Resettlement policy of the Russian Empire

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It has already been accepted by most scientific circles that Armenians are not local population of the Caucasus. 

Since the ancient times several authors (Heredotus, Strabo, I.Chopin, S.Solovyov, G.Kapantsyan, I.M.Dyakonov, N.Adons, A.B.Totadze, G.R.Markhuliya, and others)  made claims about ethnic origins of Armenians that they were not Caucasian. It is known that they came from Balkans, in other word from Thrace and Thessaly. In different periods of the history Armenians   migrated to the Southern Caucasus, as well as, to Azerbaijan and started to oppress local people.

Even in the beginning of the 18th century, in the period of Peter the Great Armenians used the opportunity of the occupation of some territories of Azerbaijan by Russia for their own purposes. Ten thousands of Armenians were resettled in different territories on the shores of Azerbaijan (Darband, Baku, Salyan and etc.) with the consent of the Russian government and organization of the Armenian Church.

In 1828 after complete inclusion of the Northern Azerbaijan into the composition of the Russian Empire systematic resettlement of Armenians from southern part of Aras to Nakhchivan, Yerevan and Karabakh region began. Meanwhile, Armenians from the territories of Ottoman Empire also were resettled in those territories.  Russian author S.Glinka says that in 1828, 40 thousands of Armenians were resettled to Nakhchivan, Yerevan and Karabakh. (С. Глиника. Описание переселения армян Аддербиджанских в пределы России. М., 1831, 142 с.).   A.S.Griboyedov, N.I.Shavrov, V.L.Velichko and others also marked that after the signature of Turkmanchay treaty ten thousands of Armenians were resettled to the Northern Azerbaijan. All these facts caused demographic changes in composition of the population in Armenians’ favor. If there were 3641 Azerbaijanis and 1829 Armenians in Nakhchivan in 1829, in 1873 there were 20836 Azerbaijanis and 17486 Armenians, 3131 Azerbaijanis and 360 Armenians in Ordubad town, 9593 Azerbaijanis and 4864 Armenians in Ordubad district, and 19040 Azerbaijanis and 11477 Armenians in Daralayaz district. (С.П.Зелинский. “Три магала: Нахичеванский, Ордубадский и Даралагезский. Географо-статистическое и сельскохозяйственное описание”. // “Сборник сведений о Кавказе”, т. VII, Тифлис, 1880, c. 248).

According to the statistic information created in 1880, there were 46426 Azerbaijanis and 29784 Armenians in Yerevan district of Yerevan governorate, 29800 Azerbaijanis and 18096 Armenians in Surmali district, and 38776 Azerbaijanis and 29784 Armenians in Sharur-Daralayaz district. There were also 54931 Azerbaijanis and 19861 Armenians in Yelizavetpol district, 17400 Azerbaijanis and 3501 Armenians in Nukha town. (“Сборник сведений о Кавказе”, т. VII, Тифлис, 1880, c. XVIII-XXIII). 

As it seems from the information above, despite of the ten years long resettlement policy of the Russian government and its care towards Armenians, there were more Azerbaijanis in Yerevan and Yelizavetpol governorates, historical Azerbaijani lands,  in the 80th years of the 19th century in comparison with Armenians.

Aqil Shahmuradov