Republican Party of Armenia
The Republican Party of Armenia is a national-conservative political party in Armenia. It was the first political party in independent Armenia to be registered, it is the largest party of the right-wing in Armenia, claims to have 140,000 members. The Economist magazine has described the RPA as a "typical post-Soviet'party of power' comprising senior government officials, civil servants, wealthy business people dependent on government connections." It has been described by political commentators as lacking political ideology. The Republican Party's national conservative ideology is based on tseghakron, an early 20th-century Armenian nationalist ideology, it was formulated by Garegin Nzhdeh and holds that the Armenian national identity and state should carry religious significance for all ethnic Armenians. "Tseghakron" means "carrier of race" referring to those who represent and carry what is the spiritual and biological essence of the "classical" Armenian. However, it is erroneously interpreted to mean "race-religion".
The Republican Party of Armenia was established in 1990 by Ashot Navasardyan. The birth of the RPA is organically linked to the 1988 National Awakening, fight for independence and Artsakh national liberation struggle; the military-political unit Army of Independence, formed at the outset of the struggle, became the organizational basis of the RPA establishment. On April 2, 1990 the founding council composed of the detachment commanders of the Army of Independence proclaimed the establishment of the Republican Party of Armenia in Yerevan and became the first registered socio-political organization in Armenia. During the war first the Army of Independence the detachments composed of RPA members had an active participation in the struggle for the defense of the borders of Armenia and liberation of Artsakh. On May 27, 1990 these detachments were among the first to resist the Soviet troops in Nubarashen, they were actively involved in the nationalization of the Soviet army weaponry and its transfer to the bordering areas of Armenia.
The RPA was among the founders of the first Armenian military cemetery – Yerablur pantheon. Since its foundation and up to November 1997 Ashot Navasardyan was the chairman of RPA. After his death and until March 2007 Andranik Margaryan headed the party; the party made a crucial contribution to the work of the coordinating council of voluntary armed detachments. Following the formation of the Armenian regular army it issued a statement on its demilitarization; the RPA has convened nine ordinary and three extraordinary congresses. In 1999 the office of the party chairperson was abolished, restored in 2005; the RPA has focused on inter-party ties and has been involved in setting up different political alliances. The party was among the founders of the National Alliance formed in 1992 after the deterioration of the situation in Artsakh; the RPA had an active participation in the work of the Civil Accord constitutional council shaped in 1993. In 1995, with the active involvement of the RPA, the Republic pre-election association was set up.
However, due to the disagreements on the regulation of the Artsakh problem, the RPA left the association in February 1998. In July 1998 the RPA, the Yerkrapah Volunteers' Union and the parliamentary Yerkrapah deputy group issued a joint statement, which commenced the political consolidation process within the RPA. Given the common ideology and political positions the Yerkrapah Volunteers’ Union sector engaged in politics was included in the RPA. Vazgen Sargsyan became the party leader. In 1999 together with the People's Party of Armenia the Republican Party set up the Unity pre-election alliance. Following the parliamentary elections in 1999 the role of the RPA in the Armenian political life increased greatly. If in the 1990 Supreme Council the RPA was represented by one member—Ashot Navasardyan and in the 1995 National Assembly of the first convocation—by five MPs, in the National Assembly of the second convocation elected in 1999 the RPA was the party with the biggest number of MPs. Functioning within the parliamentary majority Unity faction, in 1999, for the first time, the RPA was enabled to participate in forming the Government.
Vazgen Sargsyan was appointed Prime Minister, with several RPA member ministers in his Cabinet. Following the tragic events of October 27, 1999, RPA representative Aram Sargsyan was appointed Prime Minister. In May 2000 political rearrangements resulted in appointing Andranik Margaryan, chairman of the RPA council and the leader of the Unity faction, in capacity of Prime Minister. During his years in the Prime Minister's office significant positive moves took place in the country's economic and governing systems, a tangible activity was carried out towards increasing the weight of national ideology in the social and public life. Being an ideological structure, the RPA has always focused on disseminating and enrooting its ideology and approach in the society; the Republican, the party's official newspaper, the book series The Nationalist and Taronakan teachings, many analytical booklets highlighting Garegin Nzhdeh's life and work, various commemorations and celebrations, etc. served this target.
In 2001, on the initiative of Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan, Garegin Nzhdeh's 115th anniversary was celebrated at the state level. A number of educational and scientific institutions were involved in the celebrations, Nzhdeh's works were p
My Step Alliance
The My Step Alliance is a political alliance formed by the Civil Contract party, the Mission Party and various independent representatives of civil society. It was formed in August 2018, before the Yerevan City Council election, 2018; the leader of the alliance is the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. On 31 March, at the beginning of the 2018 Armenian revolution, Nikol Pashinyan and a group of supporters began a march from Gyumri, Armenia's second largest city; the campaign, named "My Step", was declared with the intention to prevent Sargsyan's election as prime minister on 17 April. On 23 September 2018 the alliance participated and won in the Yerevan City Council election, 2018 with Hayk Marutyan as a candidate of Mayor and won 57 seats out of 65 in Yerevan City Council; the alliance ran in the Armenian parliamentary election, 2018. They won 88 оf 132 seats; the alliance is composed of the following parties, as well as some independents
Armenian Communist Party
The Armenian Communist Party is a communist party in Armenia. It considers itself the successor to the Armenian branch the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, it is the main communist party in Armenia and claimed 18,000 members in 2006. HKK publishes Pravda Armenii, it should not be confused with the historical Communist Party of Armenia during the Soviet era, nor the Democratic Party of Armenia, a party founded by the last secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia, Aram Gaspar Sargsyan. The title of the party leader is First Secretary. 1991–1999: Sergey Badalyan 2000–2005: Vladimir Darbinyan 2005–2014: Ruben Tovmasyan 2014–2017: Tachat Sargsyan The party was described as "staunchly pro-Russian" by the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in 2002. In 2011, party members marched through downtown Yerevan towards the square named after Stepan Shahumyan, an early Armenian communist revolutionary, they held banners reading “Socialism”, “Long Live the Communist Party of Armenia”, “Down with Capitalism”, “Forever with Russia”.
Its leader, Ruben Tovmasyan, stated: "History has proved. The moment the Russian flag stops flying in Gyumri Armenia will start moving towards its end as the enemy will be quick to attack us; the Communist Party of Armenia has always been in favor of consolidation among fraternal peoples." At a 2006 rally the slogan was "Down with America, Always with Russia."In 2001 the party and several thousand supporters advocated Armenia's membership into the Union State of Russia and Belarus. They continued the campaign for Armenia's membership into the union with Russia and Belarus in 2002; the party supported the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union and in 2013 welcomed Armenia's accession into the EEU as a "prelude to the restoration of the Soviet Union."In the 1999 parliamentary election the party's programme included: Armenia's transformation into a parliamentary republic rejection of Western-style market reforms socialism that embraced a mixed economy, including private property close ties with Russia Nagorno-Karabakh's recognition as a subject of international law Armenia's accession to the Union State The party remained a significant political force in the 1990s under its charismatic leader Sergey Badalyan, who died in 1999.
In a 2004 For Official Use Only telegram on Armenian political parties, US Ambassador in Armenia John Ordway wrote that the party has "fewer than 50,000 members country-wide" and that it "is no longer influential."It has contested in every parliamentary election, but has failed to pass the 5% threshold since 2003. In 2003 the party accused the government in "mass falsifications." Communist Party of Artsakh brother party in Artsakh
National Assembly (Armenia)
The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia informally referred to as the Parliament of Armenia is the legislative branch of the government of Armenia. Before 1995, It was referred to as the Supreme Council of Armenia and known as the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic under Soviet rule; the National Assembly is a unicameral body. The National Assembly consists of at least 101 seats, but with additional seats allocated it may grow to about 200 seats in rare cases; the President of the National Assembly is Ararat Mirzoyan. According to a law adopted in 2016, parties need to pass a 5% threshold and coalitions 7% to be included in the distribution of mandates; the election system reserves 50% of votes cast in favor of each party to be distributed via party lists. Out of these, four mandates will be assigned to national minorities first of all. A party list can not include over 70% of representatives of the same sex and its every four consecutive entries shall include members of both sexes.
Another 50% of votes received by each party is distributed among their territorial lists submitted in 13 electoral districts. If neither party wins over 50% of mandates, a second round of elections is held. After the first round, the two best-placed parties participate in the second round. All mandates received during the first round are preserved; the party that wins the second round is given an additional number of mandates to reach 54% of all seats. If any party or coalition wins over two-thirds of the mandates in the first round of elections sufficient additional mandates will be distributed among all other parties to ensure that at least one-third of all seats are given to parties other than the winning one. Avetik Sahakyan 1 August 1918 – 1 August 1919 Avetis Aharonyan 1 August 1919 – 4 November 1920 Hovhannes Kajaznuni 4 November 1920 – 2 December 1920 Levon Ter-Petrosyan 4 August 1990 – 11 November 1991 Babken Ararktsyan 24 December 1991 – 27 July 1995 Babken Ararktsyan 27 July 1995 – 4 February 1998 Khosrov Harutyunyan 4 February 1998 – 11 June 1999 Karen Demirchyan 11 June 1999 – 27 October 1999 Armen Khachatryan 2 November 1999 – 12 June 2003 Artur Baghdasaryan 12 June 2003 – 1 June 2006 Tigran Torosyan 1 June 2006 – 26 September 2008 Hrayr Karapetyan 26 September 2008 – 29 September 2008 Hovik Abrahamyan 28 September 2008 – 21 November 2011 Samvel Nikoyan 6 December 2011 - 31 May 2012 Hovik Abrahamyan 31 May 2012 – 13 April 2014 Galust Sahakyan 29 April 2014 – 18 May 2017 Ara Babloyan 18 May 2017 – 14 January 2019 Ararat Mirzoyan 14 January 2019 – present Babken Ararktsyan 1990 – 1991 Gagik Harutyunyan 1990 – 1991 Ara Sahakian 1991 – 1998 Artashes Tumanyan 1991 – 1995 Karapet Rubinyan 1995 – 1998 Albert Bazeyan 1998 – 1999 Yuri Bakhshyan 1998 – 1999 Ruben Miroyan 1999 Gagik Aslanian 1999 – 2003 Tigran Torosyan 1999 – 2006 Vahan Hovhannisyan 2003 – 2008 Ishkhan Zakarian 2007 Arevik Petrosyan 2007 – 2010 Hrayr Karapetyan 2008 – 2009 Samvel Nikoyan 2009 – 2012 Samvel Balasanyan 2010 – 2012 Hermine Naghdalyan 2012 – 2017 Eduard Sharmazanov 2011 – 2019 Arpine Hovhannisyan 2017 – 2019 Mikayel Melkumyan 2017 – 2019 Alen Simonyan 2019 – present Lena Nazaryan 2019 – present Vahe Enfiajyan 2019 – present The National Assembly has eleven standing committees: Standing Committee on Defense and Security Standing Committee on Economic Affairs Standing Committee on European Integration Standing Committee on Financial and Budgeting Affairs Standing Committee on Foreign Relations Standing Committee on Health Care and Social Affairs Standing Committee on Human Rights and Public Affairs Standing Committee on Science, Culture, Diaspora and Sport Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs Standing Committee on Territorial Administration, Local Self-Government and Environment Standing Committee on Territorial Integration Ad-hoc committees are special temporary committees established by the decision of the National Assembly to discuss certain draft laws, or investigate certain issues, events or facts and to submit conclusions to the National Assembly.
The aim of these committees is to draw attention to exceptional cases that are not covered by the standing committees. According to the Constitution of Armenia, Article 73 “If appropriate, interim committees may be established as prescribed by the law on the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly for preliminary discussion of certain draft laws or for submitting to the National Assembly opinions, statements on certain issues and facts”. Following the consideration and definition in the Constitution the Law on Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly defines all the issues concerning the add-hoc committees. More according to the article 22 of the mentioned law, add-hoc committees are created by the decision of the National Assembly; the decision should contain information relating to the tasks and procedures of an add-hoc committee, meaning that the committee should operate only in strict limitations set to the spheres of its investigation, the resources it may gain access to and to the timeframes.
The ultimate reason for existence of such committees is to deliver a report on its finding during a session of the National Assembly. Based on these reports, the Deputy may create a draft resolution in 2 days and if agreed by the Lead Committee, the resolution may be included in the draft agenda for upcoming four-day session. One of the current add-hoc committees of the National Assembly of Armenia is the Committee on Ethics; this is not a classical add-hoc committee as it does exist during every session o
Armenian Democratic Liberal Party
This article is about the Armenian party established as Armenakan Party in 1885 and reformed as Armenian Democratic Liberal Party in 1921. It was established in Constantinople in 1921 as a result of the unification of 3 political parties: the Armenakan Party, the Liberal Party of the Reformed Hunchakians, the Constituent Democratic Party; the Armenakan Party was founded in 1885 by Mekertich Portukalian as part of the national movement in Van in the Ottoman Empire. In the Armenian parliamentary elections on 25 May 2003, the party won 2.9% of the popular vote but no seats. Since, the party has lost all presence in the political landscape of Armenia. A few pockets of its presence exist in the diaspora with ever-decreasing numbers, a far cry from their heyday during the Soviet era; the Armenakan Party was established in Van by Mekertich Portukalian, Setrak Gabudian, Hampig Der Hampartsoumian in 1885 as an underground organization against the ruling system. It was classified as a party based on the fact that it developed a platform, a central body, an official publication.
The founders of the Armenakan party, Mekertich Portukalian, Setrak Gabudian, Hampig Der Hampartsoumian kept in touch with the leaders, published a journal of political and social enlightenment, "Armenia". Portukalian is cited as the father of the Armenian Patriotic Society of Europe. After Mekertich Portukalian, the Armenians of Van continued to develop the political principles behind Armenian nationalism, in secrecy; the party's main misconception was that enemies of the Ottoman Empire would intervene and rescue the Armenian people throughout the period 1885–1918. With the turn of the century, Armenakans had cells outside Van, in other towns in the province, as well as in Trabzon and Istanbul; the military structure was developed in Russian Transcaucasia, in Persia, in the United States. Military activities in the Ottoman Empire included Bashkaleh Resistance in May 1889, Defense of Van in June 1896 and the Siege of Van from April 19 to May 6, 1915. In 1921 three groupings, namely the Armenakans, the reformed factions splitting from the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party known as Azatakan party, the "Sahmanadir Ramkavars" joined forces to form together the Democratic Liberal Party.
The majority of the membership of the Armenakan Party was absorbed into the new party. The Ramgavar party advocates liberalism and capitalism, unlike the other two classical Armenian political parties, the Hunchagians Social Democrat Hunchakian Party and Armenian Revolutionary Federation, which both have the leftist ideology; the current numbers of the party are minimal compared to other traditional parties in the Diaspora and Armenia. Moreover, while having solid constituency. Subsequently, the situation has risen a debate over the existence of the party. Party member Unger Garabed Manushian has called for reform or disbandment of the party, "We, the Ramgavars, today are at a focal point of our history. We have insignificant role in the Diaspora. We must start a process of reforming the party, its ideology, its activities if we want to exist in the next 10 years. If we do not choose this course we must admit to ourselves that our party has come to an end." Armenian Democratic Liberal Party has long-established media in the Armenian diaspora as well as in Armenia.
Argentina: Sardarabad Armenia: Azg Canada: Abaka Egypt: Arev Greece: Nor Ashkharh Lebanon: Zartonk ADL Daily in Armenian published in Beirut, Lebanon since 1937 United States: Armenian Mirror-Spectator Baikar Nor Or: As a result of the rift in the party, some party organs have started supporting the rival Armenakan-Democratic Liberal Party and the latter's policies, most notably Azg in Armenia, Armenian Mirror-Spectator in the United States and Abaka in Canada. The party was active during and after the Armenian Genocide when the Armenians began mobilising politically for rights under the oppressing Ottoman regime. A main figure in the Ramgavar party, Diran Pasha, led the resistance within the Ottoman political arena and subsequently picked up arms when the Ottoman government began the systematic annihilation of the Armenian population in Anatolia and Northeastern Turkey. With his band of brothe
Civil Contract (Armenia)
Civil Contract is a political party in Armenia, established on July 24, 2013 as an NGO. Its governing board was formed on December 9, 2013. On May 30, 2015, it became a political party. Civil Contract participated in the 2017 Armenian parliamentary election and the 2017 Yerevan City Council election as part of the Way Out Alliance. After the 2018 Armenian Velvet Revolution led by Nikol Pashinyan, the Yelk political alliance rose to power and Civil Contract became part of the ruling coalition in the National Assembly. Civil Contract was known for the first time on January 23, 2013, when MP Nikol Pashinyan from the opposition bloc publicized a project to establish a new political process in the newspaper Haykakan Zhamanak. For several months afterwards, the text of the contract was discussed in Armenian political forums. An updated version of the contract was published and Civil Contract, a new political union, was announced on July 24 of that year; the union announced that before its first conference, the text of the contract would be amended and clarified and a detailed road map created.
Civil Contract's governing board was introduced at a December 9, 2013 Ani Plaza Hotel press conference. The board, which makes decisions by consensus, has no director, it was formed to organize the first party conference, at which a new governing board would be elected and organizational and legal decisions made. The governing board was: Arsen Kharatyan, specialist in Arabic studies Arayik Harutyunyan, specialist in Arabic studies with a PhD in history and a Yerevan State University lecturer Marine Manucharyan, theologian, NGO director Sasun Mikayelyan, commander of the Sasun detachment, member of Yerkrapah and a former MP Lena Nazaryan, journalist Alen Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Ararat Media Group Nikol Pashinyan, former journalist, former MP, prime minister The Civil Contract Return Fund was established to ensure that the party's funding complies with Armenian law and its activities are democratically organized. Funds donated to Civil Contract will be stored in the fund's vault. Accounting will be conducted under the supervision of the board of trustees, independent of the governing board and controls the fund's expenditures.
According to the party's contract, "Citizens who have donated money or property to the Contract shall have the right to request information on spending, their demands are to be satisfied within three days' time." The Civil Contract board of trustees was announced on February 22, 2014. Haykak Arshamyan was elected chairman, Hakob Simidyan was appointed director of the fund. Members are: Lara Aharonian, Women's Resource Center co-founder, director Haykak Arshamyan, PhD in history Levon Bagramyan, political scientist, Washington, D. C. Arthur Ispiryan, musician Levon Hovsepyan, economist Ara Shirinyan, director Maro Matossian, Women's Support Center director Edgar Manukyan, PhD in economics, Canada Sargis Kloyan, businessperson The Civil Contract governing board published "Financing Politics and Civil Contract", an article touching on the issues of fiscal transparency and financing public and political life in Armenia, on April 26, 2014: Financing politics is one of the essential entangled knots of the history of the Third Republic.
How is the public-political activity financed in Armenia? It's a question the proper answer of, not known. One can guess, put forward hypotheses, but the society does not have a reliable and verifiable answer to the question... The most popular answer is that "we are funded by thousands of our supporters"; this is an answer, which generates new questions: whom and how do the supporters give the money? Who takes it and under what conditions? How do others learn whether their retainer has donated that much, more or less money...? From the first stage of the debates over establishing “civil contract” public–political union the issues about funding the activities of the contract have been the subject of heated debate. How is the contract going to be financed? Who will be financing it? The answers to these questions were principal for us, and if we have serious ambition to achieve fundamental changes in public–political relations, we need to try to work ourselves out of the Armenian traditional funding mechanisms of political activity.
We have formulated the problem the following way: if we need 1000 AMD, we need to find not a single person that will give us that money, but we need to find 1000 people each of whom will donate 1 AMD. On March 31, 2018, Civil Contract leader Nikol Pashinyan and his supporters began a 200-kilometre march from Gyumri to the capital, Yerevan, to dissuade Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan from retaining power beyond his term limit. On April 17, Nikol Pashinyan announced the start of a national, nonviolent "velvet revolution" to thousands of supporters gathered near the National Assembly. On April 22, several hours after a brief meeting with Sargsyan, Pashinyan was arrested with about 250 other protesters. After mass strikes and blocked streets by over 300,000 protesters, Sargsyan resigned on April 23, he said, "Nikol Pashinyan was right. I was wrong; the movement of the street is against my office. I'm fulfilling your demands." According to al Jazeera's Robin Forestier-Walker, "Thousands of people are on the streets and hugging each other, jumping up and down and honking their horns... things happened so I don't think the crowd was expecting this, but it is what they wanted".
Official website Official personal website of Nikol Pashinyan Payqar of
Armenian Revolutionary Federation
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation known as Dashnaktsutyun, is an Armenian nationalist and socialist political party founded in 1890 in Tiflis, Russian Empire by Christapor Mikaelian, Stepan Zorian, Simon Zavarian. Today the party operates in Armenia, Artsakh and in countries where the Armenian diaspora is present. Nowadays it constitutes a minor party, as of December 2018 was represented in two national parliaments with 7 seats in the National Assembly of Artsakh and three seats in the Parliament of Lebanon as part of the March 8 alliance; the ARF has traditionally advocated democratic socialism and is a full member of the Socialist International since 2003, which it had joined in 1907. It has the largest membership of the political parties present in the Armenian diaspora, having established affiliates in more than 20 countries. Compared to other Armenian parties which tend to focus on educational or humanitarian projects, the ARF is the most politically oriented of the organizations and traditionally has been one of the staunchest supporters of Armenian nationalism.
The party campaigns for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the right to reparations. It advocates the establishment of United Armenia based on the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920; the ARF became active within the Ottoman Empire in the early 1890s with the aim of unifying the various small groups in the empire that were advocating for reform and defending Armenian villages from massacres that were widespread in some of the Armenian-populated areas of the empire. ARF members formed fedayi groups; the Dashnaks worked for the wider goal of creating a "free and unified" Armenia, although they sometimes set aside this goal in favor of a more realistic approach, such as advocating autonomy. In 1918, the party was instrumental in the creation of the First Republic of Armenia, which fell to the Soviet communists in 1920. After its leadership was exiled by the communists, the ARF established itself within Armenian diaspora communities, where it helped Armenians preserve their cultural identity. After the fall of the USSR, it returned to Armenia, where it now again has a presence as a minor party in Armenia's parliament.
Prior to Serzh Sargsyan's election as president of Armenia and for a short time thereafter, the ARF was a member of the governing coalition though it nominated its own candidate in the presidential elections. ARF reentered Sargsyan's cabinet in February 2016 in what was defined as a "long-term political cooperation" agreement with the Republican Party by means of which the ARF would share responsibility for all government policies; the ARF approved of Sargsyan's nomination as Prime Minister, from which he resigned six days amid large-scale protests. By the evening of 25 April 2018, ARF-Dashnaktsutyun had withdrawn from the coalition; the party lost political representation after 2018 Armenian parliamentary election after receiving only 3.89% of the votes, lower than the 5% minimum threshold required for representation in the parliament. In the late 19th century, Eastern Europe and Russia became the hub of small groups advocating reform in Armenian-populated areas in the Ottoman Empire. In 1890, recognizing the need to unify these groups in order to be more efficient, Christapor Mikaelian, Simon Zavarian and Stepan Zorian created a new political party called the "Federation of Armenian Revolutionaries", which would be called the "Armenian Revolutionary Federation" or "Dashnaktsutiun" in 1890.
The Social Democrat Hunchakian Party at one point had agreed to join as well, seeing that the ARF's political ideology was socialism. However, the Hunchakians withdrew from the union; the original aim of the ARF was to gain autonomy for the Armenian-populated areas in the Ottoman Empire. The party began to organize itself in the Ottoman Empire in the early 1890s and held its first major meeting in Tiflis, Russian Empire, in 1892. At that meeting, the party adopted a decentralized modus operandi according to which the chapters in different countries were allowed to plan and implement policies in tune with their local political atmosphere; the party set its goal of a society based on the democratic principles of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and agrarian reform. The ARF acquired significant strength and sympathy among Russian Armenians; because of the ARF's stance towards the Ottoman Empire, the party enjoyed the support of the central Russian administration, as tsarist and ARF foreign policy had the same alignment until 1903.
On June 12, 1903, the tsarist authorities passed an edict to bring all Armenian Church property under imperial control. This was faced by strong ARF opposition, because the ARF perceived the tsarist edict as a threat to the Armenian national existence; as a result, the ARF leadership decided to defend Armenian churches by dispatching militiamen who acted as guards and by holding mass demonstrations. In 1905–06, the Armenian-Tatar massacres broke out during which the ARF became involved in armed activities; some sources claim that the Russian government incited the massacres in order to reinforce its authority during the revolutionary turmoil of 1905. The first outbreak of violence occurred in Baku, in February 1905; the ARF held the Russian authorities responsible for inaction and instigation of massacres that were part of a larger anti-Armenian policy. On May 11, 1905, Dashnak revolutionary Drastamat Kanayan assassinated Russian governor general Nakashidze, who