This from the New York Times Idea of the Day blog. As if the Sochi Olympics didn’t already have enough problems:
Not enough sports-related international tension in the air for you, with the World Cup in full swing? Look no further than Open Democracy, where Sufian Zhemukhov writes of controversy quietly building over Russia’s 2014 Winter Olympics in the former Circassian capital, Sochi.
Circassians abroad are hoping that Georgia, in the wake of its 2008 war with Russia, will officially recognize what they call the Circassian genocide: the Russian deportation of Circassians in the 1860s at the end of the long Caucasus wars — a forced exile to the former Ottoman Empire said to have killed hundreds of thousands. Mr. Zhemukhov writes:
It would put Russia in a difficult position: holding its Olympics in a land of a genocide newly recognized by a U.N. member state. It could become a thorn in Russia’s side in the same way that the recognition of the Armenian genocide has been a source of great irritation to Turkey.
And it might remind the world that horrors of the 20th century have a forebear in the 19th. [Open Democracy, Circassian World]