Circassian diaspora does not forgive Abkhazian being puppets of the Kremlin
13/07/2010 12:53
Irakli Tskitishvili
Experts' club

The seeming calm in Abkhazia continues. "The Parliament" discusses a film by a Georgian director, Bagapsh delivers his annual speech, Khajimba plays a role of the opposition. Everything is as it should be in a developed country. But is that indeed so?

One of the main trump cards of the puppet regime of Abkhazia has been to show their kinship with Circassian people. This was the card that was played by Abkhaz separatists and their Russian masters when they arranged an unprecedented provocation against Georgia in 1992-1993. Then the entire Circassian people and not only they helped their "brothers" - Abkhazians to win "independence". Today Circassians and Chechens as well as some Abkhazians regret this.

The Club of Experts repeatedly discussed the issue of relations of the Abkhazian authorities with Circassian diaspora. We have always pointed out in our publications that actions of the Abkhaz regime, which is characterized by vassal attitude towards the Kremlin, is not much liked by representatives of Circassian diaspora. One indicator of this is lack of wanting of representatives of the Abkhazian diaspora to return to their historic homeland. But let's do everything in order.

Our article "Free cheese only in a mousetrap" concerned the letter of residents of Abkhazia addressed to internet publication AdygeyaNatPress in which certain Irakli Bzhanava – an Abkhazian - on behalf of the Abkhazians expressed support to Adyge movement main goal of which is to achieve recognition of the genocide of Circassians.

Bzhanava noted: "We want to be part of this struggle, since Abkhazians have suffered as a result of the Russian-Caucasian war no less than brother Circassians. We would have liked to be part of this struggle, even if it had been that suffered "

The letter of Bzhanava followed by a response from another resident of Abkhazia, which stated: "There are hard times in Abkhazia now. Abkhazian people are on the brink of extinction. Dogs that Irakli Bzhanava mentions are "filling" their ranks with similar people. Dignity, conscious, Alamis is not in fashion today. Today theories that are foreign to our lifestyle is being forced upon us and according to which it is better to sell ourselves for a briefest benefit rather than fight for our freedom. You should remember that though they are in power their number is not great. We are numerous and we are right. There is only one way to victory - to unite ".

The article "Russian-Abkhazian "friendship" or in footsteps of a tragedy that started 200 years ago" discussed the facts of forced deportation of Abkhazians (Mukhajirtstvo) against the background of commemoration of Bicentennial anniversary of relations with Russians under the sign of friendship and brotherhood.

In this context attitude of the Abkhaz authorities to the day of genocide annually-commemorated by Adyge peoples is interesting. While residents of Abkhazia wanted to express solidarity with the Adyge and honour memory of Muhajirs the Abkhazian regime took absolutely anti-Adyge position and demanded commemoration to be held the next day. But, as we noted in the article "Political and religious juggling of Sergei Bagapsh and his patrons" representatives of youth organizations and immigrants, as well as part of the population nevertheless gathered at the memorial of Muhajirs. . The event was not attended by even one representatives of the republic leadership and the committee of repatriation. Place of the event was not illuminated and there were no speakers connected. Protesters put wreaths into the sea and lit candles in memory of the victims.

As it turned out, Sergei Bagapsh was visited by a delegation of 20 people who advised him to postpone the event because of its inappropriateness.

It was also found that the authorities were informed that the event could turn into anti-Russian rally. And this would have cast a shadow on the 200-year anniversary of "voluntary" joining of Abkhazia to Russia that had been marked with much fanfare recently. And this would have led to punishment of local authorities.

Later, Sergei Bagapsh uttered an absolutely astonishing phrase in his speech made at the Moscow Institute of International Relations - allegedly deportation of Abkhazians (Mukhajirstvo) was voluntary, suddenly crossing over the history not only Abkhazians but also that of Circassian peoples. This makes it clear why Bagapsh wished to mark a day of deportation on the day of immigrant.

"Russia and the Ottoman Empire were faced with great historic tasks, so the struggle for territorial supremacy between them was inevitable. The belief that Russia was at war with the peoples of the Western Caucasus is erroneous, as it is obvious that there was a battle of empires for dominance in this region". Abkhazia found itself in the middle of this battle. But sympathies of its inhabitants have always been on the side of Russia, - said Sergei Bagapsh. - It is under the patronage of Russia that Abkhazia has found, finally, peace and stability and embarked on the road of recovery. We believe that these statements of the puppet leader will be quite interesting for representatives of diasporas.

Actions of Bagapsh became an object for criticism of the regime by the opposition led by FSB General Khajimba. On one hand, Kahjimba criticized Bagapsh that the latter had not supported Circassian people, but on the other hand, he never shied away from praising Russia and called not "to get hung up on history".

This story is far from finished yet but Circassian diaspora said its word for the entire world to hear. While Bagapsh and Khajimba praise Russia, representatives of the Circassian peoples call Abkhazia Russia's Trojan horse and accuse them of treason of all-Circassian interests.

The address of the Circassian diaspora towards the Abkhaz regime which was published in the Turkish site "" and translated into Russian and published by the Abkhazian opposition website" Era Abkhazia" will follow below. Until then we should note that its publication on the opposition website says a lot. We have already said that, there is dissatisfaction in Abkhazian society with vassal behavior of the Abkhazian regime and the above-mentioned letters to the editors of "AdygeyaNatPress" confirm this. The publication of this appeal only confirms that we are dealing not with isolated cases and that resentment is growing against the background of declarations of love of the current regime towards Russia.

Despite this, residents of Abkhazia, including those in the opposition movement, fear to express their displeasure openly. Fear that a neighbour may incorrectly understand, fear of Russian reaction, fear of image of the enemy artificially-created from Georgia, and many more all sorts of fears determines silence of the disgruntled. How else can it be explained that this appeal was published without any comments? Didn't Mr. Khajimba have anything to say? He did so actively criticized Bagapsh, because he did not allow holding events in memory of Muhajirs?

We should remind that criticism by Khajimba was accompanied by dithyrambs towards Russia. Khajimba actively used opportunities to criticize Bagash, but only in those actions of Bagapsh that, in his opinion, "are causing rise in anti-Russian sentiment". It's very interesting, is it not? And all this is happening against the background that both the Abkhazian regime and its opposition are engaged in clear and persistent pro-Kremlin and anti-Circassian activities ...

Below follows the address of Circassian diasporas to puppet regime of Abkhazia:

In August 2008, the Russian Federation announced its official recognition of Abkhazia. From the moment we are sorry to observe that the Abkhazian-Russian relations are not that of two independent countries. Russia, which plans a gradual annexation of Abkhazia, intends to turn Abkhaz diaspora into the Trojan horse inside the Caucasian diaspora in order to win the biggest prize.

We have never had any doubts about the intentions and plans of Russia, but the steps taken by the Abkhazian government and explanations given by many persons whom we trusted left us puzzled.

With false assertions about voluntary joining Russia has successfully transferred its policy of alienation of the Caucasus from its past into Abkhazia - the Caucasus that was captured through genocide and deportations. The Government of Abkhazia signed a decree on holding various events throughout the year as part of the celebrations to mark the 200-year anniversary of the voluntary accession of Abkhazia to Russia. At one of the exhibitions dedicated to the event Prime Minister Shamba said: "This year we celebrate the joining to Russia. Events were held in Moscow and Abkhazia, others are planned as well". This once again reminded us why has there are more Abkhazians in Turkey than in Abkhazia itself. How can this Abkhazian government celebrate "voluntary" joining to Russia when there is Abkhazian diaspora deported in the nineteenth century from their homeland and whose fathers were subjected to extermination by Russian tsarism?

How can one talk about brotherhood of Abkhaz and Russian people, completely ignoring existence of hundreds of thousands of Abkhazians in the diaspora?

It is not enough for the Abkhazian government to betray its history, on top of this it banned marking of May 21 – Day of deportation. With his manipulations and meaningful explanations the Abkhazian government shows that it is trying to become a guide and protector of Russia's policy aimed at splitting of the Caucasian diaspora. On May 31st - day of immigrant – that is marked instead of the banned May 21st which was the day of
deportation Member of Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia Batal Kobakhia said: "We are against politicization of the Circassian problem. People must know and understand their history, but I do not want it to be politicized. This problem should be looked into by professionals, who are outside of any political speculations". Lying about voluntary joining and voluntary resettlement can be acceptable to some. But being against politicization of the Circassian problem is not the behaviour that comes from good intentions. We encourage Batal Kobakhia and everyone who wants to transfer security interests of Russia into the Caucasus diaspora to know their place.

We worry that diaspora-homeland relations in this very critical period will be damaged by the mission with which the diaspora is charged by the Abkhazian government. Drawing attention to the need for continued relations Abkhazia with Russia in the strategic balance, we would like to note that this balance is becoming more and more lost, support of the diaspora so needed by Abkhazia is becoming difficult, as well as possible aid from Turkey, which could be provided under pressure from the diaspora will be halted. Furthermore, Abkhazia is becoming increasingly isolated in the international system.

We want to remind the Abkhazian government headed by Sergei Bagapsh the following:

1. Guarantee the sovereignty of Abkhazia is the culture of power of an independent character.

2. Calling deportation of Abkhazians voluntary resettlement will lead to nothing but damage of relations with the diaspora.

3. Abkhazian people cannot be alienated from the struggle for Circassia as well as for liberation of the Caucasus either historically or in modern times. Given interests of Russia efforts to separate the Abkhazian people and its diaspora from other peoples of the Caucasus will lead to your isolation not only from the diaspora, but also from the Caucasus.

4. Efforts to introduce civil restraining policy approach will only lead to suppression of democratic opinion. Abkhazia must follow not the course of Russian despotism but a political course ensuring basic human rights and freedoms.

5. All of the policies pursued in the name of friendly relations with Russia will certainly get out of the control of Abkhazia and will be transformed into subordination to Russia. These short-sighted steps of yours overshadow our future.

Neither Abkhazians in the diaspora, nor our people in our homeland have no right to neglect, ignore, much less deny such a fact as of May 21st. The current behavior and the way of action of the government of Abkhazia is nothing but denial of their own history and existence of compatriots in the diaspora".

It is difficult to add something to this pain of Circassian and Abkhaz diasporas, all the more that the Club of Experts repeated all the above word for word several times to erred Abkhazian brothers. We only noted with satisfaction that Georgians were not the only ones who point Russian threat to Abkhazians, that Abkhazian diaspora has not forgotten its history and had the guts to say all this about Russian policy carried out by the Abkhazian regime. It is also good that even in Abkhazia they understand that what danger faces Abkhazian people, and despite the fact that today they are still afraid to say what they think, we hope that they will not wait till Abkhazia is turned into of Russian region, will come to their senses in time and finally will raise their voice. We hope that the freedom-loving Abkhazian people do not give Abkhazia to aggressors and occupants.

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