All encyclopedias of the world fix as follows: mythology reflects people’s primitive surrounding world outlooks in the form of fantastic stories, in an effort to explain certain unclear phenomena. When someone is eager to use myths as arguments proving that claims for something are substantiated, then there begins a deliberate myth-making that converts myths into indisputable documents and evidences legalizing these fabricated or farfetched claims. Let’s consider a myth about the so-called “great Armenia.” Those manipulating the word “great” perfectly know that “metz” can mean “great” only if it is related to a human. For instance, there are “Metzmard”, “Metzishkhan”, etc. But when the point is about names, the talk can only be about “major” as a contraposition to “minor.” For example, there are “Minor Caucasus” - “Major Caucasus”, “Minor Zab”-“Major Zab”, “Minor Armenia”-“Major Armenia”, etc. Thus, the reading or interpreting “the major” as “the great” is a highest-level myth-making since, as member-correspondent of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences Keropa Patkanyan used to say, “Armenia is not a political but a geographical term” (see “the Van inscriptions”.) Similar idle talks about the existence of a certain “great Armenia” were for many centuries and decades pushed forward at various levels and in various spheres through state officials who were fed up, and reported as axioms to high instances, through which the applicants got business privileges and received highest-level permission for the mass settling of someone else’s lands, which were later on described as “indigenous” lands settled by Armenians since the most ancient times. That is how there were issued highest-level permissions to Armenians to settle Karabakh, Baku, and other areas. I’ve already told that in 1978, in village Maraga (Karabakh), there was erected a monument commemorating the 150th anniversary of resettlement of the first 200 Armenian families from Iran’s Maraga in 1828. A reader can make sure himself that inscription “Maraga-150” existed, and that the obelisk was erected by the Armenians voluntarily, without any outside pressure. Besides, the graves of Armenians in Karabakh are dated back to a period not earlier than 150 years ago. Excuse me, they all are documents! (At the moment, this inscription and the date are erased and cemented). Truly, there was a nationwide festivity, and the NKAR (Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region) received, as a sign of “commemoration”, the Order of Friendship of Nations, as testified by the whole periodical press of Karabakh in the late 1978-early 1979. The second grandiose myth that captured the minds of lots of people concerns claims for the so-called “Armenian” lands located within a huge triangle among the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian Seas. This is nothing but a myth legalized by the Dashnaks and dating back to the triangle of the lakes Van- Sevan-Urmiyah. The transference of the realities of the Tigran the Great times for later periods and contemporaneity, which, in combination with the second myth, gave “oldest-possible-makers” the opportunity to show Armenia on the map as a country located among the three seas, created the third myth-that Nakhchivan, Karabakh, and other areas territorially belong to Armenia. Showing utmost diligence in this myth-making are the latter-day Organchik-Zoriy Balayan, Bagrat Ulubabyan and others who receive a very ardent backing primarily from dilettante sing-backups, such as Starovoytova, Sakharov, Stankevitch, Dubov-Sheludyayev as well as Volskiy, Sidorov, Igityan, Kocharyan... The latest territorial claims of Armenian circles for Karabakh were being spread gradually, elsewhere in the form of articles, essays, almanacs and whole tractates, the content of which is one and the same:
“The Karabakh is ours, Armenian!” All those objecting and speaking against this Dashnak conception, disclosing a point of view that counters the Armenian one are declared enemies, anathematized. Claims for Karabakh sound like absurd in an article by S. Khanzadyan (see newspaper “Soglasiye”), and a speech by S. Kaputikyan (a speech at a plenum of the Union of Writers, see newspaper “Soglasiye”), etc. My colleague P. Muradyan claims that all the Albanian monuments of culture (the number of large ones alone reaches to 1,600) are Armenian and so is Gandzasar, a residence of Albanians Catholicoses. A certain A. Ajemyan went even further as claiming that there 6,000 (?) Armenian monuments in the territory of Karabakh. Again, this is a myth-making! It has seized the minds of Armenian pretenders for alien lands so strongly that the Supreme Council of the Armenian SSR even started issuing Karabakh-related “decrees.” There is something behind that US newspaper “Night Ringing” warns Armenians against potential claims for the Nagorno-California Autonomous State! One of the established historical conceptions is a canonized legend about the 26 commissars, whose deaths Stalin has already been accused of. It seems to me that it would be better to talk about them in a calm tonality, not raise or glorify them too much, and leave everything as it is, just noting that there were also such persons among numerous fighters for the Soviet power. Everyone knows the figure 26, but only few can call all them by name. At the moment, there are opened doors of various secret archives holding a lot of documents, of which the readers’ community is unaware, the content of which will give the opportunity to understand events of the past in a new manner, truly. These documents contain ones giving us grounds to revise stagnant conceptions and reassess what has turned into a legend, myth. New, still secret documents force us to disclose the history of the 26 commissars anew, since everything what was written about them in affirmative tonality was not questioned or revised until lately. For some persons, this was simply necessary; some others made political or other capital of this, took use of canonization, etc. To understand the whole truth about the activity of the 26 commissars, one need to have time, not a short period of time because if someone currently begins to comprehend what happened 70 years ago in a new manner this researcher will need to spend several years to go through a great variety of direct and indirect evidences and secret, until lately, documents about the activity of the whole Baku commune, in all and each of the 26 commissars, in particular. “Izvestiya of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR, Series IFP” has begun to publish documents about the activities of S. Shaumov (Shaumyants), T. Amiryan, G. Korganov, et. al, which were unknown to broad public before. But for some reason, the editorial staff of Yerevan-based newspaper “Communist” (see vol. 218 of September 20, 1989) was worried and considered the documents published in the aforesaid magazine “works by various sorts of dregs” and thus concluded that the activity of the magazine’s chief editor “has really acquired a character that requires criminal punishment, especially in present-day conditions of aggravation of international relations.” But let me ask: who aggravated these relations, and isn’t the activity of extremist Zoriy Balayan criminally punishable? (Let’s consider, at least, an article by G. Vinokurova published by newspaper “Communist of Sumgait” of October 13, 1989). Isn’t the activity of Starovoytova and persons like her criminally punishable? Still, we will have enough time to talk about “aggravation” and who stands behind it, what and what for near-term and far-future goals have been persecuted. But now, let’s draw a reader’s attention to events pertaining to the last period of activity of S. Shaumov (Shaumyants) and others in the territory of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Following atrocities and marauding committed by Tatevos Amiryan and Stepan Lalayan-led Dashnak detachments in Baku and Shamakha, S. Shaumov (Shaumyants) and G. Korganov in May 1918 sent
toward Divichi and Kuba a detachment of Dashnaks commanded by Amazasp, whose commissar was A. Mikoyan (see the facsimile of his ID-card in his memoirs published by magazine “Youth”). This detachment attacked Kuba and the Kuba province where the Dashnaks burnt and looted 122 villages, committed atrocities, killed and raped residents one by another. An Amazasp-led detachment stole from Kuba 4 million rubles in gold, 4.5 million rubles-worth jewels, and 25 million rubles-worth foods. The Amazasp detachment was sent to town Kuba for the punitive reason, upon a wish of commissar Shaumyan, and without the knowledge or consent of the other commissars; the selection of the detachment’s troops was made by the then war commissar Korganov (see Report by member of the Extraordinary Investigative Commission A. Novatskiy, Central State Archive of the Azerbaijan SSR, f. 1061, op. 1, d. 95, l. 5-8). As insisted by Velunts, Ter-Oganov, and Najarov, one month later, on June 26-27, 1918, it was decided to arrest Stepan Gevorkov Shaumov or Shaumyants (Central State Historical Archive of the Azerbaijan SSR, f. 46, op.3, d. 333, l 89-90) together with the rest commissars, and the decision “was implemented.” (Vadim Chaykin. About the History of the Russian Revolution. Vol. 1, M. 1922, p. 174). This circumstance is confirmed by Henry Barbus in his book “Extravagance Bolsheviks a l’Epopee Armenien” (Paris, 1921, p. 186): “Key leaders of the Bolsheviks Shaumyan, Fioletov, and Japaridze were arrested. 80 million rubles-worth gold was found at Shaumyan’s luggage.” This was the money the Dashnaks had robbed in Baku, Shamakha and Kuba. On August 17, 1918, Chairman of the Central Caspian Commission Nezabudkov issued the following instruction to the chief of the Baku prison, concerning imprisonment of S. Shaumyan and G. Korganov: “According to a resolution by the teams of boat “Ardagan” and ship for convicts “Geok-Tape” and the permission by the Provisional Dictatorship of the Central Caspian Commission, you are proposed to put the former people’s commissars Shaumyan and his son, and Korganov in the prison you control, without depriving them of possible conveniences. You have to keep them under strict control. You and the whole guard will answer with your lives for their escape.” (Central State Archive of the Azerbaijan SSR, f. 1046, op. 4, d. 369, l. 8). It becomes clear from evidences provided by chairman of the then Extraordinary Investigative Commission of the City of Baku Lev Dalin that on August 25, 1918, all the commissars “were put in the Bailov prison.” Extraordinary Commission investigator Zhukov led the investigation of their case. On September 14, 1918, Mikoyan managed to receive from the Central Caspian Commission actors (through Velunts and Ter-Karapetyan) a prescription, according to which the commissars had to be put on the ship “Sevan” and sail away. Dalin ordered the prison’s chief to release all those kept at the prison’s political building under Mikoyan’s written receipt. Having not caught the ship “Sevan” at the dock, the commissars took a ship named “Turkmen” and sailed away under the protection of Tatevos Amiryan-led detachment of Dashnaks. As for one of the two destinations - Petrovsk or Krasnodar - the commander of “Turkmen”, upon T. Amiryan’s consent, decided to sail towards not Astrakhan but Krasnovodsk, apparently, in line with a plan set in beforehand. In Krasnovodsk, 25 commissars and Dashnak Tatevos Amiryan were detained by the Executive Committee of the Transcaspian Dictatorship. A. Mikoyan “managed to escape by miracle from the Transcaspian region when the families of the commissars fled from there.” (V. Chaykin, p. 64). J. Stalin once called A. Mikoyan and told him threateningly, “The history of how the 26 Baku Commissars were shot dead and only one of them - Mikoyan - stayed alive is dark, unclear. You, Anastas, don’t make us clear this case.” (R. Medvedev, from Ilyitch to Ilyitch (without heart attack or paralysis). Youth, Vol. 6, 1989, p. 85; also see the characteristic of A. Mikoyan in Essad-bay’s book “Stalin”, Riga, 1922, p. 102-103.) A question arises: were all the 26 commissars killed and, if not, who stayed alive and what was their further destiny?
Note that the relatives to Shaumyan yet then asked about his whereabouts for it was rumored that he had been sent to India (V. Chaykin, p. 105, 124.) On September 19, 1918, People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR Chicherin passed to the Netherlands’s Envoy Udendik the following note: “While under evacuation from Baku, the Englishmen carried away members of the former Soviet Baku Government Shaumyan, Japaridze, chief commander Petrov and others. We’re decisively protesting this. We demand for their repatriation, simultaneously with the repatriation of Litvinov.” (Documents of the Foreign Policy of the USSR, vol.1, M., 1957, p. 489). On March 16, 1919, Tiflis-based newspaper “Popular Banner”, which Armenian historians so much like to refer to, reported, “The editorial staff of the “Popular Banner” received quite reliable information that, as a matter of fact, 26 commissars, who had been reported killed, and another 65 persons had been brought to India upon an order by the British military commandment.” (see V. Chaykin, p. 177). That S. Shaumyan and others departed to India is confirmed by one more document. On February 26, 1919, a diplomatic envoy of Georgia sent from Tiflis the following telegram to the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, “The Tiflis-based radio station intercepted a radio telegram from Astrakhan addressing Sokolov (apparently, a senator) concerning the exchange of the prisoners of war: Shaumyan and others for the arrested members of the Union mission; moreover, the telegram ends with the following words: “hope to meet you soon in Baku.” (Central State Archive of the Azerbaijan SSR, f. 970, op. 1, d. 42, l. 10, 14). Not far from the Delhi international trade center, there is a Videlgarden Park with some 20 unnamed graves. For some reason, these graves are visited only by tourists from the Armenian SSR. That’s the question! Another question is: why did the sons of S. Shaumyan and A. Mikoyan travel to India? The third question is: what for did S. Shaumyan, who was then ousted from Baku by a Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan within 24 hours, arrive in Baku at the end of the 1940s? The fourth question: when and how did documents pertaining to the Baku activity of A. Mikoyan disappear from the Baku archives? Thus, once fabricated publications about the activities of S. Shaumyan, T. Amiryan, G. Korganov and others must be revised with the use of new archive documents. We should think of whether settlements, organizations, streets, etc. should remain be named after some of them; moreover, these names often dub one another. (For instance, why was it necessary to rename settlement Gyulyustan where the notable Treaty was concluded “Shaumyan”?) In this connection, it is essential to rewrite the history of the Baku Commune, write (for the first time ever!) the history of activity of the Dictatorship of the Central Caspian Commission, the history of the period of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, and the history of establishment of the Soviet power in Azerbaijan and on the eve of it. We must think of whether those “historians”, who falsified the history of pre-Soviet and Soviet Azerbaijan for many decades, defended evidently anti-scientific candidate and doctor’s theses, wrote and published articles and books full of false and received royalties for them, have the right to be called candidates and doctors of historical sciences? It is time to do away with myth-making!
Academician Ziya Buniyatov.