Bloody deportation: 70 years ago Azerbaijanis were deported from Armenia
Today marks sad anniversary of the shameful Soviet past: 70 years ago The USSR Council of Ministers Decree №4083 on resettlement of collective farmers and other Azeri population from the Armenian SSR to Kur-Araks lowlands of the Azerbaijan SSR was adopted.
After the adoption this and other decrees of the Soviet government, deportation of Azerbaijanis from Armenia began. In December 1947, the first 100,000 Azerbaijanis were deported. It was planned that the rest of the Azerbaijani population will be deported from the Armenian SSR soon.
It was done in order to implement new political plans of the Soviet leadership regarding Turkey, since the countries were close to confrontation, while Armenia had the most advantageous military-geographical position near the eastern border of Turkey.
Stalin planned to completely deport Azeri population of the Armenian SSR, which was sympathetic to Turkey, and replace it with Armenians from Syria, Lebanon and other countries.
Those who were departed suffered from hunger, bad water, malaria, heat and epidemics. Most of them died on the way to or when they arrived to a new place where there were no proper living conditions - they were simply thrown out in the field without water, food and shelter.
Details of resettlement were defined in the Soviet Union’s Council of Ministers’ Resolution #754, adopted only in March 10 of 1948. The part of kolkhoz’s (collective farm) moveable property was assigned and gratuitous transportation of this property to the new settlement was provided for the deported. Price of moveable property abandoned in Armenia was paid for in kolkhozs at places of new settlement of Azerbaijanis. Some benefits were given to migrants and at the same time permanent grants of 1000 rubles were given out per head of family and 300 rubles per each member of family.
Historian also note that Stalin ordered to deport Azerbaijani population from the Armenian SSR to the Azerbaijan SSR due to calls of Grigory Arutyunov, the First Secretary of Armenian SSR’s Communist Party’s Central Committee. At the same time he gave consent for repatriation of 90,000 Armenians to the settlements of the newly deported Azerbaijanis.