Inhabitants of Kabardino-Balkaria who were subjected to political repressions in 1930s and 1940s believe that Russia is returning to Stalin’s era.
The pressure exerted on journalists and human rights activists in the North Caucasus is the most severe in Russia, according to experts speaking at the Free Speech conference on 23 May in Moscow. The comments came at the presentation of a report on media freedom by the association of writers, journalists, and bloggers.
Officially sanctioned organisations in what was once historical Circassia work almost exclusively to promote Circassian language and culture. Beneath the surface, however, young people espouse more radical ambitions — recognition of the Circassian Genocide, and creation of a united Circassia.
The twenty-first May marked the anniversary of the symbolic end of the 1817–1864 Russian conquest of the Caucasus, which resulted in the Russian annexation of the North Caucasus and the ethnic cleansing of Circassians, the majority of whom were either killed or deported to the Ottoman Empire.
Around 1,000 Christian Baptists live in majority Muslim Kabardino-Balkaria. One member of the community, Chechen man Ruslan Osmanov, told OC Media about how his new-found religion helped him to find his place and to break with a life of crime and addiction.
Young people from Kabardino-Balkaria have increasingly been leaving in droves. They move in search of better salaries and living conditions. In their place, more and more foreign labour migrants are arriving, but not all of them are welcomed with open arms.
The first pride parade in the North Caucasus, organised by Russian queer activists, may not go ahead. The authorities of several North Caucasian capitals denied permission to official requests to hold such events on 20 March.
The eighth of March marked the 73rd anniversary of the mass deportation of the Balkar people by Stalin’s Soviet Union, from their homeland in Kabardino-Balkaria to Central Asia. A commemoration was held in Kabardino-Balkaria’s capital of Nalchik, at the city’s memorial to the victims of the deportation.
Dredging works in the River Nalchik floodplain are allowing private entrepreneurs to unlawfully appropriate lands in the river’s ‘protective zone’, and are destroying the valley’s ecosystem.
Officials in Kabardino-Balkaria are using a complex, illegal scheme to seize agricultural land from local farmers. These powerful and connected people are lining their own pockets, and in the process depriving farmers of their basic means of making a living.