- Ethnic group. Often simply called Meskhetians, the ethnic group is comprised of Muslim inhabitants of Georgia who were deported to Central Asia by Joseph Stalin during World War II. In 1989, a pogrom against the Meskhetians in the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan resulted in their evacuation to other parts of the Soviet Union, particularly Krasnodar. Ethnic tensions with local Cossacks within the krai resulted in an internationally formulated program to relocate more than 10,000 Meskhetians to the United States in the post-Soviet period. Numbering approximately 300,000 worldwide, significant populations of Meskhetians can also be found in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.See also Ethnic violence.
Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. Robert A. Saunders and Vlad Strukov. 2010.
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