OLYMPIC GAMES ON THE SOIL OF GENOCIDE?

Kavkaz Center, Turkey
July 3 2006

Last year Moscow lost the contest of hosting the Summer Olympics in
2012. According to the chairman of Russia's Olympic Committee, Leonid
Tyagachev, the decision was not a sports question, but a political
question. He pointed out the conflict in Chechnya as a major reason
for Moscow's loss.

Unfortunately, Tyagachev hasn't learnt his lessons yet. The Russian
olympic boss, who is the ski coach of Putin and a frequent tamada
(table chairman) at his family parties, is today involved in promoting
Sochi for the winter Olympics in 2014. This idea is completely
absurd - it's like planning to celebrate Olympic Games in Auschwitz
or Treblinka.

The Circassian people don't have the lobbying force of Jews or
Armenians. Accordingly, the Genocide of the Circassians is almost a
forgotten crime against humanity. The Holocaust Industry has quite
far succeeded in defining genocide as crimes against Jews, but many
people also know about the Genocide of Armenians in Turkey 1915-18.

Still, the Circassian Genocide is both proportionally and in absolute
numbers much more horrifying than the fate of Armenians some 50
years later.

Once upon the time, the historical Circassia was a great nation of
Caucasus. Prior to the tsarist imperial conquest, Circassia covered
an area bigger than 55.000 square kilometers east of the Sea of
Azov and south of the river of Kuban - an area almost twice as big
as Armenia today. The indigenous people of Circassia were in excess
of two millions, more numerous than the Swedes at the middle of the
18th century. This people had a very long history on their ancient
land, it was a nation of high cultural and social structure. The
Circassians enjoyed strong trading ties already with the ancient
Greeks, especially with the Athenians. Circassians even participated
in the Olympic Games during classical times!

The Circassians fought against Russian conquest during a century, from
1763 to 1864. After the defeat of Imam Shamil in 1859, the Russians
were able to concentrate their military forces upon Circassia. This led
to a huge massacre and forced deportation of the people. The magnitude
of brutality and evilness was unforeseen in human history. The great
majority, more than 90 percent of the people of Circassian descent,
were forced to live in exile. But those who managed to escape were
lucky - at least one million Circassians were killed, and the number
of victims of this Genocide was probably even more than 1½ million.

During the desperate fight for the future existence of their people,
the leaders of the Circassian tribes gathered at the place where
now stands the Black Sea resort of Sochi and appealed for help from
the Ottomans and Britains. This appeal was totally in vain. The
civilized world of those days didn't respond more than it does to
Chechen appeals in our time.

Now Putin plans to organize Olympic Games on this soil of Genocide.

On the web page http://www.sochi2014.com of his campaign for Sochi
is mentioned that the town is a "city of diverse ethnic origins with
one-third of the population of non-Russian nationality". In 1864
exactly 100 percent were non-Russians, but this people were killed
in order to arrange Lebensraum for the invaders. It's not possible
to kill 1-1½ million people in a few years without extensive cruelty.

Let's cite the Russian historian Berzhe who was an eye-witness of
the deportation in the harbor of Novorossiysk:

"The late, inclement and cold time of year, the almost complete absence
of means of subsistence and the epidemic of typhus and smallpox raging
among them made their situation desperate. And indeed, whose heart
would not be touched on seeing, for example, the already stiff corpse
of a young Circassian woman lying in rags on the damp ground under
the open sky with two infants, one struggling in his death-throes
while the other sought to assuage his hunger at his dead mother's
breast? And I saw not a few such scenes."

The Olympic Father, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, would turn over in his
grave if he knew about the attempts of present Russian leadership to
arrange Olympic Games upon the graveyards of a people who sent their
best sons already to the ancient Olympic Games. The Olympic ideals
are based upon high principles, i.e.

"to contribute to building a peaceful and better world .... in the
Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of
friendship, solidarity and fair play".

Let's also remind of the "sacred truce" from the first known ancient
Games when it was read and stated:

"May the world be delivered from crime and killing and freed from
the clash of arms."

Russia is today a country in war. The colonial war in Caucasus
did neither start nor stop by the final solution in Circassia. In
present time the Empire is committing Genocide against the Chechen
people and practicing a harsh policy of oppression against all other
Caucasian peoples. The idea of arranging Olympic Games in Caucasus,
on Circassian land, is cynical and grotesque.

The applicant city Sochi is located in a war zone, a part of the
Caucasian Front of the on-going second Chechen war. The distance
to Nalchik in Kabardino-Balkaria is some 250 km, to Kislovodsk in
Karachay-Cherkessia some 200 km, to Maikop in Adygeya some 100 km,
and to the mainland of Chechnya about 400 km, just to mention a few
of recent battle fields in Caucasus. The planned ski contest area
of Krasnaya Polyana is some 10 km and the Sochi-Adler Airport only
5 km from the border to Abhazia, a region belonging to Georgia but
presently occupied by Russia. The Russian attempts to incorporate
Abhazia might soon even escalate into an armed clash.

Thus, the security issues of Caucasus should be a major concern among
those who plan to bring athletes of the world to the scene. The entire
Caucasus is burning today and ready to explode. The reasons can be
found in the destructive Russian politics in the region. The colonial
warfare in Caucasus is characterized by top-level corruption, economic
mismanagement, massive police brutality, political and religious
oppression and constant violations of human rights. The uprising of
the indigenous Islamic peoples of Caucasus is a natural and justified
consequence. Even Dmitrii Kozak, Putin's representative to the
Southern Federal District, has predicted a sharp rise in radicalism
and extremism and emergencing of "a macro-region of sociopolitical
and economic instability" encompassing the entire North Caucasus and
parts of Stavropol Krai.

The short victorious war that Yeltsin started in Chechnya 1993 has
been far more disastrous for Russia than the Russo-Japanese war that
von Plehve started in 1904.

The Russian society is quite sick today. The Freedom House rating
changed last year to the level "not free". On the Corruption
Perceptions Index Russia is placed at position 126 among 159 countries
- well below countries such as Zimbabwe, Nepal and Mongolia.

The life expectancy of Russian men is the lowest in Europe, only some
58 years

In spite of immigration from CIS countries, Russia's population has
been sliding down during the last decade, and with present trends
the population could drop down below 100 million by 2050, less than
Egypt and Vietnam.

The economic growth has been quite high in Russia during recent
years, but it is more due to price increase of raw material exports
than increase in productivity. The economy has characteristics of a
developing country, not of a super power.

The present Russian leadership has apparently an irresistible
temptation to build up a new Potemkin scene in the South, this time in
shape of Olympic Games. Russia plans to invest 12 billion dollars in
the games of Sochi, money desperately needed for health care of the
"lumpen proletariat" and in order to take care of tens of thousands
of St.Petersburg street children. On the other hand, there is a lot
of oil money in Russia today. The problem is that the money is so
unequally distributed.

Forbes report about a boom in the number of Russian billionaires in
dollar. Roman Abramovich is far from the only loyal oligarch in the
vicinity of Kreml.

This is the ugly background of the Russian campaign for Olympic Games
in Sochi 2014.

However, this situation creates also a genuine opportunity to inform
the world about the genocidal and colonist features of Russian politics
in Caucasus.

The 114 members of IOC (International Olympic Committee) should
all be addressed with complete and versatile information about the
background and reality of Russian presence in Caucasus well before
the IOC session in Guatemala City in July 2007. Also, they should all
be informed about what kind of religious and ethnical cleansing may
be expected among the regional population if Sochi would be elected.

Probably the election of Sochi as candidate city is only a consolation
prize to Russia, a great sports nation, anticipating the final decision
in favour of Salzburg. Anyway, it's an opportunity for Russians to
consider if Caucasus is an area important enough to degrade Russia
to a second-class member of the world community.

The eight time zones east of Ural covers the major part of Russian
territory with a sharply diminishing population - there is Lebensraum
and natural resources enough, without any obstinate aboriginal
people. Regarding Caucasus, maybe it's soon time to realize the good
idea of "Security in Exchange for Independence"?

For Kavkaz-Center Mikael Storsjo Helsinki, Finland

http://kavkazcenter.com/eng/content/2006/ 07/03/4886.shtml

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