Message from the Pontian Greeks of Russia’s Caucasus: The pandemic did not defeat Prometheus


As the Greeks of the Caucasus, whose association is known as “the children of Prometheus”, face the COVID-19 pandemic, they send a message of strength to Greece.

As Prometheus set fire to people according to mythology, in the same way the Greek association of the Caucasus, named after the mythical hero, tries to keep the “flame” of Greek-Russian relations burning despite the difficulties that prevail due to pandemic.

More than 3,000 Greeks live in the region of North Ossetia, whose ancestors found refuge there during the Greek Genocide in Pontus, particularly between 1916 and 1922.

All About South Ossetia's 2017 Name Change - Political Geography Now
North Ossetia’s location in Russia, while South Ossetia has a de facto independence but mostly recognised as a part of Georgia.

The Greek-Russian association “Prometheus” successfully marks just over 30 years of operation and was in fact one of the first organised movements in the field of bilateral relations between Greece and Russia.

“Prometheus is alive and will live! We always think of Greece, we have it in our hearts and we follow the developments in it,” the president of the association, George (Giura) Aslanidis, emphasised to Sputnik Hellas.

“We do not forget the friendly and family ties that we maintain there,” he added.

The goals of the association remain, despite the outbreak of the COVID-19, the preservation of Greek identity in the region and the strengthening of the economy through Greek-Russian relations with a consortia of companies.

Dozens of young Greeks in the Caucasus region are learning the Greek language and Greek traditions, while celebrating every year all the national anniversaries of Greece, as they did this year despite the pandemic.

“We hold important events and plan new ones. But the coronavirus is still here,” Aslanidis said.

“Treatment conditions have been created, there are several hospital beds, but, unfortunately, the behavior of residents is often non-compliance with the requirements for coronavirus protection,” he continued.

“There are many sick and dead. Both I and my family members also got sick to a different degree,” Aslanidis added.

As he noted, many have died in the wider area, among them Greeks which was something “quite bitter and sad. But we hope for the end of the pandemic.”

“The authorities are doing everything to improve the situation, the number of patients has been significantly reduced and vaccinations are actively progressing,” the president explained.

However, the statue of Prometheus, with the broken chains in his hands, looks arrogantly at the slopes of the Caucasus and the Greeks, sending the message: “We will win, freedom is coming”.

READ MORE: Greece and Russia strengthen relations on Civil Protection issues.