Sarkis Tsaturyan's 'Armenian Dream' - Abkhazia and Georgia under the rule of Armenia?

22.08.23 6:19

Recently, Sarkis Tsaturyan, editor of the Russian news agency "Realist" and an ardent nationalist, published his latest book "The Armenian Dream" ( on the Internet. This book contains a full set of Armenian nationalist myths about the "exceptional greatness" of the Armenians and the enormous size of the "ancient" great Armenia.

Sarkis Tsaturyan also devotes a great deal of attention to Georgia and to the now occupied Georgian region of Abkhazia, where, as we know, Armenians have already become the majority of the population. What is striking, however, is the almost complete absence of overt Georgianophobia and the tendency of most Armenian nationalists to bash and denigrate everything Georgian in the book. We are used to seeing and reading Armenian nationalists stressing the "inferiority" of the Georgians to the Armenians, and the fact that the Armenians supposedly gave the Georgians everything that could be given: writing, church organisation, ruling dynasty, etc. etc.

However, this can be explained by the fact that the book insists on the position of the Armenian historical falsifiers that everything Georgian turns out to be originally "Armenian" or "created by Armenians". But the fact that the book contains no references to Georgian "ingratitude" towards "great and ancient" Armenians is nonsense for Armenian nationalists.

The reason for such "unexpected kindness" of Sarkis Tsaturyan towards Georgia and Georgians can be easily understood from the same book "Armenian Dream". In particular, in the chapter devoted to relations between Armenians and Georgians, Sarkis Tsaturyan writes:

"History teaches us that Georgians, Abkhazians and Ossetians in the Caucasus have prospered far more with Armenians than without Armenians reconciling feuding princes. I come to this conclusion not by boasting, but by reading Kartlis Tskhovreba, a Georgian chronicle that explains why lasting peace in the Caucasus is possible in alliance with Armenians, but not at their expense. At the same time, if we turn to the post-Soviet reality, the Armenians of Georgia have remained loyal to Georgia and the Armenians of Abkhazia to Abkhazia, thus fulfilling their duty to the country of residence...".

In general, the crimes committed by Armenian fighters, in particular the Bagramyan battalion, against Georgian civilians are justified. They say that the Armenians were "loyal to their country of residence" and therefore fought on the side of the separatists. In other words, they considered Abkhazia to be a separate "country" and not part of Georgia.

But what follows is even more interesting. Next chapter 11. "Armenians and "Land of the Soul" leads the reader almost directly to the idea that Armenians should be "masters" of Abkhazia. And perhaps the rest of Georgia too.

Sarkis Tsaturyan begins this chapter with surprising "discoveries" about what a huge role "ancient Armenians" played in Abkhazia's history:
"Relations between Armenia and Abkhazia go back to ancient times. Armenians were present in Abkhazia as early as the II-I century BC - in the fighting units of the king of Pontus, Mithridates VI Eupator [132-63 BC], who fought against Rome in alliance with the king of Armenia, Tigranes II the Great. And already in the middle of the III century BC, the Roman garrison in Pitiunta was commanded by the Armenian Sukessian, who, after defeating the Gothic pirates, saved the inhabitants from being plundered...".

And then it says that, according to one version, the Abkhazians are descended from the Armenians. It is written that some Abkhazians consider themselves to be descended from Armenians. According to the logic of the Armenian nationalists - they are "wild Armenians", not to mention that the Armenians brought Christianity to the Abkhazians:

"Where did Abkhazians originate? The historian Valery Kvarchia believes that the version of the Abkhazians' origins in Armenia, mentioned by the doctor and traveller Jacob Reinex in the 18th century, is not entirely unfounded: "The Abkhazians themselves do not agree on their origin: some believe that they are Armenian, while others affirm that their ancestors came from Egypt or perhaps from Abyssinia, for the Abkhazians call themselves Absne.

Armenians and Abkhazians were baptised in the upper reaches of the Euphrates during the reign of Tiridates III in Great Armenia [in 301 AD], according to the "History of Armenia" written in the IV century by the secretary of the Armenian monarch Agathangelos Artsruni: "And Saint Gregory [Lusavorich] wanted to build a church in Baghavan... And he began to consecrate churches and to appoint priests from among those who knew the Scriptures. He sent some to Georgia, some to the land of the Abkhaz, and some to the Alans. When thirty days had passed, and the priests had been gathered to him, he took all the people and brought them to the river Euphrates, near the royal city of Bagavan; their number was three hundred and seventy thousand, King Tiridates, king of the Abkhaz, king of the Georgians, king of the Alans, and all the princes and chiefs of the peoples and tribes, and all their subjects, and many servants, men, women and children. Tents were opened by the river so that the relatives (lit. 'wives') of the kings could come down to be baptised. Sixteen princes who had been baptised by St Gregory at the beginning, and their female relatives, received the baptismal font at that time, with men at the service of men and women at the service of women".

Agathangelos goes on to tell how St Gregory appointed Bishop Sophronius, the predecessor of Bishop Stratophilus, to Pitiunta, the Christian centre of the region, where a century later the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (527-565) would build the Church of the Mother of God: "And he [St Gregory] sent Sophronius, a priest from Cappadocia, to the land of the Abkhazians. He was under St Gregory and he made him a bishop and sent him".

So it turns out that Armenians were "at the origins" of Abkhazian history. And, of course, the Abkhazians will not be able to do without the Armenians in the future:

"The political unity of Armenia, Kartli, Abkhazia and Imeretia is not a monument of history, but a positive experience that can be used in the 21st century. If Armenians, Georgians and Abkhazians were able to unite once, it means that they can unite again. And it does not matter how long their unity lasted in the past - five, twenty or two hundred years. The history of the rule of the Armenian Bagratuni dynasty in Abkhazia confirms Marr's conclusions about the idea of pan-Caucasian unity, which was close to Armenians, Abkhazians and Georgians alike...".

Sarkis Tsaturyan also focuses on the appearance of Armenians in Abkhazia. The attentive reader is forced to ask a question: if relations between Armenians and Abkhazians are so "ancient", why did Armenians really appear in Abkhazia only at the end of the 19th century? And where did the "old Armenians" who had done so much for the Abkhazians go?

"Where did it all start? The number of Armenians in Abkhazia grew against the background of the Russo-Turkish wars and the Armenian genocide systematically carried out by the Turkish fascists for decades. We are mainly talking about the indigenous people of Hamshen. The migration began in the autumn of 1879, when 400 Armenian refugees arrived in Abkhazia from Janik, in the western Armenian province of Armeniak.

"The Hamshenians settled the deserted lands in Mtsara and founded the first Armenian village in Abkhazia. Mtsara is rightly the cradle of all Amshen Armenians in Abkhazia. The first Armenian church was built in 1881 and two years later, in 1883, a parish school was opened, the first Armenian school in Abkhazia. The main occupation of the villagers was tobacco growing.

And Samsun tobacco was indeed recognised as the best and of the highest quality," recalls Zhora Agozyan, a history teacher at the Mtsar secondary school, whose great-grandfather took part in these events.
This was a special breed of Armenian men who returned to Abkhazia during the harvest season, and the rest of the time, from 1915 to 1923, secretly travelled by sea to Hamshen and participated in the guerrilla war of the Armenians of Janik and Ordu, inflicting terror on the regular units of the Turkish army.

According to the census of 1886, there were 1049 Armenians in Abkhazia, and in 1914 - 7 980. In 1926 there were 30,048. And it was only in 1989 that Armenians became the third largest ethnic group in Abkhazia, with 76,541 people.”

Furthermore, Sarkis Tsaturyan does not talk about the fact that Armenians, who arrived in Abkhazia just over 150 years ago, have recently become the majority in this occupied Georgian territory and have taken first place, overtaking the Abkhazians and Georgians of Abkhazia, who were subjected to genocide and expulsion with their participation.

Finally, Sarkis Tsaturyan "speaks out" on the true aims of Armenian nationalists in relation to Abkhazia in the near future:

"The Armenian people are interested in the long-awaited peace between Abkhazia and Georgia. The well-being of these two kingdoms is the reliable backbone of Armenia, whose development is inextricably linked to the prosperity of the entire Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. But how to achieve peace? First of all, we have to understand the most important thing: the enemy of Armenians, Abkhazians and Georgians is imperialism as an idea of racial superiority of one nation over another, not a single nation. For God, who looks down on the Caucasus from heaven, all peoples are equal, but He gives His victory and glory only to those who exalt the Creator above themselves, not to those who try to exalt themselves above their neighbours.

Armenia should help Abkhazia and Georgia to establish an equal dialogue between the countries - without dividing them into the older and the younger, the many and the few. Especially since the Abkhazians have worthy people who have the right to speak on behalf of their people. Among them is the Abkhazian politician and military commander Akhra Avidzba, who has authority both in his native Abkhazia and abroad. I am sure the Georgians also have leaders who are ready to take responsibility for the future of the region. It is time to talk. And we can start with the economy - with the restoration of rail links between Georgia and Abkhazia, which could happen with the mediation of Armenia, Iran and, in the future, India and China. Fantastic? There have been successful examples of Armenian-mediated unity in history. If it worked before, it can work again...".
This means that Armenian nationalists need transit through Abkhazia. First of all, transit by rail. Of course, without the restoration of Georgia's territorial integrity and without the return of the refugees. The houses and apartments of many of these refugees in Abkhazia have long since been "occupied" by Armenians. For the sake of this, they are willing to temporarily "hold back" their Georgianophobia and anti-Georgian feelings.

I wonder with whom Sarkis Tsaturyan is proposing "dialogue" in Abkhazia? With Akhra Avidzba, the separatist fighter he mentions, who has made a name for himself in Ukraine by committing crimes and looting? At the same time, however, Akhra Avidzba has long been a "client" of the Armenian lobby and has recently contributed to the creation of a de facto "Armenian PMC" - the "Arbat" battalion. It is clear that "dialogue" with such criminals, and even more so the acceptance of their "conditions" for Georgia, means one thing - the final demise of its statehood.

Varden Tsulukidze

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