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Republic of Armenia
Armenia flag
The flag of the Armenian Republic.
640px-United Armenia
Republic of Armenia.
Motto
A Fatherland for our people.
Anthem
Mer Hayrenik (Our Fatherland)
National Info
Player TheEvanCat
Leader President of the Armenian Republic Hasmik Assanian
Capital Yerevan
Government Presidential Republic
Location South Caucasus
Factsheet Info
Area Armenia, Nakhchivan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Western Armenia, Javakhk, Artsakh
Maritime_Claims 50km Exclusive Economic Zone off the Trabzon Coast
Terrain Mountainous, forested in the east and dry in the west. The Hrazdan River provides a strip of fertile land running down through the country.
Climate Continental, with hot summers and cold winters.
Natural_Resources Gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite, iron, oil, natural gas, salt, coal.
Natural_Hazards Landslides, earthquakes, volcano (dormant.)
Population 9,312,214
Major_Cities Yerevan, Stepanakert, Artashat, Hrazdan, Erzurum, Trabzon, Nakhchivan City
Nationality Armenian
Religion Armenian Orthodox

The Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun) is a mountainous country located in the south Caucasus at the crossroads of the Ottoman Empire, Persia, and Russia. The country is relatively new, only securing independence in the summer of 1977 after a group of rebels fought the Ottomans to recognize the state as sovereign territory during the closing phase of the Armenian War. Its head of state is the current president Hasmik Assanian. The population of the country is largely Armenian, with a large Russian/Georgian diaspora, as well as other token ethnic groups such as Azerbaijani, Kurdish, Persian, Turkic, and Yazidi peoples. The government of Armenia (and leading party) is a mixture of socialist and capitalist influences under a wartime state of emergency (meaning that a "troika" of the President, Vice President, and Minister of Defense has developed), with a large government regulatory presence in the developing economy. Armenia's government had been likened to real-world Peronism, while the state itself has been compared to a liberal and populist Israel. Historically, Armenia has been at odds with most of its neighbors, necessitating these drastic measures. The economy is relatively modest but growing and incredibly diverse. Industry and agriculture are thriving sectors in the economy. Foreign aid from Poland and Persia is instrumental to the development of the economy, alongside assistance from various other countries.

HistoryEdit

Armenia has a long and colorful history, dating back to prehistoric times. It has been constantly inhabited by its native people, and was situated at the crossroads of world trade. Thus, as ancient powers battled over the Armenian Highlands, the Armenian people and their history have been remarkably well documented.

Early History (6000 BCE to 1908 CE)Edit

Armenia has roots in statehood from the very beginning of human history. Archeologists have found evidence of an advanced civilization from around 6000 BCE who made tools, clothes, and performed hunter-gatherer routines. From then onward during the iron age, Assyrians, Hittites, and the Urartu controlled the region, fighting over what was considered strategically important territory. All of these empires and the rapidly-shifting human geography of the region also had the side-effect of establishing the Armenian ethnicity and giving the Armenian Highlands a native people. As time went on, Armenia established an independent monarchy for the first time: the Armenian Kingdom's Artaxiad Dynasty became the rulers of the highlands after defeating the Seleucids.

640px-Armenian Empire

Tigranes the Great's Armenian Kingdom, circa 50 BCE.

The Armenian Kingdom reached its greatest highs under Tigranes the Great in the mid-50s BCE. But this independence did not last as long as any would hope: Tigranes provoked war with the Roman Empire and was defeated. Armenia's independence was over in the first century BCE when it became a puppet state of the Romans. Over the course of history, the Romans (and later, the Byzantines) became heavily influential in the country's culture. An interesting note is that the Armenians adopted Christianity as their main religion before Constantine's conversion in 313 CE. The split between the church later in history would lead Armenia to create its own version of the Orientalist Orthodox church: Armenian Orthodox.

1000px-Cilician Armenia-en

The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia during the Middle Ages.

Armenia was conquered into the Sassanid Empire in 428 when the Armenian Kingdom fell officially. For the next six hundred years the nation switched rulers many times, being conquered and reconquered by the Byzantines and Persians. However, during the time of the Crusades, an campaign for Armenian nationalism was established in Cilicia, a region previously conquered by Tigranes the Great but lost to the Byzantines. A large influx of refugees from the Seljuk-occupied Armenia arrived in Cilicia and demanded statehood there. The country later became a Christendom of the East and supported the Crusaders in their attempts to reconquer the Holy Land at Jerusalem.

In 1230, the Mongols conquered Armenia. This was only the start of Armenia's hardships in the Middle Ages. Further invasions from other central-Asian tribes (each with a scorched earth policy) decimated the region. In the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire and Persia both conquered pieces of Armenia. Persia later forced Armenians to resettle when their Empire instituted another scorched earth policy to prevent the Ottomans from conquering the other half of Armenian Highlands. However, Russia arrived in the 1800s to subjugate East Armenia. This time period marked the division of the Armenian people into distinct regional cultures: Eastern Armenians and Western Armenians. Separate regional dialects (and even letters) developed alongside music, culture, food, and traditions.

1895erzurum-victims

The victims of the Hamidian Massacres, circa 1895.

As the second half of the 19th century drew to a close, the Armenians in an Ottoman-controlled empire were given limited freedoms to do what they wanted within their borders. However, the Christian Armenians were discriminated against by the Muslim Turks. Armenians pushed for greater rights in the 1890s, but were brutally massacred in response (killing almost 300,000 people.) This became known as the Hamidian Massacres. While the massacres did force the Armenians to settle down, they would later become a driving force of the hate for the Ottomans, which was a major contributor to the start of the Armenian War in 1977. (It is important to note that the Armenian Genocide was never executed to its full extent during the Precipice timeline in part to divergent Turkish politics.)

Pre-RP Recent History (1908-1976)Edit

Armenia experienced heavy economic and social discrimination under the Turkish government and experienced several riots and ethnic pogroms in Armenian cities. Money was squandered in the region by corrupt politicians or inefficient bureaucratic procedure, resulting in an underdeveloped road and railway system by 1910, and a lack of industry in that general time period. In addition, the Armenian War had the effect of greatly reducing the ability for long-term economic buildup in the region. Turkish policymakers held strong distaste for their Armenian subjects and often opposed reforms or measures designed to develop the region.

Armenian Fedayees 1890-1896

ARF Fedayees, circa 1908.

While Armenia lacked in modernization during the early half of the 20th century, its agricultural tradition was still strong enough so that it didn't experience a total collapse. The rampant discrimination faced by ethnic Armenians was still enough to make it of the more poverty-stricken provinces in the Ottoman Empire, while neighboring Islamic states like Syria and Azerbaijan actually received aid from the Ottoman government. It was during this time period that the Armenian Revolutionary Front, or ARF, stepped up its activities against the Ottoman government.

In 1914, many able-bodied Armenian men were conscripted forcefully into the Ottoman army, while others fled the border to Russia to fight with their ethnic comrades there. Armenians fought on both sides during the Great War: in some cases against each other. Armenian brigades were formed in both Turkey and Russia, with the former segregation policy still standing as of the current day. This was particularly the case in Ossetia, where there was a high rate of defections towards the Russians who promised that they would grant Armenia to the Armenians if they assisted them in the conquest of the Caucasus. Russian efforts to do so were stalled by Azeri guerrilla warfare, increasing tension between the two peoples. The Armenians felt a greater rift between them and the Ottomans. A pro-Russian way of thinking developed in local politicians and would remain for decades. The Great War also featured a rise in Armenian nationalism with the accomplishments of Armenian commanders, soldiers, medical professionals, and citizens on the homefront (which often appeared in underground publications due to the official Ottoman policy of changing news stories to make minorities full-blooded Turkish.)

ArmenianVolunteers

Armenians in Greece during the Great War.

As Ottoman involvement in the Great War died down, millions of Armenian veterans returned to an even worse state of living in their homeland. The Turkish refused to treat the Armenians any better despite criticism from activists and politicians. Many returning soldiers were fed up by the nonexistent veterans' benefits, and the ARF saw a surge in membership (many of them frustrated veterans themselves) around the mid 1920s. Their activities included both domestic community service for troubled home towns as well as limited, small-scale partisan activities. 1927, 1929, and 1932 featured notable skirmishes between ARF and Ottoman troops, mostly along the provincial borders and the sole railway line running through the nation that was used mostly to ferry aid to the Azeris.

It was after the Great War ended that ethnic tensions between the Armenians and Azeris flared up. The situation had historically been very violent and tense, but the spark that ignited the powder keg came in the form of a pogrom at a train station in Gyumri during January of 1929, when Azeris molested and then brutally beat a group of fourteen Armenian women. ARF Fedayee quickly rushed to the scene and killed two of the attackers. A day later, telegrams reached Azerbaijan distorting the incident, and the Azeri governor decided to send the troops in. The two provinces went to war for a very brief period of four months, with clashes occurring mostly in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region claimed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenian guerrillas eventually dispatched the Azeri troops, but the region was soon subjected to punishment from the Sultan for supposedly instigating a civil war. The Azerbaijanis were mostly unpunished, aside from a few politicians thrown in as scapegoats. A trade sanction was imposed, and shipments to Armenia were stopped. In response, the ARF destroyed a railroad bridge at Erzurum.

TurkishPatrolYerevan

Turks police furious Armenian crowds in Yerevan during the 1937 riots.

The thirties in Armenia added the additional burden of the Great Depression and tighter Ottoman sanctions, with the expected result of an almost complete shutdown of Armenian infrastructure. Hunger and poverty were rampant: for many, the only form of employment was farms or ranches. Thousands died of starvation and diseases like cholera, and riots erupted in the capital city of Yerevan against Ottoman troops. Like with previous disobedience, Ottoman soldiers were ordered to shoot on sight. Hundreds more died in the 1937 strikes, and the wave of Armenian nationalism was forcefully kept to a minimum. The ARF was actively hunted by Turkish soldiers beginning in 1939, beginning a five year long campaign to bring them to justice which eventually succeeded in 1944. Yet this was a tiring endeavor, and by 1945 the Ottomans had begun packing up to move elsewhere in their empire as foreign affairs and other internal issues demanded more manpower. Armenia was deemed too hard to control after a wave of violence struck shortly after the destruction of the organized ARF and its splinter factions, further contributing to the pullout. By 1956, Armenia was under a limited state of autonomy, albeit still technically in the grasp of the Ottomans. This was eventually used as a justification for the Turkish invasion in 1970.

The 1956-1970 independence period, however, was far from free. As mentioned, they were still technically under the grip of Ottoman authorities and were only able to perform limited self-rule during the decade-long absence of Turkish troops. During this time period, no formal leader or council was elected as the Ottoman provincial governor still ruled in absentia. Instead, the Armenians looked towards folk hero (and former ARF member) Pasha Ilyksian for guidance. Ilyksian was responsible for the buildup of Armenian infrastructure in Erzurum and Hrazdan during the sixties, as well as the establishment of the Armenian militias that would become a de facto armed forces. Factories and heavy industrialization provided many new jobs, while educated youths in universities became bright young leaders and entrepreneurs (these would later provide the backbone of Armenian senior leadership during the late 1970s.) Yet Ilyksian was unable to solve the massive financial problems, and instead instituted unpopular austerity measures to try and reduce debt owned by the Turkish. Armenian independence was gradually cut off during the latter half of the 1960s when the Ottomans finally tightened their grip again. In 1969, the Armenian War was entering another "hot phase", beginning to flare up again with a series of border skirmishes. On April 23rd, 1970, the Turks invaded.

The next seven years that followed were characterized by intense, if sparse, conflicts between Armenian militias and Ottoman occupying troops. The Ottomans had the numerical advantage and support from a vast empire, but they could scarcely match the Armenian dedication. The insurgency was well-armed and trained by defectors. But while the Armenians had a common goal, they often conflicted with each other. Communist, capitalist, ultranationalist, and even royalist groups sprang up to try and race each other to the capital to claim Armenia. The result was a poorly organized campaign against the Ottomans that, while effective, prevented the Armenians from instituting the final devastating blow to them. Serious infighting was reported in the mid 1970s, allowing Turkish troops to split up and quell most of the violence. It was during this time that the Ottomans began a piecemeal reconstruction after a change in strategic thinking, trying to gain the Armenian peoples' support. This was largely regarded as "too little, too late" by the Armenian population. They abandoned reconstruction in November of 1976, as rebellion efforts died down. The region thus remained quiet until 1977, when the ASF began offensives.

RP History (1977-Present)Edit

MCF Era (2011-2014): Edit

The Armenian Revolution, 1977 Edit

Main article: Armenian War

DestroyedTrain

An Ottoman train destroyed by Armenian partisans, March 1977.

The Armenian people's final struggle against Ottoman dominance came in the form of the Armenian Revolution, part of the Armenian War. The conflict lasted from January to August in the active stage, and involved millions of people alongside hundreds of thousands of active combatants on both sides. Large-scale fighting undertaken in Erzurum, Artashat, Nakhchivan, and Stepanakert involving large numbers of Armenian troops pitted against the contingents of Turkish occupying troops. The Armenian Separatist Front, formed as a continuation of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, was the main umbrella organization under which most of the Armenian militias fought for.

The Interim Period, 1978-1979Edit

The Revolution had passed, leaving the Turks scrambling out of the country - as well as many of their colonies. This meant that the Armenians cold now self-govern. But the celebration of independence led by Hasmik Assanian - the de facto President - would not last long. In late 1977, the Turkish returned in a surprise counterattack assisted by Prussian forces. The Kaiser had pledged his support to the Ottoman Empire in return for the oil and resources located in the Armenian province of Erzurum. The counterattack lasted for eight months before finally stalling at the edge of the province after Armenian irregulars managed to dig in and hold off the Prussian-led assault until reinforcements arrived. No ceasefire was ever written as both sides proceeded to dig trenches and pepper the newly created border with mines and artillery position. This left a supply drain on both sides and contributed the most to the Armenian military buildup, while the stalemate would later come back to wound the pride of the Prussian government in 1980.

Meanwhile, two other wars in 1978 threatened the existance of the Armenian state. Azerbaijan, a longtime ally of Turkey, began a surprise attack on the province of Nagorno-Karabakh in January as the Prussians were still advancing across Erzurum. Dagestan, too, followed suit, invading the northern region of Javakhk with a modest force of militiamen and warlords taking advantage of the Georgian upheaval. The Dagestani advance was largely slowed by the rough territory and the local armed populace, but did require a small force of regular Army troopers to help turn back. In the Nagorno-Karabakh, however, the Azeris steamrolled past the local populace and threatened the core of Eastern Armenia. Assanian put out a call for help, and Persia answered. They began a large-scale invasion of southern Azerbaijan, looking to conquer and annex the territory. With most of the Azeri military busy invading Armenia, this was the Shah's chance. That assault went as planned, and Azerbaijan soon became a Persian territory. Persian troops would continue to remain in country to quell ethnic violence between Armenians and Azeris, meaning that the potentially ill-faited 1978 Nagorno-Karabakh War would never be a recurrence.

On the economic front, the interim was a time of comparatively massive development. Poland and Persia, both looking for Armenia to fit their foreign poliicy needs, poured millions of dram worth of support into the country. Infrastructure was rebuilt with Persian money - the Trans-Armenian Pipeline began construction while the first segments of a national highway and railway system were put into place, primarily to ferry troops around the country. Factories in Hrazdan were either rebuilt, or constructed entirely from scratch to build local Armenian products. Poland helped with providing military equipment and technical assistance for industry, all the while buying back captured Turkish equipment in exchange for discounted prices on Polish gear. The building of the Armenian military was accomplished primarily by Jordan Ivakon, the Minister of Defense as named by Assanian. The rapid industrial buildup was primarily for the benefit of the military, but with plans to convert it to a civilian manufacturing economy after the war.

RPG Era (2014-Present) Edit

The Invasion of Erzurum, 1980 Edit

Coming soon. It's also in progress, really.

GeographyEdit

818px-Armenien topo

A topographical map of Eastern Armenia and the surrounding area.

Armenia is a mountainous country located in the Armenian Highlands in the Southern Caucasus. The highlands are renowned for their beautiful landscapes, vast forests and fields, and vibrant riverside terrain. However, since the country is spread out over an area that mixes Anatolian, Caucasian, and Persian climates, the region is very diverse. Towards the west are deserts that cover vast amounts of territory in Western Armenia. The Black Sea coastline of the country is filled with lush vegetation and forests, and similar conditions can be found near Lake Sevan - a large lake in the east of the country. From there runs the Hrazdan River along which cities, most importantly Hrazdan and Yerevan, have been built. The Nagorno Karabakh to the east is heavily forested, supplying much of the country's timber and other resources.

Armenia's most distinctive features are its mountains, which play an important role in the culture of the people. Mt. Ararat in particular has been a symbol of the Armenian people since Biblical times. It is the tallest peak in Armenia, and was also tallest in the former Turkish Sultanate. Other points of importance are Mt. Aragats, where a July 1977 landslide devastated the surrounding area and displaced several thousand villagers. Like every mountainous region, Armenia has its share of natural resources. Iron, bauxite, gold, copper, and coal form the majority of the materials mined from the country's varied and diverse quarries. Other resources extracted from the Armenian lands are oil and natural gas from the west, particularly in the Erzurum Marz.

Armenia's climate is continental. The summers are hot and the winters are cold, often with temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celsius or above in the former and -28 degrees Celsius in the latter. Snowfall in the area can be heavy at times, and rainfall is plentiful throughout the mountains. Being situated in the Armenian Highlands, Armenia has a diverse range of altitudes and thus, climates. Tundra conditions can be found in the higher regions of Tsakhkadzor, which is also a popular location for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts. In Sevan, the pleasant conditions are ideal for the tourist resorts, casinos, and upscale neighborhoods nearby.

MouflonEwe

A young mouflon: one of the many animals that roam Armenia's mountains.

A diverse set of fauna are found in Armenia's mountains due to the varied habitats: the most famous is the goat (often the butt of several IC jokes about the country and a Precipice meme in itself.) 350 species of bird inhabit the country's many regions, while diverse species of fish (like the native Sevan trout) swim in the lakes and rivers. Sheep, mountain lions, eagles, and other mountain creatures are known to live all throughout the lands. An interesting species to note would be the Persian Leopard: long since endangered by human ecological destruction, the Armenian Highlands are home to the last bastion of Persian Leopards, estimated to be about 50 strong. However, inadequate environmental regulations have been put into place to protect the of the nation's creatures, of which up to 20% are estimated to be endangered.

Government and PoliticsEdit

Administrative DivisionsEdit

Armenia is divided into 19 administrative divisions (marz.) 11 are located in core Armenia, while the other eight are outside in territories such as the Nagorno Karabakh or Nakhchivan. Each marz has a capital, and many are named after the region. Yerevan is given its own special division containing the city and its suburbs.

Armenian Provinces and Capitals
Province Name Capital Name
Yerevan Yerevan
Shirak Gyumri
Armavir Armavir
Lori Vanadzor
Ararat Artashat
Kotayk Hrazdan
Gegharkunik Gavar
Syunik Kapan
Aragatsotn Ashtarak
Tavush Ijevan
Vayots Dzor Yeghegnadzor
Nagorno Karabakh Stepanakert
Javakhk Alkhalkalaki
Van Van
Erzurum Erzurum
Trabzon Trabzon
Artvin Artvin
Mus Mus
Nakhchivan

Nakhchivan City

===Parties and Elections

=Edit

Assanian

Hasmik Assanian: the current President of Armenia.

Armenia exists as a unitary and a presidential state with several unique aspects, but with parallels drawn to other countries' systems of government. The main center of power in Armenia is executive branch: President Hasmik Assanian, elected by a popular vote every four years. There are no term limits. The President leads the Ministries in the executive portion of the government, who have the power to regulate areas of the government for which they are responsible. Laws can be suggested by the Ministries or the Presidency's constituents and are approved for vote by the President, which are then voted on by the National Assembly to be put into action. These two offices work in tandem to run the government, with the National Assembly and Presidency able to balance powers.

A Supreme Court is run in connection with the central government, and their decisions over major cases can become law if passed by the National Assembly and approved by the President. Impeachment trials and vetoes are carried out by the Supreme Court after the National Assembly has approved them. Similarities can be drawn between Armenia and the United States of America - a product of the influx of Armenian-Americans who had returned after the Revolution.

Of special note is the ability for the President to declare emergency powers and temporarily take most power for himself in order to speed response to dire national emergencies. This effectively dissolves the National Assembly and Supreme Court, and makes the Ministers (part of the President's cabinet) official advisers to the President, who makes all of the decisions regarding the operation of the country. The President's powers only last him twelve months. The President's emergency powers can only be activated once per term with approval from public vote, or in extremely rare special cases above and beyond even dire emergencies. This was used during the interim government's 1977-1980 reconstruction.

The legislative branch is the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, composed of a unicameral parliamentary system with 150 elected officials. 150 representatives are chosen from each marz proportionally, while 50 represent single-seat constituencies. They are responsible for passing and discussing policy approved for vote by the Presidency. Multiple political parties are allowed and encouraged, often campaigning in their home province to earn votes and place them in office. Non-partisan activity is similarly accepted inside the National Assembly. The Presidency has the power to overrule the National Assembly on major decisions, but only in powers of national emergency and with a majority direct public vote.

Foreign RelationsEdit

Armenia maintains foreign relations with numerous powers on the globe. Armenia is a very controversial topic in global politics, however, and has often been the subject of intense debate and criticism. A rough analysis reveals that Armenia's allies tend to lie on the leftist spectrum: Ethiopia and Persia are both major Armenian allies and affiliated with the Chinese. Armenia is known to have been supported economically, politically, and militarily by Persia during the Armenian War and afterwards. Similarly, Armenia and Ethiopia have embarked on several joint operations together and are close regional players. Poland is the most major ally, but is not similarly affiliated with China. They are responsible for the vast majority of economic, technological, and military aid. They share a special, mutually beneficial relationship. Conversely, the more rightist factions like Spain and Prussia hold more negative feelings towards Armenia for what they think are alliances with China and other liberal factions. Armenia has historically been closer with the second world powers since independence.

Armenia has often been at odds with its neighbors, typically Islamic states. Turkey is the main antagonist to Armenia, their former colonial oppressor and the source of constant tension and aggression. Even though official conflict has ended, there are still no diplomatic relations between the two countries. Constant skirmishes, such as the Battle of Istanbul, often occur. The primary drive between the ethnic strife has been centuries of hate and mistrust between the two peoples, an irreconcilable difference that has never responded positively to third party attempts to intervene.

While Persia has often been the protector of the Armenian state, other Islamic nations such as Azerbaijan and Dagestan have invaded or attacked Armenia multiple times. Ethnic conflict plays a role with Armenia's hostile relations, and the Nagorno-Karabakh War of 1978 has been described as an ethnic war in addition to a territorial war. Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has been mitigated by the Persian occupation, with Persian military units keeping the peace along the border and defusing most organized attempts at violence. However, Armenia has constantly emerged on top of the other countries in conflict, making it a regional power - its economic and military strength and prestige far surpass any other Caucasian or post-Ottoman nation.

Georgia is a special case, as it is a fractured and failed state to the immediate north. Armenia has been known to fund and support local warlords (particularly southern ones) to secure the border and keep Dagestanis at bay (or keep a buffer between the bandits that roam the countryside), and to secure strategically important towns along the coast used to shelter Armenian Navy ships. The Armenians officially occupy specific regions of the country and attempt to conduct counterinsurgency and nation-building operations inside, particularly with the Georgian Guard faction.

MilitaryEdit

Main article: Armenian Defense Forces

HelicopterRaid

Armenian helicopters engage Azeri tanks in the late stages of the 1978 Nagorno-Karabakh War.

The Armenian Defense Forces is composed of an Army, Navy, and Air Force. It was officially formed July 27th, 1977, along with the government on Independence Day. The military's active force is composed of roughly 500,000 troops combined, with almost everyone else in the nation (barring certain cases) partly enlisted into the reserves and with basic military training in a Swiss-styled conscription method. The ADF is organized by the Armenian Ministry of Defense, under the command of Minister Jordan Ivakon. While modestly-sized, the ADF has held its own in several conflicts against Azerbaijan, Dagestan, and the Ottoman Empire. It is widely regarded as the most powerful military force in the Caucasus.

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