MOSCOW (Realist English). The Armenian people are being tricked into concluding a so-called peace treaty with Azerbaijan so that the Baku-Turkish occupiers legalize their territorial seizures. The aggressors are in a hurry, because the international situation is changing not in favor of Turkey. They need a piece of paper to cover their nakedness.
Only, it turns out unfairly. In 1994, following the results of the Artsakh Liberation War, Baku and Moscow forced the Armenians to limit themselves to a truce that could be violated at any time, and now they suddenly need a peace treaty with Armenia. Why such selectivity? But the saddest thing is not even in these double standards, but in the fact that the government in Yerevan threatens the Armenian people with a new war, putting forward an ultimatum to them: either you agree to the Turkish occupation, or you will be attacked again. That is, these characters openly act on the side of the enemies of the Armenian people.
Where are you hasting so much? Did you know that from 1945 to 2005, only 39 out of 288 conflicts ended with a peace agreement, that is, 13.5%. The Swedish University of Uppsala cites these data in their study. It turns out that more than 86% of the fighting ended without a peace agreement. And nothing happens — the peoples live in peace and without any treaties. There are many countries on the planet Earth that have not concluded peace agreements as a result of wars. For example, Russia and Japan do not have such an agreement. They live in peace even in the presence of territorial problems.
Do you know what it’s like? You’ve been living in your apartment for generations. And suddenly, at the most unexpected moment, robbers break into your home, occupy the hall, corridor and kitchen. And they leave you the furthest room and threaten: either you move out, or you will be stabbed at night. At the same time, the robbers agreed with the head of the housing department and made themselves a fake certificate of ownership, which they impose on you. Yes, that’s right! All the Baku-Turkish claims to Artsakh and Armenia are a fake “certificate of ownership” under the names of the Moscow Treaty and the Kars Treaty, which deprived the Armenian people of their ancestral lands in the West and the East.
And here we come to the main question: what borders of Armenia can we talk about today? Roughly speaking: Where the Armenian border actually ends and Azerbaijan begins?
Civilized peoples are looking for answers in historical evidence. So, if we consider ourselves civilized, let’s turn first to the ancient authors of the I-II centuries, who claim that the borders of Armenia in the west passed along the Euphrates River, and in the east — along the Kura River. What’s the other way? The border between the Armenian and Albanian kingdoms ran along the Kura — up to its confluence with the Araks. Moreover, such historical regions as Utik, Sakasena and Artsakh were part of Armenia.
In particular, the description of the Armenian borders belongs to the pen of the ancient Greek geographer and mathematician Claudius Ptolemy (c. 100-170 AD), who specified that Armenia borders on the north with Colchis, Iberia and Albania (arm. Agvank) along the line running along the Kura River, from the west — with Cappadocia along the Euphrates and along the The Cappadocian Pontus to Colchis through the Moschian Mountains, and from the east — with part of the Caspian Sea from the mouth of the Kura River.
Before Claudius Ptolemy , the ancient Roman writer Pliny the Elder spoke about this:
“So, Great Armenia has a border to Adiabene, being separated from it by a wide mountain range, and on the left side it stretches to the Kura River.”
We find a similar description of Armenia in the Greek historian Strabo, who calls the province of Artsakh Orchistena, and the Kura River Cyrus:
“There are many mountains and plateaus in Armenia itself, where even the vine grows with difficulty. There are many valleys there, and some of them are not particularly fertile, while others, on the contrary, are extremely fertile, for example, the Araks plain, through which the Araks River flows to the borders of Albania, flowing into the Caspian Sea.
Beyond this plain is Sakasena, also bordering Albania and the river Cyrus; further still is Gagarina. The province of Armenia is Favena, as well as Komisena and Orchistena, which exhibits the largest number of riders.”
The borders of Armenia marked by the Greeks and the Romans are the scientific standard that Armenian scientists in the Russian Empire equaled to. This is how Ivan Chopin describes it in his book “Historical Monument of the State of the Armenian region in the Era of its Annexation to the Russian Empire”, which was published under the auspices of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in 1852:
“The country known by the name of Armenia was once a fairly significant state, which stretched in length from the banks of the Euphrates to the Kura and the Caspian Sea for 1,500 versts (miles); and in width from the lands of the Laz, Colchis, the Caucasus Mountains and Iberia, to the southern limits of Diarbekir, for 1,200 versts.
This vast country, comprising about one million eight hundred thousand square miles, has been inhabited since ancient times by Armenians, who, forced by the vicissitudes that befell their fatherland, often migrated from it in whole colonies and were replaced by new immigrants from different peoples who alternately dominated Asia Minor.
The Great Armenia bordered to the west with Little Armenia, from which it was separated by the Euphrates; to the south it had Mesopotamia, Assyria and Kurdistan, from which it was separated by the branch of the Tar Mountains; to the east it was bordered by the Persian province of Atrapatakan (Azerbaijan) and the Caspian Sea, and to the north the kingdom of Albania (present-day Shaki and Shirvan), Iberia (Georgia) and Colchis (Mingrelia, Imeretia and Guria), with part of the Trebizond pashalyk.”
Further on page 18 of the book, Chopin lists the parts of Armenia that, as of the middle of the XIX century, were under the control of Russia.
Among them, Karabakh is in the sixth position, which Chopin also calls the ancient province of Artsakh. It is noteworthy that Elizavetpolsky district is also listed in the fifth position among the Armenian territories. Chopin characterizes it as part of the ancient Armenian province of Utik. The capital of the Elizavetpol district is the Armenian city of Gandzak. In Soviet times it was called Kirovabad, and now, in the Azerbaijani manner, it is called Ganja.
I remind you that Chopin was not just a writer, but had the rank of state councilor, which in military service was equivalent to the rank of general major or rear admiral. Chopin’s composition is far from the only evidence of belonging to the Armenian people of Artsakh and other provinces in the east of former Soviet Armenia.
The work of State Councilor Alexander Khudobashev “The Review of Armenia in geographical, historical and literary relations”, published in St. Petersburg in 1859, also deserves attention.
On page 23 of his scientific work, Artsakh is listed as an Armenian province. Similarly, the picture of the Armenian world is described by the tsarist General Viktor Abaza in his “History of Armenia”, which was published in the year of one thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight.
Abaza reminds that the province of Artsakh consists of 12 regions with cities: Gandzak, taken after the fall of the Arshakids by the Agavuns, that is, by the Aghvans or Albanians, and renamed by them into Gandzak Agovanits. According to the expert, at the end of the XI century, the patriarch of Aguvan resided here. In 1804, the city was taken by the Russians and renamed Elizavetpol. Amaras, the place where the relics of St. Gregory, the grandson of St. Gregory the Illuminator, were kept, says Abaza.
Why did the area of Armenian statehood develop exactly this way and not otherwise? There is a simple explanation for this. On the plains, military prowess was often inferior to the numerical superiority of the invaders. If the border is based on a physical barrier in the form of a mountain, river or sea, then it is stable because it can be defended from an invader.
If there is no physical barrier, then this is no longer a border, but a line of contact, which will change over time depending on the quantitative and material factors of force. It is no coincidence that according to the Treaty of Turkmanchay, the border between the Russian Empire and Persia passed along the Araks River.
However, the rivers have not only a military-political meaning, but also a mystical character. Scientists who believed that Eden was in Armenia, in support of their position, cited the opinion that two rivers flow here, indicated in the Bible. They considered the Kura to be the biblical river Fison, which,, according to legend, flowed out of Eden, and the Arax–Geon. This was the testament of history: the Kura for centuries provided the border between Armenia and Albania.
Therefore, guided primarily by the interests of security, in 87 BC, King Tigran the Great included Albania, located on the left bank of the Kura, into his power, which provoked a war with Parthia, which the Armenians won two years later.
Almost four centuries after Tigran Artashesid, already in the III century AD, the Armenian kings considered the right bank of the Kura and the whole of Albania as vassal territories. However, already during the wars of Persia and Byzantium in the second half of the IV century, the situation began to change. In contrast to the Armenians, the Albanian tsar declared himself an ally of Shah Shapur II . As a result of his military successes the Armenian regions of Utik, Shakashen, Gardman and others were incorporated into Albania.
However, under the Armenian tsar the Pope, who was an ally of Byzantium, these regions returned to Armenia. The Armenian rulers lost the right bank of the Kura River in the three hundred and eighty-seventh year, when Byzantium and Persia concluded an agreement on the division of the Armenian kingdom.
Our opponents may object: they say that the Armenians are only hiding behind their ancient history, but they have no arguments for the modern period. If you don’t like Roman, Greek or Russian sources, then take a look at the note of the Georgian tsar Heraclius II from 1769, which says the following:
“Khams [i.e. Artsakh – S.Ts.] is a domain in which seven provinceы, the entire people of the Armenian law, in that possession is the Armenian patriarch.” (“Charters and other historical documents of the XYIII century relating to Georgia”, vol. I, from 1768 to 1774, edited by A.A. Tsagareli, St. Petersburg, 1891, doc. 198, p. 434).
Further in his description, Tsar Heraclius II cites a fact that confirms that back in the XVIII century the indigenous inhabitants of the Sheki Khanate, located on the right bank of the Kura, were Armenians, as well as representatives of the “Greek law”, meaning Georgians and probably Albanians:
“The grandfather of Aji Chalab was called the Sheki Khan, his father was an Armenian priest, but Aji Chalab adopted the Mohammedan faith and took possession of Sheka, which in ancient times was under the rule of the Kakheti king, but was forcibly taken away by the Mohammedan Persian Shah Abbas I. And many subjects of the Armenian law live openly in that domain, and of our Greek law with fear.” (“Charters and other historical documents of the XYIII century relating to Georgia”, vol. I, from 1768 to 1774, edited by A.A. Tsagareli, St. Petersburg, 1891, doc. 198, pp. 435 – 436).
That is, Armenians were the majority in the Sheki Khanate and openly professed their faith.
And where do the descendants of these Armenians live now? There was no place for them in Azerbaijan! Since Soviet times, the Baku regime has done everything to ensure that Armenians, being indigenous residents of the right bank of the Kura, left their homes — following the Armenians from Baku and Sumgait. It is with this Azerbaijan that the Armenian authorities propose to sign a peace treaty, which in fact will turn into new ethnic cleansing.
Therefore, I have every right to declare that any supporter of reconciliation with Azerbaijan and Turkey, without taking into account the right of the Artsakh Armenians to independence, is an accomplice of the Baku-Turkish gangs and their policy of genocide.
Sarkis Tsaturyan is the Editor-in-chief of Realist Information Agency, author of the analytical program “Power”