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The Battle of Subashi in Sochi in portraits

The Battle of Subashi in Sochi in portraits
The Battle of Subashi in Sochi in portraits
The Battle of Subashi in Sochi in portraits
The Battle of Subashi in Sochi in portraits
The Battle of Subashi in Sochi in portraits
The Battle of Subashi in Sochi in portraits


Ivan Aivazovsky’s painting “The Landing of N. N. Raevsky at Subashi” (and the attached colour and black and white photographic reproductions from the painting) depict the Battle of Subashi, one of the myriad battles between the Circassians and Russians in the area of Sochi between the late 1830s and the early 1860s. The battle took place at the mouth of River Shakhe in Subashi, Shapsughia (modern Tuapse and Lazarev Districts of Sochi, in a gorge on the outskirts of Golovinka), on 3 May 1939. In the summer of 1939 Aivazovsky was invited by N. N. Raevsky, a high-ranking officer in the Russian Black Sea Fleet, to capture the scenes of the war with the Circassians on his canvas.

Portrait 1: “The Landing of N. N. Raevsky at Subashi”, by Ivan K. Aivazovsky, 1839. Oil on canvas, 97 × 66 cm (38.2 × 26 in). Provenance: Samara Art Museum, Samara Oblast, Russia.

Portrait 2. Black and white photographic reproduction from Aivazovsky’s painting “The Landing of N. N. Raevsky at Subashi”.

Portrait 3. Colour photographic reproduction from Aivazovsky’s painting “The Landing of N. N. Raevsky at Subashi”.

Brief description of the Battle of Subashi

The 2nd Squadron of the Russian Black Sea Fleet under the command of Vice-Admiral Lazarev, consisting of five battleships, five frigates, one brig, and two steamers, carried a landing party of 6,600 troops, under the command of Lieutenant-General N. N. Raevsky, with the intention of establishing a beach-head and eventually control the area through constructing fortifications on the Circassian coast of the Black Sea. The Russian Black Sea Fleet ships shelled the Circassian coast prior to the landing to provide smoke cover for the operation. Assault troops were brought ashore on rowing boats under the command of Captain V. Kornilov.

The Russian troops had barely managed to reach the shore, when they were rushed by more than a thousand Circassians, who had been hiding in the thick forests by the shore, and who rushed to the plain quietly, without firing their firearms. The Russians were at first taken aback by the unexpected attack, and they barely had time to unload the two mountain guns. Two Circassian leaders, riding on white steeds, bravely rushed ahead of the Circassian horsemen. A battalion of the Tengin Regiment rushed to counter-attack, but the Circassians, snatching their sabres, boldly went forward. At this very moment, a Russian officer at the head of a troop of marines appeared from the bushes in the forest, attacking the Circassians from the flanks, with the thud of the drums and shouts of “Hurrah.” The Circassians stopped in their tracks and started shooting and attempting to retreat. But it was too late – flanked on both sides by the Russians, they were forced to gradually retreat, fighting desperately in the process.

From May to September 1839, three fortresses were built in the vicinity, namely Golovinskoe, Lazarevskoe, and Raevskoe. In February 1840 the Circassians captured and razed fort Lazarevskoe, within six weeks through March, three more Russian strongholds, Golovinskoe, Velyaminskoe, and Mikhailovskoe, fell. Effectively, the southern section of the Caucasian Black Sea Line was isolated. However, the Circassians failed to capitalize on these successes, with their troops dispersed, deeming the operations to have been over and victory guaranteed. This short-sightedness turned over the initiative from Circassian hands squarely into those of the Russian Generals, who launched a counter-offensive, and recaptured Lazarevskoe and Velyaminskoe. Thirteen Shapsugh villages were razed to the ground in punishment.

Ivan K. Aivazovsky (1817–1901) was an Armenian marine painter who served in the Russian navy. His “The Landing of N. N. Raevsky at Subashi” is one of his more famous works.


“Circassian Culture and Folklore”


The New Tribalism

The New Tribalism and the Decline of the Nation-State



Technology has whittled away the underpinnings of the nation state. Separatist movements have broken out all over – Czechs separating from Slovaks; Kurds wanting to separate from Iraq, Syria, and Turkey; even the Scots seeking separation from England.


The New Tribalism and the Decline of the Nation


We are witnessing a reversion to tribalism around the world, away from nation states. The the same pattern can be seen even in America – especially in American politics.

Before the rise of the nation-state, between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, the world was mostly tribal. Tribes were united by language, religion, blood, and belief. They feared other tribes and often warred against them. Kings and emperors imposed temporary truces, at most.

But in the past three hundred years, the idea of nationhood took root in most of the world. Members of tribes started to become citizens, viewing themselves as a single people with patriotic sentiments and duties toward their homeland. Although nationalism never fully supplanted tribalism in some former colonial territories, the transition from tribe to the nation was mostly completed by the mid-twentieth century.

Over the last several decades, though, technology has whittled away the underpinnings of the nation-state. National economies have become so intertwined that economic security depends less on national armies than on financial transactions around the world. Global corporations play nations off against each other to get the best deals on taxes and regulations.

News and images move so easily across borders that attitudes and aspirations are no longer especially national. Cyber-weapons, no longer the exclusive province of national governments, can originate in a hacker’s garage.

Nations are becoming less relevant in a world where everyone and everything is interconnected. The connections that matter most are again becoming more personal. Religious beliefs and affiliations, the nuances of one’s own language and culture, the daily realities of class, and the extensions of one’s family and its values – all are providing people with ever greater senses of identity.

The nation-state, meanwhile, is coming apart. A single Europe – which seemed within reach a few years ago – is now succumbing to the centrifugal forces of its different languages and cultures. The Soviet Union is gone, replaced by nations split along tribal lines. Vladimir Putin can’t easily annex the whole of Ukraine, only the Russian-speaking part. The Balkans have been Balkanized.

Separatist movements have broken out all over – Czechs separating from Slovaks; Kurds wanting to separate from Iraq, Syria, and Turkey; even the Scots seeking separation from England.

The turmoil now consuming much of the Middle East stems less from democratic movements trying to topple dictatorships than from ancient tribal conflicts between the two major denominations of Isam – Sunni and Shia.

And what about America? The world’s “melting pot” is changing colour. Between the 2000 and 2010 census the share of the U.S. population calling itself white dropped from 69 to 64 percent, and more than half of the nation’s population growth came from Hispanics.

It’s also becoming more divided by economic class. Increasingly, the rich seem to inhabit a different country than the rest.

But America’s new tribalism can be seen most distinctly in its politics. Nowadays the members of one tribe (calling themselves liberals, progressives, and Democrats) hold sharply different views and values than the members of the other (conservatives, Tea Partiers, and Republicans).

Each tribe has contrasting ideas about rights and freedoms (for liberals, reproductive rights and equal marriage rights; for conservatives, the right to own a gun and do what you want with your property).

Each has its own totems (social insurance versus smaller government) and taboos (cutting entitlements or raising taxes). Each, its own demons (the Tea Party and Ted Cruz; the Affordable Care Act and Barack Obama); its own version of truth (one believes in climate change and evolution; the other doesn’t); and its own media that confirm its beliefs.

The tribes even look different. One is becoming blacker, browner, and more feminine. The other, whiter and more male. (Only 2 percent of Mitt Romney’s voters were African-American, for example.)

Each tribe is headed by rival warlords whose fighting has almost brought the national government in Washington to a halt. Increasingly, the two tribes live separately in their own regions – blue or red state, coastal or mid-section, urban or rural – with state or local governments reflecting their contrasting values.

I’m not making a claim of moral equivalence. Personally, I think the Republican right has gone off the deep end, and if polls are to be believed a majority of Americans agree with me.

But the fact is, the two tribes are pulling America apart, often putting tribal goals over the national interest – which is not that different from what’s happening in the rest of the world.

Yanan bir ev Var


Dostoyevski‘nin “Suç ve Ceza” Kitab‘ında “Suçun kendisi, suçu işleyene cezadır. Ne yaptığının bilincinde olarak bir ömür yaşamak.” şeklinde bir tanım vardır.
Buna karşılık Nietzche der ki: “İncittiğin insandan nefret etmek çok kolaydır.”


Anlamamız gerek ne?
İnsanların bakış açıları farklı. Önemli olan, herkesin aynı şeye baktığını bilmesi.


Yanan bir ev var. Bundan kâr edenler var ve bu yangını söndürmek isteyenler var. Ya yangını alevlendiren olacağız ya da söndüren.
Kimin kimi incittiği, kırdığı, ayıp ettiği şu anda konumuz değil. Şu an yangını söndürmemiz lâzım.


Nasıl ki her Çeçen, Aslan Maskhadov‘u desteklemediyse, Ramzan Kadirov’u da desteklemeyecek. Ama unutuyorlar ki, Ramzan Kadyrov, Maskhadov’u destekliyordu. Ateşin gücünü öğrenene kadar.


Bu yangın sönmeden hepimiz “Kül” olacağız. Aşağılanmış da, aşağılayan da. İnciten-kıran da, suçlusu da, cezalığı da…


Ve hiçbir Laz, bir Pomağa: “Sen dilini konuşamazsın” dememiştir. Eğer Türk milliyetçi kimliğini benimsememiş ise. Hiçbir Ermeni, bir Rum’a: “Rumca konuşamazsın” dememiştir. Eğer Türk milliyetçi kimliğini benimsememişse. Hiçbir Kürt de, bir Çerkes’e: “Adighabze konuşamazsın” dememiştir. Türk milliyetçi kimliğini benimsememişse. Ama her Türk, ya da herhangi bir ırkın milliyetçisi: “Bizim dilimizden başka dil konuşmayacaksın” demiştir.


Buna da “EyvAllah” diyorum. Milli istikrar, milli lisan, milli nizam. Pekala…
da çoklu dilli ülkeler de nasıl yaşanıyor?
Fransa/İspanya? (Bask/Katalan)


Onlar bu yangınları nasıl söndürdü?
Onların yangınları kimi ya da neyi yaktı ve alevlendirdi…[/text_output]