Geography 200
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Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

150 Years Ago, Sochi Was the Site of a Horrific Ethnic Cleansing

150 Years Ago, Sochi Was the Site of a Horrific Ethnic Cleansing | Geography 200 |
Czar Alexander II may have freed the serfs, but his war against the stateless people of the Caucasus cannot be ignored


The czar’s approval of this rapid expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Circassians to the Ottoman Empire resulted in an ethnic cleansing through disease and drowning as overcrowded ferries crossed the Black Sea. The Ottomans were unprepared for the influx of refugees, and the absence of adequate shelter caused even more deaths from exposure. Those Circassians who attempted to remain in the Russian Empire and fight for their land were massacred. Sochi’s “Red Hill,” where the skiing and snowboarding events will take place during these Olympic Games, was the site of the Circassian last stand, where the Imperial Russian armies celebrated their “victory” over the local defenders.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

It is interesting to learn the history of a place that most American’s didn’t know existed until the Olympics.  It is always helpful to have things placed in a historic perspective.  The historic background makes understanding modern day events easier

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:33 PM

This is basically like a mini Holocaust. When do people think its okay to do something like this? It boggles my mind how things like this can actually go on in the world still with todays technologies and armed forces. 

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 5, 2015 2:27 PM

This article shows the great deal of overlap between Geography and History.  Today, when people think of Sochi, they will remember the Olympic games, and the epic hockey battle between the USA and the Russian Federation.  Yet, as this article discusses, Sochi was once the sight of a military battle, and a massacre.  The Russian Empire under Alexander II wanted to expand its borders to be well defined and would wage war against the Circassians who lived in the region.  When they would not go to the Ottoman Empire, and fought the Russians, the army and the Czar were prepared to fight them.  As a result, on Red Hill, the native people had a last stand against the Russian Army and were massacred.  Yet, the southern region of Russia near the middleast, to this day, is not secure.  The history of this region has guaranteed that the people living in these regions of the country would come to loathe Russia.  In fact, this area in the form of Chechnya, has exported the hatred and Islamic fervor of the region, to the United States in the Boston Marathon Bombings of 2013.  History and Geography are not neat boxes that are separate from each other, they are always influencing one another in all actuality. 

Calem Cauley's curator insight, April 7, 2016 10:16 AM
I didn't know how ruthless this leader was. At the little lest threat the czar would fight them and demolish them. 
Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru | Geography 200 |
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article points out the political and cultural geography of Australia.  The legislation that the indigenous people sees as raciest and painting a picture of them as bad people may lead to their closing off on of Australia’s tourist attractions.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:38 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, this article is about Aborigines in Australia protesting "racist" government policies. It sounds like the Australian version of what would happen if America's Native Americans teamed up with a racial oppression organization. They are apparently threatening to shut down the most famous landmark in Australia to visitors if the government doesn't change it's position. I don't blame them, fight the power!!

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 10, 2015 7:08 PM

the government punishing a whole culture for crimes is outrageous. Not all are guilty but all are punished. it is proven fact that more minorities in this country are incarcerated for drug usage than whites but that doesn't mean you jail all black people. The government is being racist because the aboriginal are poverty stricken group who do not contribute to society, they only have a population of 300,000 people. In the governments eyes they just exist on the land and do nothing for the economy. Well it must have some influence because they are protesting by not allowing tourists climb Uluru or Ayers rock. I guess the government will not be collecting permit fees or other fees associated with the climbing of the rock. Tourism should take a hit from hotel accomendations  to hiking tour guides to purchasing gear etc...

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:22 PM

Australia has always had troubles dealing with their past actions against the native population of their island, and this will hopefully be a wake up call on the policies they have taken.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education!

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map | Geography 200 |

"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944.  However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article describes the practice of Lenin and Stalin of Russifacation.  This policy led to many ethnic minorities with in the Soviet Union being deported from their home soil to the interior of Russia.  The aim was to place ethnic Russian in boarder areas and to bring the ‘undesirable’ ethnicity into the interior to become Russian or sent to the gulags to die.  The effects of this mass relocation of ethnicity is still being felt today.  The rising conflict in Ukraine is a direct result from these policies as the country is split between ethnic Ukraine and the decedents of the ethnic Russians move there to secure the ports to the Black Sea.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 12, 2014 1:43 PM

The Soviet Union forced vast amounts of people and ethnic groups out of their historical homelands to settle new areas during the early and mid 20th century. Many of those forced into resettlement died, and today some consider it a genocide or crime against humanity. As ethnic groups were moved out, ethnic Russians were moved in to take their places, and explains why many places outside of Russia (Ukraine) have populations that still maintain strong Russian identities. It also explains why places like Chechnya have such a long history of insurgency and extremism against Russian authority and power.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:37 PM

This graph represents the areas where many of the Chechnes had been displaced to in the era of Stalins regime. Many of these people were displaced from their homes and forced to move. Many of them either had to leave family behind of they were forced to move together and had no initial home to live in.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 1:51 PM

i see this as history retelling itself. for some reason throughout history terrible men think that their race is better than another, this is not true and if a person wants to think this that is their prerogative, but some men think it to such an extent that they seek to eliminate the entire other people. nothing good can come of this and it turns into mass conflict every time. it destroys countries and breeds hate on all sides.