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.
There are more than 1,200 Syrian Circassians living in Kabardino-Balkaria. They came to their historical homeland to escape the horrors of war, but integrating into the local community is not easy.
Last weekend, a member of the group of Chechen militants which clashed with security forces on 11 January in the republic’s capital, Grozny, was detained. Imran Dasayev, a 29-year-old native of the town of Shali managed to hide in a nearby forest during a battle in the vicinity of the village of Geldagen. The search operation lasted for several days. Dasayev was found in Grozny, near a shopping mall. According to official sources, he resisted arrest, throwing a grenade at the security forces, who managed to take him alive.