Friday, September 1, 2017

Memento Gulag !

Bertil Haggman
07Aug2017

One of the most important conferences in later years on the question of the Soviet camp system was held in Berlin. It was a cooperation between the German Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung, the Italian Cultural Institute and the museum in Berlin-Schoenhausen in memory of the East German secret police Stasi’s victims as well as Comitatus pro Liberatibus. The papers from the conference in Berlin have now been published as a book (Memento Gulag – Zum Gedenken an die Opfer totalitärer Regime Hrsg. Renato Cristin, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, 108 pages, 2006). The memory of communist crimes is well preserved in for example Riga, Latvia, and Budapest, Hungary. They have central museums housing information on tyrannies, both Nazi and Communist. The Museum House of Terror in Budapest has had around 1,5 million visitors and was built with taxpayers money. In 2005 the museum offered the exhibition “The Hungarian Tragedy 1945 – Enslaved and Expelled”, which is in memory of the around 700,000 Hungarians deported during the Second World War and after 1945 to the Soviet Union. Over 350,000 did not return.

Plans for creating museums in memory of those who suffered are continuing. The goal is to have museums in both Washington D.C., Brussels and Berlin. In St. Petersburg Memorial has started work on a virtual museum. In the archive (www.gulagmuseum.org) there are over 10,000 pictures. A forum is planned as well as cooperation with all former Soviet republics where camps existed.

The dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has contributed to Memento Gulag !. His essay is a powerful appeal against the attempts of the left since 1991 to hide the crimes of communism. He reacted strongly when leftist intellectuals attempted to compare with Guantanamo: how many prisoners have worked themselves to death in the American camp on Cuba, how many have starved or frozen to death? Excesses in the Global War on Terrorism and breaking the rules have to be punished. But to compare Guantanamo to Gulag is madness. Gulag was a genocide. Bukovsky also reacts against the fact that the hammer and sickle is not prohibited in Europe in the same way as the swastika is illegal. A great problem is that not everywhere has closure been achieved. It is missing, mainly in Russia. Germany has been in the forefront to put communist criminals on trial. There has been no Nuremberg against the worst communist criminals still alive. While waiting for a trial Bukovsky is appealing to free people everywhere to remember Gulag on November 7 each year.

The same publishing house in Germany that published Memento Gulag has also published a valuable case study about forced labor in Gulag. It is Simon Ertz’s valuable Zwangsarbeit im stalinistischen Lagersystem – Eine Untersuchung der Methoden, Strategien und Ziele ihrer Ausnuztung am Beispiel Norilsk, 1935 – 1953. ( Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, 273 pages, 2006). Ertz, born 1978, is researching at the Stanford University in California. The book treats in detail how forced labor was organized in the Soviet Union. Which methods and strategies were prominent? What was the economic purpose of forced labor? Ertz is using Norilsk in Arctic Russia as an example, where over 270,000 prisoners were employed under terrible climatic conditions.

Dissidents Yesterday and Today

In the beginning of June 2007 a conference was arranged in Prague for the dissidents of yesterday and today. President George W. Bush will look in on his way to the G-8 meeting in Germany. This conference on democracy and security has been inspired by Israel’s Natan Sharansky, who was helped out of the Soviet Union by President Ronald Reagan. Sharansky’s book The Case for Democracy has been distributed in the Bush 43 White House. The former Israel politician is underlining that democracy does not equal free elections. There is also a need for free society. The victory of the terrorist organization Hamas in the latest Palestinian election is an important example. The test of democracy is not election. Every tyranny has elections. The crucial test is instead the test of the town square. If one can freely express one’s views without being punished is of central importance.

In addition to Sharansky the Prague conference is hosted by Vaclav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic and Spain’s former conservative Prime Minister, José Maria Aznar from June 4 to 6, 2007. In Prague participants can meet dissidents from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, North Korea and Belarus. Moderate Muslims will also be in Prague at this important event. Sharansky has mentioned that Iran, like the former Soviet Union, is a state that is rotting from the inside. The resistance to the mullah revolution is so massive that it can be compared to Solidarity in Poland. At this moment it is important that journalists, trade unions and student organizations in the West support the resistance in Iran.

Communist Genocide

There is a lack of easy accessible information on the communist genocide in most European countries. This author already in 1982 published Den kommunistiska foerintelsen – den internationella kommunismens offer sedan 1917 (Uppsala: Pro Veritate. An English language edition is in preparation for publication in 2008. The preliminary title is: “Global Communist Terror – Over 100 Million Victims since 1917”). The result of the publication was personal attacks on myself and a few reviews in Swedish non-socialist media. My estimate from the material available then was around 100 million victims of communism. Later works have shown that this was an underestimation. My book is slim, under 100 pages and would be suitable for production and mass distribution to students in Sweden and the rest of Europe both on paper and in electronic format.

World Wide Communist Subversion

It is important to keep the background perspective in mind. In the Soviet drive for world domination training of communists from friendly parties was important. Networks were created worldwide using trainees at academies from communist countries. They were in turn supported by the Cheka and later KGB and GRU and after the Second World War by communist satellite intelligence services.

V.I. Lenin, one of the keenest criminal minds in world history, early claimed that the imperative was to train professional revolutionists and they had, according to him, to be trained for years. Lenin meant what he said and during the existence of the Soviet empire over 100,000 dedicated foreign communists were trained in Soviet or satellite political warfare academies. The training included armed insurgency. The trainees later made careers in local communist parties and home countries often to become powerful politicians to influence world political events.

Prior to 1917 Lenin established three political warfare training centers in Western Europe – one on the Island of Capri outside Naples in Italy, one at Bologna in Italy and the third in a suburb of Paris. The trainees of these schools did later play an important role in undermining and weakening the Kerensky government.

When in power the communists in the Soviet Union started to establish several top training academies in Moscow. They were often called ”universities” but these had nothing to do with the western concept of university (the academic training of young people). In 1920 the Bolshevik regime set up a Permanent Council for Propaganda and Action of the Peoples of the East in Baku for propaganda and conspiracy in Asia. The main target area was the Middle East: from Tashkent towards the Far East. Indian communist agents were trained at a school in Tashkent. Many were Muslim members of the Khilafat movement. Stalin laid it down that propaganda in British India was a ‘primary objective’. The Tashkent school was closed in 1921. In place of it was established the University for the Toilers of the East in Moscow. The “university” was to train Soviet Central Asians. Courses lasted three years. Around 2,000 students were trained from about 60 countries. English was the language of instruction. Later the school was reconstructed as the Sun Yat-sen University. Many of the students at that university were Chinese.

One of the leading organizers of communist subversion in the West before the Second World War was Willi Muenzenberg. An American professor, Sean McMeekin, using opened files in Moscow during the Yeltsin presidency, is the author of a biography of that Bolshevik deceiver ( The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willi Muenzenberg – Moscow’s Secret Propaganda Tzar in the West, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2004). Sometimes Muenzenberg’s activities were funded by Swedish social democratic icon, the banker Olof Aschberg.

One of the more important services in the Soviet system to support subversion in the West was the East German Staatssicherheitsdienst (Stasi). The main training center for Swedish communists was fro the end of the Second World War until the 1960s in Bad Doberan on the East German Baltic Sea coast. Scandinavia was an important area for the operations of Stasi. A former Finnish economics professor, Goesta A. Ericsson, has published DDR Stasi och Sverige (East German Stasi and Sweden, Almqvist &Wiksell Tryckeri, 192 pages) in 2000. In it Ericsson dealt mainly with trade between Sweden and East Germany during the Cold War. He claims, with extensive documentation, that large Swedish companies provided Stasi with political information to acquire favourable business deals with the East Berlin tyranny.

Recently a former Trotskyite filmmaker and writer in Sweden, Bjorn Cederberg, has provided his perspective on Stasi operations in Sweden, Kamrat Spion – om Sverige i Stasiarkiven (Comrade Spy – on Sweden in the Stasi Archives, Bokfoerlaget Mormor, Stockholm, 2007, 279 pages). The author has interviewed a number of former Stasi officers including now deceased Markus Wolf, head of Hauptverwaltung Aufklaerung from 1952 – 1986, who was responsible for foreign operations of the regime. If one keeps in mind that former Stasi officers can be unreliable witnesses the book is of a certain interest especially on the Rosenholz registers. These files contain names of those who worked for East Germany in the West in 1987 and 1988 and are in the hands of German authorities. According to Cederberg 900 names are of interest for Sweden and they were turned over to the Swedish Security Police. This has not been reported in Swedish media and the author claims that only 50 in the register were in reality Stasi agents.

The publishers of this new book claim that Cederberg is the first who have gone through all so called SIRA records (East German computer files on intelligence reports) on Sweden. The author of this report has however earlier had access to these files. They make interesting reading. One of the agents interviewed, Manfred Laszczak, was responsible for contacts with the Swedish Foreign Ministry, SIPRI, Swedish peace movements and journalists. He was popular with the peaceniks and had five journalist informants, 3 to 4 at SIPRI and 4 to 5 at the Foreign Ministry in Stockholm. One East German interviewed is Wolfgang Eschka, press attaché at the East German embassy 1973 to 1978 but in reality working for HVA. He for instance met notorious Swedish author Jan Guillou, anti-American, maoist and an admirer of Saddam Hussein. The Stasi officer moved in the highest circles of Swedish society. It was not uncommon for him to socialize with the elite circle of heads of department of the tax funded Swedish Public Radio and TV. Eschka was invited to their homes and they came to his lodgings. Leading social democratic intellectuals such as Dieter Strand were his beer buddies. An index of names in Cederberg’s book would have been useful and added to the value of this interesting work. Cederberg was once used by Stasi in Berlin to connect with a dissident writer in East Berlin, Sascha Anderson, who later turned out to be Stasi informant. The recommendation to the Swedish author was made by a Stasi agent in West Berlin. In the 1990s Cederberg produced a film on Anderson and his career.

Conclusion

The investigation of the communist genocide from 1917 to 1991 is continuing. In countries like Sweden, in which social democrats are cooperating politically with the former communist party the going is hard. The socialists do not want to hurt the former communists by demanding an extensive information on the communist genocide. Since 1991 the social democratic party has worked to cover up the communist crimes. There is no major work in Swedish on communist subversion in Sweden. One of the reason may be that university graduates are not encouraged to do research on aspects of communist subversion in Sweden. It has not been politically correct in social democratic Sweden. One can only hope that the new Conservative-Christian Democratic-Liberal-Center alliance (elected in 2006 for four years) can change the socialist trend towards cover up.

The situation is different in for instance Germany and the new European Union states in Eastern Europe. In Germany the social democrats refuse to work with the former communist party. In Eastern Europe a number of museums illustrate communist terror and genocide. An important aspect is to persuade the EU to contribute funds for a museum in Brussels and offer funds to the new member states in the east so that they can increase the informational work.

A shorter book or booklet is needed for distribution to students in high schools, colleges and universities (one such book is mentioned above). More conferences are needed on the communist genocide.

The trend today favors the line of Germany and the East Europeans in efforts to disclose much of what happened in the dark age of Soviet occupation. Also Denmark is a good example. The Danish non-socialist government has provided tax-payer’s money to establish a Center for Cold War Research (Center for Koldkrigsstudier) at Odense University on the Island of Funen. It has already sparked controversy as time is devoted to trace the histories of Danes who worked for communist intelligence agencies in existing archives. Such a brave move would be impossible in Sweden where the social democratic government for ten years after the fall of the Soviet Union actively worked to protect Swedish agents who worked for the Soviet and other communist tyrannies.

Vital archives in Poland (Instityt Pamieci Narodovej), Romania (Consiliul National Pentru Studiera Archivelor Securitati), Hungary (Allabiztonsági Szolgálatok), Czech Republic (Uad Dokumentace a Vysetováni) and Slovakia (Ustav pamati narodaj and Oddeleine pre Dokumentatiu Zlocinov Komunizmu) can provide much needed revelations. In western Europe a fine work has been carried out by BStU in Berlin. No country in pot-communist Europe has done so much in coming to grips with the communist past. Time is working for revealing the genocide in the Soviet Union and crimes of communist tyrannies in the new EU countries.

Monday, August 21, 2017

A letter from Nobel Prize nominee Ashok Malhotra

August 15, 2017

Dear Friends:

Dr. Steve Keeler, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, SUNY Cayuga Community College, created a video of “Ashoka Yoga: Gentle Yoga for Everyone” It is a simplified version of physical postures as well as breathing and meditation exercises along with systematic relaxation of 12 bodily muscles leading to total calmness. A carefree gentle yoga for all the stressed out/overworked students, faculty and other members of your community.  This video is the culmination of my fifty years of teaching yoga to people of all ages including school children from first grade to high school to college students as well as to adults of all ages.

I have been offering week-long or weekend workshop all over the USA, Europe and India to “time starved” busy people who are experiencing “time famine.” This is my way of helping them and at the same time raising funds for the Ninash Foundation (www.ninash.org) that has built 7 schools for 1700 female and minority children in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat in India.
If you are interested, I could mail you copy of the video (for $15 or more donation to Ninash Foundation) to watch with your family and friends.

Let me  also know if you would like me to come over and give a workshop at your university or rotary or organization.

I would love to come over for a weekend or a week to run a workshop for the stressed-out ones in order to rejuvenate them.

Hope to hear from you regarding my offer to help the “time starved” dear friends of yours.

In gratitude,

Dr. Ashok Kumar Malhotra

Emeritus SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor (http://employees.oneonta.edu/malhotak/)
Founder, SUNY Oneonta Philosophy Department
Founder, The Ninash Foundation (www.ninash.org)
Founder/Chair Yoga Society (http://external.oneonta.edu/yoga/)
Distinguished Alumni Award University of Hawaii
Distinguished Alumni Award East West Center
Gulland’s Excellence NRI Award
Spiritual leadership Award, SIUE
Consultant for Warner Brothers Kung Fu: legend Continues Series (1992)
Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
16 Published Books on Asian and Western Philosophy and Yoga and Meditation
Yoga Life Columns (60 plus since July 2011), The Daily Star (Newspaper)


Monday, May 15, 2017

Ashok Kumar, Nobel Prize nominee

Ninash Foundation: INDIA Visit

Linda and I had an exciting time visiting more than 1700 children, teachers, principals and administrators at the Ninash's seven schools in Kuran, Sagbara, Mahapura and Dundlod from December 31, 2016 to Jan 18, 2017.

1. The children of each school presented entertainment through dances and skits in various languages with social, moral and national message.  We went to all the classes in each school, chatting with children and teachers emphasizing the importance of showing compassion through helpfulness and kindness to each other, being respectful to teachers and other children as well as the importance of learning and speaking English along with regional languages of Gujarati and Rajasthani, national language of Hindi and international language of English. We emphasized that speaking regional languages is important but limited to their specific region; whereas speaking Hindi is very important for conversing with people of India; however, learning and speaking English would open up the entire world to them. I learned Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi but it was only when I learned English that I could travel to USA and get a PhD and become a professor in the USA to teach American students about the philosophy of India in their own language.
These chit chat sessions helped inspire the children and teachers and were gratifying to us.

2.  First Highlight: Visiting the Newly Adopted Waymade School in Sagbara (7th School)
We met with 280 tribal children of the newly inaugurated Waymade School in the Village of Sagbara that borders the remote areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Children entertained us by singing, performing dances and enacting skits in diverse languages. Linda and I interacted with the children by making short speeches to the entire group and congratulating them for learning Hindi, Gujarati and English as well as computers. We met with the teachers and talked to them about their duties toward these underprivileged children, teaching them subjects along with character building and being courteous to each other and the same was applicable to the teachers.

3. Another highlight of the visit: We brought together the Ninash Team of principals and administrators from Kuran, Dundlod and Mahapura the first time to open a dialogue among them at the Mahapura School. The entire team of Ganga Singh, A.V. George and Sangeeta from Dundlod; Ramgusai from Kuran; Pushpendra, Yatan, Mahavir and Rashmi Rathore from Mahapura along with Sandeep Gupta, Linda and I visited the Indo-International Culture School in Mahapura where we watched entertainment and the science fair presented by the children. The Ninash Team spent two hours discussing issues pertaining to the running of the schools, dealing with the government, FCRA permission, road work, computers and library as well as fundraising for various projects essential to modernizing the schools. The group decided to set up ways to communicate with each other through telephone, email and other means available on the internet.

4.  We were much impressed by the achievements made in each school in terms of the well-behaved children, who were excelling in their speaking abilities, getting high marks in the board exam, singing songs, reciting poems as well as performing on the stage various skits and dances. It was all due to the hard work of the teachers and principals in each school along with the children who listened and followed the teachers' instructions. Bravo to teachers, principals and administrators for doing such an excellent job! We were touched by their performance, achievement and behavior.
To continue with this admirable educational experience being offered to this neglected minority of children so that they could become aware of and assert their rightful place in the developing economy of India, the Ninash Foundation (www.ninash.org) requests funding for the following projects through the generous support of our compassionate donors:
List of projects and estimated budget for each:

1.       Playground set (Cost: $1000)
2.       White boards for each classroom notebooks (Cost $500 per school)
3.       Tee shirts and shoes for each child and teacher (Cost: $500 per school)
4.       Solar panels (Cost: $7000 each for Mahapura, Kuran and Sagbara Schools)
5.       Generator for electricity for the school (Cost: $5000 for each school in Sagbara and Kuran)
6.       State of the art WIFI/Internet (Cost: $500 for a year for each school)
7.       Rain Harvesting Material, pond, pipes, roofs, gutters etc.  (Cost; $4000 per school)
8.      College scholarships for children, who after graduation would like to go to college
(Cost per student per year $650 times 4=$2500 for four years; Immediate goal is to send at least four children to colleges of their choice)
9.      Art lessons for the children and community (Cost to hire an Art Teacher= $3000 a year)
10.   State of the art smart classrooms (Cost: $3000 for each school)
11.   New Computers (Cost: $400 per computer times 20=$8,000)
12.   A New School Building for 250 tribal Children of Sagbara, Gujarat (Cost: $80,000)
13.   Toilets for 80 families (Cost: $500 times 80= $40,000)

NOTE: Please go to Ninash website at www.ninash.org and donate through PayPal or write a check to the Ninash Foundation, 17 Center Street, Oneonta, NY 13820, USA.

In Gratitude,

Dr. Ashok Kumar Malhotra, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor
(http://employees.oneonta.edu/malhotak/)
Founder/Chair Yoga Society (http://external.oneonta.edu/yoga/)
Founder, The Ninash Foundation (www.ninash.org)
Distinguished Alumni Award University of Hawaii
Distinguished Alumni Award East West Center
Nominated for the 2010-2017 Nobel Peace Prize

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Thing of interest from Ashok Malhotra

All ISCSC members and Civilitas blog readers are invited to explore Ashok Malhotra's recent accomplishments. Ashok is a loyal member of ISCSC and has been for many years. His efforts have even led to his nomination as a nominees for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. This short list will enable you to experience Ashok's wisdom for yourself. Enjoy!


1. GRANDPA CHOPRA'S STORIES FOR LIFE'S NOURISHMENT, (English Edition) Vol 1 (40 stories--each with a moral like Aesop’s Fables): Amazon or Google Search
2. WSKG Radio Interview “Grandpa Chopras’s Stories for Life’s Nourishment Retold” By Ashok Kumar Malhotra http://wskg.org/arts/grandpa-choprass-stories-for-lifes-nourishment-retold-by-ashok-kumar-malhotra/
3. The Ashok Malhotra Story: THE NIGHTINGALE & THE FIREFLY, Allotsego.com (A Three-Part Series on Ashok’s Life)
4. Wisdom Stories of Grandpa Chopra - Volume 2, Kindle Edition
by Ashok Malhotra (Second Volume contains 40 new stories--each with a moral like Aesop’s Fables):Go to Amazon or Google Search
5. INTERVIEW WITH DR. ASHOK KUMAR MALHOTRA
Go to: IdeaIndia.com

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Subject: National Integration Week in Pransala, Gujarat


Dear  Compassionate Friends of ISCSC:

How are you?

I just finished six days at Pransala, Gujarat, India (Dec 23-29) where Swami Dharambandhu is running the National Integration week with 15000 children, 2000 security force personnel, 2000 soldiers and 1000 visitors. I met with governors of Bihar and Tripura, Deepka, the Olympic gymnast, a number of philanthropists, political leaders, scientists working to send missions to Mars, cyber security people and other compassionate people. I also gave four lectures to these students from 20 states of India urging them to follow the slogan "each one teach one" to wipe  out illiteracy in India and the world in our life time.



Linda will arrive today and we will start our Journey together to visit all the seven school in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Namaste and best wishes for the New Year.

Ashok


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ninash Foundation Appeal to the Compassionate Members of the (ISCSC)

This Holiday Season (2016) coincides with the 20th Anniversary of the Ninash Foundation (www.ninash.org), a 501©(3)  not-for-profit charity that built its first school for 50 female and minority children of India in 1996. Today the foundation has 7 schools in the remote parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat educating more than 1800 underprivileged children. More than 100 of these children are going to colleges of their choice where they are getting their degrees in medicine, engineering, business, secretarial profession, etc.  It is all because of your donations that support this very noble effort.

Ninash Foundation
www.ninash.org
The first Indo-International Culture School was established in 1996 with 50 female and minority children (formerly called untouchables) in a one-room school-house.

Below are some of the projects that need to be funded during the next year at the seven schools. Please open your hearts and pockets to contribute to one or more of these projects by visiting the Ninash Foundation website at www.ninash.org and pay through PayPal or send a check to The Ninash Foundation, 17 Center Street, Oneonta, New York13820.

Ninash Foundation
www.ninash.org
The first Indo-International Culture School was established in 1996 with 50 female and minority children (formerly called untouchables) in a one-room school-house.


List of projects and estimated budget for each:.

1.     Playground set (Cost: $1000)
2.     White boards for each classroom notebooks (Cost $500 per school)
3.     Tee shirts and shoes for each child and teacher (Cost: $500 per school)
4      Solar panels (Cost: $7000 for each school)
5.     Generator for electricity for the school (Cost: $5000 for each school)
6.     State of the art WIFI/Internet (Cost: $500 for a year)
7.     Rain Harvesting Material, pond, pipes, roofs, gutters etc.  (Cost; $4000 per school)
8.     College scholarships for children, who after graduation would like to go to college
        (Cost per student per year $650 times 4=$2500 for four years)
9.     Art lessons for the children and community (Cost to hire an Art Teacher= $3000 a year)
10.   State of the art smart classrooms (Cost: $3000 for each school)
11.   New Computers (Cost: $400 per computer times 20=$8000)
12.   A New School building for 250 tribal Children of Sagbara, Gujarat (Cost: $80,000)
13.   Toilets for 80 families (Cost: $500 times 80= $40,000)

I hope to hear from you soon!

With kind regards,
Ashok

Dr. Ashok Kumar Malhotra, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor
(http://employees.oneonta.edu/malhotak/)
Founder/Chair Yoga Society (http://external.oneonta.edu/yoga/)
Founder, The Ninash Foundation (www.ninash.org)
Hillary Clinton/Obama Delegate: Democratic Convention 2008
Distinguished Alumni Award University of Hawaii
Distinguished Alumni Award East West Center
Nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize

REMEMBERING THE DEATH OF KING CHARLES XII ON NOVEMBER 30, 1718

Bertill Haggman
November 30, 2016

During the Great Northern War (1700 – 1721) Sweden was allied to the Crimean Khanate and Devlet Geray, Khan of Budjak, of Crimea, Nogay and Circassia.

Budjak is now part of independent Ukraine, subdivided into two cities and nine administrative districts (raions) of the Odessa Oblast. The main ethnic groups today are Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Russians and Moldovans. Earlier the Nogay Tatars also lived in Budjak.

The Nogay horde was a confederation of 18 Turkic and Mongol tribes that ha migrated west from the Pontic-Caspian steppe. The Nogay were divided in Budjak (from the River Danube to the River Dniestr), Yedisans (from the River Dniestr to the River Bug), Janboyluk (from the River Bug to Crimea) and the Yedikul (north of Crimea and Kuban).
It should be remembered that both Charles XII and the Ukrainian Head of State Ivan Mazepa and his successor Pylyp Orlyk from 1707 to 1714 sought alliances against Russia with also Bashkirs, the Don Cossacks and Circassians.