Historical review: From Yermolov to Khloponin
17/11/2010 14:56
Gocha Guniava
Experts' Club

This has been going on for 200 years. This is happening today. What will happen tomorrow?

In September 2010 a monument to General Alexey Yermolov, who was elevated to the hero of the Caucasian wars, was erected in the capital of the newly-formed North Caucasian Federal District Pyatigorsk. Before that, in 2008 his monument was erected in the city of Mineralnye Vody.

North Caucasus is drowning in blood. And one of the initiators of this bloodshed that has been going on for 200 years now was Yermolov. He differed from other generals with his ruthlessness, insidiousness and hatred towards Caucasian peoples. His name is associated with destruction of thousands of villages and settlements, physical elimination of hundreds of thousands of Caucasians and their expulsion from their homeland. Forces that were gripped with an imperial disease have erected monuments to him in many cities of the Caucasus but these monuments were destroyed at every opportunity and rightly thrown to the dump of history.

Erection of the monument of Yermolov is not accidental. Reanimation of the Caucasian policy continues and it is expressed in brutality, setting peoples against each other and attempts of their complete elimination.

Society that expects a civilised resolution of endless bloody processes in the Caucasus in response is getting monuments of tyrants and reanimation of their inhuman policies. Traditions and practices based on which Yermolov and his successors led many peoples to the brink of destruction are being reanimated.

Monuments are erected to a person who publicly stated that "Chechens as a nation are not subject to reformation. Only to elimination".

No compromise to armed rebels. They must be completely destroyed. Those are directives of leaders of today's Russia.

Disobedient rebels must be either put six feet under the ground or thrown in the prison for good - say their local accessories.

The Caucasus is an integral part of Russia and the latter will never leave this region – insists the Prime Minister of Russia.

The process of increase of the number of Russian-language Cossack population in the Caucasus should be accelerated. Only Cossacks will establish order there. All those who are disobedient and opposed to authorties must be strictly punished - agrees plenipotentiary representative of the President of Russia in the North Caucasian Federal District and admirer of the politics of General Yermolov Alexander Khloponin.

So houses of relatives of rebels that are in the woods are being burnt and those relatives themselves are arrested and kidnapped.

There are many followers of politics of Yermolov that was revived by Khloponin although it did not lack admirers even among Yermolov's contemporaries.

Yermolov's politics of strictness and ruthlessness towards Caucasians misled not only Cossack atamans and generals but also representatives of the elite of society. Khloponin is gripped with imperial ambitions had very deep roots in Russian historical soil. They even made certain influence upon geniuses.

"Humble thyself O Caucasus, for Yermolov is coming" – said Great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. In this albeit small but comprehensive exclamation he stresses his approval of brutal and power policy of imperial authorities towards Caucasians and at the same time displayed his attitude towards peoples living there.

An inscription on the obelisk that was erected on the place of Yermolov's house in the city of Oryol - "from Moscow I went to Kaluga, Belev and Oryol and thus did an extra two hundred verst, but on the other hand I saw Yermolov. A. S. Pushkin" - should be considered as yet another sign of his admiration for Yermolov's person.

Pushkin who once was thinking about a military career could not hide his joy and satisfaction with success of the Russian army in the Caucasus.
He says in his letter to his brother:

"I saw the shores of the Kuban River and border villages, I admired our Cossacks - always riding, always ready to fight, always cautious". And: "Though Circassians now are quite obedient, but one cannot rely on them; in hopes of a large ransom they are ready to attack a well-known Russian general. And where a humble officer is safe travelling by a chaise, a high rank officer can easily got caught in the trap of an enemy".

Having expressed his admiration with unique beauty of the nature of the Caucasus Alexander Sergeevich continued to share his impressions with his brother and dream with poetic pathos about expansion of the Russian empire further to the south including India:

"The Caucasian region, sultry border of Asia, is curious in all respects. Yermolov filled it with his name and wholesome genius. Savage Circassians are frightened, old audacity of theirs has disappeared; roads are becoming safer by the hour, numerous convoys are no longer necessary. It must be hoped that this conquered country, which so far has not brought any substantial benefit to Russia, will soon bring us together with Persians in safe trade, will not be an obstacle for us in future wars, and maybe a chimerical plan of Napoleon of conquest of India will come true for us..."

During his travels in the Caucasus A. Pushkin got closely acquainted with the Russian army and in particular with martial spirit of Cossacks and even participated personally in several clashes in units of General Rayevski.

Even great poet could not escape spirit of his time. Consolidation of the empire and increase of its territories at the expense of other peoples caused his admiration. This pathos on which generations were raised even today determines to a certain point their attitude towards the Caucasus and Caucasians.

It is interesting to know whether Great Russian poet Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin was familiar with views of his contemporary great philosopher Georg Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831) about Caucasians who said that "only in Caucasian peoples a spirit reaches its absolute fullness, absolute independence and complete unity with itself. It reaches self-determination, self-development and by this it leads the world history".

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