“The war against the Chechen Republic was the beginning of what is happening in Ukraine today. But then, unfortunately, the whole world turned a blind eye to the events that were taking place,” said Akhmed Zakayev, Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, at the International Conference dedicated to the 105th anniversary of the formation of the Highland Republic.
Among the participants of the Conference are leaders of national movements fighting for the liberation of their peoples from the Russian Empire. Other participants and guests of the Conference were leaders of the Crimean Tatar people, members of the Ukrainian Parliament, representatives of the Russian political opposition, international politicians and scholars.
The main topics discussed at the event were the establishment of statehood for the peoples of the North Caucasus and Ukrainian resistance to Russian invaders.
Akhmed Zakayev, Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, also expressed his gratitude to Ukraine for its assistance in holding such meetings: “This shows their responsibility. The responsibility of the whole people, the whole nation. Today it is a political nation that has taken place. And it is ready today to contribute to making the world safer.” Akhmed Zakayev emphasized that the restoration of the statehood of the peoples of the North Caucasus would create a new geopolitical reality: “A free Caucasus will be a buffer zone between the aggressive Russian empire, if it survives, and a free democratic Ukraine. Therefore, it is in the interests of America, Ukraine, Turkey, and all people of good will to help ensure that this project is realized and this state is restored.”.
Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, expressed confidence that Ukraine will restore its territorial integrity: “Ukraine’s state sovereignty will be restored in all occupied territories. No one doubts this. But all of this requires further mobilization of all resources. First and foremost, strengthening and supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine. All this will be achieved with very sensitive sacrifices. But all this will happen.”
Shamil Ablakov, a representative of the Ingush people, emphasized the close cooperation and historical kinship of the various peoples of the North Caucasus: “The success and international recognition of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, its liberation, will give other peoples a chance and opportunity for independence.”
Following the Conference, the participants adopted a Resolution in which, in particular, they strongly condemned Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. The participants appealed to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the parliaments of the European Union to restore historical justice and to immediately recognize the mass extermination of Circassians (Adygeans) by the Russian Empire in the course of its colonial policy in the Caucasus. The peoples and diasporas of the North Caucasus called for increased cooperation to preserve historical memory, traditions and customs, linguistic and religious identity, and to create the preconditions for a joint struggle for rights and freedoms. It was proposed to form an Organizing Committee to prepare and develop a program and prepare for the Third Congress of the Peoples of the North Caucasus.
The Conference also adopted an Appeal to the parliaments and leaders of UN member states to recognize the Chechen people as a nation fighting for its independence.