As you see, they found shelter in Georgia in order to save their lives, but you also see how some their descendants appreciated Georgians’ care. I will not elaborate on the topic. I will just quote a fact: in the last quarter of the 19th century, owing to the manipulations of the high-ranking functionary Khatisov, the descendants of the ethnic Armenians, having moved from Turkey to Abkhazia, Georgia, created the Armenian Battalion after Bagramyan during the Russia-Georgia was in the early 1990s and killed hundreds of peaceful indigenous ethnic Georgian families and seized their properties. One of the commanders of the notorious battalion was certain Trapizonyan who was distinguished with his ruthlessness and sadism towards ethnic Georgians. Nowadays, affluent owing to the pillage, the Armenian mafia dominates many fields in present-day Abkhazia and strives to take hold of the real estate abandoned by displaced ethnic Georgians. This is also facilitated by the fact that ethnic Abkhazians are a minority. Currently, 69 000 ethnic Abkhaz and 80 000 ethnic Armenians live in Abkhazia. The local journalist Gereshenko supposes that ethnic Armenians will soon be at least 300 000 (Marsagishvili, Shorena. “Armenians are going to drive ethnic Abkhazians out of Abkhazia. They will share Georgians’ fate”).
Irrespective of treacherous activities on the part of so many internal and external enemies, the Kingdom of Georgia anyway survived till the end of the 18th century; however, following misfortunes started with the fact that King Heraclius II, relying on coreligionist Russia, was deceived by Catherine II the Great, and she did not implement the agreements under the Treat of Georgievsk in accordance with which Russia was to protect Georgia against invaders. They made the old king to oppose alone the hordes of Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar. Russia, with her duplicitous and treacherous policy to the Kingdom of Georgia, had the lion’s share in the tragedy of Krtsanisi in 1795.
From the very beginning, Russia assumed Georgia as one of its provinces. This is well seen from the fact that, on December 18, before King George XII died (December 28, 1800), Emperor Paul I signed the manifesto on the elimination of the Kingdom of Kartli and Kakheti. The document was kept in secret; however, it was published as soon as George XII died, and Georgia was annexed by Russia. This treacherous decision aroused discontent among the Georgian people.
On March 12, 1801, Emperor Paul I was assassinated, and Alexandre, his successor, accessed to the throne. People in Tbilisi became hopeful that the new emperor would restore the throne of Kartli and Kakheti and sent him a letter of request; however, on April 11 and 15, 1801, the State Council of Russia adopted a resolution on the annexation of Kartli and Kakheti without retaining any self-government. The Bagrationi royal dynasty was eliminated (Totadze, A. Population of Tbilisi. 2014; p. 58).
On September 12, 1801, the manifesto on the annexation, signed by Emperor Alexandre, was published. The Emperor of Russia impudently lied and hoodwinked the world when he wrote: “Not for the demonstration of strength, not for profit, not for the widening of the largest empire of the world, we take on the burden of governing of the Kingdom of Georgia, but it is only dignity, obligation, patronage and humanness that dictate our divine duty to respond to entreaties of the tormented.”
This is what A. Totadze writes about it: “These self-justifications, fraudulent propagandistic statements were meant to imply that as though Russia annexed Georgia in 1801 following the request of the Georgian king and authorities” (Population of Tbilisi. 2014; p. 58).
Russian historians did their best to justify Emperor Alexandre’s perfidy and crocodile tears: “A number of complicated events were caused by the will of George XII. The Russian authorities honestly and repeatedly admitted that they did not see any necessity for the further widening of the south-eastern borders and that they had no benefit from it.”
A. Totadze quoted another Russian historian to respond to the aforementioned one: “Russia greatly benefited from the annexation of Georgia because it borders came into immediate contact with Turkey and Persia, enabling the Russian government to influence both states. Besides, as a result of the annexation of Georgia, highlanders of the Caucasus appeared to be totally encircled, thus causing their subjugation. One should not disregard the circumstance that Russia acquired Georgia as a country with extraordinary rich natural resources which would serve to the enrichment of the Russian people.”
There were some writers in Russia who did not justify Russia’s occupational politics against Georgia. Evnegy Markov: “We, Russians, must never forget that we did not conquer Georgia with a sword that we are their equal brothers and not powerful lords. We must not forget that Georgians came to our family in order to remain being Georgian; therefore, we must respect and support every Georgian individual, every Georgian historical artifact, every church and sanctuary of the nation in the same way as we respect and support those of our own. The union between brothers means that one should support another in a brotherly way, that one stand by another and not devour.”
Russia’s perfidious activities did not end at that point. Emperor Alexandre I eliminated the Georgian royal throne (1801), divided Georgia into provinces of Tbilisi and Kutaisi, and annexed it to Russia.
The Georgian nobility and residents of Tbilisi were forcibly drawn to the yard of Sioni Cathedral, and, surrounded by Russian soldiers and targeted with their bayonets, they were made swore to loyalty to the Russian king. The unprecedented ceremony of unjustness was led by General Lazarev (Ghazaryants)?!..
Russia did not stop and they quashed the autocephaly of the Georgian Church (1811). Russian exarchs were appointed in charge of the Georgian Church. Most of them misappropriated the property and riches of the Georgian Church. They deprived the church of the lands and transferred them to the treasury. It should also be noted that tsarist Russia deprived Echmiadzin of lands and property but returned them soon, whereas she misappropriated the riches of the coreligionist Georgian Church.
In order to restrain aggressive anti-Georgian activities of the Armenian comprador bourgeoisie, settled in Tbilisi in the 19th c., Ilia Chavchavadze founded the Nobility Bank. Meanwhile, he was had to write the publicistic work “Appeal of stones” (1899) directed against some Armenian scholars and publicists serving as mouthpieces of tsarist Russia’s autocracy and the Armenian bourgeoisie. Those gentlemen did their best to falsify the history of the Georgian nation and to rebuke its present. Grigor Artsruni, publicist and editor of the newspaper Mshak, was primarily involved in those shameless activities. He was supported by the Armenian scholars: Ezov, Khudabashov, Patkanov, etc.
It was the first seminal work directed against the Armenian scholars suffering from pathological historicism.
Another seminal work was Prof. Mikheil Tamarashvili’s “A Reply to the Armenian Writers who do not Recognize Georgian Catholics” (1902). “The goal and content of the book is more comprehensive than its title.” It protects not only Georgian Catholics, unjustly neglected by Armenian priests, but also unveils the latter in falsifying of the Georgian history.
The third seminal work is “On One Example of the Distortion of Historical Truth” by Academician S. Janashia (1947). With comprehensive and profound argumentation, it demonstrates that the land of Tao-Klarjeti and the cult monuments – Oshki, Bana, Khandzta, etc., were Georgian. Prof. G. Tokarsky, the Russian scholar corrupted by Armenians, wrote that they were Armenian in the book Ancient Armenian Architecture, edited by J. Orbeli (published in Russian, in 1946, in Yerevan).
Armenian scholars and political scientists kept offending in the 21st century, particularly, following the restoration of the state independence of Georgia. First of all, they targeted Javakheti, claiming either its autonomy or sometimes its annexation to Armenia; they still extend their claims. The inspirer of this anti-Georgian movement is the organization “Javakhk” led by a certain Aghasi Arabyan, an Armenian PM.
Author Bondo Arveladze
To be continued