Sunday, January 26, 2014

The lost country of Circassia

Circassia (green) late 18th century (source: Wikipedia)

Circassia is a historical country in the North Caucasus and along the shore of the Black Sea. It is the ancestral homeland of the Circassians. One of the main cities is Sochi, host of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

In the 19th century, in the course of the Russian conquest of the Caucasus during and after the Russian–Circassian War (1763–1864), 95% of the Circassians were forcefully relocated from their native lands (the Circassian Diaspora). More than half of the people in exile died of hunger or illness within a year. The Circassians consider this the Circassian Genocide.

Russian conquest of the Caucasus (found on

In 1838, during the Russian–Circassian War, the Russians founded a fort at the mouth of the Sochi River, as part of a chain of seventeen fortifications along the Black Sea coastal line, set up to protect the area from recurring Circassian resistance. This fort would eventually evolve into the city of Sochi. The Olympic skiing will take place at at the site of the last major battle in this war.

Sochi with some of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games facilities 

next episode: St. Mary


  1. I bet you have been inspired by the recent documentary of Jelle Brandt Corstius. If not the next one is on NL2, Feb. 2, 8.15 PM.

    1. I have taped it, I haven't watch it yet. His previous documentaries about Russia were very good. I'm following the Caucasus since the start of the Chechen revolt in 1990. Also, when you're in Sochi, Stalingrad and the Crimea are relatively nearby, it is an interesting place full of history.

  2. I have to confess, that You made me remember a thing that I had almost forgotten.
    All the best, Rob, and thank You.

  3. Gripping stuff, this history hasn't gotten any play with all the issues surrounding this Olympics, with gay rights, terrorism, troubled infrastructure, and so on.


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