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NALCHIK, Russia -- The 145th anniversary of the end of the Russian-Circassian war in the North Caucasus was marked on May 21, RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service reports.

Kabardino-Balkaria President Arsen Kanokov said in an address about the anniversary that the war was exceptional in terms of its duration -- it lasted from 1763 until 1864 -- and its brutality.

He claimed that the incorporation of the Circassians into the Russian state saved them from "internecine fighting and endless wars in the Caucasus."

Kanokov said that consequently Circassians are in a position "to build a new life within the single multinational family of peoples of the Russian Federation."

Kabardinians are a part of the Circassian ethnic group that also comprises Cherkess, Kabardin, Shapsugs, Abkhaz, Abazins, and Ubykhs.

Russia's war in the North Caucasus killed and drove into exile hundreds of thousands of Circassians, as there are now more Circassians living in different countries than there are living in the Caucasus.
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