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Armenians in Kazakhstan: Wikis


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Armenians in Kazakhstan are ethnic Armenians living in the Republic of Kazakhstan. There are an estimated 25,000 Armenians living within the country today.[1]


The first Armenians arrived in Kazakhstan in the 1860s when the Russian Empire, which already controlled Armenian-populated areas in the north Caucasus, moved to conquer the Kazakh Steppe. Immigrants from throughout the empire moved to the frontier, Armenians being among the first, acting as interpreters for the Russians (as many already spoke Turkic languages), consuls and businessmen for the emerging oil industry.[2]

The first mass movement of Armenians into the country, however, occurred in 1937, in which almost 1,121 Armenian and Kurdish families were transplanted from the Azerbaijan SSR to the Kazakh SSR.[2] During the reign of Stalin, in which forced migration was widely used as a political tool in order to keep vassal nations under control and avoid ethnic conflict, Armenians and many other groups were sent to Kazakhstan when it was found convenient. In 1948, roughly 5800 Armenians and Pontic Greeks from the Black Sea region were deported to southern Kazakhstan, for being suspected sympathizers of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, an anti-Soviet political party. Earlier, in 1944, a number of the Armenian-derived Hamsheni were deported to Kazakhstan from parts of Georgia and other central Asian republics, among other groups. They would later petition the Soviet Government under Gorbachev to move them to the Armenian SSR, but were turned down for fears they would spark conflicts with their Christian relatives.

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