Imperial Challengers: Tsarist Responses to Armenian Raids into Anatolia, 1875–90
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© 2017 The Russian Review. This article considers Russo‐Armenian political ties in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. It focuses on the rise of a diverse Armenian nationalist movement in the South Caucasus, the most prominent faction of which strove to aid the Armenians of the neighboring Ottoman Empire. Whereas the concept of Armenian nationalism in the late nineteenth century is often considered within the context of the professional revolutionary parties that characterized organized political activism of the era, this article highlights the actions of Armenian student groups and small vigilante circles, which furtively crossed from Russian territory into Ottoman domains to assist and avenge their compatriots. I argue that Russian officials struggled to define and diminish Armenian political and cultural self‐determination, resulting in a patchwork of policies and efforts that rarely yielded the political and interethnic stability that the state sought in the South Caucasus.
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