Divisions on a ground

One of my best-kept secrets is an ambition to found an independent state of Circassia, in the north-west Caucasus, along the north-east shore of the Black Sea. This ambition first occurred to me at the age of nine, or perhaps slightly later. I had read, or had read to me, Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” and in my childish confusion, had mistaken the Abyssinian maid (playing on her dulcimer, singing of Mount Abora). I had her confused with a Circassian maiden, taken from another literary source. My geography was vague, especially then, and my race-consciousness was deficient.

Circassian maidens, I had learnt, were the most beautiful in earthly creation (except for Abyssinian maidens?) and while I later encountered only one of them (briefly, in Israel), in her presence I came to believe everything I’d been told.

There was no point in visiting Circassia, however, in the hope of meeting her sisters, as her nation had ceased to be. Her people had been massacred, deported, dispersed, by Russian invaders in the 18th and 19th centuries. This had concluded with the uncommonly brutal “Circassian genocide,” about 1864. It was one of very many barbaric and savage Russian massacres, by which the territories they conquered were depopulated.

It will also make the establishment of my Circassian republic (or better, khanate, or kingdom) more difficult — for the descendants of the one or two millions who once lived there, and spoke the Circassian dialects (from Adyghe in the west, to Kabardian in the east), are reduced to the few interbred with Russians, &c.

Nevertheless, there is a fine territory — green cedarn hills and fertile ground — between Ukraine and the independent state of Georgia (after Georgian “Abhkasia” has been recovered from Vladimir Putin’s military monkeys). For the Russians seem only to have murdered 90 percent of the inhabitants of Circassia, missing a few strays.

I should think the people of both Ukraine and the Caucasus could sleep easier if Russian access to the Black Sea was permanently withdrawn.

Estonian women are also extraordinarily beautiful, and many have survived Russian incursions to the present day. They are among the speakers of the Finnic languages, and my projects include the recovery of Karelia (which Stalin took), and the Kola peninsula (home for the peaceful Lapps). But this is not to forget the land immediately north of (Old Slavonic) Novgorod, centred on “Sankt-Petersburg” since 1703, by the architectural enterprise of Tsar Peter the Great. It is in many respects a gracious city, and I wouldn’t want harm to come to it.

But the surrounding countryside was occupied by Ingrians — another Finnic-speaking people — before another Russian genocide. The re-establishment of an Ingrian nation (or call it, Izhorian, if you prefer) would add another to the attractive collection of wee Baltic states. My proposed Free State of K√∂nigsberg (replacing the Kaliningrad oblast) would shoo Russia away from its last ice-free winter port.

I believe Winston Churchill said, at the end of World War II, that he loved Germanies so well that he wanted as many as possible. I have something of the same sentiment today: there can’t be enough ex-Russian states for me. To be practical, I count some eighty-five states into which Mother Russia could dissolve, plus whatever we find under the ice in Siberia.