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The Armenian Republic under the Former Soviet Union
Five and a half centuries after the fall of the kingdom of Cilicia and the depopulation of eight tenths of the historical territory of Armenia, the Republic of Armenia was proclaimed, on 28 May 1918.

It had a surface area of about 4,000 square miles around the capital Erevan and a population of little more than a million people.

But the new-born Republic, which had enlarged its boundaries by reconquering part of the ancient Armenian territory, was not able to withstand the confrontation with the far superior forces of Turkey, and capitulated on 18 November 1920.

On the 30th of the same month, the Sovietization of Armenia was proclaimed, and then finalized with the surrender of the last pocket of resistance on 13 July 1921.

The Soviet Republic of Armenia included an area of about 11,500 square miles and had a population of over 3,300,000- There were more than 300,000 Armenian casualties in the Second World War.

Although it was the smallest of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union, both in terms of population density and of surface area, Armenia is of great importance in industrial production and, above all, in certain branches of the sciences.

The astrophysics school of the Biurakan observatory, run by one of the greatest astromers, Victor Ambartzumian (Hambartzumian) is very well known.

Among the outstanding historical leaders of the Revolution were several Armenians, including Shahumian, Makintian, Miasnikian and, last but not least, Anastas Mikoyan, who was also the longest living political survivor of those times.

His brother, Artem Mikoyan, created the famous MiG jet fighters.

In chess, the Soviet Union"s national sport, Tigran Petrossian and the present world champion, Gary Kasparov (part Armenian), are listed among the best minds ever in the history of this sophisticated intellectual "game."

In other fields of sport too, Armenia boasted of remarkable records in relation to its small population.

In the arts, we may recall the musician Aram Khatchturian, a personality of the same stature in the Soviet Union as Prokofiev and Shostakovich; the painter Martiros Sarian, whom Aragon considered one of the masters of the first half of this century; and the poetic genius of Eghisce Tcharents indeed, he was rightly considered to be the greatest poet of the Revolution, along with Mayakovsky, though he was less well known, for obvious linguistic reasons.

Finally, we may note that Armenia was the most ethnically homogeneous of all the Soviet republics: more than 90% of the population was Armenian.
Writer: Hasmik Muradyan
Editor: Eugenia Melkonyan
 Date Added: Wednesday August 02, 2006 08:15:02 

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