The World knows Sochi as a city with the motto "a gate to the future", chosen by Russian Olympics Committee which does the honors to the Winter Olympics. Not having been a candidate for the Olympics before, Sochi is trying to be indentified as a Russian city welcoming foreign Presidents by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin and is struggling to present itself to the world as a symbolic city of Russian culture with the Olympic candidacy. However, the truth known very well by every Russian is that Sochi is a city of genocide and Circassians scattered to the four winds, are the real owners of this city. Exposed to a genocide they are hurt by these Olympics once more.
The aim of Russian Olympic committee, which prefers a discourse covered with notions of future, change, innovatian and derivation, is running a campaigning process that hinders the real bloody history of Sochi and the real owners of the city coming to the fore. We, as Nosochi Global Organization of Circassian diaspora, have taken a stand a number of times against this understanding that will transform the Olympics into the Kremlin's political project. Finally, we respond with a global competition organized to choose the mascot of an anti-campaign, againts the cute mascots chosen by Russian Olympics Committee for the Sochi Olympics.
The Russian Olympics Committee has chosen four campaign mascots among the twelve finalists after the mascot competition was held last year. Considering what these chosen mascots represent initiated the starting point of our competition call. We, Circassians having been scattered to the four winds, are the real proof of a bloody history no matter how the Olympic Village in Krasnaya Polyana is decorated or whatever visual presentations are used to falsify the truth. We aim to share the historical truth to the world by providing visual materials to this campaign and to question world opinions (download specifications and rules of the competition).
With the belief in universal, authentic and creative power of art, we repeat our call to this awareness campaign which run againts the Olympics that damages the environment, history, our identity and memory. We present chosen figures who are primarily in charge of genocide to our competitors, joining our campaign which was started in numerous countries simultaneously.
Czar Nicholas I
He aimed to isolate Circassia with the castles and naval force. In his period, Circassia coastline was destroyed by the bombs of the Russian navy. It was known that Circassia which had bussiness connection with the Ottomans and the other countries, was largely affected from this embargo economically. Russians aimed to conquer inner areas by blockading Caucasia from sea and making the public surrender to economic difficulties when Nicholas I ordered to build Golovinskoye, Mavaginskoye and Svyato-Dukh castles in 1837. Circassia, as an independent country, was being left to Russia by being ignored of it’s sovereignty rights with the treaty of Edirne. At this point, coming to Caucasia in 1837, Nicholas I took action to activate this annexation, which was controlling Russian occupation forces and was ordering the invasion to go on. Civil deaths continued in his period, and the general Russian policy was identified as ethnic cleansing.
Czar Alexander II
Wars that lasted 101 years between Caucasias and Russia came to an end in his period. Circassia suffered genocide and was ethnically cleansed during Alexander II’s reign, which was known as the peak of these wars. In the period between 1855 and 1864 which was a turning point for Circassian genocide, Czar Alexander II verified his celebration message to Count Yevdokimov that the genocide was a goverment policy. The message was: “You have got rid of the natives by making them obeyed. We can remove the damages of this long last bloody war from this fertile land.”
Aleksy Petrovich Yermolov
“20 Circassians must be killed without considering if they are guilty or not, for each Russian killed as a soldier or a civillian”
He was the Russian General named with atrocities in Caucasia. He destroyed 90% of Kabardins, a Circassian tribe, when he was on duty in Caucasia. He cleansed Kabardin ethnically by subjecting the villages to exile. Within that period many Abkhazian and Kabardin villages were burnt, the crops were destroyed and the animals were stolen. Alexander I wrote this sentence in a letter: “ I want the terror of my name to be protected better than the ramparts and the castles of our borders.”
Andrei Pavlovich Zass
General Zass is known for inserting tactics like the holocaust of Circassians in the Caucasia-Russian wars. The strategy, which includes burning both a village and the people, was to become a standard tactic of Russia during the genocide. Zass who was rewarded by Czar Nicholas I because of ‘his success’, became the commander of Kuban military zone. It is also known that General Zass had a collection of Circassian skulls, which were collected by giving money to his soldiers in return of Circassian heads. He was saving this collection in a box full of wax under his bed.
DekabristLorer: “Zass put Circassian heads on spears and set them on a small hill near the headquarters. Looking at this disgusting scene was heart-wrenching. Zass accepted to take the heads away by request of a young lady. We were his guests like the young lady. I was shocked by a disgusting smell when I went into his room. Zass laughed and said that there were chest full of heads under the bed, then he pulled out a huge chest in which we saw several heads looking at us with their terrifying, glassy eyes. I asked why he kept these heads there. He replied that he boiled, cleaned them and then sent them to his friends who were Professor in Berlin who used the heads in their anatomic studies.”
Russian Cossaks became a colonizatian tool of Russia, parallel with the Russian purpose of colonizing Caucasia. Accordingly, they were located surrounding the Circassian villages. They were used in burning Circassian villages and colonizing Circassia which was exposed to genocide. They are primarily responsible of the Circassian genocide because of their atrocities.
During the long wars hundred of thousands soldiers were sent to Caucasia from various areas of Russia. They became extremely cruel as an effect of the long and lasting wars. Russian soldiers resorted to every kind of atrocities to rid the Circassians from their homeland. Thousands of people were massacred in the Hodz and Kbaada regions. Breaking the survived children into pieces with cannons have been passed on today with Karachay laments and Circassian oral narrative traditions. Their cruelty was on the highest degree that they raped children even younger than nine years.