Staunton, Nov. 3 – Seventy-eight years ago this week, Stalin pulled more than 50,000 Soviet troops off the front lines in the war against Germany in order to deport 70,000 Karachays, a Turkic people he accused of collaboration despite the fact that many members of that nationality were serving in the ranks of the Red Army.
The Karachays thus became the first of a long line of nations in the North Caucasus who felt Stalin’s wrath, and this year, Kady Haji Khalkevchev, one of their number, reflected on the similarities and differences between the evil the Soviet Union was fighting against the evil it was inflicting (idelreal.org/a/31541282.html).
“The ideologies” of the two totalitarian regimes “were similar,” the Karachay activist says, “but there was a difference in their purpose. In the first case [the Nazi regime], all peoples were subjected to repression except their own; but in the second [the Soviet regime], like Ouroboros, the regime destroyed the peoples of their own country in the midst of a war with the enemy to carry out elaborate ethnographic fantasies of a diseased brain.”
Khalkevchev calls for renewing the work of the Commission for the Rehabilitation of the Karachay People that had existed in the Karachayevo-Cherkessia Republic government until 2009 to address the steps needed to cure the wounds from which the Karachays and other peoples of the Caucasus still suffer.
Among these wounds are not only the physical and psychological ones and the incomplete restitution of property but also Moscow’s artificial division of peoples who speak the same language, the Karachays and the Balkars and the Circassians and Kabardins, into separate but binational republics.
Not surprisingly, other victims of the same Soviet policy have expressed empathy for what the Karachays have been subjected to and say that these recollections are only uniting them in their common struggle to overcome this past (fortanga.org/2021/11/u-nashih-narodov-shozhaya-istoriya-sovet-tejpov-ingushetii-vyrazil-solidarnost-v-den-skorbi-karachaevczev/).