Karachay, indeed, is a very picturesque corner of Russia located at the foot of Mount Elbrus — the highest peak of the European continent. This mountainous country is mostly populated by the Karachays, an autochthon Caucasian people, which is actually considered as one of the titular nations of the Karachay-Cherkes Republic within the Russian Federation. The Karachays are known from of old as freedom-loving, brave and hardworking folk. A lot of them live outside the Republic: in other cities and regions of Russia and also abroad — in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, the United States, where they emigrated in the period of the Caucasian war or at any later time. Many scientists are inclined to believe that Karachays and Balkars (another related nation) formed the main core of the Caucasian population living here since ancient times.
The Karachay-Balkar people formed at the end of the early middle ages. In written sources of this period, the tribes of the Western branch of the Karachay-Balkar nation (the Karachay branch) were called the Alans and those of the Eastern, the Balkar branch, were called the Asy. Italian traveler of the 17th century A. Lamberti names Karachay region as Alania on his map. Mingrelians of Georgia use until today the name Alans to designate Karachays. The cradle of the Karachay people is of course the village of Arkhyz, where ruins of an ancient dwelling known as Karachay village and dated back to the 11th-13th centuries were found. During the Mongol-Tartar invasion, especially after the Tamerlane's campaign (13th cent.), Karachays and Balkars were partially killed and partially forced out deep into mountains where they had to live in isolation for several centuries. Despite that, the tribes survived and managed to preserve their ethnicity (R.Tebuyev «The free, brave, hard-working people», p.236-237). Another mournful consequence of the Mongol-Tartar and Tamerlane's invasions was that the ancient villages of Karachay Arkhyz (Old Dwelling), Ghilatch, Djamaghat and others had been totally wiped out.
After the destruction of the Alan state by Tamerlane the Karachay people could gather again around its cradle and, despite these terrible ordeals, rose from the ashes led by legendary Karcha who united the nation and created the state «Birsil Karachay».
Many scientists and travelers visited this country lying at the foothills of Elbrus. In their travel notes, they wrote about Karachays and Balkars calling them Alans and Asys. Until today, the territory of Karachay bears the name of Alania (Abulfed, Arabic geographer, 14th cent.).
Noting the hospitality and great diligence of the local people (otherwise it could be impossible to survive in the mountains), Lev Tolstoy described Karachays living at the foot of Elbrus as people excelled in their fidelity, beauty and courage.
As far as the first third of the 19th century, Karachay was an independent ethno-political entity. Only during the Caucasian war, after the accession of Kabarda, the Russian Empire (in the person of General A.Yermolov), drew attention toward lands adjacent with Kabarda. On October 20, 1828, a twelve-hour battle took place that went down in the human history as Hasaukin battle. The Karachay warriors desperately defended the freedom of the nation, but forces were unequal and the battle was lost.
As Prince Gallitzin wrote, the region of Karachay was conquered «despite stubborn resistance of the proud Karachays that nobody could beat before».
General Emmanuel paid tribute to the courage and heroism of Karachays, having strictly forbidden to ravage and plunder their villages. Potto wrote then, «Karachays were treated as belligerent party, not suppressed one. Their villages were not destroyed. The population of Kart-Djurt established friendly relations with soldiers». (R.Tebuyev «The free, brave, hard-working people», p. 50-51)
In the result of these events, the Karachay people, represented by Prince Islam Krymshamkhalov, addressed demand to join the Russian Empire. In that way Karachays became part of the Russian Empire and now they devotedly serve Russia for almost 200 years.
In 1917 in the issue of the socialist revolution, the Russian Empire fell apart; the Soviet state was formed. Then, in 1926, the Karachay was proclaimed autonomous region, but its existence was rather short: on October 12,1943, it was abolished. On November 2,1943 (during the Great Patriotic war on fronts of which about 16 thousand Karachays or every fifth of the population were heroically fighting), the Karachay civil population was relocated by force to the steppes of Central Asia and Kazakhstan. Because of inhumane conditions, about a third part of nation died, mainly women, children and the elderly.
«Year forty-third — darkness and dirt, Counted years of countless tears. Shots in the back, people on the rack. Pain and sorrow, dancing death...!»
/Alla Chotchaeva «Deportation»/ Meanwhile, Karachays were selflessly fighting on all fronts and in guerrilla squads, showing courage and resistance. Even on the labor front in the rear regions, being already deported, three Karachay women were honored with the high title of Heroes of Socialist labor. In total 11 representatives of Karachay people became Heroes of the Soviet Union and of Russia. In the current 2013, Karachays commemorated the mournful event: 70th anniversary of the deportation. Wounds given by this monstrous injustice cannot still be healed. The main reasons for the deportation of the Karachay and of other Caucasian peoples were clearly revealed in the materials of the South-Russian Conference «The Rights of the repressed peoples in the modern world», held on May 16, 2013, in Cherkessk, Karachay-Cherkess Republic. The Conference was devoted to the 70th anniversary of the deportation.
(Extract taken from the report made by R. Kh. Khabov,the head of Karachay-Cherkess regional public organization «Karachay Alan Khalk»)
"Unfortunately, certain passivity in the activities of public structures of the repressed peoples led to an astray.
Many are inclined to believe that the problem of the relocated peoples is already solved and went down in history, becoming the matter of authors of textbooks and of memorial events' organizers. This opinion is deeply erroneous.
In reality, the rehabilitation process is still not completed, hence the repeated requirements to implement the decisions taken twenty years ago and the attempts to submit these issues to the Court at the Hague.
Thousands of publications and hundreds of books were devoted to the relevant and multifactor problem of the peoples' forced relocation in the period of Stalin's dictatorship. In general, these works define basic concepts, which must serve as the foundation not only for scientific studies, but also be the sine qua condition of the objectivity of our people's historical consciousness.
First, touching upon not far-fetched, but real motives of the deportation, I would like to draw your attention to the following points. On the one hand, it was a large-scale experiment aimed at the assimilation of ethnic groups within the framework of the Stalin's national policy, the main goal of which was to create «single community — the Soviet people».
On the other hand, private profits were also expected from this terrible social experience, and specifically — the expansion of the territory of Georgia, whence the author of the idea and the main conductor of the experiment takes origin. At the conference devoted to the repressed peoples, held in May 1992 in Elista (Kalmykia), it was impartially emphasized that Stalin and Beria secretly dreamed of creating a «great Georgia extending from sea to sea». This fact was amply confirmed by deeds, which legalized the re-distribution of territories abolished after the deportation.
Thus, the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR dated October 12,1943 on deportation of Karachays and liquidation of their autonomy, the entire Uchkulan district and a part of Mikoyan district were given to Georgia.
The capital of the Karachay autonomy — the city of Mikoyan-Shahar — far before the war, was marked as Georgian Klukhory-city on one of the secret maps: exactly as it was named after the annexation of the territory to the Georgian Soviet Republic.
According to the Decree on deportation of Chechens and Ingush dated March 7, 1944, the Itum — Kalinskiy district and parts of other 4 districts were included in the composition of Georgian Republic.
By the Decree on relocation of the Balkar people dated April 8,1944, several parts of Elbrus and Nagorny districts were joined to the territory of Svanetsky district in Georgia.
Decrees of the Soviet Government dated May 24, 1945 and June 21,1946 gave Georgia free use of more than 100 thousand hectares of so-called «Black lands» of the abolished Kalmykia and Astrakhan region.
As we see, lands of all four abolished autonomous entities passed to the neighboring Republic.
Indeed, the actual Georgian state and Georgian people do not and cannot bear responsibility for the actions of those two individuals, who became embodiment of terror and tyranny in the history of the country.
Considering the problem of motivation, it would be wrong to lose sight of the fact that some personalities from regional elite were directly interested in the act of deportation.
For instance, Mikhail Suslov, the communist party leader of the Stavropol territory (which included Karachay-Cherkes Autonomous region), who was personally responsible for the failure of the anti-fascist movement in the region, could shift the blame on the local population. Similar cases are known in some other autonomous regions.
Thus, the issue of deportation knew a sort of counter-movement both from «top» and from «bottom», i.e. from high central authorities and from insolvent political leaders of a number of southern regions.
The time factor is also quite explainable, because it was influenced by three circumstances:
First. Western countries, which shifted on the USSR the main burden of the struggle against Nazism, were extremely temporizing the Second front opening, sometimes turning a blind eye on appalling crimes of the Stalinist regime against whole peoples.
Second. Wartime enabled the authorities to accuse through massive falsifications tens and hundreds of thousands of citizens of being «untrustworthy».
Third. Wartime served the regime as the cover permitting not only to simplify legal procedures (investigation, trial etc.), but even to neglect them. The deportation of Chechens, Ingushes, Balkars occurred even before the publication of the official decrees. In other words, the relocation was illegal even from the point of view of Stalinist laws, let alone Stalin's Constitution.These facts are widely known, but, as they say, repeating does not fray the truth.
During the post-soviet twenty-year-long period, all broad topics and even the main part of petty episodes, relating to the real causes, circumstances and consequences of these tragic events, seem to be explained in detail.
However, there are some issues that remain to be of special significance not only in pure scientific, but also in social aspects. Among them, I would like to mention the problem of comprehensive coverage of the evolution of the relationship between the State as a system of power and the repressed peoples.
The process under consideration can be divided into four main stages, qualitatively different in terms of content. I would like to illustrate this thesis citing the example of Karachay people. However, this also concerns all other repressed peoples.
The first stage covers the period from the date of the deportation until 1956. Its characteristic feature is the use of the citizens of the own country on a completely new basis. If since the Civil war, mass repressions were based on social, ideological or political aspects, which was justified by the «class struggle», in this considered period, practice of reprisals on ethnic grounds appears and is widely spreading.
«Special deportee» was the name of all those who were relocated by force, deprived of many civil rights officially declared by the Constitution of the USSR.
Thus, the right to free movement was severely limited by curfew restrictions: it was forbidden to move from one locality to another or to visit relatives without special passes.
"Special deportees" were deprived of the right to be elected deputies of all levels of Soviets, to fill public positions of responsibility. They were forbidden to enter higher and specialized education institutions of the capital. The culture of the deported peoples was purposefully destroyed, their language was dying down, and basic virtues of people's historical consciousness were eradicated. Moreover, they were stripped of the rights to have homeland. «Seized» territories of their traditional residence were declared historical heritage of the neighboring peoples. For example, in 1952, one of the academic editions reported that the territory of the abolished Karachay Autonomous region «in the past, was situated within ethnic and geographical borders of Georgia». Any mere mention of the repressed peoples' existence was erased from books.
On November 26,1948, the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR «On criminal liability for escapes from the locations of compulsory and permanent settlement of persons displaced to remote areas of the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War». This document has determined directly that «the relocation of the Chechens, Karachays, Ingushs, Balkars, Kalmyks, Germans, Crimean Tatars and others to remote areas of the Soviet Union is eternal and leavs them with no right to return to their former places of residence».
This policy of ethnic segregation was accompanied by the practice of spreading intentionally the deported peoples in the vast territories of Central Asia. For example, Karachays were settled in small groups in more than 480 settlements on the vast territory belonging to different Soviet republics.The apparent purpose of the Stalinist regime here is the assimilation of the deported peoples, i. e. their destruction as ethnos. The closest analogues to this crime are the actions of the Nazi regime in Germany in the same years.
Thus, the Stalin-Beriya's deportation falls under the «Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide». By the way, it was adopted in the year 1948, when the decree about the eternal duration of the expulsion of the country's deported peoples was issued. According to the 2nd article of the Convention, genocide means any act committed "with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such".
This circumstance was the one to stipulate that during the life of Stalin, the Soviet Union did not join this Convention. Only after the death of the dictator, the Convention on genocide was ratified by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR on March 18, 1954.
The fact of ratification of the Convention legally provides for any publication or statement justifying deportation (and such publications are not uncommon in modern Russia) to be considered as propaganda of genocide and equal to justification of Nazism.
Thus, the first stage unambiguously characterizes the Stalinist State as the party which has committed a crime against humanity, and the deported peoples as the party which has suffered from it. The appropriate reservation here is: the responsibility for these actions lies fully on the ruling regime of the country, which no longer exists on the world map.
The second stage coincides with the well known in the Russian history period of Khrushchev Thaw of the late 1950s/early 1960s.
The most striking episodes of this time:
— bringing to justice the most odious part of the organizers of deportation of peoples;
— cancellation of the majority of acts of deportation;
— return of the main part of the repressed peoples to their historical homeland;
— restoration of the majority of the national-territorial autonomies liquidated during the Stalinist era.
However, it should be emphasized that during N.S. Khrushchev's time, the rehabilitation process has not been completed.
For example, along with other private prohibitions, the possibilities of settlement in the city of Kislovodsk, the capital of the Malokarachaevsky district, were severely limited for the Karachays, and hundreds of families deported from there in 1943 never returned to their homes, never got back their property. An area was allotted near the resort city for the resettlement of the returned people, which is how the Mirny village in the Stavropol region was created.
In addition, the funds allocated by the RSFSR government in 1957-58 years for the returning Karachays were misused. For example, the three regions where almost 70% of population consisted of Karachays, received only31 percent of these funds. (R.Tebuev«The free, brave, hardworking people», p.137).
Thus, the full economic rehabilitation, including property rehabilitation were not conducted.The same can be said about cultural rehabilitation.
The acuteness of the problem of incomplete rehabilitation has manifested itself in particular at the next stage, when the reactionary opinions in the sphere of national policy prevailed on the level of the state leadership of the time.
The third stage falls on the period from the 1960s until the late 1980s. It is characterized by the elements of the neo-Stalinism ideology, accompanied with the proclaimed under Stalin's rule policy of the formation of a «single community — the Soviet people», together with relapses of inter-ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus as the consequences of Stalin's national policy.
Specifically for Karachays of that time, the fact of particularly negative significance was that one of the initiators and participants of their eviction, Mikhail Suslov, remained in the top leadership of the country until his death in 1982. He made every effort to prevent the revelation of his role in the crimes of the Stalinist regime and initiated a continuous moral pressure on the national elite of the Karachay people. As a rule, this was done by the regional and provincial party leaders' else hands.
When, in the early 1960s, a group of officials, including the officers of the Great Patriotic War M. Akbaev, S.Tokaev, 0. Chagarov and others raised the issue of the full rehabilitation of the Karachay people, all of them were deprived of their positions almost overnight, by the decision of the regional Committee of the CPSU.
According to the former Prosecutor of Karachay-Cherkess Autonomous region A.V. Buturlin, at his appointment to this position, he received a direct instruction from the first Secretary of the regional Committee of the CPSU on the need for «the most careful attention to cases of crimes committed by Karachays». As a result, common criminal offences with the participation of Karachays, were given a particular national slant, «exposing» the people's unreliability.
The result was that on the territory of their own autonomy, the Karachays remained in the position of the most discriminated people. There were less than ten indigenous Karachays in the structures of Karachay-Cherkess regional Committee of the CPSU, the total number of which was 150 workers.
In the «native» Stavropol district party committee, the Karachay Communists were allowed only to the lowest post of "Department instructors". For comparison: in the neighboring Krasnodar region, a representative of the indigenous people of Adygei Autonomous district, which was part of the region, always held the post of Secretary of the regional Committee of the CPSU.
Consituting a third of the population of the Karachay-Cherkess Autonomous region, the Karachays were represented in the leadership of the regional Executive Committee, its departments, offices and agencies by only 20 percent, and even fewer of them were among the specialists of these departments and offices.
A similar HR policy was followed in the leadership of the law enforcement agencies of Karachay-Cherkessia.
The access to the elite universities like MGIMO and even the ranks of the then prestigious KGB Frontier troops of the USSR was also limited for the deported peoples' youth.
In these circumstances, the infamous plenary sessions of the regional Committee of the CPSU were held, where speeches directly impinging on the honorand dignity of the Karachay people were given. The honest Communists who demanded objective attitude to their people were also defamed (as, for example, veteran of war and labor A.M. Kubanov, who was expelled from the party and subsequently became one of the leaders of the national movement).
It has already been noted repeatedly that the Karachays' rights were infringed upon when recommending for the state awards and honorary titles. After the anti-Karachay, in essence, Plenum of the regional Committee of the CPSU in 1974, and until the collapse of the USSR, none of the Karachays was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor. And the high activities achieved then by the great farmers, H. Kubanova, H. Gochiyaev, M. Bidzhiev and others, are common knowledge. Let us remind, that the representatives of the Karachay people have been awarded this title thrice even in the areas of deportation during the reign of Stalin, i.e. the «Suslov regime» in a certain sense led to even further heightening of the atmosphere of moral discrimination, which the Karachay people had once experienced already. Among the 624 persons in the KChAR who were awarded with orders and medals for the 11th five-year plan period, the Karachays were only 19 percent, despite the fact that they accounted for 32 percent of the population of the region.
According to estimates, from 1974 to 1981 alone, the main regional official publication — the «Lenin Banner» newspaper— published over 110 materials somehow discrediting the honor and dignity of the Karachay people.
In April 1981,a resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU «On the serious shortcomings in the formulation of the organizational, ideological and educational work, observance of the law and order in the Karachay-Cherkess Autonomous region» was adopted. In the framework of the implementation of the decisions, the 3rd Plenum of the regional party Committee was held the same year, continuing the series of anti-Karachay acts. At the same time rumors of the possibility of new deportation of Karachay people have been spread.
As a result of these manipulations, in 1982, Karachay-Cherkessia has not received the expected award on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its autonomy (let us remind that it had been previously awarded two orders on the occasions of its anniversaries). In other words, the whole multinational people of Karachay-Cherkessia has suffered, despite living in the area and making a great contribution to the development of the South of Russia and of the country in general.
The policy openly aimed at the destruction of the ethnic culture of a whole nation was realized, inspired by the «chief ideologist» of the regime of the time. Unlike the pre-war time, it was not allowed to conduct the lessons on natural sciences and humanitarian subjects in the native language, there was an unspoken ban on the study of the history of indigenous peoples in local schools and universities, even the mention of the achievements of the century-old tradition of livestock breeding as, for example, the Karachay breed of horses, the Karachay breed sheep, etc, was redacted. Regional publishing house has lost its independent status and turned into a branch of the Stavropol territory publishing house.
In this period the new interpretation of the regional history was also adopted. The Karachays' return from the areas of deportation was declared as not overcoming the crimes of dictatorship, but as the «humane step» of the Communist party and the Soviet state».The regional and district Committees of the CPSU ordered publishing and republishing of the books like «In the Name of VChK», articles, the main objective of which was justifying the deportation of the whole nation because of its political unreliability.
Authorities impeded the development of the individual farming and the traditional crafts. A typical example is the decision № 299 of the regional Executive Committee of April 29,1981, taken at the insistence of the regional authorities: «On prohibition of export and import of livestock, animal and plant products, by all types of transportand mailings». This decision, while clearly discriminatory in respect of the Karachay people, was invalidated only in the years of «Perestroika».
This policy of the state of that period was the main obstacle for the development of the Karachay people, which survived the heavy burden of deportation. A government Commission of Russia has officially recognized in 1991, that among all the regions of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, the «largest gap» in the development had the Karachaevsky, Ust-Jegutinsky and Malokarachaevsky districts, i.e. the districs of compact residence of the Karachay people.
Naturally, such a long-standing policy of discrimination in virtually all spheres of life could not give a response «from the bottom» at the very first liberalization of the Soviet regime.
The fourth stage began in the years of Gorbachev's «Perestroika», and covers the period of formation of the new Russian statehood, i.e. also includes the present period.
At this stage, the most important milestone was the adoption of the Federal law «On the rehabilitation of the repressed peoples» dated April 26, 1991. Let us consider the implementation of the basic provisions of this law and the legislative acts aimed at its realization.
We have to admit that so far there are some provisions of the law that do not work. Thus, virtually no measures were taken for the suppression of publications and other forms of public impact that prevent the full rehabilitation of the repressed peoples.
Article 4 of the aforementioned Law expressly provides that «no campaigning or propaganda carried out with the purpose of hindrance to the rehabilitation of repressed peoples are allowed. Individuals committing such acts, as well as instigating to them, shall be liable in the manner established by law».
We all know that publications and doctoral theses justifying the Stalin regime's inhuman crimes and the eviction of entire peoples are published to present day. There is no a single fact of the arraignment by authorities of at least one author of these offensive, clearly unlawful statements or speeches.
The bitter left from the apathy of the state bodies, and especially supervision authorities, cannot serve as the basis for complete trust to the power by the repressed peoples' representatives. Only consistent, progressive implementation by the State of the very same obligations it took upon itself can change the situation in terms of its relationship with citizens.
I would like to remind that, in pursuance of the article 4 of the abovementioned law, the People's Assembly (Parliament) of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic is preparing a bill that initiates changes in the criminal code of Russia, stipulating for criminal punishment for attempts to justify or to deny the facts of the illegal deportation of entire peoples. By the way, the legislation of the majority of European countries persecutes for denial or justification of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazi regime.
The article 10, which stipulates social rehabilitation, is not implemented. It says that for the citizens who subjected to repressions, their time record in the duration of their stay in the places of exile should be tripled, which means «increasing the size of the seniority pay for each year of work».
The cultural rehabilitation, which according to the 11th article stipulates the realization by the state of a «complex of measures for restoration of their spiritual heritage and satisfaction of cultural needs», is not implemented no more. Neither the Museum in Karachaevsk, nor the state Karachay national song and dance ensemble are restored. The archival materials and historical monuments exported after November 1943 still have not been returned to the region. The objects of medieval architecture in Kart-Jurt, Hurzuk, Kyzyl-Kala, in the Duutskoe, Teberdinskoe, Zelenchukskoe gorges and in other places remain with no means for restoration.
Let us turn to the decree of the government of the Russian Federation «On measures for the rehabilitation of the Karachay people and the socio-economic support of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic» of October 30, 1993. Some of the paragraphs of this decree extremely important for the whole nation were never fulfilled, e.g. the following.
Paragraph 2 of this decision gave direct instructions to the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance of Russia to provide, in 1994 and in subsequent years, jointly with the Council of Ministers of Karachay-Cherkessia, additional allocation of the state centralized capital investments «for the construction of objects of social and industrial infrastructure in the places of compact residence of Karachays».
The 4-th paragraph charged «Gazprom», RJSC to provide the villages Upper Mara and Uchkulan with «the construction and commissioning of pipelines to in 1994-1996».
Paragraph 5 instructed the Ministry of Economy and the Russian Federal State Construction Committee to assist the Council of Ministers of KChR in «securing the necessary financial resources» to create the «capacities for natural stone mining, production of sanitary faience products, delftware and construction materials» in the territory of the republic in 1994-2000.
Paragraph 7 that stipulates for providing the Council of Ministers of KChR with the «necessary assistance in revival of traditional national crafts of the Karachay people», has also remained on paper only.
The Tourism Committee of the Russian Federation never provided the Council of Ministers of KChR with assistance in the «use of the mountain areas of the Republic for the development of tourism, skiing and mountaineering», as it was stipulated in paragraph 9.
To be fair, it is necessary to mention that the country's leadership and personally the President of Russia Vladimir Putin are directly engaged in the development of tourism, skiing and mountain climbing in the mountain areas of the Republic. To confirm what it was said: this year the mountain ski resort «Arkhyz» will host the mountain recreation lovers for the first time.
By the way, the most important condition for such a development is the availability of modern communication lines. Meanwhile, the Karachay-Cherkess Republic remains the only Republic of the South of Russia with no air communication, and there is virtually no direct passenger railway communication with the capital of the country and with other regions.
Let us move on to the decree of the President of Russia of May 30, 1994, «On measures for rehabilitation of the Karachay people and the state support of its revival and development».
According to paragraph 2, the Federal government was assigned the responsibility for« promoting, jointly with the authorities of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, the revival of the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Karachay people, the organization and development of traditional crafts».
No facilities associated with the spiritual heritage were built, and no measures for revival and development of traditional crafts of the Karachay people were taken with Federal support during the period of validity of the decree.
The same paragraph of the decree ordered the government of Russian Federation to «provide practical assistance» to the authorities of Karachay-Cherkessia «in the dispersal, the allocation of land and in settlement of the Karachay people subjected to resettlement and returning individually to the former places of residence». Not fulfilled.
In the same paragraph, the Government was entrusted «to define, with the advice and consent of the governments of Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Republic of Uzbekistan to define by July 1, 1994, the measures for returning individually the Karachay persons from the places of deportation to former places of residence in Russian Federation and for their settlement». It was also directed to «identify the sources of funding for these activities». Also not fulfilled.
Paragraph 4 is also ignored, which recommended the Central Bank of Russian Federation, together with state authorities of KCHR, to «consider the allocation in 1994-2000 of preferential loans for the Republic for individual housing construction for the Karachay people subjected to unlawful relocation, the members of their families, including children born in places of «special settlements».
Obviously, the shortcomings in the performance of similar provisions exist for the other repressed peoples, too, whose representatives can tell about it in more detail.
The principal position of the leaders of new Russia concerning all the above issues is encouraging and deserves a positive assessment. Not having, in fact, any direct historical succession to the Soviet regimes, especially to the Stalinist, it voluntarily and farsightedly has assumed the mission to restore what was destroyed half a century before the emergency of the modern Russian state.
Of course, certain work on rehabilitation was and is carried out in Karachay-Cherkessia, too:
— compensation payments implemented;
— benefits provided to the survivors of the deportation;
— a national memorial to the victims of the evictions created;
— extent of the damage people have suffered economically, estimated.
We should thankall those who faithfully performed their duty in rehabilitation commissions, social protection agencies, etc.
At the same time, we consider the termination of work of the Republican Commission on the rehabilitation of repressed peoples to be premature. It should be restored and fully operative until the day when its functions will actually be considered completed indeed.
The rehabilitation process is a serious issue that affects not only the fates, but also the honor, dignity of entire nations, not for the first generation already, so half-measures are not enough here: if there is a government resolution, it is necessary to carry it out on all levels and to full extent, and not to think that the problem will solve itself — there were too many innocent victims.
As we can see, the topic of the deportation of the peoples of our country is not a subject of purely scientific, or, more precisely, theoretical sphere. It is urgent due to the unresolved problems on the level of implementation of the state national policy and law application.
This circumstance affects to some degree some other deported peoples as well, and, of course, may result in new conflicts in the sphere of the relations of the State and a number of ethnic communities of the South of Russia, which is undesirable.
These and other issues concern the national movements of Southern Russia, one of which is the Karachay-Cherkess regional organization «Karachay Alan Halk». Needless to remind, the national movements are one of the important forms of civil society, the construction of which preoccupies Russia for all twenty of its post-Soviet yea rs.
It is due to the reasons mentioned above that all these questions should be under special attention of the government authorities, both regional and in the Federal center.
I would like to hope that the country's Parliament, the relevant agencies of executive power of Russia, the authoritative human rights organizations,— all of us, with our joint efforts, can close this tragic page of national history.
As for the topic of national minorities, the question about the fate of the Karachay community in Syria, where the community is one of the national minorities, has often been raised in front of our national organization in recent years. Fully sharing the position of the leadership of the Russian Federation on the issue of the Syrian crisis, I think that in case of our compatriots in Syria, the domestic experience of repatriation of the end of the 1950s can be applicable. Thus, our experience can acquire an international format.
The international aspect of the problem of the repressed peoples should also be noted. It is known that various forms of repression on the basis of ethnicity have taken place in Europe and neighboring regions not only in 1940s, 50s, but also in the period from the end of the 1980s and until the beginning of this century. Conflicts in Yugoslavia and the southern Caucasus have shown sad examples of ethnic cleansing, i.e. the same violent deportations, ethnic discrimination. Some or other government structures, high-ranking political and military officials of a number of countries were directly involved in them, as it was in USSR 70 years ago. Many of them have ended on the International Tribunal's dock; however, the rehabilitation process is not limited to bringing those responsible to justice. An example of the rehabilitation lawmaking of the post-Soviet Russia shows legal forms and methods of integrated overcoming of such serious incidents.Therefore this experience has every reason to be included into the arsenal of the relevant branches of international law.
Despite the rehabilitation of Karachay people, many of the problems associated with the restoration of property rights, cultural rights remain unresolved. The statements of some political and social leaders justifying the deportation of the peoples are still being made. Thus, as a result of the Karachay people deportation, ancient Karachay auls (villages) Duut, Jazlyk, Kyzyl Karachay, Schauat, Jaganas, where a total of about 10 thousand people have lived for more than 700 years, have disappeared from the geographical map of the Russian Federation and the Karachay-Cherkess Republic. Those were the settlements that were the cradle of Karachay.
In the memory of victims of the Karachay people deportation, the Karachay-Cherkess regional public organization «Karachay Alan Halk» has conducted a number of activities: monuments to the victims of deportation and political repressions were erected in villages and cities of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic; competitions among the students in eight nominations were organized. An exhibition of the best works of the artists of the South of Russia was held. The works in all nominations were reviewed, and the winners were awarded diplomas and cash prizes. The screenings of documentaries about the deportation were organized on the STRC «Karachay-Cherkessia». New documentaries have been created as well, such as «Born in Karachay.The invisible feat»
Summarizing, we'd like to say: cleaving to their native land, to resilience and hard work, the Karachay people did not despair, survived in difficult conditions of deportation and is, step by step, year by year, due to the constructive national policies of the country's leadership, restoring the lost belief in a better future and looks confidently into tomorrow, taking a worthy place among other nations of the great Russia.
Where victory is!
Challenge is taken up —
Where willpower is!
A. Chotchaeva, «Deportation»
By Suleyman Botashev