Clashes between Armenians and those who used to be called Caucasian Tatars (now known as Azerbaijanis) occurred in Baku on February 5, 1905. The public, especially revolutionaries, would accuse the Tsarist government of Russia not only in inaction during the clashes but also in deliberate incitement of the encounters.
It was stated that the Russian government set the loyal Muslim population on the revolutionary Armenians in order to intimidate them. This point of view was shared by media abroad as well. For example, a Paris newspaper wrote back in the days: “Tatars took up to punish the freedom-loving Armenians, whose mindset represented a great threat to the government.”
Some other newspapers characterized those events as “the fight of barbarism against civilization.” Another French newspaper wrote that the Armenians are the most educated nation in the Caucasus, while the Tatars are conservative, with their views dictating them to respect the Tsarist autocracy.
Italian observer Luigi Villari argued that the clashes had been “not only a part of the bloody drama of the Armenian-Tatar enmity” but also “a part of a wider conflict between modern ideas and the Asian barbarism.” He also considered that those events emblematized the fight for liberty in the whole territory of Russia, as well as the East.
It should be noted that massacres of Armenians in Baku were also carried out in 1918 and 1990. In fact, the 1905 pogrom was just an episode from the early 20th-century Armenian-Tatar massacres occurring between 1905 and 1907.