The long struggle of the North Caucasian Mountaineers against Russia in the mid-nineteenth century attracted broad European sympathy and admiration. Among prominent writers who championed the cause of the Caucasian Muslims we find Karl Marx, whose writings about this and other freedom struggles of subject peoples in the Russian empire, such as the Poles, were a constant source of embarrassment to the Soviets. Marx and even professional historians described the struggle primarily in terms of the leadership and personality of the Imam Shamil. Shamil is unquestionably one of the most colourful and effective anti-colonial resistance leaders of the nineteenth century.
Paul B. Henze
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