CALVARY OF TEREK COSSACKDOM
One would find very few ethnic groups, tribes or nations to whom relentless and deliberate annihilation tactics were ever applied. Unfortunately, such fate was meted out to the Terek Cossackdom. Every THIRD Cossack in nineteen-twenties and thirties of the last century was KILLED. Horrible fate engulfed Cossack families as well. They were simply shot... regardless of their sex or age - without any court judgments or any due (?) process, - those that remained alive were simply run off from their habitats...
The 24th of March is an official Memorial Day of the Terek Cossackdom (although the Great Council of Terek Cossacks officially announced that the memory of Terek Cossack genocide will be observed annually on April 17th).
Immediately upon 'October' events in 1917, an anti-Cossack block of Chechens and Ingush tribes affiliated themselves with the Bolsheviks. The revolutionary committees portended themselves as conquerors and initiated Cossack genocide - hundreds of people were executed daily, - men, women, old people and children.
Three months, after the decision of the 'people commissars' of the so-called Terek Soviet Republic, adapted in May of 1918, to eliminate Cossacks and their settlements on the "Sunzha Line", the Bolsheviks organized raids of the Ingush bands on AKI-YOURT, SUNSHA, TARSK settlements as well as TARSK homesteads. Upward of TEN thousands of inhabitants were evicted from their homes and forcibly chased to the distant north - many perished on their way there…
In the spring of 1920 the KALINOVSKAYA settlement (stanitsa) was torched to the ground, - the ERMOLOV, ZAKAN-YOURT, SAMASHKINSKAYA and MIHAILOVSKAYA were given to the Chechen mountain tribes.
In this manner 18 settlements with sixty-thousand people were eliminated, - as a rule during the conduct of these operations the men folk were simply summarily shot and women and children chased out into the... never land...
In April of 1921, approximately seventy thousand Cossacks, basically old folk, women and children were chased on a death march to the BESLAN railroad station. Mounted groups, later labeled as "obdurate mountaineers" combined with the guard/escort troops, in just ONE day on April 17th murdered approximately 35 thousand people. According to the eyewitnesses the river Kambileyevka ran RED with blood.
The horrible echo of those days reached the Terek Cossacks on April 7, 1991 when a 44-year-old 'Ataman' (a headman) of the Sunzha region Alexander Podkolzin was viciously murdered.
It is well known that in the nineties of the last century the new extremist leaders of Chechen and Ingush people began their quest of separating their 'republic' out of Russian commonwealth by organizing mass persecutions of Russians and Cossacks.
In 1990 Alexander Podkolzin had formed Sunsha Cossack Region, becoming subsequently its leader and began active counter-measures against local extremists. Knowing that they will go scott-free unpunished the extremists eliminated their most hated opponent. A professional killer on Easter morning of April 7th delivered five mortal knife wounds to the back of ataman.
March 29th, 1996 while storming the village of OREHOVO in Chechen 'republic', Val Perepelitsin was killed. He was an ataman of the Mineralovodsk Cossack Region. He was 53 years old. He volunteered to serve in the 694th separate Cossack motorized inf. battalion as a deputy to the company commander for training. On that fateful day with machinegun in hand he led the Cossacks into an attack and got a leg wound. Another Cossack of the region P. Yourchenko rushed to help him. A mortar round killed them both.
The Cossacks of the region remember well their fearless ataman. Couple of dozen of Mineralovodsk Cossacks are serving in NOZHAY-YOURT region of Chechnya. The Cossacks serve as sappers' reconnaissance men, and anti-aircraft artillery men - carrying important and complicated missions. They have been decorated for their courage and valor.
March saw some sport activities in the region dedicated to the memory of V. Perepelitsin.
Terek Cossacks not only remember their fallen members but tirelessly appeal to the leaders of the North-Caucasian republics to revert to the century old friendly ties curb violence and extremism, and solve ethnic and inter-national problems by peaceful means on the basis of Russian constitution, norms of Orthodox and Mohammedan religions and time-honored Cossack customs and traditions.
On or about 27th of March memorial services will be held in all Christian churches of the Stavropol Region in memory of all murdered and fallen Cossacks.
Submitted by M. Andreyev / translated by N.M. Getmanov
Newspaper "Stavropol Pravda"No.65,2001
#9, October 2002
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