On this day, May 21, 1864, Russia declares an end to the Russo-Circassian War after the scorched earth campaign initiated in 1862 under General Yevdokimov. When the Circassian people refused to convert to Christianity from Islam, almost the entire population was are forced into exile from their North Caucasus homeland. More than 1.5 million Circassians were expelled — 90% of the total population at the time. Most of them perished en route, victims of disease, hunger, and exhaustion. The day is designated the Circassian Day of Mourning and the event is known as The Circassian Genocide. The Sochi Olympics were held on former Circassian land.