On the issue of the Armenians of Western Armenia

  • by Western Armenia, December 07, 2023 in History
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 At the end of January in 1918 the Brest-Litovsk negotiations, the second stage of which started in 1917, were again at the core of the events taking place in the Caucasus. at the end of December and continued with partial interruptions until January 28,1918. In Brest-Litovsk, Trotsky refuses to accept Germany's ultimatum, does not sign any document and declares that Russia unilaterally ends war and disbands the army.

The next day, Commander-in-Chief Krylenko addresses to the soldiers and officers, urging them to arm themselves with patience, to maintain military equipment, not to obstruct the movement of railway vehicles, process 

 and  retreat by unit by unit. Germans inform to Russian delegation if they  don t accept their ultimatum therefore means that the armistice signed between the two states shall lose  its force. Despite the protest notes of the Bolsheviks, on February 5, 1918,  the German troops attack from all directions and capture Russian settlements one after the other and approach to  Petrograd. In a few days, the German troops, without encountering any resistance, advance for 200-300 kilometers. Max Hoffman,  head of the German delegation, wrote: "I have never seen such an absurd war. We fought 

The head of the German delegation, Max Hoffman, wrote: "I have never seen such an absurd war. We were fighting  in trains and cars. You put a group of soldiers with machine guns and one cannon on a train and move to the next settlement. You take over the station, arrest the Bolsheviks and move on." The failure of the Brest-Litovsk negotiations is accepted in Transcaucasia with alarm and concern. The Transcaucasian Commissariat had to clarify its position on concluding a separate peace with the Turks. On February 3, the Commissariat calls on the population not to give in to provocations, to remain steadfast in revolutionary positions and 

remember that anarchy can lead to a great bloodshed. The Turks immediately take advantage of the collapse of the negotiations and of  the advance of the German troops. At the beginning of February, the commander of the Turkish army, Vehib  announced that in order to end the anarchy, their army should move forward until they will meet the Russian troops. The Turks knew very well that they would not meet Russian units for a simple reason that they simply doesn t exist.

"Every day Russian troops, military and civilian institutions, hospitals are leaving Trabzon. There is a small regiment of Georgian soldiers, to whom the defense of the city is left. Officials of all institutions, whether Armenian, Russian, Greek or Georgian, are also leaving the city.

There are no Turkish troops in the area, so there is no immediate danger from them, but there are gangs (maybe they are askyars in bandits' clothes) who regularly attack Greek villages and Russian and Georgian soldiers when they meet them in small groups.

Getting out of Trabzon is a great act of heroism. A person leaving there faces great difficulties, 

There are no Turkish troops in the area, so there is no immediate danger from them, but there are gangs (maybe they are askyars in bandits' clothes) who regularly attack Greek villages and Russian and Georgian soldiers when they meet them in small groups.

Getting out of Trabzon is a great act of heroism. A person departing from there faces great difficulties, because there are few ships, and the passenger ships  are always full of soldiers.

Anarchy is perfect. Due to the lack of transport and the difficulty of leaving the city, the institutions are unable to transport their goods to 

Transcaucasia. The families of the volunteers, of about 200 women and children, were forced to hire a private Greek for 25,000 rubles.

Due to the retreating troops, the city is situated  in the worst sanitary condition. There is stench everywhere and everywhere. The pestilence, which had been completely weakened due to cold, due to   may raise again in Spring when it becomes warmer.  In general, the situation, both in the city and in the region, is very dangerous and deplorable."

Felix Smith, US consul in Tiflis in 1918. on February 12, telegraphed to US Secretary of State Robert Lansing by folowing: "The Russian troops actually left the Caucasian front. The Erzurum-Van-Yerznka line was captured by Armenian forces.

Turkish irregular groups occupy the east and west of Trabzon. Trebizond's huge arsenals are threatened by the Kurds and the local Muslim population.

A Threat to Armenians Only

The Turkish proposal to conclude a separate peace with Transcaucasia put Armenians in a difficult situation. The Turkish invasion was a threat only to the Armenians among the three peoples of Transcaucasia. both the Georgians and, even more so, 

they did not consider the Turks as enemies, therefore they had no intention of war.

The Georgian press, analyzing the situation in 1918 At the end of January,  wrote that the Turkish reconciliation proposal should be accepted immediately. Tatar author Akhliev wrote in particular:

"There is no doubt that we have lost the current war and we are unable to continue the war, because we no longer have money, no military barracks, no experienced commanding staff, no discipline and enthusiasm, no military equipment, and no other goal of the war. Only the Armenians have some goal of the war, and hardly any other 

"There is no doubt that we have lost the current war and we are unable to continue the war, because we no longer have money, no military barracks, no experienced commanding staff, no discipline and enthusiasm, no military equipment, and no other goal of the war. Only Armenians have some goal of the war, and hardly any other nation shall warmly support that goal. Georgians will not go to war against the Turks, because the Turks do not immediately threaten Georgia. The Russians themselves are leaving the front, and the Muslims will not go war against turks.

   To be continued