Military Review

How Russians liberated Yerevan

In October, 1827, the Russian troops took control of the Erivan Khanate and stormed the city-fortress of Erivan (Yerevan). The lands of the Khanate were soon incorporated into the Russian Empire. The assault on Erivan would not have taken place at that time - now there would be no sovereign Armenia, since there was practically no hope that Armenia would liberate itself from Iran and its vassals. It is enough to look at the fate of the Kurdish people next to the Armenian, who, despite the multi-million population and compact areas of settlement, still can not create their own statehood.

How Russians liberated Yerevan

By the time of the events in question, the territory of Eastern Armenia had been under the control of Persia for many centuries. As early as 1555, the Amasiy Treaty was concluded between the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid state, according to which Western Armenia was ceded to the Ottomans, and Eastern Armenia to the Safavids. On the territory of Eastern Armenia from the XV century. there was a Chuhur-Saad bearer, which was soon singled out as the hereditary possession of the Ustajly tribe, which was part of the Kyzylbash tribal confederation. In the XVI century. the territory of Eastern Armenia began to be settled by the Turkic Oguz tribes, the Alpaut and Bayat. Mass settling of the territory of Eastern Armenia by Turkic tribes took place in subsequent centuries. Historians write about the 90 of thousands of Muslims who were resettled by Persian shahs to Eastern Armenia. Among them were 54 thousand turks, 25 thousand Kurds and 10 thousand Persians. At the same time, there was an outflow of the Armenian population to the territory of neighboring Georgia. Armenians tried to resist the invaders, but the forces were too unequal.

One of the first Armenian political figures who decided to seek the help of the Russian Empire that had gained strength was Israel Ori (1658-1711). He managed to achieve a meeting with Emperor Peter I, passing him a letter from the Syunik meliks who asked for help from the Russian sovereign. Peter agreed to help the Armenian people, but only after the end of a long and difficult war with Sweden. But the emperor did not have time to send troops to the aid of Armenia, and then Russia was no longer up to the liberation of the Erivan khanate. Nevertheless, the resistance of the Armenian rebels continued throughout the XVIII - early XIX centuries. The situation began to change after the beginning of the advancement of the Russian Empire in the South Caucasus. In 1804, the Russian-Persian war began, caused by the accession of Eastern Georgia to Russia.

Emperor Alexander I 12 September 1801 of the year signed the “Manifesto on the establishment of a new government in Georgia”. In accordance with this document, the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom became the Georgian province of the Russian Empire. In 1803, the Imereti Kingdom and Megrelia entered Russia. 9 January 1804 city fell Ganja, after which the Ganja Khanate was liquidated, and its lands were also included in the Russian Empire. After that, the Persian Shah Feth-Ali 10 June 1804 declared war against the Russian Empire.

With breaks, fighting between the Russian and Persian armies continued for nine years. Only in 1813 was the Gulistan Peace Treaty concluded. In Gulustan, in Karabakh, Lieutenant-General Nikolai Rtishchev, Commander-in-Chief of Russian troops in Georgia, and Iranian representative Mirza Abul-Khasan Khan signed an agreement by which the lands of Abkhazia, Megrelia, Kartli, Kakheti, Imeretia, Guria departed to the Russian Empire. , Dagestan, as well as a number of Azerbaijani khanates - Derbent, Baku, Ganja, Sheki, Shirvan, Karabakh and parts of Talysh.

But the Erivan khanate, as we see, remained under Persian rule. This was facilitated by the fact that the Russian troops twice failed to take possession of the Erivan fortress. The first time an unsuccessful assault attempt was made in 1804 by the troops of Prince Pavel Dmitrievich Tsitsianov, but due to lack of food, Tsitsian was soon forced to unlock the fortress. For the second time, Erivan was besieged by troops under the command of Ivan Vasilyevich Gudovich in the 1808 year - and again without success. Therefore, under the Gulustan peace treaty, the authority of Persia over the Erivan khanate was recognized.

However, the Gulustan peace did not mean that Persia had come to terms with the loss of vast territories in the South Caucasus. The British continued to play their role, who instigated the Shah of Persia and his entourage to launch a new war with Russia. In London, most were afraid of the breakthrough of Russian troops in the Middle East and the establishment of control over Iran. Therefore, the entire British diplomatic machine at that time worked against the Russian Empire. Finally, when the Decembrist uprising broke out in 1825 in Russia, and the political regime, as they believed in Britain and Persia, was weakened by the recent change of monarch and contradictions among the power elite, the Persian side decided on a new campaign against Russia.

19 (31) July 1826, the Persian troops invaded the territory of the Talysh and Karabakh khanates and were able to quickly move deeper, almost without encountering resistance from the local militias. Hussein Khan Kazvani Develu Qajad, a Serdar of the Erivan khanate, came from the ruling Persian Qajar dynasty of Turkic origin in the promotion of Iranian troops. However, Hussein Khan’s dependence on Persia was only formal - he ruled the Erivan khanate completely independently and built such relations with neighbors as he considered necessary. Hussein Khan was subordinate to a large army, in addition to his side stood 12-thousandth Kurdish cavalry. Progressing on Russian territory, Hussein Khan’s formations began the destruction of Armenian villages.

Since at the first stage of the war the numerical advantage was on the side of the Persians, they managed to seize an impressive territory and significantly pattle both Russian troops and the local Armenian population. But by September 1826, everything changed.

First, the Russian detachment under the command of Major General Valerian Madatov in the Battle of Shamkhor was defeated by the 18-thousandth Persian vanguard, rushing towards Tiflis. After that, the Crown Prince Abbas-Mirza, who commanded the Persian army with its combined forces, was forced to lift the siege of Shushi and advance towards the Russian army.

Secondly, 13 (25) of September 1826. The separate Caucasian corps of General Ivan Paskevich near Elizavetpoly inflicted a crushing defeat on the 35-thousandth of the Persian army. As a result, the Persian troops were forced to retreat across the Araks River.

After Ivan Paskevich was appointed the new commander-in-chief of the Russian troops, success began to accompany the Russian army constantly. Thus, 5 (17) in July 1827 was seriously defeated by the troops of Abbas-Mirza at the Dzhevan-Bulak brook, and two days later the Russian troops took the fortress of Abbas-Abad. The Persians lost three thousand people in the Oshakan battle, when Russian troops managed to lift the siege of Echmiadzin. After this, Paskevich’s troops advanced on Erivan.

At this time, the garrison of the fortress was commanded by the brother of the Erivan serdar Hussein Khan Gassan Khan, who ordered the deportation of several Armenian families from the city so that they would not come to an agreement with the Russians and would not open the gates.

On the night of September 26 1827, the Russian artillery began shelling the fortress. Paskevich offered Gassan Khan to surrender, but the Persian governor did not want to lose his power and hoped that if Erivan held out for some time, reinforcements would come to his aid. Then the Russian troops stepped up the shelling of the fortress, but Serdar stubbornly refused to surrender, despite the requests of the townspeople. September 29 collapsed south-east corner tower and part of the fortress wall.

Considering that this event could affect Gassan Khan, Paskevich again turned to him with the proposal to surrender the Erivan fortress in exchange for the unimpeded exit of Gassan Khan with his army to the territory of Persia. But Serdar again refused. The stubbornness of the governor, meanwhile, increasingly irritated citizens, especially Armenians, who in reality dreamed of surrendering Erivan to the Russian army and openly refused to participate in the work of strengthening the fortifications.

On the night of October 1, Russian artillery struck the fortress again. Numerous fires began in the territory of Erivan, and Russian troops were selected to the walls. In this situation, the leaders of the Armenian community of Erivan again demanded that Serdar Gassan Khan surrender the fortress. This time they threatened to raise a rebellion of the Armenian population of the city, and it could put up a militia that was six times larger than the Persian garrison of the fortress.

In the end, when the Russian troops began to storm, Armenians from within began to push the Persian sarbaz away from the fortress walls. Within a few hours, the fate of the Erivan fortress was resolved - Gassan Khan and the three thousand Persian garrison capitulated. Erivan fortress was in the hands of the Russian army.

During the assault on the Erivan fortress, Russian troops captured numerous trophies, Serdar Gassan Khan himself, the commander of the elite battalion of the Shah sarbazov Kusum Khan and many other prominent Persian military leaders were taken prisoner. During the siege of the fortress, the Russian army lost all 52 man, while the losses of the Persians were much more impressive. But the most important thing - the capture of the Erivan fortress testified to the actual defeat of the Persian army in Eastern Armenia. The news that the Russian army practically liberated the lands of Eastern Armenia dispersed among all the Armenian diasporas scattered from France to India. Archbishop Nerses called on the Armenian people to stand side by side with the Russians and fight with them against the Persians. Representatives of the Armenian community of India wrote:
“Armenia has resurrected from the ashes ... and in this the Armenian nation is obliged to the human-loving Moscow nation, among which we can always live safely and protected.”

10 (22) February 1828 of the year in the village of Turkmanchay in the vicinity of Tabriz, General of Infantry Ivan F. Paskevich and Crown Prince of the Persian throne Abbas Mirza signed the Turkmanchai peace treaty. In accordance with it, not only were the results of the Gulustan peace treaty consolidated, but also the Nakhchivan and Erivan khanates, the territory of Eastern Armenia, passed to Russia. In fact, all of the Transcaucasus was under the control of the Russian Empire. In Iran, the Gulustan and Turkmanchai peace treaties are still considered the most serious defeats of the country. Even Friedrich Engels once wrote that the Turkmanchaysky peace treaty turned Persia into a vassal of the Russian Empire. Like it or not, there have been tremendous changes in the life of the Christian population of Transcaucasia - for the first time in many centuries, the Christians of Transcaucasia were able to breathe easy.

In the Erivan and Nakhichevan khanates, which became part of the Russian Empire as the Armenian region, Persian laws were abolished that severely discriminated against the non-Muslim population of the region. The Armenian population has received numerous incentives for cultural and economic development.

At the same time, the tsarist government turned to the Armenians with a request to move to the liberated lands, and already in 1838, Armenians again made up more than half of the population of the Armenian region. The number of Armenians in the region was constantly increasing, helped by the influx of refugees and displaced persons from the territory of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1849, the Erivan Province was established in the territory of the Armenian region. During the time that Eastern Armenia was part of the Russian Empire, it became significantly stronger and developed economically and culturally. But the real flourishing of both Armenia and Yerevan occurred in the Soviet period stories. It was the Soviet government that turned Yerevan, a relatively sparsely populated eastern city, into a modern capital with numerous cultural institutions, a developed transport infrastructure, and industrial facilities.

The liberation from Persian domination had a very positive effect on the self-consciousness of the Armenian people, who for centuries had been depressed and could only count on constant insurgent actions against the Ottoman Empire and Persia. In Russia, and then in the Soviet Union, the Armenian people received completely different opportunities for their development.
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  1. Vard
    Vard 23 October 2018 05: 59
    Well, now we are invaders ... Or who is there ... But definitely not friends ... Historical memory is insidious thing ... How did I forget ... So it will vividly remind myself ... If it were not for the support of Russia .. It is clear that Armenia would no longer be ...
    1. Armen
      Armen 23 October 2018 18: 14
      Dear, that’s precisely a historical memory !!! And the memory is just right for the Armenians. You don’t have to do the word here - NOT ONE ARMENIANS NEVER RUSSIANS AND RUSSIA WERE CALLED OR NAME. As to whether or not Armenia would now , if, yes, as it were ....- then-Armenia WAS BEFORE (given events) and WILL ALWAYS. Why with all my heart I wish Russia.
      1. cost
        cost 24 October 2018 15: 07
        The 13th Erivan of Generals Zikler, Gordon and Paskevich of His Majesty the Life-Grenadier Infantry Regiment took part in the Kostroma parade for the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty as the oldest (oldest) and most titled infantry regiment of the Russian Imperial Army .. Founded in 1642 by order of Tsar Michael Fedorovich from the number of Moscow archers.
        In 1689 - the regiment was the first to side with Peter I during the Shaklovity riot
        Regimental banner of the 13th Erivan Life-Grenadier Regiment of the Republic of Ingushetia.

        The hero of Poltava - the 13th Erivan Life Grenadier Regiment, leading its pedigree since 1636, became the most titled in the entire Russian army, surpassing the regiments of the Petrine brigade - the Life Guards Semenovsky and Preobrazhensky - in the number of combat regalia. The Erivan warriors, “having gone down in the rain” in Gimry, proved to the whole world that where “the deer will not pass, the Russian soldier will make his way”.
  2. igorra
    igorra 23 October 2018 06: 22
    I doubt that this is taught in Armenian schools, most likely that the freedom-loving Armenian, even forgot the great people, as a result of a centuries-old liberation struggle, defeated the low Persians, but then the nasty Russians came and took advantage of the weakening of the Armenians to enslave them. All these peoples would walk along the forest and God would judge them. And yes, vague doubts about helping in difficult times of war from the already non-brotherly Russian people oppress me.
    1. Forestol
      Forestol 23 October 2018 08: 42
      Listen, the fools are full in all nations. The thing is in the so-called democracy, when local power groups share power. They need to show the plebs that the enemy is external, there is no one better for Russia to pick up: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics once tightly controlled local princes, carried out purges, appointed Varangians. Now, there is no one but the local brotherhood in Georgia, in Armenia, in Ukraine. Plus, US grants for “developing democracy”, in fact, are loot for enmity with Russia. In authoritarian Belarus, Turkmenistan there is no such thing.
    2. Armen
      Armen 23 October 2018 18: 07
      Good day to all in the first place. You have igorra (Igor) on the table are the history books of Armenia - what and how they teach now, or you write, just to unsubscribe ... I hasten to disappoint you, the Armenian people REMEMBER ALL and good and bad.
  3. Adjutant
    Adjutant 23 October 2018 09: 49
    Dad Paskevich is one of our greatest commanders.
    The fact that, following the outcome of the 1828 war, the Ganzhinsky and Erivan khanates went to Russia, and part of the Armenian people was saved from Persian oppression, becoming part of the Russian Empire - was of tremendous importance for both Armenians and Russians. In single-faith Russia, the Armenians felt free — they could freely move up the ranks and flourished economically.
    But part of the Armenian people remained under even more difficult than Persian oppression - Turkish. 7 Armenian provinces (vilayets) remained in Turkey: Erzerum, Van, Diarbekir, Bitlis, Mamuret, Sivas and Harput with a population of 1 million 651 thousand people, while Russian Armenia had 1 million 980 thousand inhabitants.
    Although they were during the campaigns of 1915 - 1916. the Russian Caucasian army was mainly able to free these territories (as well as to save 375 thousand people from the Turkish genocide - 23% of the population of Turkish Armenia) - but to complete the task of collecting Armenian lands and creating Greater Armenia (that is, to fulfill its historical mission, one of the traditional missions ) The Russian Empire did not succeed - in connection with the death of the empire and the death of the traditionally victorious Caucasian Front of Russia (victorious in all wars with the Turks and Persians - and especially victorious in the WWI).
    1. alebor
      alebor 23 October 2018 11: 53
      Concerning Armenia and Paskevich, I recalled from the novel "The Death of Vazir-Mukhtar" by Tynyanov:
      "So, they are talking about Count Ivan Fedorovich," began Golenishchev and again threw his eyes. Those who knew the anecdote laughed again, and Golenishchev also laughed.
      “They say,” he said, calming himself, “that after the capture Erivani stood in Ihdyr.” The village is: Ihdir. It was as if, ”he glanced at Griboedov,“ the count there said a toast: for the health of the beautiful Erivanians and their holes.
      Laughter became universal - it was the focus of today's dinner, the fun did not rise higher. "
    2. vladcub
      vladcub 23 October 2018 15: 13
      Adjutant, twenty years ago I met a repatriate from Turkey (from the Old Believers) and he said: "The Turks themselves said" Kars is a Russian city, but we are here temporarily "... It seems that Pikul read the following statement:" Who owns Kars owns the Transcaucasia "
  4. heavy division
    heavy division 23 October 2018 11: 09
    The event is outstanding, everyone must always remember
  5. vladcub
    vladcub 23 October 2018 15: 48
    And. F. Paskevich is a contradictory personality: painfully vain, Emperor Nicholas I called him: "father, commander" and therefore in Soviet historiography he was an "outcast", one of the most famous generals. It is difficult for me to evaluate him: out of vanity, he rolled the "cart" at Ermolov (this does not decorate him), but they are all slightly inadequate in vanity. Defeated the rising forces of the Persians.
    1. Koshnitsa
      Koshnitsa 23 October 2018 16: 28
      Words by Nikolay Verevkin
      On the voice: Oh, how the fog fell on the blue sea

      Is it fog over the sea
      Cloud rose?
      Not fog, not rain
      No, the eagle has soared!
      Aw, Lyuli Lyulyushenki,
      Ay, the eagle has soared!
      White as a swan
      As sharp as a falcon
      He is the rasei regiments
      He led to Persia.
      Aw, Lyuli Lyulyushenki,
      He led to Persia!
      The first turned up to us
      Abbas Mirza himself;
      We are Mirza with the Mirzaites
      Spit in the eyes.
      Aw, Lyuli Lyulyushenki,
      Spit in the eyes!
      And spit in their eyes
      To Erivan fortress
      A minute passed with a day.
      Aw, Lyuli Lyulyushenki,
      A minute passed with a day!
      And, having come, they began,
      Seeing the enemy to be able
      Chants, batteries,
      Build day and night.
      Aw, Lyuli Lyulyushenki,
      Build day and night!
      And having built in unchrist
      Before you shoot
      Monkey guns
      They began to suggest.
      Aw, Lyuli Lyulyushenki,
      They began to suggest!
      And then, guys
      Just the time has come
      Shouted in our own way
      Russian cheers!
      Aw, Lyuli Lyulyushenki,
      Russian cheers!
      Shouted, hit
      Rushed to the battle, -
      And a quarter and a second
      They took Erivan!

      Aw, Lyuli Lyulyushenki,
      They took Erivan!

      Count Ivan Fedrovich,
      Our head
      Immediately celebrated in it
      Feast of the Intercession.
      Aw, Lyuli Lyulyushenki,
      Feast of the Intercession!
      And Mirza Mirzovich
      Giving a chime again
      The kingdom of basurman
      Captured in full.
      Aw, Lyuli Lyulyushenki,
      Captured in full!
  6. Armen
    Armen 23 October 2018 18: 18
    Eternal Glory to all the fallen RUSSIAN WARS, in all wars. AND GREAT GRATITUDE TO THE RUSSIAN MILITARY for the blood shed in Armenia. Thank you.
  7. Old warrior
    Old warrior 23 October 2018 20: 37
    No good deed goes unpunished. It is unlikely that all these tribes, Georgians and Armenians would have survived to this day, if not for Russia.