5th Combined Arms Army
The 5th Combined Arms Red Banner Army is a Russian Ground Forces formation in the Eastern Military District. It was formed in 1939, served during the Soviet invasion of Poland that year, was deployed in the southern sector of the Soviet defences when Adolf Hitler's Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941 during World War II. In the disastrous first months of Barbarossa, the 5th Army was destroyed around Kiev. Reformed under Lelyushenko and Govorov, it played a part in the last-ditch defence of Moscow, in the string of offensive and defensive campaigns that saw the Soviet armies liberate all of Soviet territory and push west into Poland and beyond into Germany itself; the 5th Army itself only advanced as far as East Prussia before it was moved east to take part in the Soviet attack on Japan. Since 1945 under the Soviet and now Russian flag it has formed part of the Far East Military District keeping watch on the border with the People's Republic of China; as the Russian armed force shrunk it found itself part of the larger Eastern Military District in the twenty-first century.
The 5th Army was created in August 1939 in the Special Kiev Military District from the Northern Army Group. In September 1939 the 5th Army took part in the Soviet invasion of Poland, justified by the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact; the Army was placed under the command of I. G. Sovietnikov. On 22 June 1941, the 5th Army consisted of the 15th Rifle Corps, as well as the 27th Rifle Corps, the 22nd Mechanised Corps, the 2nd Fortified Region, seven artillery regiments, 2 NKVD border regiments, an engineer regiment; the Army's rifle divisions were assigned to cover the Lutsk-Rovno approaches to the Ukraine and were tasked to man the Kovel and Vladimir-Volynsk fortified districts. The Army was stationed in barracks up to forty miles from the frontier, would need three to four days to take up its positions. On 22 June, the 15th Rifle Corps managed to take its place in the line, holding the sector from Vlodava to Vladimir-Volynsk, but that same day, the southern end of the line at Vladimir-Volynsk "began to buckle in," in John Erickson's words.
The main German thrust in the sector came at the junction point between the 5th Army and its neighbour to the south, the 6th Army, both the 5th and 6th Armies committed their mechanised forces to try to stem the gap, but without success. The Commander Southwestern Front, Mikhail Kirponos, decided to halt this with an attack into the flank of Panzer Group 1 using all the available mobile forces – five mechanised corps; this was unsuccessful in the face of the thrusting German advance, lack of coordination from the various Soviet formations, acute shortage of equipment and spares, lack of proper equipment radio sets. Meanwhile General M. I. Potapov, now commanding the 5th Army, was ordered on 29 June to make another attack on Panzer Group 1's flank from the woods of Klevany. Amid these efforts, Kirponos managed to withdraw most of his Front to a new line on the old Soviet/Polish border, prevented the Germans from rupturing the Soviet defensive line; the 11th Panzer Division took Berdichev on 7 July, the juncture between the 5th and 6th Armies was broken.
The gap between the 5th and 6th Armies widened to forty miles. To remedy the situation another counterattack was ordered, Potapov, now commanding the 15th and 31st Rifle, 9th, 19th and 22nd Mechanised Corps, was directed to strike northwards from Berdichev and Lyubar. However, his forces had been badly worn down: the 9th Mechanised Corps had 64 tanks left, the 22nd less than half that number, the rifle regiments of 31st Corps had "no more than three hundred men." Potapov's force cut the Zhitomir highway and kept up the pressure for a week, afterwards remained as a thorn on the German Sixth Army's northern flank. By 7 September the 5th Army was threatened with being split in two by the Second Army coming from the east and the Sixth Army's northern outflanking of Kiev; the Stavka refused permission for the 5th Army to withdraw, as they were still hoping for results from a counterattack by the Bryansk Front. By 9 September Stalin had given authority for the 5th Army to withdraw but by it was trapped, on 20 September Potapov and his command group were taken prisoner.
In the disastrous battle, the German forces encircled forces from the 5th, 21st, 26th, 37th Armies, captured Kiev, claimed 665,000 prisoners. The 5th Army was re-raised for the second time in October 1941, under the command of Dmitri Lelyushenko, as part of the Soviet Western Front. Recent sources give the actual re-raising date as 11 October 1941, it included two three tank brigades. At the Battle at Borodino Field, on a former Napoleonic battlefield, the first elements of the reforming Army to arrive at the front—two regiments of the Soviet 32nd Rifle Division and the 18th and 19th Tank Brigades—attempted to halt the German 10th Panzer Division and Das Reich divisions which were striking for Mozhaisk. Lelyuschenko was wounded and General L. A. Govorov took over. What thin reserves there were ran out, Mozhaisk fell on 18 October; that year the Army took part in the Klin-Solnechogorsk offensive operation. On 15 November, another German strike toward Moscow opened, but while
Tbilisi, in some countries still known by its pre-1936 international designation Tiflis, is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Kura River with a population of 1.5 million people. Founded in the 5th century AD by Vakhtang I of Iberia, since Tbilisi served as the capital of various Georgian kingdoms and republics. Between 1801 and 1917 part of the Russian Empire, Tbilisi was the seat of the Imperial Viceroy, governing both Southern and Northern Caucasus; because of its location on the crossroads between Europe and Asia, its proximity to the lucrative Silk Road, throughout history Tbilisi was a point of contention among various global powers. The city's location to this day ensures its position as an important transit route for various energy and trade projects. Tbilisi's diverse history is reflected in its architecture, a mix of medieval, Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau and the Modern structures. Tbilisi has been home to people of multiple cultural and religious backgrounds, though it is overwhelmingly Eastern Orthodox Christian.
Its notable tourist destinations include cathedrals Sameba and Sioni, Freedom Square, Rustaveli Avenue and Agmashenebeli Avenue, medieval Narikala Fortress, the pseudo-Moorish Opera Theater, the Georgian National Museum. The name Tbilisi derives from Old Georgian t′bilisi, further from tpili; the name T′bili or T′bilisi was therefore given to the city because of the area's numerous sulphuric hot springs. Until 1936, the name of the city in English and most other languages was Tiflis, while the Georgian name was ტფილისი. On 17 August 1936, by order of the Soviet leadership, the official Russian names of various cities were modified to more match the local language. In addition, the Georgian-language form T′pilisi was modernized on the basis of a proposal by Georgian linguists; this form was the basis for a new official Russian name. Most other languages have subsequently adopted the new name form, but some language such as Turkish, Persian and German have retained a variation of Tiflis. On 20 September 2006, the Georgian parliament held a ceremony celebrating the 70th anniversary of the renaming.
Some of the traditional names of Tbilisi in other languages of the region have different roots. The Ossetian name Калак derives from the Georgian word ქალაქი meaning "town". Chechen and Ingush names for the city use a form similar to or the same as their names for the country of Georgia as does the historical Kabardian name, while Abkhaz Қарҭ is from the Mingrelian ქართი. Archaeological studies of the region have indicated human settlement in the territory of Tbilisi as early as the 4th millennium BC. According to legend, the present-day territory of Tbilisi was covered by forests as late as 458. One accepted variant of Tbilisi foundation myth states that King Vakhtang I of Iberia went hunting in the wooded region with a falcon; the King's falcon caught or injured a pheasant during the hunt, after which both birds fell into a nearby hot spring and died from burns. King Vakhtang became so impressed with the hot springs that he decided to clear the forest and build a city on the location. King Dachi of Iberia, the successor of Vakhtang I, moved the capital of Iberia from Mtskheta to Tbilisi.
During his reign began construction of the fortress wall that lined the city's new boundaries. From the 6th century, Tbilisi grew at a steady pace due to the region's strategic location along important trade and travel routes between Europe and Asia. Tbilisi's favorable trade location, did not bode well for its survival. Located strategically in the heart of the Caucasus between Europe and Asia, Tbilisi became an object of rivalry among the region's various powers such as the Roman Empire, Sassanid Persia, the Byzantine Empire, the Seljuk Turks; the cultural development of the city was somewhat dependent on who ruled the city at various times, although Tbilisi was cosmopolitan. From 570–580, the Persians ruled the city until 627, when Tbilisi was sacked by the Byzantine/Khazar armies and in 736–738, Arab armies entered the town under Marwan II. After this point, the Arabs established. In 764, Tbilisi – still under Arab control – was once again sacked by the Khazars. In 853, the armies of Arab leader Bugha Al-Turki invaded Tbilisi in order to enforce its return to Abbasid allegiance.
The Arab domination of Tbilisi continued until about 1050. In 1068, the city was once again sacked, only this time by the Seljuk Turks under Sultan Alp Arslan. In 1121, after heavy fighting with the Seljuks, the troops of the King of Georgia David IV of Georgia besieged Tbilisi, which ended in 1122 and as a result David moved his residence from Kutaisi to Tbilisi, making it the capital of a unified Georgian State and thus inaugurating the Georgian Golden Age. From 12–13th centuries, Tbilisi became a regional power with a thriving economy and astonishing cultural output. By the end of the 12th century, the population of Tbilisi had reached 100,000; the city became an important literary and a cultural center not only for Georgia but for the Eastern Orthodox world of the time. During Queen Tamar's reign, Shota Rustaveli worked in Tbilisi while writing his legendary epic poem, The Knight in the Panther's Skin
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
Batumi is the capital of Autonomous Republic of Adjara and the second-largest city of Georgia, located on the coast of the Black Sea in the country's southwest. It is situated in a Subtropical Zone at the foot of Caucasus. Much of Batumi's economy revolves around tourism and gambling, but the city is an important sea port and includes industries like shipbuilding, food processing and light manufacturing. Since 2010, Batumi has been transformed by the construction of modern high-rise buildings, as well as the restoration of classical 19th-century edifices lining its historic Old Town. Batumi is located on the site of the ancient Greek colony in Colchis called "Bathus" or "Bathys" – derived from. Under Hadrian, it was converted into a fortified Roman port and deserted for the fortress of Petra founded in the time of Justinian I. Garrisoned by the Roman-Byzantine forces, it was formally a possession of the kingdom of Lazica until being occupied by the Arabs, who did not hold it. From 1010, it was governed by the eristavi of the king of Georgia.
In the late 15th century, after the disintegration of the Georgian kingdom, Batumi passed to the princes of Guria, a western Georgian principality under the sovereignty of the kings of Imereti. A curious incident occurred in 1444 when a Burgundian flotilla, after a failed crusade against the Ottoman Empire, penetrated the Black Sea and engaged in piracy along its eastern coastline until the Burgundians under the knight Geoffroy de Thoisy were ambushed while landing to raid Vaty, as Europeans knew Batumi. De Thoisy was released through the mediation of the emperor John IV of Trebizond. In the 15th century in the reign of the prince Kakhaber Gurieli, the Ottoman Turks conquered the town and its district but did not hold them, they returned to it in force a century and inflicted a decisive defeat on the Georgian armies at Sokhoista. Batumi was recaptured by the Georgians several times, first in 1564 by prince Rostom Gurieli, who lost it soon afterwards, again in 1609 by Mamia II Gurieli. In 1723, Batumi again became part of the Ottoman Empire.
After the Turkish conquest Islamisation of the hitherto Christian region began but this was terminated and to a great degree reversed, after the area was re-annexed to Russian Imperial Georgia after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. It was the last Black Sea port annexed by Russia during the Russian conquest of that area of the Caucasus. In 1878, Batumi was annexed by the Russian Empire in accordance with the Treaty of San Stefano between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Occupied by the Russians on August 28, 1878, the town was declared a free port until 1886, it functioned as the center of a special military district until being incorporated in the Government of Kutaisi on June 12, 1883. On June 1, 1903, with the Okrug of Artvin, it was established as the region of Batumi and placed under the direct control of the General Government of Georgia; the expansion of Batumi began in 1883 with the construction of the Batumi-Tiflis-Baku railway and the finishing of the Baku-Batumi pipeline. Henceforth, Batumi became the chief Russian oil port in the Black Sea.
The town population increased doubling within 20 years: from 8,671 inhabitants in 1882 to 12,000 in 1889. By 1902 the population had reached 16,000, with 1,000 working in the refinery for Baron Rothschild's Caspian and Black Sea oil company. In the late 1880s and after, more than 7,400 Doukhobor emigrants sailed for Canada from Batumi, after the government agreed to let them emigrate. Quakers and Tolstoyans aided in collecting funds for the relocation of the religious minority, which had come into conflict with the Imperial government over its refusal to serve in the military and other positions. Canada settled them in Saskatchewan. During 1901, sixteen years prior to the October Revolution, Joseph Stalin, the future leader of the Soviet Union, lived in the city organizing strikes. On March 3, 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk gave the city back to the Ottoman Empire. Kemal Atatürk ceded the area to the Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union on the condition that it be granted autonomy, for the sake of the Muslims among Batumi's mixed population.
When Georgia gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1989, Aslan Abashidze was appointed head of Adjara's governing council and subsequently held onto power throughout the unrest of the 1990s. Whilst other regions, such as Abkhazia, attempted to break away from the Georgian state, Adjara remained as an integral part of the Republic's territory. Abashidze ruled the area as a personal fiefdom. In May 2004, he fled to Russia because of mass protests in Tbilisi sparked by the Rose Revolution. Batumi today is one of the main port cities of Georgia, it has the capacity for 80,000-ton tankers to take materials such as oil that are shipped through Georgia from Central Asia. Additionally, the city exports regional agricultural products. Since 1995 the freight conversion of the port has risen, with an approximate 8 million tons in 2001; the annual revenue from the port is estimated at between $200 million and $300 million. Since the change of power in Adjara, Batumi has attracted international investors, the
8th Army (Soviet Union)
The 8th Army was a field army of the Soviet Red Army during the Second World War. The 8th Army was formed in October 1939 from the Novgorod Army Operational Group of the Leningrad Military District with the task of providing security of the Northwestern borders of the USSR. On 30 November 1939 the Soviet Union attacked Finland in the Winter War; the strength of the 8th Army, or overall the Red Army, in the north of Lake Ladoga, surprised the Finnish general staff. The Finns deployed only two divisions, they had a support group of three brigades, bringing their total strength to over 30,000 uniforms; the Soviets had a division for all roads leading west to the Finnish border. The Eighth Army was led by Ivan Khabarov; the Vice Commander of the Southern Group was Vladimir Kurdyumov from December 1939, appointed the Vice Commander of the 15th Army. The mission was to destroy the Finnish troops in the area of Ladoga Karelia and advance to the area between Sortavala and Joensuu within ten days; the Soviets had the advantage of a three-to-one ratio in men, five-to-one in artillery and air supremacy.
The Finnish troops conducted a pre-planned retreat before the overwhelming opposition. On 7 December, in middle of the Ladoga Karelian front, the Finns retreated near the small stream of Kollaa; the waterway itself did not offer any protection, but alongside there were ridges up to ten meters. The battle of Kollaa lasted until the end of war. Up to north the Finns retreated from Ägläjärvi to Tolvajärvi on 5 December, defeated Soviet attacks by the 139th Rifle Division and 75th Rifle Division in the battle of Tolvajärvi on 12 December. In the south, two Soviet divisions were united on the northern side of the coastal road of Lake Ladoga; as before, these divisions were in a trap as the Finns could make counterattacks from a north to columns flank. The Finns made counterattacks in all fronts but were not successful – however the Red Army was now facing a position of defence rather than attack. On 19 December the Finns temporarily ceased their assaults, it was not until the period 6 to 16 January 1940 that the Finns made another major offensive, cut the Soviet division into a smaller group of different sized mottis.
Contrary to Finnish expectation, the encircled Soviets divisions did not try to breakthrough to the east but instead they stayed put and entrenched themselves. The Soviets were expecting auxiliary troops and service shipments support to arrive by the air. However, the Finns repelled all efforts of the Soviet Eighth Army to resupply the encircled troops, they did not get enough supplies from the air; as the Finns lacked the necessary heavy artillery equipment and were short of men, they did not directly attack the mottis they had created, but instead focussed on eliminating the most dangerous threats only and bide their time. In 1940 the Army became a part of the Baltic Special Military District. From the morning of 22 June 1941 as part of the Northwestern Front the army joined the heavy fighting with superior forces of the German Wehrmacht on the Shyaulyay axis. On 23–25 June its 12th Mechanised Corps with the part of the 3rd Mechanised Corps of the 11th Army southwest of Shyaulyaya executed a counterblow on the forces of the enemy’s Panzer Group 4, as a result of which their advance was delayed by several days.
After 30 June the 22nd Motor Rifle Division NKVD started operating as part of 10th Rifle Corps. During July–August the troops of the 8th Army conducted persistent defensive actions in the territory of Estonia. On 14 July, the army was transferred to the Northern Front, on 27 August of the Leningrad Front. In the beginning of September 1941 the army's troops fought on the neighboring approaches to Leningrad, retaining contact with the forces of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet on the Oranienbaum bridgehead which played an important role in the Siege of Leningrad. At the beginning of November, the Army headquarters and some formations and units of the 8th Army were relocated into the eastern sector of the defence of the Leningrad Front and to the bridgehead on the Neva River in Moscow Dubrovki. During November- December, they conducted persistent offensive combat for achieving Leningrad blockade break-through. At the end of January 1942 the administration of the army, crossed on Lake Ladoga ice to the Volkhov direction, combined formations and units for the Sinyavinsk operations group of 54th Army, which occupied defenses from the south coast of Ladoga lake to the Kirov railroad.
On 9 June, the army was subordinated to the Volkhov Front. In August- September, it acted as a part of the Front's assault group for the Sinyavinsk Offensive Operation. During January 1943, the 8th Army participated in the Leningrad blockade break-through, covering the southern flank of the Front’s assault group. During July–August it conducted furious fighting in the Mga Offensive Operation. During January 1944, the army headquarters and its support units were moved between Novgorod and Lake Peipus. After accepting new formations, the Army participated in the Novgorod-Luga Offensive Operation. After regrouping as part of the Leningrad Front, the Army made several attempts to enc
Vagharshapat, is the 4th-largest city in Armenia and the most populous municipal community of Armavir Province, located about 18 km west of the capital Yerevan, 10 km north of the closed Turkish-Armenian border. It is known as Ejmiatsin, its official name between 1945 and 1995, it is still used colloquially and in official bureaucracy. The city is best known as the location of Etchmiadzin Cathedral and Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church, it is thus unofficially known in Western sources as a "holy city" and in Armenia as the country's "spiritual capital". It was a capital of ancient Greater Armenia. Reduced to a small town by the early 20th century, it experienced large expansion during the Soviet period becoming a suburb of Yerevan, its population stands just over 37,000 based on 2016 estimates. According to Movses Khorenatsi, the area of Vagharshapat was known as Artimed, derived from the ancient Greek deity Artemis, it was renamed Avan Vardgesi or Vardgesavan by prince Vardges Manouk who rebuilt the settlement near the shores of Kasagh River, during the reign of king Orontes I Sakavakyats of Armenia.
However, in his first book Wars of Justinian, the Byzantine historian Procopius has cited to the city as Valashabad, named after king Valash of Armenia. The name evolved into its form by the shift in the medial L into a Gh, common in the Armenian language. Movses Khorenatsi mentioned that the Town of Vardges was rebuilt and fenced by king Vagharsh I to become known as Noarakaghak and Vagharshapat; the territory of ancient Vagharshapat was inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC. Many sites, such as Metsamor Castle, Shresh hill and Mokhrablur hill date back to the neolithic period; the first written records about Vagharshapat were found in the inscriptions left by the Urartian king Rusa II, where it was mentioned as Kuarlini. The inscription found in the archaeological site of ancient Vagharshapat cites to a water canal opened by king Rusa II, between Ildaruni river and the valley of Kuarlini. According to 5th-century writer Movses Khorenatsi, the oldest name of Vagharshapat was Artimed, derived from the ancient Greek deity Artemis.
It was renamed Avan Vardgesi or Vardgesavan after being rebuilt by prince Vardges Manouk near the shores of Kasagh River, during the reign of king Orontes I Sakavakyats of Armenia. Under the reign of king Tigranes the Great, the town was inhabited by Jewish captives. In the first half of the 1st century AD, under the reign of the Armenian Arsacid king Vagharsh I of Armenia, the old town of Vardgesavan was renovated and renamed Vagharshapat. In his first book Wars of Justinian, the Byzantine historian Procopius has cited to the city as Valashabad, named after king Valash of Armenia; the name evolved into its form by the shift in the medial L into a Gh, common in the Armenian language. Movses Khorenatsi mentioned that the Town of Vardges was rebuilt and fenced by king Vagharsh I to become known as Noarakaghak and Vagharshapat. Vagharshapat has served as the capital of the Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia between 120 AD and 330 AD. After embracing Christianity as a state religion in Armenia in 301, Vagharshapat was called Ejmiatsin, after the name of the Mother Cathedral.
As a spiritual centre of the entire Armenian nation, Vagharshapat has grown up and developed as an important centre of education and culture. The city was home to one of the oldest educational institutions in Armenia founded by Mesrop Mashtots; the political capital of the Armenian kingdom was transferred to the city of Dvin in 336. Vagharshapat maintained its status as the country's most important city until the fall of the Arsacid Kingdom in 428; the city has lost its importance under the Persian rule when the seat of the Catholicosate was transferred to Dvin in 452. However, the first manuscript library in Armenia was founded in 480 in Vagharshapat; the Armenian Church rejected the Council of Chalcedon because they believed the Chalcedonian christology was too similar to Nestorianism. In Persarmenia, the Persian Nestorian Church supported the spread of Nestorianism, which the Armenian Church had declared heretical and saw as a threat to the independence of their Church. Peter the Iberian, a Georgian prince strongly opposed the Chalcedonian Creed.
Thus, in 491, Catholicos Babken I of Armenia, along with the Albanian and Iberian bishops met in Vagharshapat and issued a condemnation of the Chalcedonian Definition. In 658 AD, along with the rest of the Armenian highland, was conquered by the Arabs; the city was revived between the 9th and 11th centuries under the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia, before being overrun by the Byzantines in 1045 and by the Seljuks in 1064. In the middle of the 13th century, Vagharshapat became part of the Ilkhanate of the Mongol Empire. During the last quarter of the 14th century the Aq Q
Akhaltsikhe is a small city in Georgia's southwestern region of Samtskhe–Javakheti. It is situated on the both banks of a small river Potskhovi, which separates the city to the old city in the north and new in the south. In the old part of the city one can see the great Rabati Castle, built by the Ottomans around a mosque, St. Marine's Church; the hills nearby. The city is first mentioned in the chronicles in the 12th century. In the 12th–13th centuries it was the seat of the House of Akhaltsikhe, dukes of Samtskhe, whose two most illustrious representatives were Shalva and Ivane Akhaltsikheli. From the 13th up to the 17th century the city and Samtkhe were governed by the House of Jaqeli. In 1576 the Ottomans took it and from 1628 the city became the centre of the Akhalzik Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire as "Ahıska". In 1828, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829, Russian troops under the command of General Paskevich captured the city and, as a consequence of the 1829 Treaty of Adrianople, it was ceded to the Russian Empire as part of first Kutais and Tiflis Governorates.
In the late 1980s the city was host to the Soviet Army's 10th Guards Motor Rifle Division, which became a brigade of the Georgian land forces after the fall of the Soviet Union. Akhaltsikhe is twinned with: Artvin, Turkey Ardahan, Turkey Gyumri, Armenia Gregorio Pietro Agagianian, Armenian Catholic Cardinal, papabile David Baazov, rabbi in Akhaltsikhe Hovhannes Kajaznuni, first prime minister of the First Republic of Armenia Ahmed-Pasha Khimshiashvili, Pasha of Ahiska Sergo Kobuladze and illustrator Hakob Kojoyan, Soviet Armenian artist Shalva Maglakelidze, plenipotentiary for the Russian Provisional Government and for the government of Georgia in Akhaltsikhe Stepan Malkhasyants, Armenian academician Palavandishvili family Giorgi Mazniashvili, governor general of Akhaltsikhe Natela Svanidze, Georgian composer Michel Tamarati, Georgian Catholic priest and historian Vakhtang Tchutchunashvili, usurper of Imereti throne, fled to Ahiska after being deposed Vakhtang V, King of Kartli, fled to Ahiska after a coup failure Lusine Zakaryan, Soviet Armenian soprano singer The highland environment between Akhaltsikhe and Aspindza presents a varied and complex array of archaeological features in different locations and topographies.
This includes the alluvial flood-plain of the Kura River, all the way to the high grasslands. Human occupation is attested in the Early Bronze Age and later; the Roman and medieval periods artifacts are strongly represented in the area. On the northeastern outskirts of Akhaltsikhe is an important archaeological site of Amiranis Gora, it was excavated by Chubinishvili. The earliest carbon date for Amiranis Gora is 3790-3373 cal BC, it was obtained from the charcoal of the metallurgical workshop which belonged to the earliest building horizon of Amiranis Gora This indicates a division of the metallurgical production in the extractive and processing branches. Amiranis Gora is an important reference point for the study of the Early Bronze Age Kura-Araxes culture known as the Early Transcaucasian Culture; the many references include burial practices, material culture and metallurgy. Amiranis Gora is one of the best sites with fixed stratigraphy of the Kura-Araxes culture; the carbon date for the Kura-Araxes material at Amiranis Gora is 3630-3048 cal B.
C., early. Battle of Akhaltsikhe Samtskhe-Javakheti Samtskhe–Javakheti History Museum