- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
173

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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SHAMYL
173
Shamyl owing to the distance that lay between
them. Moreover, on the one hand the aristocratic
Circassians with their nobility and princes had no
liking for the democratism of Shamyl and his
mountain tribes, and were afraid of him for the
cruelty with which he had slam and rooted out the
princes in Daghestan; while, on the other hand,
the Christian part of the people had no wish to
join this fanatical Mussulman and his holy war
against the Christians.
Then came the Crimean War in 1853, and it
might have been thought that the time had come
for the Abkhasians and Circassians, with the support
of the Turks and the Western Allied Powers,
utterly to destroy the Russians in their own part
of the Caucasus. But owing to the very clumsy
policy of the Turks the opposite thing happened :
the Turks declared Abkhasia and Circassia to be
Turkish provinces, thereby stirring up against
themselves the mountain peoples, who were, and
meant to be, independent. Furthermore, the Sultan
and the Porte mistrusted Mohammed Emin and
Shamyl, who, they believed, wished to rule the
Caucasus themselves and had no intention of sub
mitting to Turkish dominion. Instead of using
Mohammed Emin as a powerful ally, and stirring
up the whole land to fight, all they succeeded in
doing through their many intrigues against him
was to weaken his power and split up the land he
had organized. The result was that the moun
taineers kept quiet during the war, and thereby
unwillingly helped the Russians.

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