Staunton, January 16 – Activists from the Russian nationalist Society of the Future movement have erected a memorial of their own devising in Adler to tsarist forces who conquered the North Caucasus nearly two centuries ago, in place of the one that Circassian activists succeeded in having local officials remove last summer.
The Circassians viewed the removal of the monument then as a major victory, one that inspired other nations across the Russian Federation. The Russians now hope that re-erecting a memorial will send the opposite message, encouraging all to celebrate the victory of Russian imperialism and accept the new order.
(On the earlier conflict over the memorial to tsarist forces, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/07/circassian-opposition-to-tsarist.html. windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/07/moscow-tv-host-denounces-removal-of.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/07/backing-down-on-historical-monuments.html.)
The Russian activists erected their memorial on January 7, but within the next 48 hours, opponents of their action had removed portions of the temporary monument. Adler city authorities stood aside, and yesterday, the Russian nationalists restored their memorial to where it had been (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/358718/).
In order to mobilize support for the defense of their monument and the erection of similar memorials elsewhere in the North Caucasus, the Society of the Future has launched an online petition calling for just that. As of today, the petition has collected just over 7500 messages of support.
Experts warn that erecting monuments
to tsarist conquerors in the North
Caucasus is like waving a red flag in front of a bull in that it will not
intimidate anyone but rather spark an enraged response (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/345152/).
2021 is less than three weeks old; and a result of the Society of the Future’s
actions, monument wars about the past seem set to begin in earnest.