CHAPTER 14 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SOVIET POWER IN TRANSCAUCASIA. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE KARABAKH AND NAKHICHEVAN ANNEXATION TO AZERBAIJAN (1920-1923)

Some scholars suggest that the attack on “imperialist” Armenia from both Russian and Turkish sides was planned beforehand. During the Turkish attack, the Russian propoganda had already undermined the Armenian army internally. The Bolshevik preachers convinced the Armenian soldiers, that the Turks were their “liberators”, arriving to free them from the chairs of imperialism. As a result of propaganda the Armenian soldiers, without sign of resistence handed Kars and other settlements over to the Turks. The Russian diplomacy even refused to act as a peaceful mediator between Turkey and Armenia later, in September. While in his letter to the People’s Commissar of Trade L. Krasin Chicherin wrote that “Soviet Russia had offered its intermediary to Armenia and Turkey. After the latest successes of the Turkish nationalists (the occupation of the whole of western Armenia) the situation of Armenia is disasterous and Russian help would be just in time…13

Remains only to conclude that the actions of both sides were previously secretly and thoroughly worked out. The Turks overran the Kars districts, then took Alexandropol (Giumri). Meanwhile the Red Army led by the Armenian Bolsheviks, marched into Ijevan and Dilijan. The Dashnak government decided to hand over peacefully to the Bolsheviks, as there was nothing else to do in the catastrophic situation, and Soviet power appeared to offer physical safety and more hopes to Armenian aspirations. On November 30, in Alexandropol the Dashnak government, through the Russian intermediary, signed an agreement with the Turks. This Treaty of Alexandropol confined Armenia within the frontiers fixed by the Treaty of Batum. Armenia lost Kars, Nakhichevan and Zangezur. Paradoxically the treaty was signed by a superseded government, as the government of Vratsian was to resign the next day, handing the power over the Soviets.

The Bolshevik victory in Armenia on 29 November 1920 seemed for a short time to be on the verge of realizing the formation of a Soviet Republic of Armenia on the territorial basis of Yerevan, Nakhichevan and Nagorni Karabakh. Under the influence of these developments, the President of the Revolutionary Committee of Azerbaijan Nariman Narimanov and the Peoples’ Commissar of external Affairs Husseinov, stated publicly on November 30, 1920 in a telegram sent to Narimanov’s Armenian counterpart;

“The worker-peasant government of Azerbaijan, receiving the good message of establishment of Soviet Power in Armenia, welcomes the achievement of the fraternal Armenian nation. As of today the old frontiers between Armenia and Azerbaijan are annuled. Nagorny Karabakh, Zangezur and Nakhichevan are recognized as integral parts of the Socialist Republic of Armenia. Long live the brotherhood and unity of the Azerbaijani and Armenian workers and peasants.

President of the Revolutionary Committee of Azerbaijan Narimanov

Peoples’ Commissar for External Affairs Husseinov

November 30, 1920

On December 2. 1920 Orjonokidze informed Lenin and Stalin;

“Azerbaijan had proclaimed already yesterday the attachment of Nakhichevan, Zangezur and Karabakh to Soviet Armenia.”15

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21