Beverage Brand 'General Zass' Sparks Outrage in Circassian Community

The company has not released a statement regarding the controversy.

The company has not released a statement regarding the controversy.

A beverage brand named after the infamous Russian General Grigory [Khristoforovich von] Zass (1797-1883), known for his horrific massacres against the Circassians between 1834 and 1842, has sparked significant outrage among the Circassian community.

The brand, registered under the name 'General Zass', is the product of YUGPRODSERVICE, a company operating out of the city of Armavir with commercial activities across the North Caucasus Republics.

General Zass, an imperial Russian general during the Russo-Circassian War, is known for his inhumane and brutal tactics. These included burning people alive, beheading and impaling them, burying children alive, burning villages, spreading epidemic diseases, and mass rape. His main strategy involved intercepting and retaining the initiative, terrorizing the Circassians, and destroying Circassian settlements. Following a victory, he would often burn several villages and seize cattle and horses to display his dominance, acts which he readily admitted to. Zass placed particular emphasis on demoralizing the enemy, regularly boasting about his destruction of villages and glorifying the mass murder of civilians in his reports.

Reports suggest that Zass exhibited a horrifying disregard for human life, even beyond the battlefield. It is alleged that he engaged in the macabre practice of washing and boiling the flesh off of the severed heads of Circassians, storing these grisly trophies under his bed within his tent. Beyond this, he is also said to have displayed decapitated Circassian heads on lances, strategically placed on a nearby hill to inspire terror. In a chilling post-battle ritual, Circassian casualties were systematically decapitated, their heads dispatched to Zass to add to his gruesome collection.

This is not the first time General Zass has been a point of controversy. In 2003, a monument to General Zass was unveiled in the city of Armavir, Krasnodar Territory, where he is recognized as the city's founder. The installation of the monument was met with a sharply negative reaction from the Circassian society, reflecting the painful history associated with the general's name.

The decision by YUGPRODSERVICE to name their beverage brand after such a controversial figure has reignited these old wounds and spurred widespread criticism among the Circassian community, many of whom view this as a gross insensitivity towards the atrocities committed during the Russo-Circassian War. As of now, the company has not released a statement regarding the controversy.




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