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Parliament to discuss Cherkez genocide issue

By Messenger Staff
Friday, May 13
Georgian media actively speculates about the possibility that Georgian parliament recognizes the fact of genocide of Cherkez nationals carried out by Russia in the 19th century. Some media suggest that it will be done by May 21 which is the date commemorating Russia’s conquering of the north Caucasus 140 years ago. Is there a possibility that the Georgian parliament recognizes the genocide of cherkez people? Some sources are reporting that the Georgian parliament is currently receiving requests to recognize the genocide of Ingush and Chechen people as well as Armenians.

It is already around a year since the Georgian parliament began studying the issue of the alleged Cherkez genocide. The Parliament contacted foreign and local analysts. Georgian Merab Chukhua thinks that Russian activities in the 19th century had all the features of genocide as casualties tolled more than 20% of the entire population of their nation. In case of Cherkez 90% of its population was either ousted out of its territory or exterminated and only 10% was left residing in the Caucasus.

Of course discussing this issue in the parliament of Georgia is more a political issue rather than a historical or judicial one. Different Cherkez organizations around the world were bombarding the Georgian parliament with requests and arguments to recognize Cherkez genocide by the Russian empire. Is this the right time to recognize this genocide or to put this issue on the agenda at all? This is the main question for Georgian legislators. The request to Georgian parliament was sent to the Kabardo Balcarian Cherkez movement and the congress of the Cherkez people in Germany.

The International Association of Peace and Human Rights has asked the Georgian parliament to recognize not only Cherkez but Chechen and Ingush victims as well.

Of course most organizations concerned are based outside Russia, because naturally the organizations inside Russia are afraid of possible counter measures taken by Kremlin politicians.

It is also interesting that according to some information many Cherkez nationals were fighting against Georgia in support of Abkhaz separatism 19 years ago.

So, what can be done? Moscow will definitely be very irritated if Georgia recognizes the genocide and it will once again accuse Tbilisi of undermining the situation in the north Caucasus. There is considerable pressure from the Armenian side who want the Georgian parliament to recognize Armenian genocide as well which will eventually put Georgia in a very awkward position, irritating and upsetting its strategic partners Turkey and Azerbaijan. Turkey will also see itself in an awkward position as there are many Cherkez nationals in Turkey but Ankara does not want to upset Moscow and accordingly does not recognize Cherkez genocide. Some analysts think that by recognizing Cherkez genocide, Tbilisi would be opening Pandora’s Box which will disturb the situation in the Caucasus and aggravate it once again and probably backfire on Georgia. So before taking any kind of decision, serious brainstorming involving expert opinions of experienced people should be considered and reconsidered many times.