Hovhannes Lazarian’s Ideas of an Armenian Kingdom

Hovhannes Lazarian’s Ideas of an Armenian KingdomIt should be noted that Hovhannes Lazarian (Ivan Lazarev) mainly had no relation to the resettlement of Armenians in the Crimea. In Crimea, Armenians lived in a small community long before the fall of Ani, but the resettlement mainly occurred during the decline.

To the settlement of Azov and its coastal areas, Hovhannes Lazarian seems to have had a direct relationship. In the records of the history of resettlement, it is said that half of the migrants died on the road, the other half in the first winter, and only a small part of the settlers managed to survive.

In addition to the cities founded by Hovhannes Lazarian, Grigoriopol and New Nakhichevan (later Rostov-on-Don), other settlements established by Armenians are known, including Budynnovsk, Chaltr, Leninavan, and the Crimean rural settlement of the Myasnikovsky District of the Rostov Region.

Hovhannes Lazaryan certainly did a lot for the Russian Armenians, but let’s not forget that he was an official of the Russian Empire and mostly worked for the benefit of the government. This is also evidenced by the idea of resettlement of Armenians from Crimea to the Azov coast.

Together with his brothers, he ordered the construction of Armenian churches in both Russian capitals – the Armenian Church of St. Catherine (St. Petersburg) and the Surb Khach Church (Moscow).

Ivan Lazarev bequeathed his fortune to the creation of a school for poor Armenian children (the future Lazarevsky Institute of Oriental Languages in Moscow). In his will, he ordered his brother and heir Joachim (Yekim) Lazarev to deposit 200,000 rubles in cash in the Moscow guardian council for a considerable amount of money to build over time. It had to be then invested in the construction of an education and training center for poor Armenian children.

Together with the spiritual leader of Russian Armenians Archbishop Joseph Argutinskiy-Dolgorukiy (Hovsep Arghutyan), Lazarev participated in the development of projects for the re-creation of the Armenian kingdom under the auspices of Russia, which was never established. In the scope of the project, they developed a plan on the settlement of Armenians in the lands of North Caucasus and Crimea, which were subordinate to the Russian Empire.

Ivan Lazarev hugely contributed to the settlement of thousands of Armenians in Russia, the foundation of cities of Grigoriopol and New Nakhichevan, and the establishment of many charitable and educational institutions for the children of migrants.

The resettlement of tens of thousands of Armenians in Russia, the development of education, spirituality, and culture among the settlers was largely carried out on his initiative and under his leadership.

Unfortunately, further events show the systematic destruction of the idea of an Armenian kingdom. Today, those processes are more in-depth, for example, the armament of Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenia.

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