Ruslan Kuchmezov at the memorial in the village of Sautu. Photo courtesy of Ruslan Kuchmezov

08 March 2024, 19:37

Unofficial events become tradition to commemorate victims of deportation of Balkars

Balkar activists applied to hold a rally in memory of the victims of deportation, but the authorities invited them to join and take part in events of the official Remembrance Day. On that day, there is a tradition in the republic to visit graves of the relatives who survived the deportation, and elders tell the younger generation about their experiences during the deportation, residents of Kabardino-Balkaria say.

The operation to evict the Balkars took place in Kabardino-Balkaria on March 8, 1944. The Balkars were not allowed to return to their homeland until 1957.

On March 8, in Nalchik, the main event – a rally in memory of the victims of the deportation – will be held at the Memorial to the victims of repression of the Balkar people in the Dolinsk residential microdistrict, reports Tamara Gerieva, the executive director of the public organization “Council of Elders of the Balkar People”.

Marziyat Kholaeva, a resident of the village of Khasanya, stated that on March 6, she delivered a speech at school, where she shared her memories of the years during the deportation. At home, the Balkars prefer to celebrate the International Women’s Day rather than remember the tragedy, especially since there are not so many people left alive who survived the deportation.

Activist Ruslan Kuchmezov said that on March 8, he would visit the graves of his relatives who survived the deportation. “Unfortunately, the humankind does not draw any conclusions from its negative history,” the activist noted.

The “Caucasian Knot” has also reported that on March 5, on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the deportation, Ingush elders recorded a video message to the Balkars.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 7, 2024 at 12:59 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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