Hrant B. Abrahamyan
According to the public and direct indications of the former and present presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Heydar and Ilham Alievs, during the last two decades the Azerbaijani historians have obstinately tried to “prove” through spreading false documents in foreign languages in the whole world as if Armenians came to Karabakh only in the years 1826-1828, after the Russo-Persian War. Proclaiming Karabakh an unknown area to history till 1918 and “the oldest area” of Azerbaijan, they artificially try to tie the well-known fact of the migration of the Armenians from Persia and Turkey at the end of the 1820s and in the beginning of 1830s with the historical source of the emergence of the problem of Karabakh. Whereas, in the mentioned historical period the emigration of the Armenians from the Ottoman Empire (Western Armenia) and the immigration from Persia was mainly directed to the State of Yerevan, partially also to the State of Tbilisi and other provinces of Transcaucasia and Southern Russia. As for Karabakh, notwithstanding the numerous persecutions against the Armenians in the 17-18-th centuries, the majority of the local Armenians had preserved its collective residences until the establishment of the Russian domination. In the mentioned historical period among the Christian population, which had moved to the territory of the Russian Empire, 750 Armenian and Greek families, about 3500 people, who made 2.8 percent of the total number of the immigrants, tried to settle in Karabakh. The Armenians who had migrated from Persia at first settled in the ruined city of Barda (Partav) upon the command of the imperial functionary Abazov. And as is shown in the reports of the imperial functionaries broadly used in the present publications, not sustaining the damp and hot climate, 300 families out of the aforementioned 750 departed from Karabakh. The remaining 450 family re-habitants, who made about 2000 people, in the months AugustSeptember of the year 1828, were infected with an unknown to them disease and, massively dying, were buried in the general graveyards. The reports and other documents of the imperial functionaries testify that only about 100 families survived that epidemic who continued to be pursued by the oppressions of the Tatar nomadic tribes. Whereas, already in 1832-1833, according to the data of the parishioner calculation carried out all over Karabakh, 5600 families, or 28 thousand Armenians resided here. The successors of the 100 Armenian families, who had migrated from Persia and had settled in Karabakh after undergoing a number of difficulties, mainly lived in Maragha village in the Martakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh. In 1988, without even trying to hide that wellknown fact at all, they placed a signboard on the edge of the road leading to the village which announced that Maraghan was founded 160 years ago. Yet, even after the event of April 10, 1992, when the Azerbaijani armed forces burst into Maragha and committed a massacre of the inhabitants of that village; the Azerbaijani preaching continues to use the ill-starred signboard about Maragha’s foundation, which was de-armenialized by them, to “prove” that as if the Armenians are newcomers in Karabakh.