a Muslim and a terrorist became similar notions.
It’s been twenty years that the Russian federal and regional authorities officially declare that significant part of the able-bodied local population should be taken out of the North Caucasus into central regions of Russia or abroad altogether. These processes have already been started.
For years the Russian authorities and heads of its law enforcement agencies claim that the North Caucasian conflict has been instigated from outside and it was led by Arab, Turk and of other ethnic origin Muslim extremists. They named notorious terrorist Khatab and many others but they never said that all of them were ethnic Caucasians and it was not for money that they were sacrificing their lives.
Heads of the Russian security devices who even without this are in a very difficult position will never agree to the return of Circassians and Abkhazians of Syria to their historical homeland. All the more that their majority are well-trained fighters and in case of the change of the situation they would start to see a terrorist and Islamist extremist in every each of them.
Russian generals, Abkhazian separatists and other interested parties did not expel Georgians from Abkhazia and appropriated the entire Black Sea coastline in order to later bring people from Syria or any other country that would want to claim a share in all that.
The security services are strictly monitoring of the population living in areas around Sochi ahead of the Olympics. And they will no way allow influx of a large number of foreign and not so well-disposed people into the region.
The Russian authorities are not sparing efforts to leave Bashar al-Assad in power since after losing all positions in the Arab world Syria and its current leadership is its only ally.
Circassians and Abkhazians of Syria constitute a significant supporting power to retain Bashar al-Assad in power and assisting to their leaving the country for Russia would be paramount to cutting off relations with Syria.
Add to this a circumstance that delegations that came from Syria into the North Caucasian republics were not that charmed when they went back. Leader of the republic of Adyge Aslan Tkhakushinov was hiding from them for their entire stay and in the end did not even see them since he felt a negative attitude of Moscow towards this issue.
Syrian guests were not charmed either when they saw living conditions of those earlier returned repatriates from Kosovo. All the more that many of them left Russia and settled in European countries.
Neither Syrian Abkhazians saw a special aspiration for their return in Abkhazia. They did not really appreciate conditions of living in explosion-prone situation in the occupied territory as well as anti-Islamist attitude of the authorities which is not that unimportant for them.
Add to this the sixth attempt on the life of the “president” of the separatist Abkhazia. None of these six attacks have been solved or investigated so far.
Naturally, a question springs to their mind. How can they return to the country where the president who is supposedly a guarantor of the security of each and every citizen cannot even take care of himself?
After all these arguments we can make only one conclusion that the Russian authorities will never let Circassians and Abkhazians living in Syria to return to their historical homeland and given the existing situation, at this stage none of them, except maybe for few of them, will have a burning desire to return there.