azen
  • The streets of Khankendi
  • The view of Khankendi from Shusha
  • A nature view of native Garabagh
  • The monument to World War II
  • Baku-Khankendi-Shusha road

Ethnic composition, Socio-economic and cultural development of Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region

Now, let´s pass to the national composition of the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh.
National composition of Daghlig Garabagh Autonomous Province (by a census enumeration: thousand people)

National composition1939195919701979
absolute%absolute%absolute%absolute%
Whole population150,8100130,4100150,3100 162,3100
Armenians132,888,1110,184,4121,180,5 123,175,9
Azerbaijanis14,19,418,013,827,218,1 37,323,0
Russian3,22,11,81,4 1,30,9 1,30,8

Taken from Достижения Нагорного Карабаха в девятой пятилетке. Стат. сб. Степанакерт, 1976, с.8, Самед-заде З. Указ.соч., p.31


Though a sensus enumeration, conducted before the collapse of USSR in 1989 was much influenced by the events of that period , Foreign Ministry of the Azerbaijan Republic worked out the ethnic map of the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh on the basis of that very census. As can be seen from this map, according to the 1989´s soviet census enumeration, Armenians were responsible for 145.4 thousand (77%) and Azerbaijanis-for 40.3 thousand people (21.5%) of the total 187.8 thousand people of Daghlig Garabagh.

The census enumeration of 1939-1979 clearly reveals the increase in the number of Azerbaijanis on the territory of Daghlig Garabagh. That was due to Azerbaijanis´ devotedness to their native lands despite the persectution by Armenian separatists and the predominance of natality among them.

As for Armenians, the decline in natality among them adds to their love for migrations. The support of the center to Armenian separatists in an attempt to reduce artificially the number of Azerbaijanis in the province before the census enumeration of 1989 caused the decline in the relative number of Azerbaijnais from 23% down to 21.5%.

The retaining of Daghlig Garabagh the part of Azerbaijan as its historical lands, continuing the traditions of close relations with other regions of Azerbaijan and a special attention of Azerbaijan to the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh created favorable conditions for the sociopolitical and economic development of the region in the Soviet times.

Yet late 1980th Armenian ideologists, willing to tear Daghlig Garabagh from Azerbaijan and their supporters tried to oppose these facts openly. Yet the truth ia always factual. The development level of the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh within Azerbaijan is clearly reflected in a statistical magazine published by the Statistical Department of the Province in Stepanakert. Later Stepanakert tried to ignore these publications.

However, these facts should be paid much attention rather than bypass them. One of the statistical magazines described the cultural, economic state in the autonomous province within 40 years (1923-1963): In the pre-revolutionary period (that is a period preceeding the October coup d´etat of 1917) there were no secondary schools, public libraries and theaters in Daghlig Garabagh. Shusha accounted only for three special cultural and educational institutions and a cinema. To date Daghlig Garabagh has five special secondary schools educating 1 000 pupils. 164 libraries with over 930 books operate in Daghlig Garabagh.

The villages are responsible for 150 libraries containing 630 thousand books. Such cultural institutions as the Armenian State Drama Theater after M.Qorki and the State Ensemble of Sonds and Dances were located in Shusha. The province had 176 clubs and a number of scientific institutions…From the first day of the establishment of the province the Sovetakan Karabakh was published in the native language (Armenian language) As for the agriculture it was confirmed that once the land of wooden plough Daghlig Garabagh was turned into the the land of tractors and combines.

It was pointed out that the agriculture of Daghlig Garabagh accounted for 1.4 thousand tractors, 224 combines, 670 lorries and thousands of other modern agricultural devices.Through the term of 40 years much has been done for the industrial potential of the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh. In 1962 the gross domestic product of the entire industry rose by 341, electric energy-by 945 from that of 1940. The socioeconomic life of the province developed rapidly in mid 1960th as well.

The comparison of the indicators of social and economic development of the entire Azerbaijan, Nakhichevan ASSR and the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh in 1965-1987 shows the high tempo the the development of the province. It´s evident that in 1987 Azerbaijan accounted for 686 per each 10 thousand people working in working in industry, Nakhichevan for 387, Daghlig Garabagh for 657. The per capita gross agricultural products totaled 588.501 and 692

The indicators of the social development on the province were even higher than that of Azerbaijan SSR, Armenia SSR and the whole USSR. Each 10 thousand people were provided with 86.2 bedstead in clinics in Armenia, 97.7 in Azerbaijan, and 101.7 in Daghlig Garabagh Moreover, as a result of the efforts of the Center´s supporters of Armenian separatists, the preamble of the resolution on the socioeconomic development of the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh, approved by the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party and the Ministries´ Council of USSR on March 24, 1988 also pointed out the progress in the social and economic development of the province.

In time when Armenian separatists widely spread the false materials, Azerbaijan always introduced true facts to the community for discussion and tried to examine the trustworthiness of each situation.

Therefore, the National Economy Management Institute under the Ministers´ Council of Azerbaijan SSR arranged a round table on the economics of the Daghlig Garabagh Autonomous Province: its problems and prospects and publishing its materials introduced them to the community in the severe days of March 1988. Thus, there´s no necessity to place this facts here.

Yet we would like to pay attention to the speech of the academician of the USSR Academy of Science born Armenian T.S.Khachaturov, the chair of the scientific council of the problem "Principal funds, capital investments and economic rationality of new techniques at the conclusion of the round table. Confirming the real situation he said: "I was glad to exchange views with my colleques on the issues of further development of Daghlig Garabagh´s potential.

I should confess that I was not informed enough on this issue and our conversation made it possible to fill in the gap". As can be seen, economist (!) academician T.S.Khachaturov confesses that he not informed much on the problem. In this case what should the other people do? In fact, Armenians needed the lack of information rather than its availability in their struggle for separation of Daghlig Garabagh from Azerbaijan.

After the attachment of the status of autonomy to the integral part of Azerbaijan Daghlig Garabagh, the Armenians of Daghlig Garabagh, Armenia and even those living out of these bounds did not stop their separatist activity. In period when Armenian politicians were silent, writers, poets and other people turned to the carriers of separatism-as a strategic purpose, i.e. politicians pulled them forward. (That is the historical tradition of Armenian separatists!).

The famous Armenian writer M.Shaginyan published the book "Daghlig Garabagh" (1927) soon after the establishment of the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh. The book perverted the historical facts openly; and introduced false materials to the reader: "Daghlig Garabagh Armenian lands…" (p.3); "Daghlig Garabagh-feudal land, noble piece of Armenia" (p.5), etc.

Armenians that could not achieve their goals in the 1920-1930th intensified their activity after the war of 1941-1945. Qr. Arutinov, secretary of the Central Committee under the Armenian Communist Party appealed to I.Stalin and raised the issue of annexation of Daghlig Garabagh Autonomous Province the part of Azerbaijan to Armenia under the same status.

G.M.Malinkov, secretary of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party, sent the text of the message to M.J.Baghyrov, the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Azerbaijan Communist Party on November 28, 1945. Malenkov suggested him to express his opinion on the issue raised by the Central Committee of the Armenia Communist Party. In this connection Baghyrov communicated his answer to Moscow on December 10, 1945. His answer was as follows: "Top secret. To comrade Malenkov:

I inform in response to your telegram regarding the suggestion of the secretary of Armenia Communist Party on the annexation of the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh to Armenia SSR:

Since ancient time the area of Daghlig Garabagh Autonomoue Province was part of the Karabakh khanate with the center in Panahabad city build in a form of a tower by Karabakhian Panah khan in 1747.

Karabakh was annexed to the tsarist Russia in 1826. Then the territory of the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh had been part of Shusha, Djavanshir, Qaryaqin and Qubadly districts of Yelizavetpol region.

As a result of an ethnic carnage arranged by Musavatists and dashnaks Shusha like may other cities of Azerbaijan and Armenia was destructed and turned into ruins.

Within the first days of establishment of the Soviet government in Azerbaijan in 1920 the the aconomic and political life of Karabakh was ruled by the common Provincial Revolutionary Committee.

The issue of annexing the mountain part of Karabakh mainly inhabited by Armenians to Armenia SSR was raised in 1923. Yet due the absence of common borders between Armenia and Daghlig Garabagh and their separation by Qubadly, Lachyn, Kelbedjar and Dastefur districts inhabited by Azerbaijanis, the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh with the center in Khankendi, present Stepanakert, was established by a decree of July 7, 1923 of the Central Executive Committee by the insructon of the party bodies.

Thus, the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh has never been the part of Armenia SSR and so does it to date.

Much was done by Azerbaijan in the sphere of Daghlig Garabagh´s economic-political and cultural development in Soviet times. One of the brilliant patterns of this development was the transformation of once the neglected and ruined village of Azerbaijan, the present center of Daghlig Garabagh-Stepanakert- into the most beautiful and highly cultural city.

Armenians from Daghlig Garabagh made up 20,5% of students of all high scools and technical colleges of Azerbaijan SSR.

Not a small number of comrades from Daghlig Garabagh can come across among the economicm party and soviet leaders of the republic, the secretaries, deputies, people´s commissars, their deputies of the Central Committee of the Azerbaijan Communist Party.

At the same time we are not against the annexation of the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh to Armenia, yet despite the autonomy of Daghlig Garabagh and considering the predominance of Azerbaijanis in Shusha we do not agree to the delivery of the province to Armenia SSR.

Since the establishment of Shusha it has not only been the administrative and political and cultural center but also made a great contribution to Azerbaijanis´ struggle against Iranian occupants.

Agha Mohamed shah Qadjar, the blood-sucker conqueror and executioner of Transcaucasia peoples was killed in Shusha.

The rich music culture of the Azerbaijani people was formed in this city. The names of Ibragim khan, Vagif, Natavan and other prominent politicians and cultural workers are connected with Shusha.

At the same time we consider it necessary to inform the Central Committee of the All-union Communist Party that it´s also important to consider the annexation of Armenian regions Azizbekov, Vedi and Karabakhlar, adjacent to Azerbaijan and inhabited mainly by Azerbaijanis to our country, while considering the issue of annexation of Daghlig Garabagh to Armenia. Considering the high degree of cultural and economic backwardness of these regions their annexation to Azerbaijan will create conditions for the improvement of the socioeconomic state of the inhabitants.

Beside all mentioned above we ask the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party to consider the following issues:

Our Georgian brothers raise the problem of annexing Balakan, Zagatala and Qakh regions of Azerbaijan to Georgia SSR.

Though Georgian-Ingiloys account only for 9000 out of 79 000 people of these regions yet we do not mind the consideration of the issue however at the same time the party should also consider the annexation of Borchaly district of Georgia SSR mainly inhabited by Azerbaijanis to our country.

Finally, we ask you to consider the return of Daghestan´s Derbent and Qasymkend regions, once the part of Azervaijan and adjacent to it, to Azerbaijan again. These areas are dominated by Azerbaijanis and the population mainly engaged in cattle-breeding passes most part of the year on the territory of Azerbaijan.

We consider it advisable to create a commission of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party involving representatives from all countries, concerned with the issue for working out proposals on all matters we have raised.

Secretary of the Central Committee of the Azerbaijan Communist Party M.C.Baghyrov
December 10, 1945, Baku"

The answer attracted the attention of a number of researches and a number of views were exppessed about it.122Yet the matter needs to be overviewed. What is the most striking in this answer? First of all: 1) it did not took long to answer such a complicated issue as Malenkov´s proposal in period of party beureucracy.

It proves that the Central Committee of the Azerbaijan Communist Party was not unprepared for such a proposal. 2) the political, scientific and historical and textual analyss of the text is also important. Let´s pay immediate attention to the critical moment of all that. It comes out that the leadership of Azerbaijan, opposing all claims never evaded the issue and was always ready for their wide discussion and introduction of concrete proposals.

Such substanciated position deviated Moscow from pressing on Azerbaijan. Nevertheless, Armenian leadership did not give up its plans and even attained the mass deportation of Azerbaijanis from their native lands-Armenia SSR in 1948-1953.

However, Armenians still did not suspend their separatist activity connected with Daghlig Garabagh. This problem was once more raised in conditions of antiturk campaign in USSR in the 1960th. A petition, regarding Daghlig Garabagh´s annexation to Armenia, signed by 45 thousand people was introduced in Moscow and the secretariat of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union Communist Party instructed Armenia and Azerbaijan to work out the objectives in this connection.

Armenian separatists considered this process was hammered by the secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union Communist Party M.Suslov. As a result of the brave and decisive position of Heydar Aliyev, caming to power in 1969, the separatist initiatives of Armenians and their activity conducted in the Center with this purpose had not been fruitful within a long period of time. Armenians tried to raise this problem once more with the same obstinacy in period of approval of the 1977 Constitution of USSR.

Yet they did not achieve their goal. The decisive actions of H.Aliyev when he ruled Azerbaijan (1969-1982) and was one of the leaders of USSR (1982-1987) prevented the intensification of Armenians´ separatist actions.

The publication of the book "Ochaq" by Z.Babayan in Yerevan in 1984, pervertions of the history and present state of Karabakh again intensified the nationalist-separatist activity. This atmosphere was supported by Soviet government (in the face of M.S.Gorbachyov) in the conditions of "reconstruction" declared by M.S.Gorbachyov, surrounded by Armenian nationalists and laid the foundation for the new stage. Daghlig Garabagh, governed by Armenian separatists and terrorists, backed by Moscow again followed the pass of betrayal like in period of the Azerbaijan Democratice Republic in 1920.

General view on the development of Plain Karabakh and the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh

Through its whole history Karabakh, as a unique geographical region of Azerbaijan was the province of harmonious economic and political development, likewise traditions, lifestyle and mode of life. However, the attachement of the status of autonomy to Daghlig Garabagh-mountain part of Karabakh changed the situation dramatically.

As a result of created favorable conditions the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh started to transform into a developed agrarian-indusrial region while other parts of Karabakh inhabited by Azerbaijanis turned to its source of raw materials.The regions aroung Daghlig Garabagh inhabited by Azerbaijanis mainly focused on cooton-growing while manufacturing industry lagged behind in these regions.

These factors caused the higher rate of development of Daghlig Garabagh companred with other regions. The location of rest homes and sanatoriums in Daghlig Garabagh lead to the inflow of plain regions´ inhabitants to these centers thus causing the rapid development Daghlig Garabagh economics. That promoted the receipt of big sum of funds to the budget of the Autonomous Province. The only high school of the whole region-Pedagogical Institute also located in the center of the Autonomous Province-Stepanakert.

Unlike other historical parts of Karabakh the the economic predominance attained by Daghlig Garabagh proceeded on par with the increase of the political predominance of the autonomous province status. The plain regions of Karabakh mainly inhabited by Muslim Azerbaijanis were subject of greater pressure of the soviet regime and discrimination than the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh, dominated by Christian Armenians.

That increased the ethnic egoism of Daghlig Garabagh Armenians backed by Moscow and Armenia SSR and created the atmosphere of open humiliation of Azerbaijanis. Thus, Armenians intensified their activityunder the coordination of special centers in 1905-1906 and 1918-1920. At that period Armenians were also secretly supplied with arms. These factors along with other conditions were decisive in later occupation of other regions surrounding the Autonomous Province of Daghlig Garabagh by the minitary forces of Armenia and separatists of Daghlig Garabagh.

Institute of History named after A.Bakykhanov of ANAS

“Azerbaijani Community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan”

1. Демографический ежегодник СССР. 1990. М., с. 3
2. Бондарская Г.А. Рождаемость в СССР (Этнодемографический аспект). М., 1977; Мамедов К.В. Нагорно-Карабахская автономная область // Демографический энциклопедический словарь. М., 1985, с. 266
3. Aaoui: Достижения Советского Нагорного Карабаха за 40 лет в цифрах. Статистический сборник. Степанакерт, 1963; Нагорный Карабах за 50 лет (1923-1973 гг.). Степанакерт, 1974; Достижения Нагорного Карабаха в девятой пятилетке. Степанакерт, 1976 и др.
4. Достижения Советского Карабаха за 40 лет в цифрах., с 11-12
5. Достижения Советского Карабаха за 40 лет в цифрах., с. 43
6. Достижения Советского Карабаха за 40 лет в цифрах., с. 7
7. Самедзаде З. Нагорный Карабах: Неизвестная правда. Баку, 1995, с.18-19
8. Самедзаде З. Нагорный Карабах: Неизвестная правда. Баку, 1995, с. 54
9. Бакинский рабочий, 1988, 24 марта
10. Бакинский рабочий, 1988, 11 марта
11. Бакинский рабочий, 1988, 11 марта
12. Шагинян М. Нагорный Карабах. М.; Л., 1927
13. Карабахский вопрос, с. 77-78
14. Azərbaycan Respublikası Dövlət Siyasi partiyalar və ictimai hərəkatlar arxivi
(ARDSPİHA), f.1,siyahı 169, iş 249, v.7
15. Yenə orada, v.8-12
16. Nəcəfov B. Deportasiya. Bakı, 1998, s.39-42; Исмаилов Э. Власть и народ. Послевоенный сталинизм в Азербайджане. 1945-1953. Баку, 2003, с. 294 və b.
17. Paşayev A. Köçürülmə. Bakı, 1995; Nəcəfov B. Göst. əsər və s.
18. Карабахский вопрос, с. 9
19. Карабахский вопрос, с. 10
20. Балаян З. Очаг. Ереван, 1984