Friday, October 25, 2019

Kabardins Say Balkars Laying Foundations for Ethnic Conflict in the KBR

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 22 – The Committee for Peace and Inter-Ethnic Concord in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic has issued an open letter to KBR head Kazbek Kokov asking him to block efforts by the leaders of the Balkar community to prepare the groundwork for ethnic conflict by falsifying history and other means. 

            The Kabardins (Circassians) who outnumber the Turkic Balkars 57 percent to 12 percent in one of the two binational republics in the Russian Federation sent a copy of the letter to Prague’s Caucasus Times which has now published it (

            “The leaders of the Council of Elders of the Balkar People and individual citizens and social groups connected with it … regularly send to the Russian leadership false reports about discrimination against the Balkars, and often threaten the leadership of the republic by suggesting that Balkaria will leave the KBR.”

            The letter suggests that a clear example of this is the statement by former Duma deputy Zalikhanov at the time of the Kendelen conflict [last summer] that the Balkars were being subjected to genocide and that Vladimir Putin should intervene to protect them against the Kabardins. 

            Another example of this anti-Kabardin campaign by the Council of the Elders of the Balkar People, the Karbardin group says, occured at a meeting in August organized by the Balkar Elders at which a speaker attacked the Karbardns and was roundly applauded by Balkars in the audience.

            “We consider that the republic authorities each time made a political mistake when they refrained from a public reaction to these nationalist outbursts of individuals who are sowing inter-ethnic hostility and calling for the destruction of the state system and giving rise to hatred of one people toward another,” the Committee letter says.

            The authors of the letter express the hope that Kokov will “find the time for the study of this appeal and the possible use of our proposals in the practice of the activity of the government of the KBR, and they will make a contribution to the improvement and stabilization of the social-political and social-economic situation.”
            This appeal is significant because it brings t a head the conflict between the tw largest public organizations in the KBR, one Kabardin and one Balkar, and asks that the republic head, himself a Kabardin, intervene against the Balkars r face the prospect that tensions between the two nations will continue to rise. 

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