Talk:Russo-Circassian War

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Former featured article Russo-Circassian War is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on July 6, 2008.


I am in the process of contacting a historian who is an expert on the subject, and inviting them to have a look at and hopefully help edit this article. SGGH 14:34, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Have contacted 2 authors of articles from which this articles information is drawn. SGGH 20:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Alas, no response. SGGH 17:38, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
There is a lot of incorrectness in the artical. Circassian War = Caucasian War that i the same event. It is extremely wrong to call it Circassian War.
Not according to my sources, the caucasian war was a much larger area and began halfway through the hostilities between circassia and russia specifically. The occupation of circassia began about 60 years prior to the caucasian war, but became part of it after the latter began. Please sign your posts. SGGH 12:07, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
also please see the peer review (linked to above) where this issue was discussed SGGH 12:09, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Ok, i see your point. But in that case, the article should be rewritten. At least the box with the Leaders should be, because Imam Shamil was a Caucasian Leader, not Circassian, who were lead by Muhammad-Emin (An ethnic Chechen Naib). Almansur.shishan 01:41, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

In the (MAJOR) Leaders bar, should be Sheih Mansur (first leader to unite Caucasians), Gazi Muhammad (First Imam), Imam Shamil (His Successor), Muhammad Emin(Naib of Circassians), Baysangur Benoevskiy.

Also a list of Naibs could be introduced.

Please sign your posts SGGH 07:33, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

GA nomination[edit]

The Good article nomination has passed but please expand the references that is all I ask, cheers. Lakers 04:33, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Shenfield Refs[edit]

There are several separate refs to Shenfield, but without page nos. You may wish to consider either adding the individual page nos, or using ref name=" " to make them a single ref. Winklethorpe (talk) 20:57, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

It is one long article with no pages numbers, but i will ref name them (probably tomorrow at this rate) SGGH 21:06, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I did it, didn't take as long as I expected. I think I have them all. SGGH 21:14, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
OK. If it's an article, you may wish to include the journal/magazine/etc it was published in in the reference, otherwise others will find it difficult to track down.
In the references section, you've created "printed" and "website" headings, and done 2 columns. On my screen (and others may vary), my first reaction was that it looks like "printed" is Annual Register to Baddeley, and websites is "A collection of cited reports" onwards, including Butkov to Shenfield. Maybe you can persuade wiki to put a blank line or something between the two, so it's clear that each section splits over 2 columns? A minor note: how about a "see also" section. Winklethorpe (talk) 08:00, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not 100% sure with the html coding but i will try a couple of div's between the two. I will also find where the article was published for you. I have a feeling there is a website link that has it on also, if that is the case I'll move it to the website section. SGGH 08:52, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Done! SGGH 08:58, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Minor detail (River Sochi)[edit]

"Russian forces engaged the Circassian army in the estuary of River Sochi"

Is that the same river as Mzymta River, the main river flowing through Sochi? Shanes 03:16, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

I will recheck the sources, but it seems plausible. SGGH 07:32, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
No, Sochi and Mzymta are two different rivers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:02, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Image Image:Russian-Circassian-War.jpg description[edit]

Can the image Image:Russian-Circassian-War.jpg be researched and more information provided in regards to the circumstances surrounding its creation? Maybe during the research a superior quality image can be found as well since it is in the public domain. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:32, 5 May 2007 (UTC).
Also, could someone confirm the copyright status of the Circassian Warrior image? It is claimed to be public domain art of someone who died 100 years ago. However, there are no references to support this claim. It is taken from a web site that displays it in Photo (sic!) Gallery section and makes no reference about its age. The same gallery contains some obviously modern art. --EugeneK (talk) 01:29, 7 July 2008 (UTC)


I was asked to list some specific objections, so here they are.

1. Most of the article is based upon the only source, "", which is not an academic source, to put it mildly. Excuse me for characterising it as anti-Russian drivel on the par with For instance, Mr. Kadir Natho claims that exactly 43237 Circassians were "killed or driven away" between 1716 and 1773. Did they hold a census to determine the exact figure of casualties, at the time when even the exact population of Great Britain was uncertain? This is pretty ridiculous. Preference for such "sources" explains the fiercely pro-Circassian perspective of the article. I suggest to remove this particular "source" from the article, if it is to retain a measure of credibility.

2. The article is awfully POV and reads like a banal exercise in Russia-bashing. The lead is heavy with anti-Russian rhetoric, talking about "occupation forces" and "forced expulsion".

3. Why Hadji Murad and Imam Shamil are called commanders of the Circassians? This claim needs to be substantiated.

4. "With some historians citing that up to 4,000,000 civilians perished as a result of the exodus". This is a very strong claim for the lead. I see no need to advertise the inflated figures at the beginning of the article. Why not say: "With some historians citing that no people perished directly as a result of the exodus". What is to "perish as a result of the exodus"? This is a very rare form of lethal disease. - fixed

5. What is "Princedom of Tamatarkha"? What is "Circassian Kasogia"? Since you use the language of East Slavic chronicles, why to talk about "invasion"? Why do you need to mention the 1022 "invasion" between the names of Yermolov (19th century) and Ivan the Terrible (16th century)?

6. It is pathetic to classify an obscure Muslim journal published in Amman as "a greater number of historians", especially as Russian historiography is obviously not taken into account by the authors of this page.

Please don't use terms like 'pathetic'. If you disagree, then fine, and in this case you are right it is very difficult to find sources on this topic, however going out of your way to be derogatory is unacceptable. Thank you. SGGH speak! 13:08, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

7. Is there no better way to "illustrate" Russian cruelty towards poor innocent Circassians than to refer to the fall of Derbend in Persia during the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813)? Was Azerbaijan (of which Derbend is a historical province) also settled by Circassians at that time?

8. Should we give as much credit to the heavily POV terms like "slaughter" which the text is liberally peppered with? Even in this context, such gems of carefully chosen POV language stand out: "“This time, I am limiting myself on this. In the future, I will have no mercy for the guilty brigands; their villages will be destroyed, properties taken, wives and children will be slaughtered."

But not using the term slaughtered would be mis-quoting... SGGH speak! 14:46, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

9. Was it a crime for Yermolov to free "the much needed peasant work forces" of "the rebellious lords" or "to encourage the Ingushs and Taugur tribes, who had previously been subjugated by the Circassians, to rise up"? As much of the article is an elaborate exercise in Russophobia, these phrases seem to add to the list of Russian crimes against Circassia's "rebellious lords".

I don't understand what you mean here. The article doesn't say it was a crime, it says that Yermolov freed the workers of these people to discourage them from uprising against the Russian forces. I don't think that statement is an exercise in Russophobia... please explain SGGH speak! 14:46, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

10. Why should a map of modern Russia (rather than the Russian Empire) be used in the text to illustrate the extent of the conflict?

11. The article lack basic wikification. The key points such as Derbent and Anapa are not wikilinked. This leads to absurd situations, notably the third passage of "Invasion of western Circassia" section, where they confuse two different sieges of Anapa, which happened during Russo-Turkish War (1806–1812) and Russo-Turkish War (1828–1829) (the authors of the article fail to distinguish between these conflicts).

12. The religious background of the conflict is so obfuscated that a casual reader may not understand what "holy war" which is supposed to "draw support from other nations" stands for. This is, basically, the same kind of war that Al-Qaeda now leads. The Russo-Circassian conflict was just one stage in the ancient conflict of Christianity and Islam. If enough prominence is given to the "foreign support" to Circassians, then perhaps we shall understand why "Circassia and Turkey united in resisting the Russians", which remains inexplicable in the current version of the article.

13. There is a passing mention of the brave mountaineers being "portrayed by Russian propaganda as savages in a possible attempt to curry favour from the international community". Certainly the Circassian heroine of Pushkin's "Prisoner of the Caucasus" conforms to the "noble savage" type, but to describe it as propaganda?? Fortunately, the authors of the article ignore the existence of this signal masterpiece. Did Russia really need to "curry favour from the international community"? There was no Freedom House and United Nations at that time. Who were illiterate Muslim mountain-dwellers but "savages" for a British lord of the Victorian period? Was there a fitter description of them?

14. There is no proportion in the article. After very brief description of the early stages of the conflict (the Cossacks resettled from Ukraine are briefly mentioned as "Russian occupation forces", although they did not speak Russian) - we suddenly plunge into minute detail during description of the clashes in the estuary of the Sochi river in 1838. It's not clear why this minor engagement should be given so much prominence: "it was not until 5.00 in the afternoon that the Circassians were beaten back... the landing had begun at 10.00 that morning...", etc.

Well the Sochi river is a good example of a military upset, one of the few that Russia seemed to have, but i was torn as to what kind of things to include to give the article some detail. Again a lack of NPOV sources. SGGH speak! 14:46, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

15. Who is "Russian Tsesarevich Alexander III of Russia"? It's just like speaking about "British Prince of Wales Charles III of Great Britain". Fixed SGGH speak! 13:11, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

16. Throughout the article, we are told that the Circissians were "forced" to flee. For instance: "Yevdokimov was tasked with forcing the remaining Circassian inhabitants to relocate outside of the region". This is a very strange turn of phrase. How were they "forced" to depart? Why did the Abkhazi population choose to remain in situ, as did the Chechens? "The remaining Ubykhs were killed or forced to flee into the Ottoman Empire". All of them were killed? For what I know, only 52 families of the Ubykhs remained in Russia after the voluntary "exodus". Nobody "killed" or "slaughered" them; they survived in peace well into the 20th century.

Well then please alter the article and cite what you know. I don't know it, and I can't find anything about it despite working on this article since October. SGGH speak! 14:46, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

17. The last passage indicates the level of scholarship involved into writing the article. "According to historians who support the concept of a Circassian genocide..." - but what about the opposite point of view? It is not mentioned in the article even once. According to the 2002 Russian census, there are 713,000 Circassians living in Russia. Therefore the claim that 90% of them live abroad may be sourced only by such books as "The Circassians: A Forgotten Genocide?". Oh, but the greatest suprise comes with the last sentence: "the remaining Circassians (the Abkhaz tribes)". So Abkhazia was also involved into the war and the Abkhazi are just one "tribe" of Great Circassia? This is a whole new perspective on the war!

18. No attempt is made to analyze why the conflict dragged for over a century (if it really did, which is a moot point). What about the brutal tactics used by mountaineers? Have you ever heard about that? Were all those stories about hostage-taking real or just another invention of "Russian propaganda"? This needs to be addressed.

Again, I will not accept that kind of personal attack. You need to keep your anger in check before you start chucking accusations like that around. You can delist the article, re-write all you want, if its for the better of wikipedia then I'm all for it, but again I won't be attacked in such an aggressive way. SGGH speak! 13:11, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

19. Things should be placed in comparative perspective. Let's compare the colonisation of the Northern Caucasus by Russians to the colonisation of the Northern America by the English. Let's compare the numbers of indigenous people who "perished" as a result, etc. This conflict was not a unique episode in 19th-century history, as you probably know. As there are no parallels presented, it looks like another (and rather trivial) Black legend.

20. Why is 1763 selected as a start of war? It's a year when Russians built the fortress of Mozdok, which is not in itself an act of war. The actual warefare started in June 1765 with the Circassian forces making a sneak attack on Mozdok. Source:[[1]]

I hope to find time to work on the article this weekend. --Ghirla-трёп- 18:06, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I have made points alongside yours in a few places. You have to keep in mind that I don't know very much about the topic, I have little to no access to any sources, and the article had, since October, had an expert needed tag on it. It is a shame you have only noticed the article now, instead of when it was being built, but I did my best with what I had to work with I hope you appreciate that. SGGH speak! 14:46, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Having spent much of the last three days copy editing and then amending the article, doing research, and having vehemently voiced my amazement (separate heading below) that this article was awarded Featured status, it's time to reply to these objections and to the POV tag placed the day the article was Featured. In summary: (1) I take many of the specific objections claiming ignorance of history, and I believe (2) the article should present the traditional Russian side of the story; but (3) I reject what I consider the most serious objection, the insistence that the war did *not* constitute invasion and occupation by Russia; (4) the miscreant user who inserted the POV without even logging in ignored the fact that the article has remedied the objection that it is based largely on a single, special interest source; (5) this person objecting in such detail could all along have edited the article simply by inserting translated portions from the corresponding article in ru.wikipedia. Hurmata (talk) 08:07, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Invasion, occupation, expulsion[edit]

In 1941-44, the Nazis *invaded* and *occupied* the Soviet Union, and for 900 or so days they did try to starve the city of Leningrad into surrender, and over three years of occupation they did kill millions of Soviet civilians. Nobody objects that this description using "invasion" and "occupation" is "hard on the Nazis, biased", and the reaction of almost anyone (Russian or not) to any such objection would be impatience. Russian nationalists, please look at Russian Wikipedia's own article on this Russo-Circassian War, [2] ("Caucasian War"). Here is what the infobox there says: Территориальные изменения: присоединение Кавказа к России -- "territorial change: annexation of the Caucasus to Russia". The word присоединение equates with the German anschluss which describes making a telephone connection and which is also the term in German for the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938 (and many English speaking people of the generation that fought in World War II know this word anschluss to describe the annexation of Austria). Browsing the Russian Wikipedia article, one sees it is richly illustrated with photos of commemorative medals struck between 1839 and 1870 to celebrate respective Russian victories like "storming of Akhul'go 22 Aug 1839" and "subjugation [покорение] of the western Caucasus 1859-1864". The point being, this article glorifies the Russian conduct, while calling it annexation. And as for Objection No. 16, YES, at the end of the war the Russians expelled virtually the entire Circassian people, and the Ubykhs. (So what if not the Chechens too?) As documented by historians such as Shenfield (cited in the en.wikipedia article), the Russians gave them a choice of where to be expelled to: Turkey or the interior of Russia. The vast majority chose Turkey, and hundreds of thousands perished en route and after arrival. Truly, this could have been a model for the Serbians expelling all the ethnic Albanians from Kosovo 140 later. (BTW, I just saw on the Web that this very word, присоединение [annexation], is a hot political issue now in the administrative remnant of Circassia, the Adygey Autonomous Oblast (Adygeya), which has been the designated homeland of the Circassians left in Russia since Soviet times. Well, the Adygey government objects to a proposal to *annex* Adygeya to a neighboring province.) Hurmata (talk) 08:07, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Replies to other objections from 17 May 2008[edit]

I note that these days some Russians are claiming the dates 1817-1864 for what is called simply the "Caucasian War". I wonder if 1817 was the start year the Russians used to claim a century ago. The contemporary Russian military historian, Vasilii A. Potto, in the first volume of his five volume history of the "Caucasian War", had two or three chapters on the 1700s; but I don't know whether he regarded these war periods as the start of the war that would end in 1864.

Objection No. 3, "why is Imam Shamil called a commander of the Circassians?" Hey guy, tell us why the ru.wikipedia article (cited above) has a section on him by name and a big painting of him? No. 12. The invocation of holy war is bogus. The obvious truth is that the Circassians simply hoped to get help from whoever would help them. Even if the word "jihad" was used, Russia at that time was in no danger. The Muslims in that part of the world at that time were weak, Russia at that point had been thrashing the Ottoman Empire for most of the preceding 100 years. Your invocation of Al-Qaeda is manipulative nonsense. No. 19. You bring up the decimation of the Native Americans in the name of "comparative perspective"? That's an ignorant move!! We Americans have long (post 1970) recognized the genocide of the Native Americans perpetrated by our white ancestors. Virtually the only Native peoples who weren't exterminated were those contacted last in the history of the settling of America. Only one tribe, the Navajo, is of appreciable size. The second largest ethnos -- really a group of up to six ethnoses -- the Sioux, numbers only 15,000 to 20,000. The vast majority of original Native peoples have lost their culture, especially their languages, and most of the languages that aren't dead yet will be in 50 more years. If your feelings have been hurt because you thought Russia was being treated as a special case, you *have misunderstood*. Stop the self pity -- you talk as if the world has forgotten what the Nazis did to the Jews. Hurmata (talk) 08:07, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Not only is there Germany's genocide of the Jews, but in 1847-1848, England's genocide against the Irish and in 1915, Turkey's genocide against the Armenians. As is now accepted without controversy, when the potato crop, which the Irish subsisted on, failed, Ireland continued to export grain. The British were refusing to divert locally grown grain to feed the starving Irish. One million died of hunger and over the next 10 to 20 years, one million more emigrated. Prime Minister Tony Blair officially apologized to the Irish people on behalf of Britain for this enforced starvation. Later, in 1915, the Ottomans slaughtered -- there's that word again -- 1.5 million Armenians. The Turks still deny it. Hurmata (talk) 11:26, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Circassian Role in the Armenian Genocide[edit]

This is another aspect of this problem totally and completely ignored by this piece. The Cherkess took vengeance on Ottoman Christians and helped feed demands for equality and national self determination. They also played a major role in destroying Armenian communities and settling in wherever they could in Armenian Lands in the Eastern districts of the Ottoman Empire. This article is typical of British post-Crimean war Russophobia which is sadly ongoing today. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:01, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Making the victims the criminals... JUST Outrageous! Circassians weren't settled in Eastern Turkey (Russia explicitly demanded they settle far from the Russo-Ottoman border. There were very few Circassians living in Armenia at the time. Nevertheless it is true that some local Circassians were used by Ottoman Empire. By the same standards we have to hold Armenians accountable for Circassian Genocide. There were many Armenian officers and soldiers who served in Russian Army. Perhaps we should blame Bulgaria for the Jewish Genocide as well while we are at it! Ridiculous! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nesij (talkcontribs) 00:29, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

this articles topic has no connection about armenian genocide. Please armenian nationalists stop showing your inferiority complex and stop writing about our history — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Would all editors (including one off forum comment IPs) please take note of the fact that this is an article talk page, not a soapbox. Please stop treating it as one. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 03:57, 27 May 2016 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Shouldn't it be the Russo-Circassian War? Gatoclass 07:03, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

There are references to the term Russo-Circassian War however Russian-Circassian seems to be the more predominant, it's a little like English-French wars or Anglo-Frank wars, I think. SGGH speak! 12:01, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I think that in that war NOT only circassians fought against Russian empire but also abkhazians, oubykhs, chechenian people and all Caucasus. The article should be renamed into Russian-Caucasian war. --Ketsba (talk) 11:23, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

More objections[edit]

The title of the entry should be changed to Russian-Circassian Wars: there was not a continuous war, rather a series of related wars fought over the course of a century. The start of the "Previous hostilites" section is laughable. If I go and read the entry for Napoleonic Wars, would I expect to see a reference to French-English "previous hostilities" at the Battle of Hastings? And why has the fact that the territory of the Caucasus formed part of the Ottoman Empire been entirely ommitted (as is the fact that most of the wars were fought within the context of a wider conflict between Russia and the Ottoman Empire)? Meowy 19:29, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Be Bold SGGH speak! 11:51, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Caucasus War[edit]

I notice this page is huge compared to the page of the Caucasus War, even though it only details a part of the Caucasus War. Commanders like Sheikh Mansur did fight in the Caucasus War but not in Circassia I think. Same as Imam Shamil who was from Dagestan. Shouldn't a lot of this be integrated into the Caucasus War page? - PietervHuis (talk) 17:39, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

It is the same war if I understand correctly. Why do we have two different articles?Biophys (talk) 01:22, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Prince Sviatoslav[edit]

It seems curious to find out from this article that Prince Sviatoslav (1027-1076), invaded Circassia in 985. Maybe somebody can check the sources and correct this error. The citation needed tag from the lead should be removed also. --Eurocopter (talk) 09:57, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

If talking about the particular 19th century war, no mention to a conflict in 985 must be made, unless directly related to the main topic of the article. In the summary of this entry it is stated that The Russian–Circassian conflict began with the initial arrival of Russian occupation forces in 1863. . There is also a moderate anti-russian bias in this article. Syats (talk) 14:58, 6 July 2008 (UTC)


Why do we have a tag of "unreliable source" and "dubious source" in the first and second paragraphs of the first section of the front-page featured article? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 10:16, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I would re-phrase this question: why does an article with unreliable and dubious sources make it to the front page?EugeneK (talk) 16:13, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

The tags were probably added today. --Apoc2400 (talk) 22:41, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

The problem is not that the tags were added, but that an inferior quality article made it to the front page.EugeneK (talk) 01:36, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Russian–Circassian vs. Russian-Circassian[edit]

The en-dash here looks very strange to me. Is it our style to use such a long dash instead of a hyphen? Normally not a big deal, but it is today's featured article. --Cam (talk) 15:08, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Lots of copy editing done by me. How did this article get awarded Featured Article status?[edit]

There was a fair amount of bad English in it. The prose style was atrocious: sentences imitate a popular, but inferior academic style of run-on sentences structured as a single independent clause to which are appended many gerundial phrases and prepositional phrases. The wording was often fussy and cowardly (e.g., "brought about questions of genocide" -- no, according to sources *cited in the article*, the advocates have gone much further, they already have declared genocide took place and they have created a movement to demand international recognition of this claim). The wording was often verbose and thus unclear. There were some wrong facts: e.g., saying one aim of making war on Persia was to "secure trade routes to Syria". But Syria belonged to the Ottoman Empire, not to Persia, and Syria has Mediterranean ports, so Russian merchant ships could already sail to Syria from the Black Sea, and Russians could already travel there overland through Turkey. Besides, what did Syria have to offer Russia that was so good it was worth a war? There was even a little bit of internal inconsistency, like putting material about the conquest of eastern Circassia in the section, "Forays into western Circassia". Writing "3,000,000" and "4,000,000" instead of "three million" and "four million" -- boneheaded! Hurmata (talk) 20:02, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

I checked the article by "Isam Hatk" in the "Journal Al-Waha-Oasis", 1992, vol. 51. I judge it to be an unreliable source, so I have deleted its use as a source for a statement in the article. I have retained it as further reading because it might provide research clues; some of its information might be verifiable through other sources. I have two objections to this source. First, the prose is bad: broken English, lack of sobriety and intelligence. Second, I cannot verify the existence of the publication, let alone its identify. I searched in vain with Google Scholar, plain Google, Melvyl (global University of California), and American University of Beirut library catalog. There are other journals with the title Oasis, the title Waha(t), the title Oasis-Al-Waha, and even Al-Waha-Oasis, but the last published only issue no. 4 in 1996, if I recall correctly. Hurmata (talk) 04:51, 7 July 2008 (UTC)


While I understand the desire to remove POV language I think this can go sometimes too far. Removing every instance of "occupation" or "invasion" doesn't make this article better just like removing some words would not make articles about Armenians or Jews genocide better. There are some objective situations in which "invasion" and "occupation" are accurate and to me from what I've read and from sources this seems to be the situation here. What it is if not "invasion", were Russians invited there? Were they returning to previously owned lands? I fail to understand how "invasion" is POV in this context what are the non-POV words "Russian stroll in Circassia"? -- man with one red shoe (talk) 00:04, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the above comment. But you don't just remove a POV tag as soon as it's inserted, with no justification beyond baldly declaring "there's no need for this". NOW you're offering an explanation of why there's no need for it. I think that the complaints about saying "invasion" and "occuptation" are the most fundamental objections that have been raised to this article. (Objections have been presented "Objections" above.) I find them to be arrogant and in bad faith -- in 1763, the North Caucasus (or the great bulk of it at least) did not belong to Russia and never had. So for the Russian army to enter and stay was invasion and occupation, and there's no "other side of the debate" to that. On the other hand, many of the other substantive objections have merit, in my view. By "substantive" I mean regarding facts and analysis, as opposed to the quality of the wording and organization. I have pointed out in the section I created that the wording and organization were awful. I myself today spent hours cleaning up the citations. That done, I have started in on the stubstance. Nearly all the objections were raised in May. After they have been addressed, I would advocate removing the POV tag. I feel there was little POV in this to begin with. I deleted some text I judged to be POV and if there's any more, we can delete it without much effort. Hurmata (talk) 05:03, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Dubious items that are being found since Featured Article award[edit]

Place names[edit]

The article claimed that at one point in time, the Russians established forts at three places in eastern Circassia: "Tumen, Sunja, Andreevo". "Sunja" turned out to be a Francophone spelling of Sunzha. I cannot verify the existence of the other two place names *in the northern Caucasus*. OK, maybe that's because they existed there 250 years ago but no longer. Anyway, Google maps returns four Andreevos in Russia. They're all in the interior of Russia, three near Moscow and the other in the Urals. Even a search for 'Andreevo' in Cyrillic alphabet in Russian Google turns up only three hits, and one of them is for a Bulgarian location. As for 'Tumen', Russia has a big city, Tyumen. Google Maps turns up one Tumen' , and it's in Ukraine, nowhere near the north Caucasus. Hurmata (talk) 06:08, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

The source bylined Kadir Natho[edit]

The article at is an unreliable source both on its face and upon inspection of its content. The article itself cites no sources! That alone renders it unacceptable as a source! As for bibliographic information *about* the Natho article, the Web site where it appears provides no information at all, contrary to many of the other articles on the "ethnic cleansing" of the Circassians published by this Web site. This suggests that the article might have been composed expressly for the Web site. Be that as it may, there is no evidence that the article meets the Wikipedia policy of having originally been published in a publication that exercises editorial control. The only information given about the author is a link that follows his name to a Circassian advocacy organization. We are not told anything about Natho's affiliation to that organization.

After a week of researching the topic of the Circassian expulsion and the Russian conquest of the north Caucasus, I find two passages in the article to be especially objectionable. Natho claims that already in the 1830s, 90 percent of the Kabardians -- "315,000" -- were slaughtered by the Russians. This is a preposterously high figure for many reasons. For the period before the 20th century I have never heard of a rapid genocide of comparable scale. The Russians would have had no motivation to kill on this scale -- even in the massacres and expulsions of the 1860s, most of the population was expelled, not slaughtered, and most of the deaths were due to the adversities of the exodus (disease and ships sinking). The Kabardians were not the most dogged or fiercest opponents among the Circassians. The idea of defeating resistance to Russian conquest by simply expelling ethnic groups was not developed until 1857, when a Russian officer at the front, Dmitry Miliutin, proposed it in a memo sent to the capital. (Charles King 2007). Take a moment to compare 315,000 to the tolls of 20th century genocides. Rwanda, ca. 500,000. Bosnia, ca. 250,000. Armenians, ca. 1.5 million in fourth months. Preposterous that the Russians would have killed that many, especially in just one tenth or so of the north Caucasus. And why would they do it there and not in neighboring Chechnya and Dagestan, where the conquest was in full swing in the same decade (in fact 1817-1840?)

The second passage comes earlier in the article; it is the description of an expedition along the Kuban River in 1711. It is portrayed as what is known in military practice as a punitive expedition. Supposedly, the Russians, under the command of Apraksin, killed around 25,000 Circassians and drove off hundreds of thousand of head of livestock. First of all, in the version that was awarded featured article, the 'p' was left out of Apraksin, and as a result it took me a day or two to find out who he was. The casualty figures of humans and livestock are so precise they must be bogus. The Russians had no motive to kill so many civilians.

Worst of all, the description is an extreme distortion of an actual event that didn't involve Circassians. The Kuban expedition of Aug-Sept. 1711 was an event of the Russo-Turkish war of ca. 1711-1712 (references don't even agree on the dates of this particular Russo-Turkish war) -- the article doesn't mention the occurrence of this particular war. It was intended to distract the Crimean khanate, which was one of Russia's foes in the main theater of the War, coastal Rumania (see Prut campaign). Parts of Circassia were vassals of the Crimean khanate. Sources found through Russian Google describe that the Kuban expedition resulted in the capture or killing of tens of thousands of -- not Circassians, but Nogais and Tatars. (These are two Turkic ethicities.) The Crimean khanate was ruled by an ethnic group known as the Crimean Tatars. Now, it *is* a historical fact that over centuries, the Russians overbroadly applied the name "Tatar", and inconsistently to boot. For Russians, Tatar sometimes meant any person speaking one of the Turkic languages, sometimes any Muslim in Russia, the Caucasus, or Siberia, sometimes any inhabitant of the Caucasus. Nevertheless, there is good evidence that the casualties of the Kuban expedition were soldiers who were not Circassian. (It would make little sense for the chronicler to have been so precise as to mention Nogais, who like the Tatars *are* Turkic, then use Tatar to mean Circassian.) On top of this, I already mentioned, we should not believe that somebody counted the number of sheep and cattle driven off (if such things even happened) down to the thousands or tens of thousands. Finally, of course, we are offered no sources by which to confirm this report.

Here is a minor factual point found in Natho that cannot be verified by Googling in English or Russian: the name "A. A. Gaspari". Natho claims that "in 1904" one "A. A. Gaspari" claimed that the war against the Circassians started in 1817. Again, the publication where this Gaspari said this is not cited in the least. Googling in either English or Russian turns up no "A. A. Gaspari", although it turns up a handful of hits by other Gasparis, including an A. Gaspari from around 1904, but what he wrote about was Italian art. Hurmata (talk) 07:48, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

This is horrible...[edit]

How again, did this article get to be on the main page? Surely, a better one could've been chosen from the backlog. This article is much too cluttered with photographs, and worse, the neutrality is disputed. Not to mention all the copyediting that had to be done. --Pwnage8 (talk) 18:28, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree. As soon as I read that it started with Peter the Great in 1763, the article lost all credibility. Peter died in 1725. The rest of the article is no better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to rename ("move") this article[edit]

Ever since the article achieved Featured Article at the beginning of July 2008, I have been doing a lot of research on its topics. I have found that historians do not recognize such an entity as "the Russo-Circassian War" (of course "RussIAN-Circassian" is improper English). There are many Russo- wars: Russo-Japanese, numerous Russo-Persian, many Russo-Turkish. The notion of "Russo-Circassian War" seems to have been invented by Circassian nationalists like the one who wrote the article that was formerly the basis for this Wikipedia article. Now, don't misunderstand. There *was* warfare in Circassia, and there *was* a protracted Russian conquest of Circassia. But there was not a single war from 1763-1864, or at least not one that Russian history historians recognize -- and Wikipedia doesn't do original research, so we can't define new wars. Another point obscured by the article is that Circassia was just one theater in a Russian conquest of the entire Caucasus. That's were the nationalisticism comes in: in the history of the Circassian people, there is a module, "Russian expansionism". Paradoxically, however, the article as it was three weeks ago, before I got to it, also was confused between two of the theaters, the northwestern and the northeastern. The northeastern warfare from about 1835 to 1859 featured the leader Shamil. Although the article's *text* had little to say about him, there were two big illustrations having to do with him. Probably put in to increase the number of illustrations. Shamil was irrelevant to the conquest of *Circassia*.

Therefore, I propose to rename this article "Russian conquest of Circassia". For the long term, we need to think about a "Russian conquest of the north Caucasus" and/or "Russian conquest of the Caucasus". What do other people think? Hurmata (talk) 07:08, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Oops, I hit Save Page too soon. There's a problem: there already exists an article, Caucasian_War, which covers 1817-1864. The two articles need to be coedited. There could well be a place for our article: it could be about Circassia, an expansion of part of Caucasian_War. Hurmata (talk) 07:16, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to merge this article with Caucasian_War[edit]

Caucasian_War is just a stub now. We could merge the two articles. That's what I propose to do now instead of the immediate preceding proposal for renaming. Comments? Hurmata (talk) 07:22, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

I support that. Grey Fox (talk) 20:51, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

It's great there's Russian–Circassian War page on Wiki. Saying there was no war between Russia and Circassia, but rather conquest, is absurd. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:17, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
  2. It is not clear what the neutrality issue is, and no satisfactory explanation has been given
  3. In the absence of any discussion, or if the discussion has become dormant.

Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 13:44, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Amjad Jaimoukha[edit]

Amjad Jaimoukha, based, I believe, in Amman, Jordan, is a widely recognized authority for this article, yet I see no reference to him here. He has written copiously on the North Caucasus, its history and culture, including specific works on the Chechens and the Circassians. His works are widely referenced on Wiki. Likewise B.George Hewitt (SOAS, Univ. of London) whose specialisms are Abkhazia and Georgia. There is a Wiki article on Jaimoukha - he should at least be cross-referenced here. Geoff Powers (talk) 17:55, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

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