History, Short-Lived Independence
Treaty of Sevres, Armenian independence, nationalist agenda, Turkish troops, Bolsheviks
Russia conquered the greater part of the Ottoman-held Armenian lands in 1916, during World War I. However, after the Bolsheviks (militant socialists) seized power in Russia during the Russian Revolution of 1917 and withdrew Russia from the war, the Ottomans reoccupied their lost territories. The collapse of the Russian Empire during the revolution helped galvanize popular support among Armenians for the nationalist agenda of the ARF. In May 1918 the ARF proclaimed an independent Armenian state that encompassed most of the Armenian lands included in the former Russian Empire. Armenia fought short and ultimately unsuccessful wars against Georgia and Azerbaijan in an attempt to secure predominantly Armenian-inhabited territories, such as the region of Nagorno-Karabakh held by Azerbaijan.
In the August 1920 Treaty of Sevres between the Ottoman Empire and the World War I Allies, the Ottoman government agreed to the partitioning of the empire and recognized Armenian independence. Meanwhile, however, Turkish nationalist leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had reunited the Turkish national movement in the Ottoman lands and had set up a provisional government in Ankara. In September the new Turkish government rejected the Treaty of Sevres and invaded Armenia. The Bolsheviks also invaded Armenia, thereby preventing the Turkish troops from establishing full control over the country.
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