The Russian-Turkish Union And The Fall Of Georgia

On September 23, 1920, Turkey invaded the Republic of Armenia without declaring war. This marked the beginning of the Armenian-Turkish war. The Russian-Turkish Union was formed as well.

On November 18, the Armenian-Turkish agreement with tough terms for Armenians was signed. This agreement would lead to hostilities between Armenia and Turkey.

On November 29, “in order to put an end to the Armenian-Turkish massacre”, Russian forces invaded Armenia from the direction of Kazakh. At the same time, the Bolsheviks promoted an alleged worker-peasant uprising in Armenia, as a result of which the country was declared a Soviet republic. On December 2 of the same year, as per the Yerevan Treaty, the First Republic of Armenia ceased to exist. Next was the turn of the Georgian Democratic Republic.

Georgian Bolsheviks Stalin and Mdivani did not differ from the Kemalists in their approach to surrendering Javakhk to the Turks and de-Armenization of the region. After the occupation of Armenia, they stated that, in principle, they were not against surrendering the provinces of Akhalkalaki and Akhaltsikhe to their ally Turkey. This approach was also defended by Moscow.

On December 5, 1920, Russian Foreign Minister Chicherin telegraphed Russian plenipotentiaries in the Transcaucasia that “if the Turks attempted to occupy the disputed territories of Georgia, especially Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki, they would not mind.”

The occupation of Javakhk followed, which was a pre-planned Russian-Turkish operation. Moscow considered the aggression of its ally as a weighty tool for the occupation (Sovietization) of Georgia. Kemal also took advantage of this situation.

On February 23, 1921, Turkish troops, occupying Ardahan and Artvin, invaded the Akhalkalaki region. Before this, on February 12, 1921, the Russian Bolsheviks had initiated an uprising in Lori but not in order to return Lori to its rightful owner but to organize the seizure of the Georgian Republic.

After defeating the 7000-strong Georgian army deployed in Lori and capturing 3000 soldiers and officers, the Russian army advanced and captured Tiflis on February 25. Russians would occupy the whole territory of Georgia by mid-March.

The day after the occupation of Tiflis, the second Russian-Turkish conference began in Moscow. The conference from its first minute went in a warm atmosphere of mutual understanding.

In February 1921, in the Armenian regions of Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki, the Turkish hellish machine again came into action. The massacre of the local Armenian population was accompanied by large-scale plunder. In some areas, the enemy was met with serious resistance, but the forces were not equal. Only in the Akhalkalaki region, 20-25% of the Armenian population was slaughtered.

Even after the Sovietization of Georgia (February 25, 1921) and the signing of the Russian-Turkish Moscow Treaty of friendship and brotherhood on March 16, 1921, the Turks were in no hurry to leave Javakhk. The city of Alexandropol and the region also remained occupied. The enemy left these areas only on April 22, 1921.

Russian troops entered Akhalkalaki on March 23, 1921. The Kemalists did not interfere with their entry in any way. It took weeks for the Turkish troops to leave Akhalkalaki and Akhaltsikhe. All this time, they lived at the expense of the starving population.

In the photo are fighters, participants of the Armenian self-defense of Javakhk

Arshaluis Zurabyan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *