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The Caucasus people and the Great Patriotic War

On the eve of the Day of Memory and Grief the vice-chairman of the Russian military historical society, Mikhail Myagkov, told Vestnik Kavkaza about the contribution of the Caucasus to the common cause of the Victory and about "missing incidents" relating to the Great Patriotic War period in the history of this region.

Mikhail Myagkov emphasized that he was engaged and continues to deal with this problem, including at archival level. According to him, "the situation which developed in the Caucasus in summer-autumn 1942 still demands very detailed discussion, scientific discussion, an introduction to a direct discourse of new archival documents. For example, the role of Beria who was sent to the Caucasus, the contribution of these or those Caucasian peoples. Even if we look at Chechens, in 1942 when there was a ban in conscription of representatives from Chechnya; nevertheless, when the Germans were approaching the territory of the republic, voluntary national militias were organized. More than 18 thousand Chechens went to serve in the Red Army and heroically defended the Caucasian passes. It can be told about Ingushs, Ossetians, about many Caucasian people who bravely stood on the Caucasian passes. It is they, including those who were behind the German lines, those who knew the mountain trails, terrain, without these people to defend the Caucasus then it would be impossible, no matter how strong an army was there. They, along with fighting divisions of the Red Army, defended these Caucasian regions. This happened in various regions of the Soviet Union, if we speak about about collaboration manifestations. I remember an episode with the 299th Chernigov rifle division, which simply ran away in 1941. 9/10 of these divisions ran away in Augustb1941 at the first clash with the Germans. This happened in Ukraine, in other places. It was in the Caucasus. So it's impossible to say that in the Caucasus something special happened.”

He noted that "we have to emphasize now those missing incidents connected with another repressed people, the Crimean Tatars. Now these people are completely rehabilitated. Somewhere it is revealed, in some publications it was said that collaborators were five Heroes of the Soviet Union – Crimean Tatars, one of them is a Hero twice, his name is Ahmed Hang Sultan. It happened for such a short period. The partisan movement in Crimea would not have been possible if there had been no support from the local population, including from the Crimean Tatars. We have to speak about such missing incidents, emphasize them today. This also plays to our position.”


Vestnik Kavkaza


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