A speech from the representative of Abkhazia Tumanov at a meeting of the Union Council (Parliament), Mountain Republic

Delegates of the First Congress of the Union of the Mountaineers of the North Caucasus and Dagestan. (1917).

Translation

21 January 1919

Temir-Khan-Shura

I am happy on this great historic day for us the mountaineers of the Caucasus. I am a member of the government of your related-by-blood, fraternal Abkhazian people, and offer greetings on behalf of the entire Abkhazian people to the members of the Union Council, as the supreme body uniting the ravaged and oppressed mountain-peoples of the North Caucasus.

We, Abkhazians, consider the mountaineers to be brothers in flesh and blood. The stern ridge of the Caucasus, which separates us from one another, which has been a serious obstacle for us, holds for us no terror from the moment this fraternal union, this power was organised here. This obstacle is weakening, and we, Abkhazians, feel ourselves inseparably linked with our brothers, the highlanders. The freedom-loving Abkhazian people, like all the mountain-peoples, long awaited the freedom which would give us happiness, but we did not expect this day when both happiness and freedom would perish thanks to the anarchy now created. God knows by whom, and God knows for what. When I was travelling here, I was thinking that that freedom no longer exists, that it had already died. But when I saw what is being created here, when I experience wonderful feelings today at the opening of Parliament, I feel that that freedom has not perished, that it still exists, that we, in the close unity of the merged mountain-peoples, will be able to defend it.

+ Abkhazia, Georgia and the Caucasus Confederation, by Stanislav Lakoba
+ The Treaty between Abkhazian National Congress and Georgian National Congress | 9 February 1918
+ Declaration adopted by the Abkhaz people’s Congress, 8 November 1917

When I go back to Abkhazia, I shall tell my people, your brothers, that freedom exists, that it has not died, and I shall awaken the dormant hope in my people for a better future. You provided for us too a place in your Union; you have not forgotten us, your kindred Abkhazians. Our representative together with your delegation travelled on behalf of the mountain-peoples of the Caucasus to Paris for the World conference. We value this highly; we feel and share it. Your mentality, your attention to us are deeply appreciated, and the Abkhazian people will not forget this. Abkhazia is suffering now and was suffering on the day of my departure from the narrow chauvinistic day-dreams, from the deadly breath of the suffocating fumes of the Georgian government (call from the chairman). But Abkhazia will fight for its own future; she will break free from the embrace of the suffocating fumes and come to her brothers, the Highlanders, and I hope that together, walking hand in hand, we shall create a happy life for the united Mountain-peoples of the Caucasus. I, as representative of the Abkhazian people, consider it my duty to welcome the Union Council and wish it all the best in its constructive work. Long live this Union and young Parliament, upon which everyone will look with hope, and which will lead us to the truth, to a better life. I hope that it will be able to unite us; our fraternal peoples and we, stretching out our hands to one another, will live in joy and happiness.

Long live the young government of the Union of Mountain-Peoples!

Long live the Mountain-peoples, united in flesh and blood! (Applause.)

Voices are heard "Long live Abkhazia!" (Applause.)

Gazeta [Newspaper]. "Dagestan". 1919 January 29. No. 26. TsGA [?Central State Archive] RD [?Republic of Daghestan]. F [?Fund/File]. 621-r. Op [?Opisanie = Description]. 1.D [?Document]. 10. Pp. 13-14.

[Газ. «Дагестан». 1919. 29 января. № 26. ЦГА РД. Ф. 621-р. On. 1. Д. 10. Л. 13-14.] 

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