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Abazakt, a native settlement
PROPHET IN HIS HOMELAND
He was a prophet and we will become his apostles. We will not forget him,
we will raise his banner and bear it till the victorious end under the
slogan of peace and revival
Honorary Tkhamada of
«Adyge Khase» of Kabarda
of Yury Kalmykov, and my village Psauchye-Dakhe are four kilometers
distant from each other on the left bank of Injidge - Maly Zelenchouk.
Injidge - greenish-transparent, incessant flow - the principal place
of our children“s games, witness of the first revelations in life...
Here, beside the river, the first meeting with Yury and boyish fight
took place which initiated our friendship.
Our children“s fortunes had a lot in common: in contrast to most our
comrades whose fathers died in the war we were brought up by our fathers.
Before the war Khamzet Aisovich Kalmykov was a head of the school in
Khabez and my father - Khadjimourza Ogurlievich was a teacher in Psauchye-Dakhe
Though post-war years were difficult for everybody and all adolescents
in rural families worked together with adults, we with Yury did not have
a feeling of uncertainty which broke characters and fortunes of so many
In 1944 Khamzet Aisovich was recalled from the front and appointed
chairman of executive committee of Cherkessk regional council of workers“
deputies. Then it was a high post.
Everybody who knew Yury will confirm: he never allowed himself even
to hint at his superiority and since his childhood was notable for extreem
But I believe that it was his father“s authority and sincere respect
people had for him that promoted formation of keen comprehension of human
dignity in Yury“s character which determined his fortune later.
At the times when human personality played the role of a screw in the
state structure comprehension of self-respect and independence of thought
and judgement inevitably caused problems. Many of us had such experience
and Yury - in full measure. I can“t say that we with Kalmykov met each
other in our childhood and youth very often.
In my large family which, besides father and mother, consisted of three
brothers and six sisters there was quite severe labour routine.
Now I understand that it was the only way to preserve and educate all
After classes we worked hard in the field and house. Each of us had
his own responsibilities. We had rather little time for playing with our
After the Kalmykovs moved to Cherkessk I met Yury at the regional Komsomol
meetings and sporting competitions. Since then we never lost sight of each
other. It is difficult to understand and all the more to explain sources
of spiritual kinship which suddenly appears between people. Glance, smile,
handshake - what generates mutual understanding which transforms simple
intercourse to the highest human pleasure?
It happened sometimes that we parted with Kalmykov for years but we
always remembered each other.
After graduating from Cherkessk school of doctor“s assistants Yury,
to the great grief of his father who dreamt that his son would become a
doctor, went to Leningrad and entered the juridical faculty of the university.
Approximately at the same time I also entered Azov-Black Sea institute
of agriculture mechanization. We met again after graduating.
I already worked in Khabez district as a chief engineer of sovkhoz
«Cherkessky» when Yury Kalmykov returned to the homeland and was elected
people`s judge of the district.
Some time later Kalmykov had problems with his professional activities.
High erudition, adherence to principles and strict conformance with law
annoyed some local officials who strived to autocracy.
I believe that many people secretely envied him and high qualities
of his personality were evident already then. I understood it for the first
time at a session of bureau of Khabez district committee of CPSU where
Kalmykov“s personal case was considered.
By that time I was already appointed chairman of district executive
committee and was a member of bureau of CPSU district committee.
This so-called «personal case» was patently falsified. All charges
were based on contradictory denunciations of various people who often didn`t
understand what it was all about.
I felt indignation and shame because I was unable to stop it.
My speech didn“t impress greatly the bureau“s members.
In defence of Kalmykov Aboubekir Dadymovich Argunov spoke who was permanent
chairman of the leading in the district kolkhoz «Way of Ilyich». This wise,
experienced, shrewed and fair man became later one of the first Hero of
Socialist Labour in the republic and was elected a deputy of Supreme Soviet
of the USSR twice.
It was consistent position of Argunov that didn“t allow organizators
of this trial to expel Kalmykov from the party. He received a reprimand.
Eternal faultfinding and attempts of the party“s leaders to interfere
in the course of trial forced Yury Kalmykov to leave his homeland.
He wanted very much to work in his homeland and give it his talents
and skills. No doubt, should it happen he would have contributed a lot
to development of statehood of Karachai-Circassian republic and formation
of the society“s legal traditions and moral foundations. However, everybody
recognizes that he did a lot for republic even working beyond its limits.
People striving to power but not displaying special intellectual faculties
necessary for it compelled Kalmykov to part because in his presence groundlessness
of their pretensions was more evident. Unfortunately, one can meet such
people still today.
Maybe now such people aren“t worth mentioning but it“s them who delivered
the most painful blows to my friend which, little by little, undermined
his health. They caused him to think ruefully about his humiliating position
when somebody, for the sake of envy and self-interest, might easily change
Yury Kalmykov lived in Saratov for thirty years, his best creative
years. In his book «Reverses of fortune» he devoted to this long period
of his life only several lines: «...beginning from arduous post-graduate
life in the end I became doctor of science, professor, head of sub-faculty.
For an educationalist it was common grades of development...»
People attain these grades in different ways. I met differenr professors.
Yury Kalmykov was a real scientist. Years in Saratov juridical Academy
were years of arduous spiritual work. With enthusiasm and persistence he
had been obtaining knowledge and transferring it to students.
From meeting to meeting I got convinced more and more that his education
acquired academic brilliancy. Clearness of thought and completeness of
judgement made him one of the best in his profession. His friends were
proud of him.
News about election of Yury Kalmykov a deputy of Supreme Soviet of
the USSR I received not without doubt.
It was 1989, everybody was waiting for life-giving social changes and
it didn“t suprised me that my friend had got involved in political activities
about which he always had spoken with irony.
However, as I had lived for 13 years in Moscow by that time and was
rector of Industrial Academy I knew Moscow political morals and manners
quite better. I understood that Yury“s erudition and honesty didn“t go
with this milieu at all. Later, when reading his book, I got proof for
validity of my doubt but also realized what had made Kalmykov to take this
«...I saw in all its glory what is called «policy» and what, it seems,
society can`t do without. Confucius said in his time that «policy is real
way of life of the people which must be inseparably linked with ethics».
More than two thousand years separate us from the time when great Chineese
thinker expressed this judgement but after that there were a lot of wars
and redivisions of the world, entire peoples disappeared and politicians
justified any actions of their rulers. There even appeared doctrines repudiating
any relationship between policy and moral. Nowadays there seems to be the
same situation. For, when a government easily commence a war against a
part of its own people, one can`t help thinking that in the computer epoch
human essence has remained the same as in Stone Age. Confucius` words remain
an unattainable ideal after so many centuries».
«I haven`t become and hardly will become a politician due to certain
ineradicable personal qualities: excessive credulity, straightforwardness
and independence in judgement and behaviour which is percieved with suspicion».
Kalmykov wrote this in 1995 year when consequences of large-scale social
experiment called by absurd name «perestroyka» became finally evident...
But in 1989 he was certainly carried away with the seemingly real opportunity
of participation in creation of «legal» state. No scientist can resist
the temptation to realize his spiritual experience and knowledge. Yury
Kalmykov clearly imagined comlicated mechanism of the legal reform, foresaw
all obstacles and understood that for its realization it would be necessary
powerful will of the state and universal respect for the Law.
In one of his numerous articles on problems connected with the legal
reform he wrote: «Legal state needs, at the least, three things: accurately
adjusted democratic mechanism of the power, legal system which satisfies
the democratic society`s requirements and strict observance of legal prescriptions
by all persons and organizations without exceptions.
Legal state can“t come into being even with the finest laws in the
world if these laws are not observed by those they are addressed to.
Higher officials are not able to renounce the old-fashioned way of
thinking. They still believe that laws were written not for them».
Complicated «Moscow» period of Kalmykov`s life lasted eight years.
In the beginning his political career developed normally.
Yury Khamzatovich was elected assistant chairman of Committee for legislation
and law and order of Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and soon he became chairman
of this committee.
Sessions of Supreme Soviet were constantly translated on TV and we
many times observed how Kalmykov“s laconic and highly professional speeches
favourably influenced discussions of bills and how often President of the
USSR M.S. Gorbachev applied to him for consultations.
It was also difficult period for our friendship. As it is usually the
case, Kalmykov was surrounded by people who convinced him in their loyalty
but, as a rule, pursued their personal aims.
It is one of the tests by power when «new friends» drive back old ones
from a man who got access to it.
So certain distance appeared which I didn“t try overcome very hard
because I saw how much he was occupied and how little time he had for his
Later I was very sorry that I had given in to external circumstances.
It turned out that Kalmykov suffered from «deficit» of sincerity. In that
period he wrote in his diary: «If you are a politician and want to have
sincere relations with people, don`t have friends and give preference to
enemies - they, at least, will not deceive you and, what is the most important,
will not betray you»...
After desintegration of the USSR Kalmykov found himself in rather complicated
position: without job and, virtually, without dwelling since his flat in
Moscow had been given to him for the period of working in Supreme Soviet.
At once all «friends» disappeared...
Getting convinced that Kalmykov, due to his modesty, would not ask
even what is prescribed to him by the law, I considered myself obliged
to help him as his real friend. Gradually situation got more or less normal.
At that period of time we met each other rather often. Our families
got to know each other better. Yury Hamzatovich conversed with my sons
a lot and influenced them very much what I always liked.
In August of 1993 Kalmykov was appointed minister of justice of the
Russian Federation. For several months before it he was performing duties
of minister. His appointment was being decided on for a long time since
he was a man «from outside».
«A man from outside» - so is called a book of memories about Y.K. Kalmykov
by his former colleague for the work in Ministry of justice Vyacheslav
Sysoev. Here are some lines from this book:
«When in April of 1993 President of the Russian Federation appointed
Y.K. Kalmykov first assistant minister of justice and at the same time
entrust the functions of minister to him many lawyers congratulated each
other. People who knew him well understood: President wanted to see at
the head of the Ministry a just man who, in any circumstances, would be
guided by requirements of the Law and not political likings or private
Professionalism, honesty and politeness of Yury Khamzatovich were also
Kalmykov himself didn“t seek for posts and power, but somebody must
defence justice, fight against evil and correct authorities if they commit
mistake, inadvertently or deliberately».
For one year and eight months Yury Kalmykov worked in Ministry of justice
of the Russian Federation. Reasons and circumstances of his resignation
are now well known but few people know that he suffered from tragedy of
Chechen and Abkhaz peoples as his private tragedy.
The ancient Caucasus, which he liked so much, became an arena of evil,
injustice and lawlessness. For corageous, wise and just man there might
not be more painful and humiliating than comprehension of impotence in
front of triumphant evil and arbitrariness of ignorant and rude force.
Kalmykov remembered about his last session of Security Council: «They
let me have the floor somewhere in the end and I spoke against this plan.
(Grachev who earlier stated that he would solve all the problems of Chechnya
with the help of parachute-landing troops knew nothing about history and
way of thinking of this people). I proposed to use in full manner political
methods of reconciliation. But all seemed to have been decided in advance.
When I understood that my efforts would fail, on November 30, 1994 I submitted
to President an application for resignation».
On December 7, 1994 Y.K. Kalmykov was dismissed from the post of Minister
of justice of the Russian Federation by Decree of President of the Russian
Federation. But it didn“t seem to upset Yury. When this Decree was signed
he was already in Chechnya, with great difficulties obtained audience with
Djokhar Dudaev and made one more attempt to prevent tragic events. However,
bloody wheel of war had already been started...
National problems never were and couldn“t be some abstract ideas for
Kalmykov. As for any non-Russian person living in Russia for him methods
of solving these problems were determined by permitted limits of internal
It is not surprising that Yury Kalmykov thought a lot about these problems
and these reflections are available in all his numerous articles and speeches.
«Why was such huge quantity of troops gathered in the Nothern Caucasus?
The only reason, to my mind, is existence of independent Chechnya and its
influence on other peoples of the Caucasus. But if such problem exists
it hardly can be solved by means of weapons, even the most modern ones».
«Now there are several «hot points» within limits of CUS but situation
in the Nothern Caucasus presents itself as especially dangerous. Here,
unfortunately, a lot of mistakes were made.
For example, initial reaction of Russian Government to incursion of
troops of State Council of Georgia into Abkhazia was erroneous. It should
have been known and forseen that peoples of the Nothern Caucasus having
with Abkhazes common ethnic, historical and cultural roots would immediately
react to the act of agression. It was naive to think that Circassian (Adyg)
peoples let their relatives Abkhazes alone and that other peoples of Caucasus,
Cossacks and all people not devoid of feeling of justice would indifferently
gaze at the acts of genocide».
«National problems are the most complicated. As was already noted,
it is fashionable and advantageous to present oneself as a democrate. But
many politicians fail to maintain their democratic image trying to resolve
Matter of preservation of Russia“s territorial integrity interpreted
from the Bolshevist positions create insurmountable obstacles for resolving
The main shortcoming is absence of a well-thought and agreed with republics
program of development of inter-national relations. We all speak of it
but nothing has been done in that direction.
In the program for national policy and especially in practical actions
the federal government should renounce two things: imperial thinking and
striving to adjust our structures in conformance with western patterns».
Yury Kalmykov“s ideas on national problems are still timely and still
In accordance with versatility of his knowledge and universality of
his thinking Kalmykov, no doubt, was worthy of calling a citizen of the
world but he always was Adyg. He always professed Adygaguye - national
philosophy of life based, first of all, on respect for a person“s right
for liberty and dignity.
National feelings of Kalmykov were sincere and have creative nature,
he avoided fine words and theatrical poses which certain people tried and
try to introduce in Adyg national movement.
In 1991 in Nalchik the first World Circassian Congress took place which
founded International Circassian Association.
Yury Khamzatovich Kalmykov was elected its president.
He speaks about it the following: «It was remarkable, joyful event!
People smiled and cried, hugged one another, told about sore subjects and
were all ears to know how Adygs live here, in their homeland.
My election was the most unexpected event for me. Afterwards I reflected
about it for a long time and wondered why it had been me who had been elected.
I have no special merits. Perhaps, it was due to my frequent speeches in
Supreme Soviet of the USSR which had been translated on TV».
Here we see extreme modesty peculiar to him, but everybody who knew
Kalmykov then understood that his election to the role of leader of international
Circassian movement was quite natural.
But his election in January of 1992 chairman of Congress of Kabardian
people and later his nomination for election a deputy of Supreme Soviet
of Kabardin-Balkar republic I didn“t approve and told Yury Khamzatovich
Circumstances of his election and dramatic events in Kabardin-Balkaria
in autumn of 1992 he described in detail in his book «Reverses of fortune».
Kalmykov presented thorough political estimate of what had happened but,
of course, didn`t say a single word about how much it had costed him personally.
It was after these events that the first symptoms of serious illness was
revealed which led to his death in 1997.
Unfortunately, we didn“t think in time that we should take care of
Kalmykov. Only after his death we understood that at the post of leader
of Circassian world Yury Kalmykov was and would be for a long time indispensable.
Almost hundred and fifty years of existence in the condition called
by etnographers «dispersed nation» in different states, even different
continents and different national formations in the historical homeland
inevitably destroys once united spiritual world of Adygs, Abkhazes, Abazins.
In order to overcome this tragic and disastrous for our people dissociation
and initiate process of restoration of spiritual unity through which and
only through which we could occupy a worthy place in the modern world we
needed exactly such leader as Yury Kalmykov who enjoyed confidence and
respect both in the foreign Diaspora and here in the homeland.
It was confirmed by delegates of II and III Congresses of International
Circassian Association who for the second and third times unanimously re-elected
Kalmykov their President. At these Congresses I also was elected Vice-President
Neither hard scientific work nor intensive public and state activities
nor bad health in the last years couldn“t overshadow for Kalmykov great
importance of general Circassian national problems.
Ideology, strategy and tactics of national revival were subjects of
his constant reflections.
He personally worked out the first and the current statutes of ICA,
the first national program.
Due to peacemaking initiatives of Kalmykov ICA gained prestige and
influence in the Nothern Caucasus and was admitted to Organization of Non-Represented
In autumn of 1996 Kalmykov worked out a program of immediate tasks
Now, already without Yury Kalmykov, we are preparing IV Congress of
ICA. I want the following decision be taken: written by Kalmykov in 1996
Program should be considered as his testament for us.
We are to comprehend the whole grandeur of Yury Khamzatovich Kalmykov“s
personality. I am convinced that History and succeeding generations will
estimate his spiritual legacy.
We, who knew him intimately, badly need his smile, handshake...
I cross Injidge, stop near very beautiful green stone which marks his
last earth“s haven.
Our wise elders were right: not all leaving leave. Yury Kalmykov will
always be with us.
Doctor of economics
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of Swedish Riksdag in Committee for legislation of Supreme Soviet of the
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