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Karabakh movement

Karabakh movement
Part of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the dissolution of the Soviet Union
A 2013 post stamp dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the movement showing people with raised fists in Yerevan's Theatre Square and the Opera Theatre in the background in 1988
Date February 1988 — 1991
Location Soviet Armenia (mainly Yerevan)
Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast
Goals Unification of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia
Methods Demonstrations, sit-ins, strikes, hunger strike, student protest, civil disobedience
Result Establishment of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
Escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh War
Parties to the civil conflict
Karabakh Committee (1988-1989)
Pan-Armenian National Movement (1989-1991)
Soviet Armenia (1989-1990)
Republic of Armenia (1990-1991)[1]
Lead figures
1 million[2]

The Karabakh movement (Armenian: Ղարաբաղյան շարժում, also the Artsakh Movement[6][7] Արցախյան շարժում) was a mass movement in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh from 1988 to 1992 that advocated for the transfer of the mainly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of neighboring Soviet Azerbaijan to the jurisdiction of Soviet Armenia.

Initially, the movement was entirely devoid of any anti-Soviet sentiment and did not call for independence of Armenia. The Karabakh Committee, a group of intellectuals, led the movement from 1988 to 1989. It transformed into the Pan-Armenian National Movement (HHSh) by 1989 and won majority in the 1990 parliamentary election. In 1991, both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence. The intense fighting known as the Nagorno-Karabakh War turned into a full-scale war by 1992.


  • Timeline 1
    • 1987 1.1
    • 1988 1.2
    • 1989 1.3
    • 1990 1.4
    • 1991 1.5
  • References 2
  • Bibliography 3




  • February 13: First demonstration in Stepanakert.[9] Traditionally considered the start of the movement.[10]
  • February 18–26: Major demonstrations held in Yerevan for the unification of Karabakh with Armenia.[11]
  • February 20: the NKAO Supreme Council issued a request to transfer the region to Soviet Armenia
  • February 22–23: Local Armenians and Azerbaijanis clash in Askeran, resulting in several deaths
  • February 26: Demonstrations paused after Mikhail Gorbachev's asked for time to develop a position.[12]
  • February 27–29: Sumgait pogrom starts, Armenians of Azerbaijan start to leave in large numbers[12]
  • March 9: Gorbachev meets with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan Karen Demirchyan and Kamran Baghirov in Moscow to discuss the public demands of unification of Armenia and Karabakh.[13]
  • March 22: Over 100,000 people discontented with the tendencies demonstrate in Yerevan.[14]
  • March 23: The Soviet Supreme Soviet rejects the demand of NKAO Regional Party.[14]
  • March 25: Gorbachev rejects Armenian claims, forbade demonstrations in Yerevan.[14]
  • March 26: Despite not being authorized by the Moscow government, tens of thousands demonstrate in Yerevan.[15]
  • March 30: NKAO Communist Party adopts a resolution demanding unification.[15]
  • April 24: Hundreds of thousands of Armenians march to the genocide memorial in Yerevan.[15]
  • May 21: Karen Demirchyan resigns.
  • May 28: Flag of Armenia first raised in front of Matenadaran.[16]
  • June 15: Soviet Armenian Supreme Council votes in favor of the unification of NKAO.[16]
  • June 17: Soviet Azerbaijani Supreme Council opposes the transfer of NKAO to Armenia.[16]
  • June 28–29: Conference of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union dissaproves Armenian claims to NKAO.[16]
  • July 5: Zvartnots Airport clash, the Soviet troops confronted by protesters in Zvartnots Airport, one man left dead, tens injured.[17]
  • July 12: NKAO Soviet Council votes in favor of unification with Armenia.[17]
  • July 18: Soviet Supreme Council refuses Armenian claims.[17]
  • July 21: Paruyr Hayrikyan deported to Ethiopia.[17]
  • fall: Around 150,000 Azerbaijanis of Armenia start to leave in large numbers.
  • September: State of emergency declared in Stepanakert after Armenian and Azerbaijanis clash.
  • November: Kirovabad pogrom
  • November 7: Hundreds of thousands demonstrate in Yerevan to support the Karabakh Committee.[18]
  • November 22: Soviet Armenian Supreme Council recognizes the Armenian Genocide.[18]
  • November 24: State of emergency declared in Yerevan.[18]
  • December 7: Spitak earthquake.
  • December 10: Karabakh Committee members arrested, sent to Moscow.[19]





  1. ^ Flag of Armenia was adopted on August 24, 1990.
  2. ^
  3. ^,2883235&dq=baku+armenians&hl=en
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ de Waal 2003, p. 11.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Verluise 1995, p. 86.
  12. ^ a b Verluise 1995, p. 87.
  13. ^ Verluise 1995, p. 89.
  14. ^ a b c Verluise 1995, p. 90.
  15. ^ a b c Verluise 1995, p. 91.
  16. ^ a b c d Verluise 1995, p. 92.
  17. ^ a b c d Verluise 1995, p. 93.
  18. ^ a b c Verluise 1995, p. 97.
  19. ^ Verluise 1995, p. 99.
  20. ^


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