Staunton, Jan. 9 – Moscow’s efforts to geld independent-minded Circassian organizations both in the North Caucasus homeland and the diaspora have suffered a major blow. Kayseri Hase, one of the largest Circassian groups in Turkey, has resigned from KAFFED to protest the latter’s subordination to the Russian-controlled International Circassian Association.
The Russian security agencies have a long history of creating parallel organizations within the Circassian diaspora and then using them to penetrate and control genuine national movements. But with this resignation, that policy has backfired in a major way, especially since the US-based Circassian Benevolent Association has also suspended its ties to ICA.
Circassian activists have been angry at KAFFED and the ICA because they have backed Russian policies on the return of Circassians to the homeland and on Putin’s war in Ukraine that are exactly the opposite of what the Circassian people genuinely want. And worse, these two Moscow-funded groups have spread confusion about Circassian aspirations.
At the very least, the actions of Kayseri Hase and the Circassian Benevolent Association should serve as a warning that anyone citing KAFFED as a source about Circassian attitudes is wittingly or unwittingly serving as a mouthpiece for Russian propaganda rather than as an accurate reporter about what Circassians really want.
On January 7, the governing body of the Kayseri Hase voted 300 to 37 for a resolution to have its board of directions leave KAFFED and inform the world what it had done and why. The board immediately acted, and the pro-Moscow group has suffered a major defeat (facebook.com/kafderkayseri/?locale=tr_TR).
Internecine battled within diaspora communities are usually dismissed by outsiders as a tempest in a teapot, but this development is critical because it shows that the Russian security services have suffered a major defeat and that the genuine Circassian movement has won a major victory.
For the ins and outs of this development, see kavkazr.com/a/krupneyshaya-cherkesskaya-organizatsiya-v-turtsii-vyshla-iz-federatsii-kavkazskih-assotsiatsiy-/32767419.html, abn.org.ua/en/liberation-movements/the-largest-circassian-organization-in-turkey-left-the-federation-of-caucasian-associations/ and justicefornorthcaucasus.info/?p=1251684690.