A view after a century

Avag A. Harutyunyan
There was an ideological-political conflict between the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun and the Communist Party of Armenia before the Sovietization of Armenia, after which it grew into a large-scale struggle. This time, the active, offensive side, of course, was the new authorities, who set themselves the goal of “eradicating” from the Soviet-Armenian reality everything that was connected with the name of the ARF by all possible and impossible means.

Thanks to the heroic struggle of Zangezur, in 1921 in Riga, the Communist Party of Russia had to negotiate with the ARF, with which the Communist Party of Armenia was against. Negotiations ended in failure after the Zangezur uprising ended.

In 1921 a public trial against the ARF was organized. The Communist Party of Armenia started the “liquidation” of the ARF. The Armenian Cheka was on the front line of the struggle. In 1923 the congress of the “former ARF members” took place in Yerevan’s theater which decided to “liquidate” all structures of the ARF in Armenia. The 1928 November plenum of the Communist Party of Armenia was a turning point, which reassessed the ARF, previously considered petty-bourgeois, already as big-bourgeois and fascist. The ARF was criticized by all the leaders of Soviet Armenia.

As a result of the Communist Party’s policy, ARF Dashnaktsutyun was liquidated as party in Soviet Armenia. However, that did not mean that the struggle against the ARF ceased. This is evidenced by the fact that before the collapse of the Soviet Union, all documents of the Communist Party of Armenia stressed the need to continue and intensify the struggle against the ARF. In the following years, those who had an anti-Soviet position were usually accused of being “Dashnak”. Notwithstanding the attempts of struggle abroad, the organizational structures of ARF Dashnaktsutyun in the Diaspora were preserved. And already after the collapse of the Soviet Union, after the proclamation of the Republic of Armenia, when the same Communist Party was already in an inoperable state, the ARF Dashnaktsutyun party again occupied a certain role in the new social-political system.