Russian Armenia (Armenian: Ռուսական Հայաստան) is the period of Armenia's history under Russian rule beginning from 1829, when Eastern Armenia became part of the Russian Empire to the declaration of the Democratic Republic of Armenia in 1918.
For hundreds of years, the inhabitants of Eastern Armenia lived under Ottoman or Safavid rule. Subsequent wars between the Ottoman and Safavid empires led to the destruction of many of the Armenian towns, and made Armenian life difficult.
In 1678, the Armenian leadership secretly conducted a congress in Echmiadzin, and decided that Armenia had to be liberated from foreign domination. At this stage, the Armenians were unable to fight against two empires at once, so they searched for help from abroad. Israel Ori, an Armenian native of Karabagh, son of an Armenian melik or prince, searched for help in many of the European capitals. Israel Ori died in 1711, without seeing the Armenian Dream realized.
In 1722, the Tsar of Russia, Peter the Great, declared war against the Safavid Persians. Georgians and Karabagh's Armenians helped the Russians by rebelling against Safavid rule. David Bek commanded the rebellion for 6 years, until David Bek died in the battlefield.
In 1827-1828, Nicholas I also declared war against the Qajarid Persians, and sought help from Armenians, promising that after the war, their lives would improve. In 1828, with the Treaty of Turkmenchay, Russia annexed Yerevan, Nakhichevan, and the surrounding countryside. Those areas were considered part of the Armenian Oblast (or province) of the Russian Empire. The Armenians were hoping for autonomy under Russian rule.
In 1828, the Russians declared war against the Ottoman Empire. They quickly conquered Kars, Akhalkalak, Akhaltsikhe, Bayazid, Alashkert, Erzerum, and reached Trabzon. However, in the peace treaty of 1829, Russians gave all of the newly captured Armenian territories back to the Ottoman Empire, keeping only Akhalkalak and Akhaltsikhe.
In 1875, the Ottomans organized a massacre against the Bulgarians ruthless suppressing their uprising. With the excuse of rescuing the persecuted nations of the Balkans, Russia declared another war against the Ottoman Empire in 1877-1878. This war was also fought in the Caucasus.
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