Expulsion of Azerbaijanis from their lands in the soviet period

The facts illustrate that over the 70-years of Soviet rule Armenia succeeded in expanding its territory at the expense of Azerbaijan and using every possible means to expel the Azerbaijanis from their lands. During this period, this policy was implemented systematically and methodically.

As for the territory of Armenia, according to Armenian scholars, on the basis of the Treaty of Batoum signed by Turkey with Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia on 4 June 1918, the territory of the first Armenian state in the South Caucasus established on 28 May 1918 – with the capital, which was conceded by Azerbaijan on 29 May 1918 – formed a minimum of 8,000, 9,000 and a maximum of 10,000 sq.km in the western part of present-day Armenia. During the existence of this Armenian state from 1918-1920, it failed to expand its territories at the expense of neighbours.

On 30 November 1920, after the occupation of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan by Bolshevik Russia, with the aim of sovietization of Armenia, the western part of Zangazur uyezd was included in Armenia. As a result, the Nakhchyvan region was cut off from the main body of Azerbaijan.

From 12 March 1922 to 5 December 1936 Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia formed the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republics (hereinafter – TSFSR). Until the admission of Azerbaijan into the TSFSR, the Basarkechar region of New-Bayazid uyezd, together with two thirds of Sharur-Daralayaz uyezd, had already been included in Armenia. After the admission of Azerbaijan into the TSFSR a considerable portion of Gazakh uyezd, a number of villages from Jabrayil uyezd and from the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Nakhchyvan were included in Armenia.

Thus, due to “sovietization,” the territory of Armenia increased from 8,000-10,000 sq.km to 29,800 sq.km, mostly at the expense of Azerbaijani lands.

During the Soviet period the immigration of a great number of Armenians from abroad and expulsion of Azerbaijanis from their lands took place. Thus, as per Armenian sources, about more than 42,000 Armenians arrived in Armenia between 1921 and 1936. The next step towards the artificial change of the demographic composition of the population in Armenia was a decree by Stalin in November 1945 on the immigration of foreign Armenians, according to which Armenia received more than 50,000 immigrants in 1946, 35,400 in 1947, and about 10,000 in 1948.

On the pretext of resettling the Armenians coming from abroad, the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted on 23 December 1947 and 10 March 1948 special decisions on the resettlement of collective farm workers and the other parts of the Azerbaijani population from the Armenian SSR to the Kur-Araz lowlands in the Azerbaijan SSR. Under these decisions, during the period between 1948 and 1953 more than 150,000 Azerbaijanis were forcibly resettled from their historical homelands – the mountainous regions of Armenia – to the then waterless steppes of Mughan and the Mil plateau. At the same time, by mid 1961, 200,000 Armenians immigrated to Armenia and between 1962 and 1973 – 26,100 people.

Shortly after the assertion of claims on Nagorny Karabakh at the end of 1980s, the remaining more than 200,000 Azerbaijanis were forcibly deported from Armenia