Main decrees and appeals on the Circassian genocide

There are many official documents about the Circassian genocide in the form of reports by the generals of the Russian Empire's army which most clearly describe the atrocities committed against the Circassians in the Caucasus. These generals proudly reported to the Russian czar how they conquered Circassian villages, how they killed many Circassians, how they burned many Circassian villages and how they pushed thousands of Circassians towards the Black Sea.

Some of these documents can be viewed on this site in Russian and English:

Here we present to you the main decrees of official government bodies as well as appeals of official Circassian organizations on the destruction of the Circassian people.

Resolution of the Parliament of Kabardo-Balkaria Republic regarding the Circassian genocide

The Supreme Council of Kabardino-Balkarian SSR
of February 7, 1992, N 977-XII-B
On condemnation of Genocide of Adygeans (Circassians) during the years of Russian-Caucasian war

The centennial colonial Russian-Caucasian war (1763-1864), bringing to Adygians (Circassians innumerable disasters and sufferings, does not have the similarities in the history of new era. The major part of the Adygean ethnos, including over 90% of population of Kabarda, was exterminated, more than 500 thousand Adygean population was expelled by Tsar autocracy to the Ottoman Empire.

Giving the historical and politico-legal evaluation of Russian-Caucasian war, the Supreme Council of Kabardino-Balkarian Soviet Socialist Republic resolved:

1) To consider the mass extermination of Adygeans (Circassians) during the Russian-Caucasian
war and forceful expulsion thereof from their historical homeland to the Ottoman Empire as
the act of genocide, the grave crime against the mankind.

2) To submit the proposal to the Supreme Council of Russian Federation to consider the issue
on recognition of the genocide of Adygeans (Circassians) during Russian-Caucasian war and
granting the foreign compatriots thereof the dual citizenship.

3) To assign the Presidium of the Supreme Council of Kabardino-Balkarian SSR and the
Council of Ministers of Kabardino-Balkarian SSR to elaborate the program of measures on
rehabilitation and repatriation of foreign Adygeans (Circassians).

4) To obtain the status of the exile nation for the foreign Adygeans (Circassians) through the
Supreme Council of Russian Federation and the relevant international organizations.

5) To declare May 21 as the Day of Memory of Adygeans (Circassians) – the victims of the
Russian-Caucasian war, as the day-off.

The chairman of the Supreme Council of Kabardino-Balkarian SSR
Khachim Karmokov.

Resolution of the parliament of Republic of Adygea regarding the Circassian Genocide

On April 29, 1996, the “State Council Khase” (parliament) of the Republic of Adyge adopted the special resolution (№ 64-1), appealing to the State Duma of Russian Federation for official recognition of the Circassian genocide, committed by the Tsarist Russia in the XIX cent.:

The State Council – Khase of the Republic of Adygea
of April 29, 1996, N 64-1
The State Council – Khase of the Republic of Adyge resolves:

1. To adopt the Appeal of the President of the Republic of Adygea and the State Council – Khase of the Republic of Adyge to the State Federal Duma of Russian Federation on official recognition of the fact of genocide of the Adygean (Circassian) people during the Caucasian war.

2. To submit the said Appeal to the State Duma of Russian Federation.

The Chairman of the State Council – Khase of the Republic of Adygea

Address to the Caucasian people - Boris Yeltsin

On May 18, 1994, the President of Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin published the address to the North Caucasian people (“Address to the Caucasian people”), where he recognized justice of struggle of Circassian (adygean) people for freedom and independence in the XIX cent. The document condemned the policy of genocide, held by Russian Empire.

This recognition did not entail the efficient steps from the Russian authorities to suppress the results of this crime; the question of repatriation of the displaced persons to the homeland has not been raised on the state level.

The original document here in russian language

The Parliament of Georgia Recognizes the Circassian Genocide

Based on the recommendation of the Parliament of Georgia's Committees on DIASPORA AND CAUCASUS ISSUES, HUMAN RIGHTS AND CIVIL INTEGRATION, EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND CULTURE, and LEGAL ISSUES, the Parliament of Georgia, during its session held on date 20, May, 2011, in the capital city of Tbilisi, has recognized the Circassian Genocide by a strong majority.

The draft presented from the committees has passed through voting in the parliament and became a Resolution by a strong majority, with the majority of heads of committees and Members of Parliament both the majority and the opposition who spoke during the session had shown strong and sincere support for recognizing the Circassian Genocide and the hostilities that this nation from the North Caucasus had been subjected to.

The following is the Resolution:

Resolution of the Parliament of Georgia

On the Recognition of Genocide of Circassians by the Russian Empire
Recalling the colonial policy of the Russian Empire towards Circassians during the Russo-Caucasus war (1763-1864), when the Russian political and military leadership planned and executed ethnic cleansing of Circassian territories, subsequently settling the territories with other ethnic groups;

Recalling the fact that as a result of multiple punitive military expeditions, more than 90% of the Circassian population was annihilated;

Recalling numerous official documents of the Russian Empire confirming its aggressive actions, such as artificially engineered famines and epidemics amongst the civilian population, aimed at the physical annihilation of representatives of the Circassian people;

Recalling the 7 February 1992 Decree of the Supreme Council of Kabardino Balkaria Republic (№977–XII-B) on the Condemnation of the Act of Genocide of Adyge (Circassians) During the Russian-Caucasian War, and legally and politically assessing the results of the Russo-Caucasus War (1763-1864),

The Parliament of Georgia:

1. Recognizes the mass murder of Circassians (Adyge) during the Russo-Caucasus War and their forceful eviction from their homeland, as an act of genocide, in accordance with the IV Hague Convention on Laws and Customs of War on Land of October 18, 1907 and the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948;

2. Recognizes the Circassians, forcefully deported during and after the period of the Russo-Caucasus War, as refugees, in line with the Convention on the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951.

20, May, 2011.

Appeal of the “Circassian Congress” to the parliament of the Russian Federation

Appeal of the Adygean Republican social movement “Circassian Congress” to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

Federal Assembly
Russian Federation
July 01, 2005
Reception room
State Duma
Chairman of the State Duma
Russian Federation
Gryzlov Boris Vyacheslavovich


“On May, 21st, 2005 it has been 141 years since the end of the Russian – Caucasian war of the 19 century – one of the longest and bloodiest in mankind’s history.

In the historiography dedicated to the events of that time, numbering hundreds and thousands books, articles, essays in many languages of the world, there are available facts about features of the war.

Now it is possible to consider as a fact that the war of the Russian Empire against the mountaineers of the Northern Caucasus differed radically from the wars Russia had in Europe against France, Austria, Prussia and other countries in various periods of time. Within accidents with the European countries some written and unwritten war- rules Russia executed; still Caucasian people had been put outside of the civilized society’s laws.

Archival documents including reports, official papers, prescriptions of the commanders of the regular Russian armies, commanders of «groups» taking part in battles against the mountaineers, actions of atamans of the irregular Cossaks armies testify that grades of the Russian army were not satisfied with usual military actions against the mountaineers who resisted the Empire with weapons and hands. In numerous documents there are facts which allow to draw the main conclusion that Russian policies in the Caucasus during the 20th century can not be considered as usual military activities for the successful victory to impose a will to the opponent, but as a war in which a task of elimination out from the world ethnic map of the whole nation had been put. Otherwise it is impossible to explain the reasons for unprecedented cruelty shown by the Russian armies in the Northern Caucasus, and their reprisals against the peaceful population. There had been innumerable murders of old men, women and children; purposeful distraction of livelihood of Adyghe (Circassian) ethnos- villages, gardens, fields, fodder. There had been actions of the commanders of the Russian divisions and groups which followed direct instructions of their deputies in Caucasus, who considered starvation to be the only possible instrument for the mountaineers’ pacifying.

In 1859 the war in the North- East Caucasus came to the end with capitulation and capture of Shamil – the imam of the Chechen Republic and Dagestan.

The war in the North-West Caucasus against Adyghes (Circassians) continue on for another 5 years, till May 21st, 1864.However, the Russian politicians and generals were not limited by the reached victory and subjected the West-Caucasian mountaineers to a mass deportation. According to the official information ( A.Berje) out of one million Adyghes (Circassians) over 400 thousand people were killed during the war; 497 thousand people were deported, and only 80 thousand Adyghes people remained in the historical native land. That had become in fact the ethnic cleansing – unprecedented for that time, grandiose in its scales. Displacement of the Circassians population out of the limits of Caucasus continued till the beginning of the
First Word War.

In the historical scientific literature dedicated to the tragic events in the Northern Caucasus of the 19th century, the Russian Empire’s policies are designated with the term “genocide”.It is used by foreign and by the domestic science. It is necessary to note that scales of the reprisals against the Northern Caucasus people, especially Adyghe (Circassians), according to their destructive actions fairly fall under this definition. However the tragic events on of the 19th beginning of 20th centuries had not received any political-legal estimation until our days, by the official circles of Russian Federation, which proclaimed itself as a law successor of the USSR and the Russian State Empire. In spite of the fact that in the « Reference to the people of Caucasus» with which the Precedent of Russian Federation Yeltsin acted on May 18, 1994 in commemoration of the 130th anniversary since the end of the Russian-Caucasian war, had the recognition of validity of the mountaineers’ struggle for freedom and independence, in that document there was no recognition of the fault of the imperial government for the genocide committed against the people of the Northern Caucasus.

The decision of the Supreme Council of the Kabardino –Balkarian Republic of the February 7th ,1997 and the reference of the president of Adyghe Republic and the State Soviet -Khase of Adyghe Republic of April, 29th, 1996 addressed the State Duma with an offer to make a legal estimation of the genocide committed by Russian tsarism against Adyghe ( Circassian) ethnos, were left with out any recognition. Adyghean public till now has no information concerning further destiny of those documents.

Meanwhile hundred thousand of Adyghes ( Circassians) in Russia, and about 3 million of our compatriots abroad are waiting for the leadership of Russian Federation to pass a document which would state a political-legal estimation to the action of the Russian Empire’s rulers. No reasons of the Russian politicians, jurists, historians of the past and present ( which have the purpose to rehabilitate the tsrism policy in the Northern Caucasus of 19th beginning of the 20th century under an excuse of protection Russian economic and geo-politic interests in the region) can anyhow justify extermination of the entire people.

It is known that the State Duma of Russian Federation on April, 4th, 1995 made a statement in which is recognized the fact of genocide committed by Turkey against Armenians in 1915. In the statement it was written that the State Duma «basing on the incontestable historical facts testifying to extermination of Armenians on the territory of the Western Armenia in1915 -1922, following the spirit and the letter of the convention accepted on December 9th, 1948 by the United Nation Organization the Convention on the prevention of genocide and punishment for it , to the Convention on inapplicability of limitation period to war crimes and crimes against humanity, ( November 26th,1968), yearning for revival of humanistic traditions of the Russian State, condemns organizers of 1915- 1922 extermination, expresses the sympathy for Armenian people and considers the day of April 24th, as Memory Day of genocide victims.» Probably, if having recognized the fact of genocide committed by the Russian Empire against Adyghean ( Circassian) ethnos, Russian leadership and its supreme legislative organ – the State Duma- would have showed the whole world its good will and ability to be consecutive in realization
of freedom principles and democracy, humanism and validity, in aversion of xenophobia and national, racial and religious intolerance, proclaimed by Russia – in the same way as it is underlined in the statement about Armenian’s genocide.

Adyghean Republican social movement « Circassian congress» addressing the deputies of State Duma, express a hope that the supreme legislature of Russian Federation will consider understandably this reference as well as applied documents and will express the attitude
to this issue.”

Appendix: archival documents in three volumes. Volume I (275 p.), Volume II (197 p.), Volume III (214 p.), And the Collection of international legal acts of responsibility on genocide.

Chairman of the Adygean Republican social movement  "Circassian Congress"
Murat Berzegov
Republic of Adygea, Maykop.

Circassian organizations ask European parliament to recognize the Circassian genocide

Circassian (Adygeyan) public organizations of Russian Federation, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Syria, the USA, Belgium, Canada and Germany have sent the president of the European parliament Mr. Joseph Borrell Fontelles the reference with request for recognition of the genocide against  Circassian (Adygeyan) people within and after the Russian-Circassian war of the XVIII-XIX centuries.

To the President of the European parliament 
Mr. Joseph Borrell Fontelles 

The reference of the Adygeyan (Circassian) organizations to the European parliament

We, Adygs (Circassians) are the aboriginals of the Northwest Caucasus. Our customs, ceremonies, traditions, language, the way of life were developed during the millenia in this territory. Vitality of our traditions is one of the brightest features of our people, and its material and spiritual achievements – the Maykop and the dolmen cultures, the heroic epos «Narts» - are universal heritage of the mankind.

During its formation the Adygeyan (Circassian) ethnos, often becoming an object of aggression, stood for protection of its freedom and independence. The military expansion of the Russian empire initiated in the second half of the XVIII century became for our people a real national tragedy, which consequences affect so far.

During the military actions of that time they carried out: occupation of territories, purposeful deprivation the peaceful population of the basic means of life-support - destruction of gardens and crops, stealing of cattle, burning completely of the peace settlements.

Massacre of the peace population - women, children, and old men - was committed, too.

For the middle of the XIX century any organized resistance of Adygs (Circassians) was broken down. Since 1862 mass violent deportation of the indigenous population was started. Hundreds thousand people, pushed down to the coast of the Black sea, perished because of colds, famine, epidemics.

According to underestimated information of Adolph Berge (1828-1886) - who was considered at that time as the official historian of the Russian-Caucasian war - from among over one million Adygs (Circassians) they lost in the war over 400 thousand people; 497 thousand people were deported; in their historical native land only about 80 thousand people remained. However the troubles of our people had not ended with that.

Huge masses of Adygs-emigrants appeared to be scattered on the extensive territory of the Ottoman empire. Great inflow of the immigrants and impreparation of the Turkish administration to their reception and accommodation caused mass extermination of the people.

In the numerous archival documents there are data of the participants of those tragical events that allow to make the key conclusion: the war the Russian state unleashed in the XVIII - XIX centuries against Adygs (Circassians) in their historical territory is impossible to consider as usual military actions.

Russia had as the main purpose not only capture of the territories, but also utter extermination or eviction of the indigenous people from the historical lands. It is impossible to explain in any other way the reasons for such inhuman cruelty the Russian armies demonstrated in the Northwest Caucasus.

The process of Adygs’ violent deportation - both of separate families, and entire settlements - proceeded till the World War I.

Small groups of Adygs (Circassians) that staid in their historical territories suffered from the policy of the violent cultural assimilation the imperial administration implemented.

The present Russian Federation, having proclaimed the democratic way of its political development for the country actually continues the policy pursued earlier by the Russian state. By the silent approval of the federal center during the last years in Adygeya Republic, as well as across all the Russian Federation, public organizations preaching the ideas of the national-chauvinism actively work.

The final goal of such organizations is carrying out of a referendum on the status of the republic by the principle of the mechanical majority, that is to take advantage of the quantitative superiority appeared as a result of the Russian-Caucasian war (the indigenous Adygeyan population in Adygeya Republic now makes 24 percent).

Today on their ancestors’ lands Adygs (Kabardians, Circassians, Adygs, Shapsugs) - about 700 thousand people - live in 4 subjects of Russian Federation (Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, Karachaevo-Circassian Republic, Adygeya Republic, Krasnodar territory) and now have no more than 20 percent of the territories from the historical lands they had occupied.

Over 3 million representatives of our people live outside the Northwest Caucasus in 50 states. Owing to that artificially created dissociation of the ethnic Adygs (Circassians) they gradually lose their culture and language.

During 142 years after the end of the Russian-Caucasian war Russia repeatedly changed its political system, but the attitude to Adygs (Circassians) remained constant - the violent cultural assimilation of the remained indigenous population in the historical territory and banning on returning for the Adygs (Circassians) expelled from the Northwest Caucasus.

On July 1st, 2005 the Reference to the State Duma of Russian Federation concerning recognition of the genocide against Adygeyan (Circassian) people was submitted. However deputies of the Russian legislature could not have overcome religious and ethnic prejudices, having refused to recognize the moral and the legal responsibility for the brutal acts the Russian state had committed in the past.

According to the Convention on prevention and punishment of genocide adopted by the United Nations Organization (New York, December 9th, 1948) and the Convention on inapplicability of limitation period for war crimes and crimes against humanity of November 26th, 1968

- following the standard principles of equality of all the peoples irrespective of religious and ethnic elements and origin,
- basing on the incontestable historic facts testifying to the extermination and the violent deportation of Adygs (Circassians) from the territory of the Northwest Caucasus,
- proceeding from that Russian Federation is the assignee and the successor of the Russian state,

We ask the European Parliament to consider in comprehensive and objective way our Reference and to recognize the genocide against Adygeyan (Circassian) people, being committed by the Russian state since the end of the XVIII till the beginning of the XX centuries.



Murat Berzegov
Chairman of the republican social movement «Circassian Congress»
Republic of Adygeya, Russian Federation

Askerbi Namitokov
Chairman of the republican social organization «Nafna»(Khabze)
Republic of Adygeya, Russian Federation

Ali Tliap
Chairman of Adygyesk City Branch of the republican social movement «Adyghe Khasa»
Republic of Adygeya, Russian Federation

Beslan Makhov
Chairman of the republican social movement «Circassian Congress»
Republic of Karachaevo-Circassia, Russian Federation

Yora Shanibov
Chairman of the republican social movement «Kabardinian Congress»
Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Russian Federation

Can Kesgin Khurma
Secretary of the organization «Caucasus Forum»,
Istanbul, Turkey

Set Akhmet Ubykh
Chairman of the «United Caucasus» association,
Samsun, Turkey

Can Sonmez Shapsug
Chairman of the «United Caucasus» Federation,
Ankara, Turkey

Mustafa Esinlap
Chairman of the «United Caucasus» association,
Bursa, Turkey

Fehmi Khuako
Chairman of the «North Caucasian Cultural» association,
Istanbul, Turkey

Rukhi Shkhaltukh
Chairman of the organization «Friends of the Circassians of Caucasus»
Amman, Jordan

Nawriz Pshidatok
Secretary of the «Circassian Forum»,
Amman, Jordan

Adnan Orkiz
Chairman of the «Circassian Congress»

Rodin Blangabs
Chairman of the Circassian Association «Nafna»

Entam Abreg
Coordinator of the «Circassian Congress»

Fawaz Der
Secretary of the «Circassian Cultural Institute»

Zamir Shukov
President of the «World Circassian Brotherhood»

Kuban Hatukai
Secretary of the «Circassian Congress»

Nart Abzakh
Coordinator of the «Circassian Congress»

Adel Khakoz
Secretary of the «Circassian Congress»