№ 1, 2019
Although, in comparison to other foreign parties to the Syrian conflict, Russia plays a very modest role in resolving the refugee crisis, the latter echoed in Russia as well. One of the consequences of this crisis is that it brought the Circassian issue back to the domestic political agenda in Russia — first and foremost, at the regional level.
After the start of the civil war in Syria the Circassians — descendants of the Adyghes who were forced to move to the Ottoman Empire in 19th century — began to migrate to Russia. Most of them settled in the Northern Cauca- sus — Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. However, they faced a lot of problems, especially those Circassians who moved to Karachay- Cherkessia: its authorities do not favor an inflow of Circassian migrants because they fear a change in the balance of the ethnical forces in the region and reflect the attitudes of the Karachai majority. As a result, while in Adygea and Kabardino-Balkaria repatriates from Syria obtain support from the regional
authorities, in Karachay-Cherkessia they can rely only on the local philanthropists and the Circassian community.
The article is devoted to the analysis of the key factors that hamper Circassians’ repatriation to Karachay-Cherkessia and impede their adaptation to living in the region. The empirical data come from the surveys of the citizens from the four Circassian villages with a significant number of repatriates as well as interviews with the Circassian migrants from Syria who settled in the region.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Ivanov Evgeny