In his book “Armenia between the Bolshevist hammer and the Turkish anvil”, the last prime minister of the First Republic of Armenia Simon Vratsian wrote:
“The causes for the fall of Armenia’s independence were not internal but external. The Republic of Armenia collapsed under the coordinated strikes of the Turks and Bolsheviks. Most of all due to the Bolsheviks because if not for the support of Soviet Russia, the Turks wouldn’t dare to attack Armenia.”
The Bolsheviks did everything they could to secure themselves from the East. For this, they sacrificed Armenia, a country that didn’t have any value for the Kremlin rulers. “World revolution” very conveniently justified the conquering and gaining of friends who were necessary at a given moment. Then, their significance dropped to zero.
The main task for Moscow was to support Ataturk. And it has been done: 5 million rubles worth of gold and a large amount of weaponry was donated to the “national liberation struggle of the Turkish people.” Interesting, who was that “national liberation struggle” struggling against?
One doesn’t need to be a master of eastern politics to understand that the struggle was directed against the Christian populations of the Ottoman Empire – the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians. The massacre of 1922 in Izmir (Smyrna) and the second exile of returning Armenians of Cilicia were carried out on Russian money and with Russian weapons.
In 1919, tens of thousands of Armenians from Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine decided to return to Cilicia. Here, France was at the time establishing its rule. For a moment, one would think that Cilicia under the protectorate of France could become a state fully independent from Turkey.
Many Armenians, of course, remembered the Armenian-French brotherhood that had formed exactly in Cilicia during the Crusades. Unfortunately, the rule of France in Cilicia was very short. Moreover, it caused catastrophic consequences for the returning Armenians.
Let us recall another fact. On October 30, 1918, the Armistice of Mudros was signed on the board of the British HMS “Agamemnon.” The Armistice implied the opening of the Black Sea straits for the fleets of the Entente; the occupation of the forts of the Bosporus and Dardanelles by the Allies: the capitulation of the Turkish army’s remains in Hejaz, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and their withdrawal from Iran, Cilicia, and the Transcaucasia; the occupation of 6 Armenian vilayets and of any strategic point in Turkey by the Allies, should disorders occur in any of them or if the Allies deem it necessary.
Bolshevik Russia urgently required to sign an agreement with Turkey to neutralize the Entente. At the same time, Ataturk lacked weapons and financial resources. He would be eventually provided with those by Moscow.