RUSSIAN AFFAIRS AND INTERTRIBAL PROBLEMS
As says Lebon – The century and a half ago the philosophers, quite ignorant about primordial history of human being, modifications of his intellectual organization and laws of heredity – have thrown in the idea of equality of individuals and races. That idea, although it is deeply wrong one, has shaken the bases of old societies and evoked the biggest of revolutions. The modern society regards institutions and breeding as cure – and only few people dare to fight the idea, flimsiness of which is evidently proved by both the modern public psychology and life. The names of things are changed in history of peoples, but old and hardly changeable facts live under new words. Every nation has the intellectual organism which is as stable as its anatomic features.
Our cosmopolitan press, pleasing the foreign instigators and provincial politicians remains silent about scientific conclusions, always cries out if somebody utters a word about common, colouring, typically negative features of any nation, beside Russians. One can “analyze” the Russians forth and back! To say truth about other nations – God save! They cry that this is obscurantism, misanthropy and so on. They not only shout, but take actions not restraining themselves in choice of methods. The story with “The Contrabandists” (play) is quite remarkable. Our public and to some extent state life (in provinces) is rich for such instructive examples.
Just like the nature has entire classes of things and creatures different for their distinguishing characteristic features, the human tribes have the same features and
receive the appropriate characteristics from history and their contemporary neighbours.
The opinion composed since the ancient times about the Armenians is negative – and naturally that is not groundless, otherwise that could have not emerged at entire nations and in different ages.
But of course one can’t overlook injustice contained in the indiscriminate and unqualified opinions, samples of which will follow. First, one has to distinguish Armenian popular masses from the predating plutocracy, obscurant politicized priesthood and pseudo-intelligent jacket-men, i.e. from those ruling Armenian public circles, oppressing not only their neighbours, but innocent plain people of their own as well. Second, undoubtedly there is sufficient number of people among the ruling class, mostly not bad and mainly guilty of craven obedience to the terror of their leaders and hypnosis of the ill-developed tribal, or how they call it (without any right) national idea.
The honest man predominantly facing those chiefs and their hirelings easily starts feeling indiscriminate animosity to Armenians; but taking a closer look at that mysterious tribe, its historic destiny and current situation one would definitely become imbued with compassion to the Armenian popular masses, which undoubtedly has much good stuff.
The more compassion we give them and the closer look at their situation we take, the more disgusting would appear to us their heartless tribal chiefs, politicized oppressors and troublemakers.
They can contradict me saying that the Armenian ruling classes originate from the same people, and consequently its sons are embryos of the same predators. But, first of all, the higher circles are not always monitors of the spiritual level of the people, and second, historical
and economic conditions the destiny has put the Armenian people into used to and still contribute to the raise on surface and heights of the local life of the worst, most sinful and cunning representatives of that race.
6. Historical background
Who are the Armenians? Their main genesis is not established well. History tells about their amalgamation with large masses of Jews, first during the Babylon captivity, and then after destruction of Jerusalem. From the anthropological point of view most Armenians are extreme brakhycephalic, i.e. short headed, and in this regard they are very close to the Mountainous Jews and Syro-Chaldean, as it can be seen from researches of Shantr, Erkert, Pantyukhov and others. The English scientist Bertine considers them to be the same people as Jews of the pre-Palestine period.
Professor D.N. Anuchin says that Armenians are not the Arian tribe, but rather Arianized (for language). Besides that, not all of those who identify themselves as Armenians do really belong to the native Armenian tribe. The Armenian magazine “Murch”3 writing about signifi-
————3 The “Murch”, 1897. Article titled “Armenians out of Gypsies”. “There are only two nations in the world without national language and motherland: Jews and Gypsies. Neither Asian tyranny, nor merciless medieval chases, nor even modern humanist culture could assimilate them with other peoples, and thus all those mighty factors became powerless to strangle material greed of one people and unrestrained unlimited aspiration for roaming of the other one. Everywhere, in Asia or Europe, in the old or new world, the Gypsy remains Gypsy, the Jew – Jew. Only the Armenian people managed to assimilate Gypsies, my words are grounded, – adds the author, – by true facts. The Gypsies of Erivan, Shemakha, Yelisavetpol, Tiflis and others, whose existence was reflected in history 50 years ago, have ceased to be Gypsies and amalgamating with the Armenian element become assimilated with Armenians, keeping only their surnames, as an old memory about their genesis. No matter how to approach to this issue, conclusion will be the
cant ability of the Armenians to assimilate other peoples had indicated existence of large number of the assimilated Gypsies among Armenians by the end of the 90’s. The familiarity with both tribes gives an observer a sufficient material proving conclusions of the mentioned magazine. The Caucasian anthropologist doctor I.I. Pantyukhov has come to even more interesting conclusion about large groups of Armenians. That honourable scientist has taken his chance when Tiflis was flooded with semi-savage refugees from Turkey and subjected many Turkish Armenians to the anthropologic measurement. He figured out that most part of those uninvited guests for their anthropologic parameters were – pure-blooded Kurds. That fact opens space for proposition that some episodes of the Armenian massacre in Turkey were results of old family accounts between the Kurdish tribes of different religion.
The issue concerning the Transcaucasian Albania, or Agvania in the Armenian language, is highly interesting as well. That country included the present province of Yelisavetpol, part of Tiflis and Dagestan and was populated by peoples of non-Armenian origin, who received Christianity from Armenians. Before the XIX century there was separate Catholicos of Agvan or Gyndzasar, competing with Echmiadzin and from time to time becoming absolutely independent. At present the Christians, who were the parish of the Catholicos of Agvan, are con
———-same – no nation managed to accomplish the task of mass assimilation, but Armenians. The assimilated Gypsy-Armenians have even brought up talented people. For instance, professor of the St. Petersburg University Kerobe Patkanyan had a Gypsy origin, so had the monk-poet Alamdaryan, two of the modern Armenian writers also have Gypsy roots, popular poet Ganes-ogly, who has written many verses, and others…” 74
sidered as Armenians, intermixed with them and accepted their character.
The Armenians also had unwilling, forced crossings with other nations. The Persian hordes, Azerbaijani Tatars, Turkish, Georgians and highlanders probably never had ceremonies with women belonging to nation which had lost own statehood and methods of proud, brave self-defence connected with it long ago.
Under such circumstances it becomes evident that the Armenians have any blood in their veins. That explains a fact that people, whose cowardice became proverb in the Asia Minor, from time to time gives birth to talented and brave commanders as bright exceptions on the dark background: it is clear that blood of other martial people speaks in them, while normal, pure-blooded Armenian is “afraid of rabbits”, as states the common Caucasian proverb available in different languages. That character is undoubtedly Semitic. By the way, there are many Semitic characters in the Armenian people: there is a historical inability to have a little bit stable statehood, and gradual disappearance of the authoritative family aristocracy, and the long standing transfer to the underground politics of the theocratic regime, and sharp signs of collectivism in utilisation of the irrigated lands, which still can be found among the peasantry (ampacharekism), and significant racial talent for trade, usury and unlimited money-grubbing. Their arrogance and cruelty in respect to the weakest and slavish glowering before the powerful, and finally, astounding, phenomenal talent for advertisement and insatiable vanity – all those are the Jewish characters, but they become more curse and intensive with Armenians.
The Armenians hate to be compared with the Jews and instruct their defenders not to miss a chance for
speaking more vigorously about the Arian origin of the people of haik. Possibly in provision of such facts the Georgian saying wisely states:
“Only slave, when he is ordered, states that apples grow on the oak.”
Unfortunately a lot of such slaves can be found among officials, publicists and even scientists in our age of worship to the golden idol…
Besides all that, ignorance about the Caucasus and its tribes is widely spread among us – moreover that ignorance is self-confident and irritating the connoisseurs of the issue. By the way, the distinguished professor of Warsaw D.I. Azarevich, unacquainted with me personally, has written to me from village the following text about recent articles by Mr. Syromyatnikov4:
“Without a library at hand I only remind you that during the last archaeological conference held in Moscow the anthropologic section under presidency of Mr. Virkhov had heard report by some Frenchman (I think Figuet) about Semitism of the Armenians. Papers of that conference can be easily found in the Emperor’s public library, and that report can be found there as well.”
The respectful scientist, who hopefully wouldn’t find my reference to his authority immodest, probably was confused by negligent attitude to science on behalf of the excessively brave defenders of Armenians against suspicion in Semitism. Position of such people can be to some extent justified by direct indication of the thesaurus by Brockgaus and Efron statin that Armenians are – “the branch of the Iranian group of the Indo-European tribe”. Here one can hardly forget the aphorism: “calendars always lie”, that can be successfully applied to the dictionaries published by the Jews… 4 The “Novoye Vremya” newspaper, 1903, No.9708.
Here should be noted that the Armenian patrons among oil businessmen take strong care about creation of the completely special history of Armenia, exaltation of this small people and its heroes, starting with occasional generals deserving respect and ending with ordinary contrabandists of different kinds, deserving… respect, but from the opposite side. In particular they do not miss a chance to highlight their historical “services” and current decency by parasitic way, I mean by flinging ad interim the shadow on the neighbouring peoples, who had more clear, doubtless and decent history. They shamelessly plunder the Georgians in the historicarchaeological field: they scratch the Georgian inscriptions off the monuments, invade ancient Orthodox chapels and abandoned churches5, compose historical non-
———-5 There are many examples of such outrageous facts and we will cite two of them happened within last two months. The “Caucasus”, June 1897. The parishes of the St. Nicholas church of the city of Dushet have made a verdict instructing two members of their community to appeal to the supreme Caucasian administration to take actions against conquer of the chapel “Bodavis-tsminda Georgis-nishi” and adjacent land site (half a mile from Dushet city) by the Armenian priesthood. Like authors of the verdict said, antique icons of that chapel have been stolen and relocated to the Armenian church of Dushet long ago, and the land site has been joined to that church on 15th of the last May by unknown way, and the chapel itself has been renamed as “Surp-Geurk”, and since then the orthodox priests are not allowed to worship there. The “Iveria”, April 1897. City of Akhaltsykh. Close to the city, on the opposite bank of the Potskhovy River there is a medicinal spring and its water cures from headache. There was long standing Georgian chapel and small cell near the spring. The medical effects of that spring were widely known and suffering people from different parts of Georgia used to come here to get cure. People used water for free and collected great amount of benevolent donations in the chapel. In the beginning of the last March somebody has conceived and idea to display the Armenian icons in the chapel, to install doors, to lock them and take keys away. The right honoured priest D. Khakhutov reported to the exarch of Georgia about that invasion.
sense and show places where every stone speaks about the past of the Georgian kingdom as the ancient Armenian possessions.
The first hireling of the Armenians in the Russian literature was Senkovsky, writing in such spirit under penname of baron Brambeus. Then Armenian “historians” Emin (History of Moses of Khoren), Khudobashev (Outlook of Armenia), in later times Yeritsov (The Caucasian Antiquity 1872, No.1) have been working in that direction contradicting to such eloquent witnesses of the past like monuments; for instance, they are trying to steal from Georgia the historical rights for the region of Saatabago, i.e. possessions of the atabek Jakely, the present uezd of Akhaltsykh. Any Caucasian knows that the indisputable traces of existence of the queen Tamara the Great still remain in that area, and that the Muslim population of that uezd consists of the Georgian-speaking Turkonized Georgians, while Armenians in large numbers have appeared there in the first part of the XIX century as refugees from Turkey, not native inhabitants.
The professor-Armenist Patkanov6 is also little restrained with facts, referring to such pseudo-scientists like Senkovsky, roaming botanist Kokh and others. The Georgian writer Bakradze had timely exposed him, but that dispute didn’t reach the most part of the Russian public; Mr. Marr, student of Patkanov, doesn’t miss an opportunity to cut something off the Georgians in favour of Armenians and promises to prove that notorious old Georgian poem “The man in tigers’ skin” was a borrowed piece.
That is desirable to the Armenian politicians because Armenians don’t and never had any significant poetic 6 This is the man whose Gypsy origin was mentioned by the Armenian newspaper “Murch”.
piece during entire time of their existence, i.e. one of the visible signs of blossoming of the national spirit. No matter how hard are trying rather persistent than talented literary nestlings like Mr. Yuri Veselovsky and others to convince the Russian public in existence of the good Armenian literature they can’t go further than prattling, because nothing gets nothing despite all endeavours.
Somebody Mr. Ezov by name has compiled a book phenomenal for its impudence and titled “The relations of the Great Peter with Armenian people”, there against the common sense the author had attributed some special diplomatic importance to unknown rascal named Israel Or, or Orius, who had been trying to involve the Great Peter in war with Persia in the hottest time of his struggle with Sweden – that Mr. Ezov extracts from everywhere the quotations disadvantageous for Georgians and for that purpose goes far beyond the limits of his task. Similar quotations are deliberately palmed off to the reader in the philanthropic collection titled “The fraternal help to Armenians suffered in Turkey” with epigraph taken from Gladstone: “kindness, kindness and… kindness”! What came out is quite poisonous kindness, in the Armenian style.
Famous Georgian poet and publicist knyaz Ilya Chavchavadze has dedicated very interesting brochure (“Armenian wizards and flagrant stones”) to that lie and all those historical-archaeological attempts and thefts of the Armenians. That brochure is translated into Russian and rich for the characteristic facts.
When they speak in Tiflis about Georgian-Armenian intertribal relations, people recall some Cutuly, the correspondent of the “Temps”. Once that man arrived to Tiflis he was captured by the cunning hunchback Artsruni, talented political agitator and chief-editor of the “Mshak” newspaper. The Armenian bosses pleased and fed Cutuly
not letting him to step aside from them. He had completely lost ability to regard things around by his own eyes. They even resorted to presenting all beautiful women passing by as Armenians, and all ugly as Georgians.
It was so comic that even Georgians, with their extremely sensitive historical-archaeological self-esteem, have been powerless to get angry while reading travelling impressions of the naïve or submissive Frenchman. It was extremely interesting to watch not long ago how the Armenian politicians and “history makers” have been trying to seduce the French scientist baron de Bay, who was writing much about Russia, and how they have been disappointed by setback. By the way, he visited Echmiadzin, the capital of the Armenian Catholicos, where has been demonstrated some extremely ancient things, some crowns, cups, embroidered covers and so on. The experienced archaeologist noticed full discrepancy of the chronologic data mentioned by Armenians at once and has expressed his view with humour in press. Moreover, he found that some of the pseudo-ancient ornaments belong to the late rococo. Fury of the local Armenian papers published in the Russian script reached the point of indecency.
The painful pride and vanity of Armenians and their inclination to advertise their eminence in the past and at present can be to some extent explained and justified by their desire to get rid of that bad reputation they have gained for centuries.
The unbiased, humanist and moral Tacitus, who was able to praise the Germans, enemies of Rome, refers to Armenians in the second book Ab excessu Augusti, paragraph 53, as following: Ambigua gens ea antiquitus hominum ingeniis et situ terrarium – that is originally ambiguous people for its character and geographic situation as
well; saepius discords sunt, adversus Romanos odio et Pathum invidia, i.e. always filled with hatred to the Romans and envy to the Parthian. In the book 12, paragraph 46, he refers to the “known enough treachery of Armenians”, satis cognitam Armeniorum perfidiam.
“You are coward, you are slave, you are Armenian!” – says Pushkin by lips of the old highlander. The Georgians say: “movida somekhi – moytana skhva mekhi” – Armenian came and brought new trouble. Number of the folk sayings refers to the expulsion of the Georgian nobles by Armenian tradesmen and then jacket-men: “blood-horses died – now donkeys have the space”, “the strange hen pushed domestic chicken out of house” and etc. The Transcaucasian Tatars say: “even if you light your ten fingers as candles to illuminate the road to the Armenian, he won’t thank you”. The Russians have an old inclination to call Armenians degrading names, connected with either contempt or mockery.
The progressive and humanist poet Nekrasov says:
Жениху с солидным чином
И с каким-то армянином
Обвенчалась, не спросясь.
(She angrily denied the bridegroom with good title and married some Armenian without permission.)
Equally humanist Zhemchuzhnikov (in Kozma Prutkov) sings the following:
На узкой кровати
Лежу я один,
В соседней палате
(On narrow bed I lie alone, Armenian cries in the neighbouring room.)
The word “cries” is quite typical here: they incline to cry at every occasion. When they are not allowed in somebody’s house, or their nasty deeds are disclosed, or thieves of their kind are subjected to trial – they not only cry, but force to cry the aliens, stupid or corrupt people.
Our impartial belle-letter is not benevolent to Armenians as well. For instance, Leskov in his “Soboryane” has a black-mailer with excessively developed pelvis – Termosesov.
France and Germany are places where the Armenian revolutionary groups function and where the strong agitation in favour of Armenians is conducted at the expense of money from Baku oil manufacturers, but there are unbiased people at least familiar with the issue and raising their voice against them. The French traveller to Armenia, Kurdistan and Mesopotamia count de Chole, describing life of those Turkish provinces with good knowledge and being indignant with merciless attitude of Muslims to the Armenian popular masses, speaks about Armenians: “nevertheless, despite of that great compassion created with me by their poverty and suffering, I have never been able to become attached to them, that disgusting was their swindling, that shameful was their baseness and outrageous their meanness”.
The German traveller Alfred Koerte in his “Anatolian sketches” dedicated to the famous German statesman in Turkey Kolmar von der Holz, where the author would hardly dare to speak without reason, says the following: “almost everyone who touches the nucleus of people in these provinces learns to respect and love the Turks, to put down the Greeks and to hate and contempt the Armenians…
The below saying is justified everywhere – Greek can cheat two Jews, but Armenian two Greeks. Should you become cheated somewhere in Anatolia, then one can say for sure that you had business with Armenians”. The same author quotes the words of one large contractor from Eski-Sheher: “when I negotiate business with the Turk, then I do without written contract – because his word is enough. With the Greek or other Levantine I conclude written agreement, because dealing with them it is necessary and useful; with Armenians I don’t have any even written business, because even the written agreement doesn’t protect from their deceitfulness and intrigues”.
Strictly speaking, the intelligent Armenians long ago understood that their tribal name has had malicious reputation. It is not occasional that until recent times they have been trying to pretend themselves before the people unacquainted with the Caucasus as the Georgians, or for more poetry – as the “Circassian”. They and publicists compassioning them still incline to substitute the word “Armenian” wherever possible with words “native”, “Caucasian” and especially “the Christian”. That emphasis on the “Christianity” is very typical, because Armenians would love to gain something at the expense of their Muslim neighbours, and because the name “Christian” gives them a privileged position, and they feel comfortable in cases when unintentional comparison with the Jews suggests itself. And they have so many Jewish characters that if all scientists of the world had mistakenly acknowledged them as the Arians, then the life itself would become indignant with such determination…
It doesn’t matter how inaccurate is the written history of Armenia, it has many characteristic and instructive things – as in the high impudence of the narration tone,
and facts themselves as well. Starting with the Catholicos John VI (“History of Armenia from the beginning of world up to year of 925”, French translation by Saint- Martin) and till the recent times – the Armenian historians pretend for precision of data specifically referring to that legendary period. Armenians claim to be descents of Noah; the mythical Haik was grand-son of Japheth and grand-grand-son of Noah. As spoke the Armenian archbishop Joseph who has dedicated his book to the emperor Paul I – “the most credible narration of the pedigree of forefathers of the Armenian tribe states this: Noah begat Japheth, Japheth begat Homer, Homer begat Thyrasus, Thyrasus begat Torcomus begat Haik, who was engaged in Babel together with Nimrod. And since Haik didn’t want to acknowledge the supreme power of Nimrod over himself he left that undertaking and returned to his land, therefore Nimrod started war against him, but Haik became victor and killed Nimrod. This is why the peoples submitting to Haik, respecting him as father and king, started calling themselves Haikan”. After that comes the chain of equally trustworthy and proved facts. Pages are coloured by “great” names, unknown to all histories, but Armenian, and sometimes figures of less suspicious origin appear in highly exaggerated shape.
If one had to inscribe on the tables of the Armenian history a word, besides “fabrication”, which could precisely characterize the plausible facts, then it would be impossible to evade the word “treason”. Suspicious masters of Armenia, a country with permanently changing borders, always depend on the neighbouring powerful monarchies and always, systematically betray them. Nobles (nakharchs) betray kings, and people – both of them. The cruelty of customs and unreliability of mutual
relations are phenomenal. Once Persians, Romans or Arabs appoint somebody the ruler of Armenia, that person immediately starts preparations for disorder.
In the mainland Armenia, i.e. Armenian plateau, the least independent kingdom was abolished very long time ago, in the fifth century, when Armenia clearly became the Persian province and theocracy headed by the Catholicos had established itself factually over the Armenian people as the nearest and organized power. Since then the Armenian bosses quite clearly trade through two shops: selling out motherland and people to either the Persians with Muslims in general, or Byzantium, and conduct their undercover struggle for their tribal originality.
Some ghost of the statehood had appeared by the end of the XI century in tiny Cilicia, but absolutely vanished in 1375.
7. Crossing to the theocracy and monophysitism.
The first mention of Christianity (knyaz Abgar of Edessa) among Armenians, because of their tribal proximity with the Jews, belongs to the earliest ages, first century AD, but formal, although very doubtful for essence, introduction of the Christianity dates back to 301: the Saint George Illuminator converted king Trdat, who then baptized all his subjects and after that died suddenly: probably he was poisoned by new Christians. The Bible in the Armenian language appears only by the V century, translated by Mesrop. Life of true Christians and leaders of church was very hard in Armenia; for instance, by the end of the IV century Catholicos Nerses the Great led furious and basically indecent struggle with king, not for the sake of the Christian ideals, but for establishment of the theocracy, and as per some information died because of unnatural causes. King Tigran II forced Armenians to worship the idol of Julian Apostate.
The moment of convergence of Armenians from the Orthodoxy is of special interest. That derived from the theocratic aspirations, material and political interests, took long preparations, but formed up and found dogmatic quibbles only by the VI century, when Armenians in order to please the Persian king Khosrov had absolutely denied the formula of the Khalcedonian convent and joined to the monophysits. Persians needed that to implant discontent into the Christian world and to weaken Byzantium. The Arabs demonstrated the same aspiration using threats and money – those means the descents of Haik could not resist to. At price of treason to religion the
Armenians have stepped into the way of slavish relations with heterodox masters, on one hand, and on the other hand – fixed the special type of the underground state corresponding to their Semitic instincts, namely theocracy, where political and material interests have special importance against religious ones.
Such extermination of the open statehood requiring courage, loyalty, and ability to willing, benevolent discipline, sacrifices of material goods and blood – obviously cannot serve a patent of nobility for the race. But it should be recognized, that external conditions were very difficult and open struggle with neighbours would have been too unequal, and hence transfer to the slavish struggle had been unintended. On the other hand, the shift to theocracy undoubtedly was practically-wise act, because theocracy had preserved originality of the Armenian race and demonstrated extraordinary capacity for revival of that originality in such field, where the latter seemed to have slept away forever.
The whole further history of Armenians, full of humiliation before large and small heterodox masters, is pierced by slightly visible string of never exhaustible hope for revival of the Armenian people and state.
Naturally, rather individual patriots than the popular masses dream about that, predominantly the priests, rich tradesmen, nakharar and meliks7, who had favour of shahs and sultans. It is quite characteristic that this dream is growing by the course of the territorial expansion of Russia and rapprochement of its victorious banner to the Asia Minor.
Relations of Armenians with the Russian government are quite spotty. The Great Peter, who perfectly
7 Small local rulers. Interpreter.
understood importance of the Russian historical mission in the Middle East, naturally had nothing against people considered Christians and rioting against their Muslims masters, enemies of the Orthodoxy and Russian-Slavic cause. That is why he allowed the abovementioned adventurer Israel Orius to speak out; but nevertheless the tsar didn’t bite his hook. The Great Emperor ordered to verbally announce to the Armenian envoys that “he was busy with the Swedish war”, and thus didn’t let to involve himself into adventure. The emperor also instructed to answer to the request of Israel Orius about accompanying Russian troops at that war saying that “he had nothing to be there for”.
It is remarkable that among queens of the XVIII century Anna Ioannovna (possibly on the ground of information received from Volynsky, who knew Armenians well) treated them without trust, although she had conducted the Christian policy and her commanders triumphed over the Muslims. Unlike that, Catherine II reached the extreme limits of benevolence to Armenians, what possibly can be explained by decay of morals and outrageous splendour reigning at her court. Naturally there were royal servants receiving “peshkesh”8 from the Armenian sellers of precious goods. Besides, the “illustrious knyaz of Taurus” undoubtedly was a man with fantasy, and he was amused with a thought of restoration of the Christian state on the Armenian plateau.
During reign of Catherine II Armenians had a man, remarkable from different angles, with unrestrained energy and great political entrepreneurship, reaching point of importunity. That was Archbishop Joseph, originating from the culturally Geogianized old Armenian family, which had
8 Presents. Interpreter.
received the knyaz title from the Georgian tsars. His surname was Argutashvili-Mkhagrdzely, literally meaning Argutov- Plechistiy9, but later it had been translated with “fantasy” and entered in Russian circle as “Argutinsky- Dolgorukiy”10. That name of course had nothing common with the Rurikovich Dolgorukiy’s. In 1779 the mentioned archbishop established Nakhichevan-on-Don, the Armenian city inhabited by 15000 of settlers from Crimea and Turkey. The settlers were granted fairly well privileges: transportation of all property from Crimea at the state expense, 12000 acres of pasture-ground, indemnification from all duties for 10 years, liberty from soldier quartering and recruitment; every household was given 30 acres of land, free wood and items for construction, and seeds, cattle and inventory under condition of return after 10 years. The complete code of laws contains precise information about all of the abovementioned.
Under the Georgian tsar Heracly II, due to the efforts of Argutinsky striving to wake up the Armenian selfconsciousness, some Karabakh meliks with their subjugated peasants were settled in Georgia and formed the Shulavery settlement. Two meliks – Majnun and Abo by names – immediately betrayed their new master and became scouts of the Persian shah Agha-Mukhammedkhan, who had destroyed Tiflis in 1795. This fact was acknowledged by ethnic Armenian lieutenant-general S.O. Kishmishev. Professor of the St. Petersburg university A.A. Tsagarely reasonably noticed that by the end of the XVIII century Archbishop Joseph demonstrated great energy, “but in direction dissonant with view and plans of the Russian government”! That conclusion is supported
9 Argutov-wide shouldered. Interpreter.
10 Dolgorukiy is name of an old and famous Russian noble family. Interpreter
by academician N.F. Dubrovin, saying that by summer of 1796 the Armenian Archbishop Joseph concocted to intervene in affairs of the conquered Derbent khanate, never missed a chance to pick on the Muslim population, tried to humiliate them before Armenians – briefly speaking, during short period of his stay in Derbent he turned all population against himself. Count Zubov called Joseph to the headquarters, but even there they had to take steps to restrain wirepulling of the archbishop. Contacting the patriarch of Echmiadzin and without asking anybody’s permission, together with him Joseph wrote a “collective message to Armenians living in Karabakh and other places of the Transcaucasia”; that manifest declared that the Russian troops had entered Persia with main purpose “to liberate Armenians from the Muslim yoke and make them independent”. That message has created common disturbance among people of the Transcaucasia; the Armenians were dreaming about restoration of the Great Armenian kingdom.
P.G. Butkov, the contemporary of the mentioned archbishop, testifies about unlimited ambition of Joseph, who was planning to make his nephew king of Armenia and even had prepared the royal crown. While being in Russia Argutinsky-Dolgorukiy, planning to ascend to the Echmiadzin throne of patriarch, ordered his engraved portrait in patriarch’s closes.
Very interesting moment of political history of the Armenian church is described in the brochure titled “Beginning of relations of the Echmiadzin patriarchal throne with the Russian government”, product of pen of the abovementioned Mr. Ezov, who can’t be suspected in critical or at least unprejudiced attitude to Armenians, considering him one of their main leaders and apologists. By the end of the XVIII century, despite the principle of
all-national election of the Catholicos of Echmiadzin, that seat was taken by Archbishop Gukas (Lucas), elected exclusively by priesthood of Echmiadzin. The Armenian patriarch of Constantinople Zakharias brought protest. While Gukas was writing tender letters to Zakharias the Armenian community of Constantinople managed to obtain dismissal of Zakharias from the Turkish authorities. The haste of Gukas, praised by Ezov to heaven, can be apologized by necessity to evade ascension of Israel, patriarch of Agvan (Gandzasar monastery near city of Shusha), to the throne of Echmiadzin. It was about dealing a blow at the isolating patriarchate of Agvan and establishment of the theocratic monarchy. Due to the ignorance or corruption of the involved officials the Russian and Turkish governments have supported his actions with touching unanimity despite of controversy of their interests. Tomara, our envoy to Constantinople, had been passionately reporting to the government in 1801 about plans of Gukas “to restore his nation with help of Russia”. To please the foreign Catholicos the patriarchate of Agvan at first was extremely squeezed, and then – after unification of Karabakh and Ganja to Russia – imperceptibly abolished, disintegrated. It appeared that our politicians are less farsighted than even Turks, who guessed to support in their country the independence of patriarchate of Siss and Akhtamar from the “Catholicos of all Armenians”.
At the time of unification of Georgia the Armenian priesthood tried to show that Armenians have been playing some specifically outstanding role and that only Armenians made sense here. Since educated Russian hierarchs were well aware of the monophysitism of Armenians and Russia saved and embraced Georgia as co-religious kingdom, archbishop Joseph had taken trouble
to disseminate possibly more benevolent information about Armenian Gregorianism. The book titled “Worship of the Christian religion of the Armenian Church” by Joseph, archbishop of the Armenian people, residing in Russia, was published in St. Petersburg in 1799. Page 14 refers to Christ: “single Face, single shape, and joined in the single entity”; on the page 50 Joseph says that here entity is equal to definition of face. Then why he had to mention two equal definitions? Obviously it was done to conceal monophysitism of Armenians. Of course, he had thoroughly silenced about Catholicos John IV of Otsny, called “philosopher” and canonized by the Gregorian church to the rank of saint. To please Muslim Arabs and in exchange for their generous fee, that hierarch convened the council where he had anathematized the Khalcedonian convent and announced the following decisions: “Let he, who says that Christ was a man by nature, and mortal creature by flesh, and subject to suffering, be anathematized; let he, who doesn’t worship Christ as unique immortal entity, be anathematized”.
Seeing that all this compromise the Armenian church in eyes of the Orthodox people, the Armenian historian Kirakos in the XIII century, and mentioned Joseph and Catholicos Nerses at later periods, tried to conceal the monophysitim of Armenians. It is interesting how professor Troitsky from the clerical academy of St. Petersburg, “Interpretation of faith of the Armenian church” 1877, and Mr. Anninsky, “History of the Armenian church”, Kishinev, 1900, have unmasked all that machinations.
By the way, Archbishop Joseph worried about that issue in vain. At that time our bureaucracy took little care about the Orthodoxy and comprehended that even lesser. Since then the Armenian cause within the Russian
borders continued to grow, sometimes progressing by great thrusts. In accordance with the Turkmenchay tractate Echmiadzin joined to Russia and Catholicos remained the universal patriarch of all Armenians. We have timely abolished the Georgian autocephaly church taking all of its lands to the treasury, and simultaneously admitted into scope of the Russian limits a theocratic state-instate, in fact inaccessible for control and enjoying huge authority in eyes of its “political parish”. In time of Paskevich colonel Lazarev was sent to Persia to invite Armenians and approximately 40000 men had re-settled to the Transcaucasia. The patriarch of Echmiadzin took part in that combination as well: he ordered Armenian priests to move from Persia and the parish had followed them. In accordance with the Adrianople accord we have received more than 100000 of the Turkish Armenians; archbishop of Erzerum Karapet brought up to 70000 men alone. Since then the gradual resettlement of Armenians from the Muslim states was going uninterruptedly, sometimes as slightly visible stream, and sometimes as wide jet, like it has been in recent years. Today when it has become more or less clear what consequences brought an aspiration of the Caucasian administrators to involve some more Armenians, one can easily remind the Ukrainian saying: “bought a trouble to himself for his own money”.
Naturally Joseph Argutinsky and Catholicos Nerses, who was sitting on the patriarch’s throne in 1843-1857, both were giants of the Armenian idea in comparison with their other co-ethnics. From Armenian point of view the creative activity of Nerses during his term in position of archbishop in Tiflis and Kishinev is truly terrific.
8. The tribal isolation and economic supremacy.
The mass of the Armenian population, possibly, was thinking about autonomy in Turkey and Persia; after resettlement inside of the mighty Russia and specifically in the Transcaucasia, which has been reasonably administered at that time, the Armenian people didn’t buy absurd speculations at first. It was having rest from heavy ordeals, getting wealth and preparing economic ground for itself imperceptibly. For example, rioting in time of Yermolov would be very inconvenient.
The “Overview of the Russian possessions beyond Caucasus” (St. Petersburg, 1836) published by the Royal decree says the following on pages 197-199: “The Armenians, like people of Moses, had to spread all over the earth, collecting the wealth, which they could not enjoy in their own land under the yoke of their masters. That generated the reason of flabbiness of Armenian: he became cosmopolitan; his motherland now is that country where he can use his cunning brain for making profit with maximum advantage and security for himself. But timidity of his spirit can be seen to some extent here as well; there must be too obvious, too positive advantages to incite an Armenian to undertake any important trade operation. Even in such cases the fear to lose the gain frequently becomes reason for failure in the started business. All of that could originate partially from the oppressed situation they have been in under the Asian rule, because wealth could put life in danger, and gain at least should be thoroughly concealed. Cunning and slyness – necessary quality of obscurant, and moreover commercial
peoples – are attributable to Armenians: they consider any deceit in purchase and sell permissible, any action for gain – legal. They seized the trade of Tiflis and all of the Transcaucasia; carry out different missions, hold nearly all buy-outs, accept all contracts, discharge duties of commissionaire and supply commissions. They are interpreters, reporters, manufacturers; briefly speaking, wherever is an opportunity to receive income, Armenians are certainly there. The greed is the first driver of all their contemplations and actions”.
Those characteristics are still true, except for reference to cosmopolitism. Long time has passed since the 30’s and the Armenian tribal isolation has developed with extraordinary speed supported by clerical and secular patriots, fast enrichment and unrestrained use of wealth, as well as absence of foresight at many Russian rulers, whom Armenian bosses using substantial and even material arguments, as per Caucasian customs, managed to convince in their unbreakable loyalty to Russia. By the way, as they say, that loyalty was confirmed in time of every war, when Armenians served as spies against Turks and Persians; that proof is less reliable, because craft of espionage itself contains reason for distrust to its bearer.
The remark of the author of the “Obozreniye” about timidity of spirit of Armenians, even in the sphere of industry, is quite characteristic. Knyaz Vorontsov nearly forced them to engage in profitable enterprises laying foundation of huge fortunes. The parasite origin, not creative one, was and still remains the main driver in their enrichment since first days. The German economic literature calls that Conjuncturgewinn, i.e. gain produced from specific combination of conditions, accidental or artificial. All forces of the Armenian bourgeoisie in the first half of the XIX century were directed at refinement of
such cream-taking, ensnaring of local authorities and alien population.
What author of the “Obozreniye” calls “flabbiness” of Armenians should rather be called an ability to be assimilated by appearance, to take alien names, clothes and customs. Many Armenians in Georgia received names ending with “shvili”, in Muslim provinces appeared Yusufbeks, Kara-beks, Ibragim-khans and other covered Armenians; not only names with Armenian root and Russian endings, but also Krasilnikovs, Sapozhnikovs, Lisitsins, Sergeyevs and Popovs appeared in Russia. There was an arrant Armenian usurer with typically Russian name in Astrakhan, called the “red sash”. His descents managed to penetrate into nobility and such high circles, where nobody had expected them…
As it became clear later, assimilation was quite superficial and temporary. Armenians held stone of isolation into their bosom, that stone was growing, at first inconspicuously, but during the second half of the XIX century – at visible, dizzy speed.
Idea of isolation was prompted to Armenians also by Englishmen, who from the beginning of our Caucasian war were striving to incite all local tribes to riot against Russia, and Polish, in two influxes in 30’s and 60’s, Germans in recent times, and finally Armenians themselves, migrating from foreign countries. Two especially “poisonous” families have distinguished among those Armenians. The first one followed by clerical-separatist way, and the second one has set separatism on the bourgeois-liberal ground, sometimes with radical colours. Every war between Russia and neighbouring Oriental states on one hand increased number of Armenians, including elements imbued with instinctive inclination to unreliability in the chaotic Asian despotisms; on the other hand – war has
extremely enriched their industrial class. Contractors, spies and looters made a fortune, while prices of all necessary stuff have grown fast under pretext of war and then remained on that abnormal level. Pogodin visited the Transcaucasia during knyaz Baryatinsky and remarked extreme dearness of life, obviously artificial.
Governance has served much to the raise of the economic might and tribal isolation of Armenians. That form of administration is undoubtedly obsolete for the Caucasus now, but in the referred historical period it had its reasonable ground, while having then its dark sides as well. For example, governor knyaz Vorontsov pursuing goal of “Europeanization” of the Caucasian nations had led them by the path of sharp increase of demands, increase of splendour and noisy publicity. Economically unprepared elements became ruined, while predating ones, i.e. representatives of the Armenian bourgeoisie – became rich on the bones of the conceited nobility flying to the light of new baits. A kind of a court was formed in time of the first governor, and although it mainly consisted of representatives of well-born nobility, their financial dependence on the Armenian rich men has turned the latter into the actually influential people, not always with permission of provincial administrators.
The provincial isolation could be counteracted much earlier by skilled implantation of the Russian economic force and, what is important, by connection of the Transcaucasia with the rest of Russia by maximum short railroad. But that thing remained undone, as I had a chance to notice in previous chapters. The Transcaucasian railroad was established instead of that, thus the isolated economic circulation of the vast region has been organized. It is common with us to regard railroads as factor of progress and enrichment in general. That view is absolutely
wrong and possibly invented by the interested persons and repeated by narrow-minded people without proper understanding. The railroad is a tool completely serving those, who are economically stronger than the others, intensifying and facilitating final of struggle between the strong and the weak, between mob and separated common people. The Transcaucasian railroad mainly became a tool for fast predating exploitation of all population of the country by the Armenian bourgeoisie, just like banks and many other things…
Under such conditions, the masters of economic influence on such a vast region desirably start regarding that area as their future political territory, taking in account that all history of the Asia Minor is rich for facts urging to similar “dreaming”. How can not dream people, who quickly became rich by nasty ways, without creative labour, and seeing that they’ve been allowed everything for several decades, they can get away with everything? Bribery system is organized, local and capital press is at service, Petersburg, on behalf of the honest representatives of authority, is not informed…That would be strange not to “dream”? Muslim residents of the conquered regions ask with bitter irony – “Where are the Russians? Who did they invade us for? Anyway, not for themselves. We saw brave Russian soldiers, and now see only weak or corrupt Russian officials, frequently not Russian by origin. Neither your merchants, nor farmers can be seen here! Only Armenians, our former slaves! There’s nothing to say! Was it worth of fighting to give supremacy to such bad people?!…”
Two facts had decisive economic and then political meaning for the Transcaucasian Armenians and, so to speak, broke the dam somehow stopping their fast advancing movement. The first are the flaws of reforms of
60’s, and the second is development of the oil business in region of Baku.
The first fact was followed by bankruptcy of nobility and fall of its authority, influx to the Transcaucasia of many Russians hostile to the Russian order and captured by new trends from liberalism up to anarchy. That people was unable to create the Russian cause or stop isolation of the aliens. The legal order, appropriate where citizenship and self-activity of all categories and classes of people is strongly developed, became a flagrant nonsense in the Transcaucasia, and submitted everybody and everything in hands of Armenians, because they were the only ones enjoying features of character necessary for victory under bourgeois-legal order. It wouldn’t be exaggeration to say that those features have developed in them up to ugliness. Due to the historical habit to the underground organizations they can, nearly without discussions, join in groups, discipline, organize mobs and small economic and other plots against all other people. In this talent they surpass Jews, who have much more creative fantasy than Armenians.
The pioneers of the oil business in the area at first were Russians, but soon their footprints were erased, because they have been unable to resort either to the Armenian methods of enrichment or the Armenian methods of forcing competitors out – through criminal acts, plots and intrigues in public halls of different offices. Fortunes amounting to several millions started appearing at dizzy speed. Yesterday’s servant, porter, loader from wharf, small manager, more or less known smuggler receiving from “fellow men” a stripe of oil-rich land stolen from treasury sometimes after several dozens months could become able to buy conscience of dozens of officials, not maintained, isolated and deprived of moral and
material support. The real Bacchanalia has risen up and continues till present with growing power.
Part of the local Russian officials’ class has become dependent on the Armenian bosses long time ago. There is literally no establishment in the region, affairs or projects of which could constitute absolute secret from Armenians. Higher circles of all local tribes on behalf of overwhelming majority of their representatives are hanging on a hook of promissory notes and from moral point of view already standing on back steps of new masters of the region. Banks, not excluding the state bank, also submit to them: Armenians have the overwhelming majority at the accounting committee of the state bank’s local branch and widely use that opportunity. The mutual credit society, main capital of which is composed of relatively small old savings of officials, systematically serve to maintenance of countryside and city usurers ensnaring all local population with strong net. All, now without exceptions, of the Caucasian press now is at hands or under influence of Armenians.
Several Russian papers, which are published by Armenians and touchingly united with our Jewish press, of course just printed in Russian script and imbued with animosity to the creative Russian fundaments.
In accordance with the law the censorship has to be objective in the tribal issue, but it frequently was clearly more than benevolent to Armenians!
In order not to be groundless in making that reference, I will give several examples. As I said above, the article full of mockery over one of the ancient Orthodox sanctuaries was allowed by censorship and I wasn’t allowed to answer to that abomination in the “Caucasus” newspaper. I have a copy of an article where Russian woman was calling her female compatriots in Tiflis to
economy, refuse from excessive splendour and doubtful credit and advised to save officers’ honour and dignity of husbands, fathers and brothers. The article was banned because it could infuriate local bosses, who would be displeased by success of such sermon. The pretext to censoring that and many other articles was to block the so called racial intolerance, although there was not a single word about Armenians.11 Meanwhile the racial “tolerance” of the censorship didn’t hinder it to allow the street leaf of Tiflis to publish a shallow lampoon against Islam. Some local hired pen-gangster wrote that Muhammad was pushed down to hell. That was not written for fun, but with purpose to provoke disorder. On the day of issue of that number at squares and bazaars representatives of the Armenian plain people were mocking local Muslims with that article. Excitement of the latter reached the point when people started grabbing their daggers, chief of the region was away and supreme leaders of the Muslim priesthood have informed his assistant that they hadn’t been responsible for tranquillity of their parish.
Only due to the latter circumstance the censorship allowed me to give very sharp rebuke to that scoundrel, who senselessly threw rude mockery over somebody’s faith into the crowd.
To characterize general situation I add that the author of that article was Georgian noble demoralized by poverty, who later interrupted his “pen” career killing a man from the ambush because of some disputed pig. Armenian-plutocrats feed such people, since their intelligentsia has no talent for writing; they widely use services
11 The full text of the mentioned article is placed in the Annex to this book as an example.
of the venal aliens, including local and metropolitan Russians. The mentioned hero has been under trial for long time, while being between the instances he has written a touching article in the “St. Petersburg Vedomosti”, exiled and later pardoned because of somebody’s merciful intercession, and now he again teaches moral principles to the Tiflis public.
I’m afraid to distract myself and fall into personal memories, but I can’t stop and not to tell small fact testifying about cultural level of local, if permissible to call so, writers eating from the Armenian trough. Once before Christmas a group of city schoolmistresses decided to organize a Christmas celebration for poor children and addressed through press for donations. Obviously that move of nice and dedicated workers should be supported. But to please the caravansary tradesmen unwilling to donate for that initiative, the abovementioned hero stepped forward with the following killing objection: “A kind Christian feeling lies in foundation of proposal to arrange a Christmas tree for poor people, but energy and money is spent, pardon for rudeness, on rubbish. What that waste of the myrrh is for: wouldn’t it be better to sell and distribute among the poor? These words of the Lord are quite appropriate in this case”.
The satirist of the Armenian paper ascribed the words of Judas to Christ. After that the expression “moral of Judas” became the saying across Tiflis.
Something incredible happened to the Armenian press. For example, the “Ardzagank” newspaper was systematically mocking Russians and I received only fragmented information. The honest interpreter in Tiflis could not be found even at the expense of gold. Finally, I occasionally found such gentleman, not Armenian of course, who provided me with translation of the highly
sensitive sermon of his holiness Catholicos Mkrtych I and some other immodest confessions of the Armenian “patriotism” 12. As soon as I published these things not only Armenianized press, but even censorship screamed out. The papers printed in the Russian script called me tradittore – traitor, as if I had sworn to anybody not to translate sensitive things published in the Armenian papers, which, consequently, consider themselves underground?! Censorship insisted on the inaccuracy of the translation I had and generally defended the “Ardzagank” newspaper.
Later on the accuracy of translation was confirmed by an authorized person holding official position; the “Ardzagank” newspaper was completely closed the following year, because its clerical-revolutionary orientation had reached the extreme. The abovementioned interpreter has absolutely disappeared from my sight… He was afraid, and reasonably, to be fired from job, although he had served at the Russian governmental establishment…
————12 In the mentioned sermon, published in the “Ardzagank” No.37, 1897, in form of introduction Catholicos warned the parish about coming, although delayed, of “spring” for the Armenian people and benefits it is expected to bring to it: “So came the spring, the nature has revived; but after long and harsh winter the spring we desire has not arrived yet. I don’t know why it delays, but no matter what it takes it must come at last. Let’s patiently wait for it, fully relying on God”. What “Hairic” had in mind under “spring” can be seen from the final words of sermon: “Have faith and rely on God, hope on your liberation, love each other as appropriate for true Chrsitian… Follow my example. In my all lifetime I stood different tricks of fortune and now reached this old age and still believe and hope with full reliance. Don’t be desperate, be brave! There is nothing eternal, everything is relative and temporary. Only truth and justice triumph always. And what I’ve told you thousand times I will repeat to you today again: every time I pray God I ask Him to prolong my existence until that day, when I will greet the purple dawn with freedom of my poor and longsuffering Armenian people”.
It is really strange to say such things, but nevertheless there is no exaggeration in what I will say. Prominent official person perhaps is still able to defend Russian interests from attempts of Armenians, but it is not safe for junior official to be not only active enemy of the Armenian intrigue, but just strictly-honest officer not giving way to disorder and abuses with participation of Armenian bosses. He certainly will be slandered, his dossier marked black, this way or other he will be forced out, unless he has strong support; they will try to influence his wife and children, buy his promissory notes, if there any, deprive him credit, if that is needed. There is a quasicultural establishment in Tiflis equipped with screaming splendour and bearing appropriate name, but specially created to involve Russian officials in the course of life crossing limits of financial capacity, seduce wives of officials and generally ensnare local society under pretext of pleasant biding of time. That is described in my satire on morals of Tiflis “Nor-Cagac” (New City). Banality of mind, decay of moral fundaments, dandyism, greed and “strawberry”13 – are allies of the Armenian policy. This is a big system, complicated one and connected with blackmail, shameful for the Russian name.
In serious issues the masters of region do not stop before extreme measures. For instance, death of Strelbitsky, honest judicial actor, member of the court chamber of Tiflis, still remains unclear (although “clearable”) sad puzzle. He died suddenly, a man full of strength and in the middle of important investigation. To the contrary, the submissive people “prosper”; for instance, There are officials with good position, who afford themselves acting in capacity of arbiter to discharge division of large Armenian property and taking “fruits of oil production” in return.
13 Intimate or sexual services – Interpreter.
I don’t mention direct abuses at all: their name is legion. Tens of thousands acres of treasury lands are plundered; hundreds of outrageous crimes spoken about by the whole region are covered. People, known to be dealing with smuggling, looting of lands, forfeit and other crimes and who made millions, have reached titles and honours highest for their reputation and moral wilderness; obscurants and lechers became patrons of educational institutions; thieves and supervised people – influential members of the Armenian religious patronages, bosses of banks, leaders of charity societies.
There’s nothing to say about that terrible picture used to be and still represented by urban commodities of Tiflis, for example. Although Armenians make only 40% there – duma14 is absolutely in their hands. Georgians, Russians and Muslims don’t have access there. There are no good roads, good illumination, nor quality water supply. For many years the left bank of the Kura River inhabited by Russians is subjected to floods, children die like flies, houses rot. Administration writes, requests, prescribes, but load is still there. The Armenian bosses openly brag that they will force Russians out of these lands. Speaking about plain man Armenians usually add the word “dog” to the word “Russian”; they snub intelligent, but not influential people; and keep their servants on the roles of heilots15 either comic, or shameful.
Here’s the fact describing the full picture of relations. The provincial doctor of Tiflis Mr. Kikodze, Georgian, impeccable and brave local actor, discovered that at the city butcher’s yard veterinary surgeon Ispandaryan didn’t burn, but sold a large stock of pork carcasses in-
14 City council – Interpreter.
15 Slaves in the ancient Sparta – Interpreter.
fected with trichinosis. At risk to his life, despite the daggers of threatening interested persons, the young doctor managed to catch the buying-butcher red-handed, discovered city stock of the known infected carcasses and produced protocol. In the course of investigation became clear that this system has been functioning for some time; beside the immediate culprit, the acting medicalsanitary inspector and colleagues of Ispandaryan supervising the butcher’s yard were indirectly involved as well. Ispandaryan killed himself, delegates of duma have been excited and under different quasi-excusable pretexts and formalities had postponed (almost a year!) discussion of this issue in duma. At the same time, as papers reported, many poor woodcutters were dying from unknown disease in forests of Kakhetia. Finally, at the long delayed session of duma dedicated to trichinosis the news about disease has been directly connected with sale of the infected carcasses to the side. The news was met with objection that city of Tiflis had nothing to worry about. Finally Mr. Opochinin, the Russian gentleman, son of the merited general, jury and delegate of duma, said that since the main culprit had punished himself the case should be forgotten. I don’t find it immodest to name that gentleman here because right then in Tiflis I had expressed my indignation through press. Alas, words are helpless where “one should have applied power”!… Acting medical-sanitary inspector was confirmed at that position – that was an end of the case.
Difficulty of the Armenian question is that tasks of parasitism and wirepulling are tightly linked with each other, have an organic connection… That can be clearly seen during city elections. Such order has developed strongly in terms of two “patriotic” Armenian city mayors – Matinov, and especially the late Izmaylov, when the
Armenian policy became main driver of the urban life. Many Russians and Georgians are artificially deprived of an opportunity to participate in elections, partially because of deficiency in tax payment, in some cases such last minute obstacles were in shape of debts amounting several kopecks suddenly presented by uprava16, and partially because banks threaten non-Armenian voters to demand payment by promissory notes.
The latter can be reasonably remarked that people can be allowed to misguide themselves. But issue is that it is difficult for all sons of the Transcaucasia not misguide themselves. Mobsters hold market in their hands, life important goods are extremely expensive, and credit, which could be normal in other regions, is always dangerous here. In fact, referring to the unenviable situation of the Russian people, their weakness and pliancy in some cases, I have to make a proviso that even sins can be imputed to them only to the least degree. Neither individuals, who normally can not be demanded heroism from, nor even, strictly speaking, individual administrators of the region, who can be full of best intentions, but don’t have universal knowledge and can’t find sufficient contingent of honest and loyal clerks, are guilty here. That is history of the region guilty here, which had created special system, special way of life where best initiatives of the disinterested representatives of the Russian power bring only smallest results. There is a real Gordian knot here. Work of many minds, work of the special institution is required to establish real, not only formal-report, status of things in the Caucasus and its historical reasons: such institution should not be distracted by heavy troubles of everyday life, like local authority. There are robberies,
16 Local administration – Interpreter.
earthquakes and other natural disasters in this colourful area, and necessity to defend this or that project prompted by life in low-principled or uninformed metropolitan circles: time flies, time is short and there’s little of peace for labour having its scientific sides.
Simply speaking, there must be senatorial revision, it is important for such senator to be truly Russian person, free from strong influences, as well as prejudices and falsity of the bourgeois liberalism; deep honesty of not only heart, but mind as well is required.
If there is a God will, that poor land shall see that day. Until that time it must be appreciated that cynicism of looting became moderate and vigour of men daring to pronounce the word “Russian” with sardonic smile became some less – vigour intolerable for its insolence.
One can easily imagine how carelessly Armenian wirepullers treat other nations. Several years ago in Kakhetian city of Sygnakh the Orthodoxies were celebrating the holiday of Jordan. Especially with the purpose to outrage the Orthodoxy the Armenian jacket-intelligentsia hired intolerably screaming zurna and drum, had them climbed on the nearest bell tower closest to the Orthodox Jordan and sounded such unspeakable noise, that words of worshipping could not be heard. Zurna is a pipe that can be heard at distance of nearly five miles. The police gave those people an opportunity to scandal to their hearts’ content, because at that time chief of the uezd administration in Sygnakh and his deputy were Armenians. Later on the trouble-makers were tried and as usually sentenced to some insufficient punishment, and those were not instigators, but hired musicians.
I absolutely objectively made reference to the wirepulling of the Armenian bourgeoisie and didn’t want to exaggerate the phenomenon, which can seriously grow
or be deducted to more miserable forms. That is an issue of future, issue of the Russian self-conscience.
Political dreams of some Armenian bosses and quasi-intelligent people have taken more or less definite formula, probably, after the Polish riot of 1863, and then found support of the following antigovernment movements in Russia and bunches of revolutionaries abroad.
The former editor-publisher of the “Mshak” newspaper Artsruny, deceased now, pursuing the aim to unite Caucasian natives under the Armenian leadership, played special role inventing the following formulas for them, introduced in more or less Aesopian language even in the Russian-Armenian publications: “let’s unite against the common enemy”, i.e. Russia, and “Caucasus for the Caucasians”. The Russian self-nihilists, as usual, have been carelessly supporting that. The Georgians, meanwhile, caught the point and talented humorist-poet knyaz Akakiy Ceretely responded to the call of Artsruny with the verse “Mosquito and Flight” published in the “Droeba” newspaper, now cancelled, because that could not appear in the “Caucasus” newspaper, although other papers have been openly propagating “the Georgian- Armenian solidarity” … against common enemy.
Such healthy understanding of the situation, of course, is a good sign, but living conditions could and do bring discrepancy between common sense and absurd, even fatal actions.
In Caucasus the Georgians and debtor Muslims of Karabakh sometimes say, smiling insincerely, if Russian government withdraws troops from the Transcaucasia, then no bone of Armenians would be left here. It’s already about thirty years as such words are ridiculously far from the truth. First, Armenians not just invaded all others economically, but partially acquired political tendencies of other isolating peoples; finally, now they have 109 their own “army” – rabble from Turkey. In particular, the ethnographic picture of Tiflis has strongly changed in last years. For instance, it is difficult to meet there mushu (porter) from Georgians of Rachy – previously very interesting and likeable type of plain worker: now there are only some pirate faces in Turkish turbans and bashliks (hats)17. The urban self-administration and mob of plutocrats continuously drive plain Russian and Georgian people out.
————–17 The Georgian newspaper “Iveria” in September 1897 underscored the fact that plain workers, who previously used to flow to Tiflis from all of Georgia because of unemployment at their native villages caused by land shortage, climatic or other conditions, now have been forced out of Tiflis by Armenians from the Erivan province and especially by refugees from Turkey. That had happened not because of any competition or other political-economic collision, since the salary didn’t fall in these years, as it happens during natural competition, but to the contrary has significantly grown. For instance, to saw one cubic sazhen (7 feet – Interpreter) of thin wood three Armenian “ambals” (plain workers – Interpreter) take from 4 up to 5,5 rubles and work is done within 4-5 hours and very negligently. The same paper has published a reference showing that the number of the urban plain workers had reached 300 or 400 men, whereas 93% of them had been Armenians. Street sweepers and irrigators, guards at the water supply of Avchal, up to 200 men, all – Armenians. Several years ago most of those positions have been filled by Rachies and Aysors, wake and good workers, who have now been substituted by lazy and rude natives of Turkey with significantly increased salaries. The following fact highlighted by the “Tsnobis-Purcely” newspaper the same year of 1897 can brightly illustrate sad results of abnormal conditions at the labour market of Tiflis. On December 12th, at the post highway of Tionety, near Sabadury, the coachman noticed a half-naked, exhausted walker, who happened to be Simon Sisaury, inhabitant of Sakdriony village. The poor man was taken to Sabadury where he had died of starvation of exhausting. It was found that the deceased had been in the great need and departed to Tiflis for employment. After biding some time and not finding any job Sisaury had spent his last money there and headed back to his village, where he had never reached.
9. Truth of the Turkish atrocities.
The last Russian-Turkish war and its political results, fixed in paragraph of the Berlin tractate concerning the Turkish “Christians”, had strong aggravating influence upon all of the Transcaucasia, and Armenians in particular. That was not occasional. Long before that war Germany had set its eyes at the Middle East, and where Moltke had done good work, as young officer. The article of the Berlin tractate about the Turkish Christians was the first step of Germany in the path to the Bagdad railroad, on the other hand – it was the bursting volcano, eruptions of which threaten the European peace, and in particular, the Russian cause in the Middle East. It should be noted that for the last thirty years Germany has been systematically working on the development of the Armenian separatism in the Transcaucasia. A lot of Armenian groups are concentrated specifically in Germany. Most vivid relations are maintained between Tiflis, Berlin, Munich and our Baltic pan-Germans, with active participation of the Finnish demagogues. Large groups of the German officers of the general staff visit the Transcaucasia as archaeologists, hunting fans and tourists. It is characteristic that intelligent Armenians graduated from former university of Derpt demonstrate systematic animosity to Russia and that Germans serving in the Caucasus specifically patronize Armenians.
In a view of the abovementioned conditions, after the Berlin tractate, Armenians conceived definite political dreams about autonomy. Any not parasite, but at least reliable autonomy requires more or less solid territory. As
it can be seen from documents of the French foreign ministry published in 1897 no condition was and is there in Turkey for such autonomy. Page 2 runs: “Thorough study of dislocation of different tribes allows asserting that Armenians do not constitute majority of population at any province of the Turkish Empire”. General Zelenoy and colonel Kartsev, Caucasian officers of the general staff, clearly confirm that by statistical data gathered in the field. Page 12 of the mentioned book reproduces letter of the French ambassador at the Turkish court Mr. Cambone to minister Hanotoe saying that, it wasn’t worth of even thinking about independent Armenia, and if, due to some incredible circumstances, Europe would have offered to create Armenia – that would be nearly impossible to determine limits of that new state.
Same Mr. Cambone reports that strong propaganda of the Armenian riot, artificially prepared by Britain, is going on in Turkey, and partially Tiflis became involved in that affair, as it can be seen from report of the French vice-consul in Diyarbekir of October 5, 1894. This is what Mr. Meriet wrote to his chief: “They say the movement has been prepared long ago by the “Hnchak” society, headquarters of which is located in Tiflis at present, and before that was in London and Athens. Insurgents follow orders of that society”.
It can be added here that another group of the Armenian revolutionaries called “Droshak”, i.e. “Banner”, has concentrated around the newspaper with the same title, which still exists. It is published abroad, but there a lot “droshakists” in the Caucasus.
Mr. Cambone, in a number of reports of the French ambassador full of sympathy to Armenians as the Christians and an aspiration to serious reforms, sincerely shared by the Russian diplomacy, counts a row of cruel
political murders committed by members of the Armenian revolutionary committee and their hirelings, and also states very notorious fact, later checked by me to some extent, main masses of Armenians do not compassion to revolution and only small groups of the Turkish Armenians gradually surrender to threats and terror of their leaders and unwillingly enter in the struggle. Many of the Turkish refugee Armenians my friends and I had chance to speak to had sincerely confessed of running to Russia not from the Turkish, but their own terrorists.
The mentioned books informs about mass disorders caused by Armenians, who launched attacks against Turks and Kurds in order to provoke massacre. Before start of disorder and outrageous atrocities in Constantinople, where, as known, an Armenian gang broke in the “Ottoman Bank” with dynamite bombs, the Armenian revolutionary committee addressed to Mr. Cambone with a kind of note saying that Armenians decided to hold a “peaceful demonstration” and committee would not be responsible for consequences if police interfered. During the followed manifestation Armenians started killing policemen and even gendarmerie officers. That was an impetus to the outrageous massacre of Armenians, one thought of which makes one’s hair to stand on end. It can be seen from the mentioned book that reason to the Armenian massacre mainly was given by revolutionaries themselves through their provocative actions deliberately headed to that goal, and that the English ambassador and consuls paid every effort to inflate and complicate the issue, while the Russian and French ambassadors have demonstrated great political tact, despite their sympathy to the innocent victims of intriguers and infuriated Muslims.
The genius provision of the never-to-be-forgotten knyaz Lobanov-Rostovsky, our minister of foreign affairs,
was especially notorious as well as his iron will, which had prevented involvement of Russia into the absurd war. By the way, he was the first person who shook, but unfortunately didn’t eradicate the roots of the groundless view of our diplomacy at the Armenians as elements friendly and useful to us in the neighbouring Persia and especially in Turkey. He realised that the Russian- Turkish relations had to step into new phase, when we should have protected Turkey from foreign exploitation and interference, and in return could peacefully reach the improvement of situation of the Christians in the East and strengthen our stance on the straights. Supporters of the opposite view were flirting with Armenians in Turkey, supported anger in Hildioz-Kioske against us and all the Slavonic and at the same time they were indirectly supporting hegemony of the Armenian tribe in the Caucasus.
But let’s return to the Armenian disorders and massacres in Turkey. The Ottoman Empire conducted indecently: the government obviously was kindly disposed to the participants of massacre – the Muslims – partially sharing their irritation and partially, as it became clear later, creating rational from the Turkish point of view plan of exchange of substances, i.e. concentration of the maximum possible number of the solid Muslim population in the Asia Minor and extermination or expulsion to Russia of Armenians, who caught that hard political disease. That plan (excluding the massacre stopped long ago) is carried out with extraordinary, phenomenal success at present.
Every phenomenon, especially the one turned into the property of history, requires exact definition. Undoubtedly the Turkish atrocities were terrible for their nature and scales as well. But it is equally undoubted that the Anglo-Armenian press on behalf of various Dillons
and with support of the cosmopolitan press of different states has strongly exaggerated scales of that heavy popular disaster adding zeros to numbers reflecting tens and hundreds of real victims.
The Russians and Armenians in the Transcaucasia were evenly shuddered and indignant hearing echoes of death moaning of thousand victims. It is also obvious that the expression “Muslim religious fanaticism” was used too groundlessly. The Greeks, Catholics and even Armenian Catholics have suffered much less than the Gregorians. On January 25th, 1896, the French consul reported the following remarkable fact about massacre in the Trabzon vilayet: “Before starting the massacre in Gumish-Khane village the Muslims gathered at the square. They separated Armenians from other Christians and have taken the latter away in order not to mix them with the beforehand marked victims”. It is clear that the Turkish fanatics were fighting against the Armenian-Gregorian and Armenianrevolutionary organization threatening order and maybe even integrity of their state. Anyone who travelled to the Asia Minor or knows local socio-political conditions, clearly realizes that economic-communal factor of disorders had played part there, similar to that one encountered in areas of the Jewish settlements; but unfortunately Turks and especially Kurds can’t be restrained if they infuriated – the most grave charge against them is they have reached such point of massacre, indiscriminating age or gender, rather than limiting themselves to extermination of the revolutionary gangs.
The appearance of people, who really suffered from that rabble and found shelter under the Russian banner, represented a soul-tearing picture. The deepest tragedy is to great extent the Armenian rich men, priests and other wire-pullers themselves have subjected the part of junior brethren of their people to death and plunder.
10. Political role of the church and Armenian programme.
The Shrine of God didn’t betray hopes of the longsuffering beggar-woman; undoubtedly shortcomings of the Armenian religious organization and fatal mistakes, which can’t be justified, of the Armenian churchtheocratic policy had and still have extremely harmful influence for not only the Russian state-popular cause in the province, but the Armenian people as well.
It should be noted that escalation of the Armenian manifestations and disorders in Turkey and general nervousness of the Armenian tribe within the Russian limits had coincided with accession of his holiness Catholicos Mkrtych I to the patriarch’s throne in Echmiadzin. Before his arrival to Russia this venerable hierarch was a political actor in Turkey, passionate Armenian patriot chased by the Turkish authorities for his activities.
It is hardly surprising that in the declining years of his life and hard work the patriarch transferred his world outlook, aspirations and instinctive feelings to his new motherland.
Part of the Armenian bourgeoisie and class of pseudo-intelligentsia, united by the “Mshak” newspaper established by the famous Artsruni, for the bourgeoisliberal and, maybe, liberal-atheist reasons took the side of opponents to Mkrtych by the time of elections of the patriarch. And even now many upper tradesmen, bankers, oil-manufacturers feeling disgust to clericalism after acquaintance with the European café chant and smoking, treat their spiritual leader without proper respect and,
pursuing the common with him goal of the tribal isolation, suppose that the process would go faster with help of the so called socio-economic evolution.
That discord is rather academic than deeply lively, because both parties used to and always concord when even the smallest occasion gave them a pretext to “join against the common enemy”.
Administration in the Armenian church of Echmiadzin is not completely individual, in accordance with the law the Catholicos heads the Synod, while the procurator is appointed by the Russian government. The spiritual academy of Echmiadzin should have been guided by the legal terms of reference because validity of the provisional rules has expired long ago18. Finally, the authority of the Russian government in political or common criminal affairs, of course, encompasses Echmiadzin as well. Nevertheless, the legal demands of the government are not always carried out and even frequently remain unanswered or answered inappropriately. By decree of the Senate the new recruits and participants of the court hearings must oath in Russian, but the wire-pulling priesthood bans clerics to obey that. Several years ago the Catholicos sent a cable to the Caucasian administration threatening to close the Synod, unless the governmental Synod official displeasing his holiness is removed. While waiting for the reply the Synod was closed
—————18 Those “provisional rules”, approved in 1874 for the period of nine years by the late Emperor Alexander II, still substitute any terms of reference of the spiritual academy of Echmiadzin. All of the Catholicoses who held the throne of Echmiadzin for the past 30 years had tried by every means to avoid development of the terms of reference and, unfortunately had reached that goal despite the crying abnormality and danger of such situation of things.
and then, after yielding to the illegal demand, it has been reopened by the new kondak.
The “kondaks” used to be applied very specifically. For instance, the editor of the revolutionary-clerical newspaper “Ardzagank”, banned by the Russian government, was granted the kondak. Title of the patriarch – vekhapar, what means majesty; appeal to him is – tsert terutyanut, what means your reign. These epithets are signs of the political theocracy, which is independent from other authorities. Archimandrite Vagan, member of the Synod and former personal assistant to the Catholicos, and Nakhapetyan, rector of the academy, were exiled from the Caucasus by the royal decree for their antigovernmental propaganda and other illegal deeds, but then the Catholicos without asking permission from the Russian authorities had appointed one of them to be vicar of Nakhichevan and the other one to be administrator of the Chisinau estates of the Armenian church.
During the last disorder in Turkey, provoked by activity of the revolutionaries, the Russian power offered patriarch to sound his sobering word, but he instead of that started delivering exciting sermons, initiated “night watch” – sermons of the same kind signed by archimandrite Karapet were published in the “Ararat” newspaper of Echmiadzin.
Echmiadzin possesses huge estates administrated more than secretly. Inventory, property registers and lists are thoroughly hidden at the monasteries. Property is purchased and loaned. For instance, the monastery of Echmiadzin has mortgaged the estate of Mr. Shakh- Azizov-Kamsarakan. On the other hand, the banks freely credit the clerical institutions. In conditions of such economic chaos it is very difficult to determine what is spent for the cause of church and what is spent less productively
from the religious point of view. The fog of the economic picture of this region will reach its peak if complemented with the story how several years ago the band forfeiting Russian bills was hiding and discovered at one of the temples of Echmiadzin.
The sad story of the Armenian people caused blending religious tasks of the church with various affairs of this world19. That harms the spiritual development of
————-19 Here is translation of the text written after travel to Echmiadzin by French scientist baron de-Bay, who basically made his country acquainted with Russia through number of books and brochures. He has traveled across the Caucasus several times and tone of his stories had always been distinguished for moderation and impartiality. “We approach to Varshapat settlement. The first thing we see is the ancient abandoned church of saint Rypsimia, being under reconstruction now and encircled by black walls. For some time this church has been a dean of money falsifiers. Finally, we arrived at Echmiadzin; every foreigner is welcomed warmly there – I have no words to express how monks (almost all of them in bishop’s rank) were kind and attentive to me. But despite all my gratitude I have to be sincere. This monastery has made an impression on me like rather political than religious centre. His holiness Catholicos is very honourable old man welcoming foreigners; he has very delicate, very diplomatic mind; they say he frequently resorts to the allegories in his sermons”… Baron de-Bay contradicts the legend attributing the temple of Echmiadzin to the IV century and judging for its architectural features considers it as monument of the XV century and also finds that the murals are reflections of the Persian art. The author is sceptical about the “ancient” artefacts: “The antiquity of relics stored in cabinets, and mainly of the “saint spear”, was undermined by scientists more competent in this field than me. Since archives of the monastery unfortunately disappeared there is no information about items collected in its treasury. People inside of these walls are little troubled by archaeology, history or arts work; all thoughts and care are dedicated to the modern times and current issues. I admit that people suspecting this place to be the seat of great sympathy to England are not wrong. Anyway, England uses all means to evoke these sympathies in this place, which is close to the Asian Turkey… ”
Armenians and even the moral image of the Catholicos himself and other hierarchs. Neither papers, nor money was found after the death of Catholicos Macarius. There is a suspicion that his death was violent. The path to the better world of the archbishop Jeremy, sincere friend of the Armenian people and truly loyal to Russia, was nearly the same.
Secularization of possessions of the Armenian church is strongly necessary action, which is aimed at not only setting better tranquillity among Armenians, but mainly at purpose of giving the Armenian church an opportunity to discharge its sacred spiritual mission without being distracted by incidental affairs or dreams20. As we shall see below, in educational sense the Armenian people is abandoned by its leaders, it is artificially spoiled by tearing from the God’s truth and human common sense.
By the way, the supreme Armenian priesthood is much guilty of it. The academy of Echmiadzin, seminary of Nersesyan, and other seminaries are so much crowded by youth that their walls can’t stand it – but the overwhelming majority of the priesthood consists of plain and ignorant peasants.
I will shortly touch upon the story of transfer of the Armenian religious schools under administration of our ministry of popular education. The bodies of the ministry established that, despite the obvious and widely expressed aspiration of the Armenian popular masses to study state language, the Armenian church schools had been not only blocking this natural way of development of citizenship, but even the seats of the curse and fanatic isolation. I should mention the absurd textbooks speaking
—————–20 V.L. Velichko wrote these lines by the very end of May 1903, before the royal approval of the law of June 12th about order of administration of the Armenian-Gregorian church’s property.
about notorious Great Armenia and universal vocation of Armenians to civilize all their neighbours – these schools also distributed maps of the Great Armenia, reaching nearly Voronezh, with capital in Tiflis21 and various emblems serving the same intrigue, which was supported first by England and now it is one the favourite offspring of the Germanism. I use the word Germanism instead of Germany because across the Caucasus even Germans being Russian subjects, frequently officials become zealous supporters and patrons of the Armenian intrigue.
The late K.P. Yanovsky, remarkable local actor and former supervisor of the Caucasian educational district, through his enormous efforts achieved issuance of order concerning the transfer of mentioned schools under authority of ministry of popular education while retaining courses of the Armenian language and classes on Armenian religion. The Armenian priesthood didn’t agree to that and has closed many schools at once, preferring rather to keep people in darkness of ignorance than to let them to get rid of the artificial isolation. The Armenian plain people were moaning, while agitators were distributing deliberate lies saying that schools were closed not by agents of the Armenian theocracy, but the Russian government. Our quasi-liberal press, through people financed by the oil-barons of Baku, strongly supported that insolent lies among the uninformed Russian reading public. Nevertheless the Caucasian educational district has managed to take some schools under its control and now they successfully work on new basis. The schools’ property has been transferred to this entity along with
———–21 The maps of that fictional country I saw at K.P. Yanovsky, former supervisor of the Caucasian educational district, were distributed in lithographic and even hand sewn shape. The latter belongs to hands of some mazut queens trained in foreign style
schools, as well as sources for maintenance of schools, and that inventory, which the Armenian priesthood failed to conceal or spend; it should be mentioned here that operations of this kind were conducted insolently before the eyes of all Tiflis, where the educational board didn’t have enough support in endeavours for location and withdrawal of the concealed property.
As it comes to assets (immovable property and capitals) for maintenance of the Armenian schools, then resourcefulness and chicanery of local business men put the educational district in complicated situation – so many surprises have come up to light, but they should be expected in the Caucasus when it comes to the issue of any Armenian property. Obviously school property has been to the great extent labelled as monastery’s or church’s possession. The claims led by the Armenian terters with communal resourcefulness of the Jewish barristers and insolence fitting sons of the “Great Armenia” followed one another. The forensic practice in the Caucasus is frequently benevolent to Armenians: possibly they are really always clean and right, and maybe there are some other reasons, close study of which could discover many interesting facts. One arbiter (temir-khan-shurinsky if correct) even tried to call the honourable supervisor of the educational district to his camera by notification. The Caucasian court institutions, which have sanctioned many seizures by the Armenian predators of the treasury lands through their decisions, have resolved high number of cases in this process not in favour of the educational board. Meanwhile, several cases were suspended because one big case about the schools property has led to Senate. The main question was whether such cases have been subject to administrative or court solution. The Senate inclined to the second option – and now the real
mess is stirred up, which is very harmful for the Russian cause and prestige at the Caucasus22.
Such confusion demonstrates the absence of the coordinated service of different institutions at the Caucasus to the unique national policy. Otherwise the dominating approach would be that the issue of popular school is the state matter, but not strictly civil one. During determination of belonging of the property to schools or churches the educational institution should have due support for correct clarification of all details, while the latter wouldn’t be given the exaggerated meaning because of the cunning-formal signs. That resourcefulness would rather motivate the local authorities to move the long waiting and clearly insisting issue – concerning secularization of the Armenian church’s property. With resolution of that issue many muddy waves of negative occurrence, spilling over the Caucasus without restrain at present, would turn back to their natural bed.
The local Russians, compassionately watching the intensification of work of the ministry of interior, expect the creative initiative of this central body to make positive influence on the shaken fundaments of the Russian cause, which is not in advantage in this too remote from centre and too deceitful outskirt.
The Armenian popular mass is thirsty for study of the Russian language, which could open it a way to earning and real culture, but their leaders set obstacles because they fear to lose people from the sphere of influence. One can judge about that influence, even in secondary issues, by fact that the “Mshak” newspaper, which took side of Dreyfus along with the entire Armenian bourgeoisie, had a chance to express its exaltation 22 The law of June 12th 1903 has settled this issue as well.
for distribution of that view among semi-savage Armenian peasants of Yelisavetpol. One of those cursehanded brunets even called his buffalos the names of the close accomplices of the Dreyfus case.
By the way, for censorship rules it was very difficult to write against Dreyfus in the province proud for deeds of the Caucasian army being nearly the only unshakeable and impeccable incarnation of the Russian cause in the country; the Armenianized and Armenian press, reaching down the lowest strata of people, was composing the hymns honouring that “perverted patriot”. Significant group of Tiflis wire-pullers, including some halfeducated rascals, has sent Emil Zola the following cable in Russian: “From the country where suffered Prometheus we profoundly bow our heads before the crown of thorns laid on you by your motherland to the shame of the entire human kind. The crown of thorns is the best award to the dedicated fighter for justice”.
Possibly the managers of caravansaries considered themselves to be inspired by suffering of Prometheus with rights equal to those ones enjoyed by the “Novosty” newspapers, when it once called the ancient Orthodox Mtskhet and valley of the silver Aragva River the “sultry Armenia”. The Caucasian Armenian supporters of Dreyfus have coincided in their tendencies with some civil officials; when I asked one Russian subject “German”, who was a baptized Jew, why he was “advising” me not to write against Dreyfus, he responded shrugging his shoulders:
– Excuse me, but emperor himself found Dreyfus not guilty!
– Which emperor?
– Wilhelm! Here I got angry despite all my meekness:
– Pardon! That, maybe, was your emperor, but mine by no means.
Some more words about schools. First of all, it is pity that the issue concerning them, or I should say their property, used to be and still resolved in the forensic manner instead of administrative.23 The judicial power is bound by definite regulations and has no right to deviate from forms and abstract legal fundaments even for sake of the state cause and noble purposes. Some faults, from the patriotic point of view, the judicial authority in the Caucasus is hastily accused in should be grounded by another category of reasons. The court charters and many common imperial laws, first of all, do not fit the Caucasian circumstances. For instance, such issues concern the statute of limitations, competitive process, and in this case, transfer of schools. The victory of Armenians in several court cases about school property has provoked vivid gossip across the Transcaucasia and absurd hopes at Armenian wire-pullers.
Let’s have a closer look at these wire-pullers and their programme. Naturally, they won’t let any Russian-thinking person to read this programme in the precise formulated shape; but living in the province for several years and taking closer look at many occurrences would be enough to clarify the Armenian programme with all its correctness, like a sought quantity of the resolved equation.
The dream of the uninvited patrons of the Armenian people about creation of the autonomous “kingdom” and specifically inside of the Russian borders doesn’t fade away, but lights brighter. There was no territory in Turkey – it is artificially created in the Transcaucasia. Tens of 23 This line is written before the law of June 12th 1903.
thousands of the Turkish emigrants cross in our borders, our soldiers do not dare to shoot these “peaceful” bands because Armenians move women and children to the front. There was no Turkish “atrocities” at all, and Turkish government doesn’t admit the fugitives back. Many of them refuse to accept the Russian citizenship and almost all without exception incline to idleness, contagious diseases and wild criminal offences.
The Transcaucasian plain Armenians, whose morals became relatively soft for several decades of living in Russia, consider arrival of the Turkish co-ethnics the great disaster.
People need the land – and everything that is present across the Caucasus and Russian capitals and accessible for the Armenian influence transfers this land to Armenians and opposes Russian colonization, disregarding that governor of the province had openly included that into his programme with royal permission.
In our language to oppose means to object; in the Caucasus that word has terrible, wild meaning making one’s hair to stand on end. After several years of thorough thinking about issue of the Dukhobors and collection of facts from the original sources I have sincerely come to conclusion that the Armenian intrigue, aimed at relocation of the Turkish Armenians to the lands of the Dukhobors, had been the origin of their martyrdom, madness and doom. The offences of some officials and mistakes of the others, sentimental-inhuman nonsense of the Tolstoy-minded etc. – all of them are the accompanying factors, not basic. Fortunately, that aim of the Armenian policy was reached only to the little degree through seizures and other deviating ways.
Inhabitants of the ruined Russian village in Terter of the Elisavetpol province know well what means “to op
pose” in Armenian. That terrible story will be outlined further in the article dedicated to the Russian settlers. Story told by one of the survived settlers made such an impression on the audience that all atrocities of the Turkish massacre pale before the cold-blooded, evil cruelty of “peaceful” and “cultural” Armenians shown during expulsion of the Russian people from lands conquered by the Russian blood.
The mentioned wire-pullers also want to expulse the Muslim population of the region and spoil reputation of the Muslims in order to catch their lands in future. The farsighted inactivity of officials supporting and enslaved by them has blocked determination of the estate-land rights in the Muslim provinces and establishment of the noble-peasant banks there. Naturally the estate-land disorder maintains nervousness of the passionate local population, causes discontent and serves one of the serious reasons of plunders and bloodshed. All that is thoroughly masked before Petersburg; some “Caucasian native” Mr. V.S.K. arguing with editor of the “Novoye Vremya” newspaper’s regional bureau made accent on the passion and nervousness of the Transcaucasian Muslims, carefully omitting the issue of one of the main factors influencing that passion. The fact is obvious: the issues of interests of the whole population group have been shelved for several decades – there are no rational reasons for that! But results can be clearly seen! It is easy to guess who operates here!.. As result the entire Muslim Transcaucasia is already ensnared by the Armenian nets just like other remaining parts, except for the part of the Kutaisi province. The Armenian millionaires are the whales lying in the basis of the industrial-political terror of “Armenia” – they buy for nothing tens of thousands of acres of lands belonging to the Georgian knyaz,
Tatar agalars and capture improperly lying treasury estates24; and those estates are still lying very improperly, partially because of the inapplicability of the common imperial laws to the local ground.
By the way, the corrupt Russian publicists convince Russian people that Armenians are the only peaceful and cultural element in the Caucasus. The Armenian rich men and their envoys are able to prove the same to the influential circles in Petersburg, and alas to many representatives of press using oil bonds, delicious lunches and even lips of the specially hired beautiful ladies. I repeat: our ignorance is amazing, nearly criminal. In rare editions of the Russian orientation one has to read that Armenians are “stronghold of the Christianity in the East”, and editions absolutely non-Russian for their orientation (like notorious “St. Petersburg Vedomosti”) reach such heights of bootlicking before Armenians that one feels shame and fear for the human.
The Armenian leaders and their accomplices just like Jews try to convince young and naïve Russians that Russia has already grown for powerful popular representation and that true patriotism has to consist of wide use of that “maturity”, and of leaving the outskirts and aliens to their own devices. Different attitude to the issue would be “intolerance” and “obscurantism”. Those who have heard enough of such aphorisms in the Caucasus can understand many Petersburg writings, no matter how they are masked, even by the Russian “nationalism” of the special sort. When Armenians and their hired paperback writers engage formulas of bourgeois liberalism usual for the narrow minded part of the Russian intelligentsia and speak, for instance, about equality and 24 These lands are completely inhabited by the Turkish Armenians.
brotherhood of all peoples, then it is lie, contemptible and poorly masked lie, which even a child wouldn’t believe in if he’s honest and comprehended what is all about. Persons pretending that they believe in Armenian liberalhumanitarian assurances are liars just like the authors of such arguments. Attentive reading of texts concerning the Armenian question and thorough look at the Caucasian affairs would be enough to acknowledge the mentioned conclusion as the axiom.
For instance, it seems that liberal-humanitarian idea doesn’t forbid taking care about the Russian popular mass, and, to the contrary, demands to render assistance to those groups, which are driven to the outskirts by impoverishment of our centre and lack of lands. Meanwhile, the fight initiated by Armenian sponsors of press against the filling of free Transcaucasian lands by the Russian settlers prescribed by the Supreme Power is going on for several years.
Let’s take another abnormality, even more screaming from the Caucasian point of view and obviously contradicting the Armenian formula “Caucasus for Caucasians”. The Muslims constitute the overwhelming majority of population in most cities of the eastern Transcaucasia, but they do not enjoy the similar rights with Armenians in the city administration, under pretext that the latter are “Christians”. That pretext can be used to cram only people learning the concept of Caucasus from the calendar data. Limitation of rights of some groups of population is useful and necessary in the multi-tribal state, but they must derive from the communal conditions, not formal features. One has to limit exploiters, mobsters, wirepullers, people of the shadow conspirative order; not Muslims, but namely Armenians are people of such kind. The Christianity without the Christian morals is forgery –
it is not occasional that one Orthodox hierarch once told me he considered Muslims for their spirit and moral position more closer to the Orthodoxy rather than monophysite Armenians. But even if one takes the point of view of the mechanically-equalizing justice and denies any limitations, then it would be natural to grant Muslims equal rights with Armenians, especially in the country where Muslims are more native inhabitants.
The Caucasian authority was sincerely striving for that and in short period of time the issue has been considered resolved in a positive way. The Armenian press, worshiping all dogmas of the so called “liberalism” and carelessly treating the Orthodox shrines, suddenly started passionately singing about “Christianity”, all contacts in Petersburg were engaged to keep the limitation of the Muslims’ rights in force. Newspapers accessible to Armenians at once started crying about pan-Islamism. And submissive Petersburg canceled the noble act, which has been under implementation in practice by the Caucasian authority…
Armenians and their supporter obviously hide their liberalism in pocket when it comes to their tribal interests. They even have a saying: “If you want – Isaiah Arakelovich, or Arakel Isaiahovich”. They consider all strange property, even the one deserved by blood and valour, as illegal gain. For instance, despite of Armenians being de facto masters of the region for some forty years, the Russian power gives more of the visible respect rather to the merited warriors and representatives of the old Georgian families traditionally loyal to Russia, than to yesterday’s managers, manufacturer or invaders of the treasury lands. That is “harmful” to the zealots of the Armenian hegemony, and they regard it as outrageous injustice!
Not long before the time I started editing the “Caucasus” newspaper the famous “leading” journalist Gregory Avetovich Djanshiyev visited me in the hotel in Tiflis with purpose of acquaintance. He enjoyed reputation of the sincere impeccable liberal. Respecting any sincerity and hearing a lot of good things about him in Petersburg, I was very touched by his attention – he completely amazed me by width of the theoretical views. I frankly told him that I’ve been sharply distinguishing the popular mass from the quasi-intelligent class and especially from the predating plutocracy. He made a slightly wry face and expressed assurance of that people from different camps could join for the sake of people’s good, if they were not enemies of light, transparency and life truth.
I was too naïve to believe it. But after the first serious exposure of the antisocial swindle and tribal intolerance of the city bosses of Tiflis I received very characteristic letter from that pseudo-liberal and zealous Armenian patriot (in parasitical meaning of that word). Below are the lines of that letter where Djanshiyev “opened his cards”:
“I sincerely wish them (Georgian people) every (?!) success, but only on the basis of equality, not in capacity of the capricious minion of administration like they used to be and still remain as such (?!), it is acknowledged by the “Novoye Vremya” itself. The reason why Armenians have future is that they nowhere and never demanded privileges for themselves (?!) at the expense of other peoples. Your newspaper has a touch of tendency of snubbing them as harmful element. One shouldn’t forget that being a target for prosecution for the last 3 years they are specifically sensitive to any injustice, particularly the one demonstrated by persons in whose impartiality they have believed. In such state of spirit even the just action may provoke irritation. What could be more just than equalizing
Tatars with Christians in the city administration? But I absolutely understand people considering that action untimely, because it is obviously instilled by rather hatred (?!) to Armenians, than love to justice. Of course you wouldn’t suspect the late Unkovsky in animosity to people, but he railed (?!) at Milyutin for his Polish farming land distribution, because it was inspired by animosity (?!) to the Polish people rather than care about it!!”
It seems that comments would be unnecessary since even the just action may provoke the irritation with those sensitive persons, “not demanding privileges for themselves”, but objecting to the equality of the Muslims!
The Russian servants of Armenians have gone much further down that way. For instance, at the institution of knyaz Ukhtomsky the suggestion to settle the Armenian migrants on island of Crete was once acknowledged as undesirable action, since Armenians were people specifically talented in the economic sphere they would turn dissatisfaction of other Christians in a new place against themselves.
Nothing to say, that is really good “talent” accompanied by inevitable discontent of the neighbouring people! Obviously the best place for such “talented” people is in the long-tolerant Russia: there is no need for ceremonies with this mother!
Article of the French writer-Armenophile Mr. Pierre Moran (“Correspondant” magazine, April 10th, 1897) is of special interest, as he was beforehand “prepared” by the Caucasian wire-pullers and also opened their cards.
According to this writer, Russia in moral sense didn’t firm its supremacy between the Black and Caspian Seas – what is absolutely true. He says, – Idea of originality and thirst for isolation is deep and active mostly with Armenians. They complain of indifference of France
to their situation, which upon entering the humiliating it (?!) Franco-Russian union has forgotten own principles and betrayed its traditions; meanwhile the Russian government, failing to carry out its obligation for protection of the foreign Armenians, is oppressing the Russian Armenians through irritating actions, par des procédés véxatoires. He pretends that Armenians were prosecuted (?!) in Russia for their creative energy, wealth, strong intellectual culture (!) and finally “just for being Armenians”. G. Moran finds that they are people with iron will, stable, captious and industrious – shortly speaking, people with great internal strength, á la séve vigoureuse. He acknowledges that everywhere in the Transcaucasia “they have captured places designed, seemingly, rather for Russians” and they have been creating a new motherland for them within the Russian limits, acquiring all big enterprises through not completely conscientious methods, so to speak, from the bottom (par le dessous), like merciless usurers, shadow businessmen, “Christian Jews”, and Russians envy them because of impossibility to compete.
Moran is deeply-correct in determination of role of the Echmiadzin patriarchate saying that even those “who have lost their faith in supernatural” (i.e. all Armenian intelligentsia), honour their church since it is national institution and saves their national identity. Armenians attach the feeling called a love to motherland by other peoples onto the church.
Information on geography, history and literature, Mr. Moran has adopted from the Armenian wire-pullers, is subsequently inaccurate. For instance, he says that, Batumi, Kars and Ardagan with their territories represent the originally Armenian possessions and Georgians in fact have been sitting on the Armenians lands for long time.
He slanders the emperor Nicolas I, who ostensibly promised to grant Armenians an autonomy, saying that in times of Alexander II (period of might of count Loris- Melikov?) Armenians were strongly counting at revival of their “kingdom”, and draws deceitful, coarsely inaccurate picture of reign of emperor Alexander III, but expresses true idea that Armenians are very frightened and hate the Autocracy, the centralizing and levelling all parts and all isolating elements of the empire.
He finds that Armenians may pin their patriotic hopes only on the “liberal government”. This idea is true and explains why Armenians, beginning with famous Karakozov, just like Jews, so much incline to participation in every intrigue aimed at shaking of alteration of our state order. Moran states that in terms of the unlimited monarchy Armenians are unable not to be oppositional elements and even dangerous subjects, des sujets redoutables, from the political point of view and in the economic field as well, like the “Christian Israel”, – un Israél Chrétien.
The mentioned writer does contradict himself strongly: in one place he says that Armenians only want “the civil equality and religious freedom” (although, as it can be seen in the Caucasus, they not only widely enjoy, but even abuse both of them with impunity), in another passage he acknowledges that “success gave Armenians pride, energy, passion and strength; they were bent before their masters, while they have been poor and weak, getting richer they think of resistance; many are dissatisfied with their situation”. The psychology of oil barons and bankers is described correctly here.
Speaking further about radical contradictions between the Armenian tendencies and the Russian state order, calling Armenians dangerous subjects and Armenian
church – national institution and even “Vatican”, Moran concludes with passionate apology to Armenians and strongly advises the Russian government to yield to their demands, drop “dishonest” (déloyale) policy and trust to the “Novoye Vremya” and “Moskovskiye Vedomosty” initiating some fairy tales about Armenian “plots”.
Hence, Russia has to refuse the basic principles of its statehood in order to give way to the autonomous “Christian Israel” reaching Voronezh, maybe even further?! Well, thanks for that good advice, which, possibly, will be supported by some zealots of the “philosophic renovation of the Russian order”!
Until that advice is not accepted, realization of the Armenian program consistently continues.
Leading the rest of the Caucasian population to impoverishment and, so to speak, zoological discontent the Armenian bosses hope to turn the remaining natives into their conductors, who could be useful in case of the unlucky for Russia war. It is characteristic that the Armenian wire-pullers specially hate any action, any kind word in favour or protection of other natives. They don’t get angry with those Russians, who indiscriminately scold “all Caucasians”, Armenians are ready to pay such Russian patriots, because indiscriminate statements are always unjust and fit well the Armenians formula “Caucasus for the Caucasians”. Their main feature is – photophobia, a fear before the incorruptible voice – this is what they have in common with unreliable officials standing for conditional “report” truth, instead of life truth. The Armenian wire-pullers are especially outraged by indications that the Armenian hegemony ruins other Caucasian tribes: then they start crying about inflaming of the intertribal hatred; their objections take shape of the “doublesided denunciation”, so much liked by Armenians and
Jews – and everything in the provincial service, which is decayed, corrupt and interested in continuation of the Armenian supremacy, raises from the “censorship” point a view its voice against exposure of outrages and honest description of reality.
The huge capitals in hands of the politically overdreaming people may represent serious threat not only in case of some complications, but ordinary time as well. Being a fruit of rather silly-occasional or dishonest gain than diligent labour and inspired knowledge, these capitals in hands of obscurant or uncultured people represent a social threat as factor or corruption and lechery.
Since in the modern state these treasuries can not be retrieved, except for the cases of legal confiscation for the proved riot or plot, then there should be a thought economical policy, there should be cultural struggle. It is time for the Russian entrepreneurship to apply its material and spiritual forces to our southern outskirt. It is time for our creative thought to lay in fundament of our provincial state programme. Strengthening of the police guard and improvement of the professional level of the Russian Caucasians are equally important, but all that are patches, which cannot fix the main issue.
Absurd of the Armenian wire-pullers, probably, will remain absurd, because no revolutionary adventures can stand against the bayonet of the Russian soldier. But Armenian bosses in the Caucasus cause enormous economic and spiritual damage to both the Russian popularstate cause and the Armenian population itself. These bosses are terrible as lechers, as microbes of social decay, as parasites.