Baku-February 1905 – Reasons for the Assassination of Nakashidze

Baku-February 1905 - ReasonsOn May 11, 1905, Dro (Drastamat Kanayan) assassinated the Baku Governor-General Nakashidze, whom the Dashnaktsutsyun party had found guilty of Armenian pogroms. But what were the reasons for the assassination of Nakashidze?

On February 6, at about 12 o’clock in the center of Baku, next to the Armenian church on Parapet Square, Armenians killed a prosperous and influential resident of the city named Agarza Babayev. On his body were discovered numerous traces of gunshot and stab wounds. A rumor spread throughout the city that Agarza’s body had been mutilated; more than 200 wounds were found on his body.

Babayev was killed under the following circumstances.

An Armenian soldier was shot dead near the church. Arriving at the crime scene, the police could not figure out the identity of the killer.

Immediately after the shot, the Armenians surrounded A. Babayev who was present at the crime scene. The Armenians tried to convince the arrived police that it was Babayev who shot the Armenian soldier and announced that they intended to settle a score with the culprit themselves.

For a moment, the police inspector managed to calm the people down. But when he seated Babayev in a police phaeton to take him to the police station, the indignant crowd of Armenians opened fire at the phaeton. Babayev jumped out of the phaeton and attempted to flee, but the Armenians caught up with him and killed him. The police would seize a Smith & Wesson revolver from Babayev.

Having heard the news about the murder of Babayev, his relatives arrived in Baku in the evening of the same day. Being unable to find his actual killers, they began to kill any Armenians they met. 200 civilian Armenians, 40 Azerbaijanis, and 8 representatives of other nations would be killed in the incident.

During this period, the governor-general of Baku was Nakashidze. On the same day, he prepared a report in which he assured that the police had all the power and means to prevent further bloodshed.

But he did not keep his words. In fact, it was very likely that Nakashidze did not have the intention to stop the pogroms of the Armenians. For which, three months later, he paid with his own life. The Dashnaktsutsyun party sentenced him to death, and Drastamat Kanayan assassinated him.

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