History, Geography and Ethnology

Karabakh under Russian Rule, 19th Century

After the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813, the Peace Treaty of Gulistan (1813) was signed, according to which Karabakh was transferred from Persia to the Russian Empire. In 1823 the Karabakh Khanate was dissolved and incorporated into Gubernia (Russian province) Elizavetpol. The rest of Transcaucasia was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1828 (the Treaty of Turkmenchay).

After the creation of an Armenian province in the Russian Empire, the Armenians who were scattered throughout the historic Artsakh moved to the five traditional Armenian principalities in the mountainous part of Artsakh. The Armenians constituted an overwhelming majority in the area, which is evident in the 260-page long statistical report on the region: The district of Khatchen had twelve Armenian villages and none Tatar (Muslim); Djalapert (Djrabert) had the eight Armenian villages and none Tatar; Dizak had fourteen Armenian villages and one Tatar; Gulistan had two Armenian and five Tatar villages; Varanda had 23 Armenian villages and only one Tatar.[16]

A census in 1836 indicates that there were some 19,000 Armenians in Karabakh against 35,000 Tatars. This would mean that the Armenians made up about 35% of the population, something that some Azeri sources used in a misleading way to demonstrate that the Armenians were not in majority before Russia's conquest of the region. Notwithstanding, what is not omitted is that the 1836 year's statistics also points out that the Armenians were concentrated in the mountainous part of Karabakh, i.e. Nagorno Karabakh (approximately 38% of the region) and thus constituted an overwhelming concentration of 91.58% of the population in this small mountainous part, while the presented statistic covers the entire historic Karabakh.[17]


16) The description of the province of Karabakh was established in 1823 by consultants Mogilevsky and Colonel Yermolov II, at the behest of the governor of Georgia: Yermolov, Opisaniye Karabakhskoy provincii sostavlennoye v 1823 g po rasporyazheniyu glavnoupravlyayushego v Gruzii Yermolova deystvitelnim statskim sovetnikom Mogilevskim in polkovnikom Yermolovim 2 - m , in Russian, Tbilisi, 1866; George A. Bournoutian, A History of Qarabagh: An Annotated Translation of Mirza Jamal Javanshir Qarabaghi's tarikh-E Qarabagh (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers), 1994, p.18
17) George A. Bournoutian, The Politics of Demography: Misuse of Sources on the Armenian population of Mountainous Karabakh, in the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies , New York, 1999, pp. 100-103; http://www.umd.umich.edu/dept/armenian/sas/bour2.html