Introduction Chapter uri icon


  • This chapter explores Russia's political encounter with Armenians from its expansion into the South Caucasus in 1801 to its fateful entrance into the First World War in 1914. It argues that Russia tried to harness the stateless and dispersed Armenian diaspora to build its empire in the Caucasus and beyond. The chapter also talks about how the tsars relied on the stature of the two most influential institutions of the Armenian diaspora, the merchantry and the clergy, to accomplish several goals. It provides a background of Russia's project of diplomatic power from Constantinople to the Caspian Sea, economic benefits of Russia, Persia, and the Ottoman Empire from the Armenian merchant's transimperial trade networks, and political advantage taken from the Armenian Church's extensive authority within far-flung Armenian communities. The period discussed in this book follows the evolution of “Russian” perceptions of “Armenians” alongside the dual processes of tsarist empire-building and Armenian nation-building.

author list (cited authors)

  • Riegg, S. B

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Riegg, Stephen Badalyan

Book Title

  • Russia's Entangled Embrace

publication date

  • July 2020