On July 5, 1921, by the decision of Soviet Russia, Artsakh was forcibly attached to Azerbaijan. Interestingly, prior to the adoption of this decision, the Artsakh district occupied by the Red Army together with Zangezur and Nakhijevan was recognized a disputed territory as a result of the war unleashed against the Armenians and under the Armenian-Russian agreement concluded on August 10, 1920.
These territories were occupied by Russian troops.
It should be noted that an ultimatum to the Armenian government presented in May 1920 by members of the Bolshevik government Mekhonoshin, Levandovsky, and Kirov preceded the military actions and subsequent occupation.
“On the borders of Armenia and friendly Azerbaijan, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan continues. The Russian government considers its sacred duty to come to the aid of Soviet Azerbaijan which addressed it (the Russian government) for the final establishment of power in the country.
Clashes on the basis of national hatred sown by Dashnaks and Musavatists benefit only the oppressors of the peoples and exploiters of the working class. All territorial disputes between countries should be resolved by the will of the working people and the self-determination of the people.
Soviet Azerbaijan cannot promote any chauvinistic and nationalistic actions. There is no place for interracial hatred in Soviet Azerbaijan. The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic proposes the Armenian side to withdraw its troops from the territory of Soviet Azerbaijan.
This must occur within 24 hours. Failure to do so will be viewed as defiance against the Russian state. In this case, the proposal will be implemented by the Red Army, and the Armenian side will bear the full responsibility for any consequences.”
By the decision of July 5, 1921, the Russians gave Artsakh to Azerbaijan. Earlier, under the Moscow Russian-Turkish Treaty of Friendship and Brotherhood of March 16, 1921, in addition to the territories from Surmalu to Sharur-Daralagyaz and the Yerevan Governorate handed over to the Turks, Nakhichevan – another disputed area – was also given to Azerbaijan, and Zangezur remained in the hands of the Armenians.