AMBARTSUMYAN K.R. Policy of Postponed Sovetization: Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and Georgia in 1920–1921


Karine R. Ambartsumyan

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of Foreign History, Political Science and International Relations, North-Caucasus Federal University,

Pushkina St, 1, 355009 Stavropol, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The author presents a brief description of the situation in the South Caucasus after the establishment of the Soviet power in Azerbaijan. A brief characteristic of the international context influencing decisionmaking in relation to Georgia and Armenia is given. The author makes a short review of historiography.

Methods and materials. A list of historical sources is presented. The materials of the Archive of foreign policy of the Russian Federation and the Russian state archive of social and political history, private documents and the description of Menshevik Georgia in 1920 by Soviet scientist and publicist N.L. Meshcheryakov are the base of the research.

Analysis. Based on these sources, the author explores the Soviet-Georgian relations, which are considered as interstate, since Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic legally accepted the independence of the Georgian state. A comparison of the positions of the representatives of the Caucasus Bureau and the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs revealed the difference in approaches to politics in Georgia. Moscow was against forced Sovietization and considered the Georgian Republic as a temporary buffer between Russia, on the one hand, and the forces of the Entente and Kemalist Turkey, on the other. The main directions of the Soviet-Georgian interaction were analyzed. The author, giving examples from documents, proves that Georgia was used as a center for strengthening control over Azerbaijan, consolidating success in the North Caucasus and pursuing a policy of reintegrating the South Caucasus into the Russian statehood. One of the clauses of the SovietGeorgian treaty signed in May 1920 was the creation of an associated commission. The article considers the features of its work and shows its inefficiency using the documents.

Results. The author draws the conclusion that achieving independence in a wide international context was impossible for Georgia at that date. The RSFSR policy during 1920–1921 can be called the course of postponed Sovietization. It became an independent stage in the reintegration of the South Caucasus.

Key words: Caucasus Bureau, S. Kirov, Sovietization, Georgia, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, G. Chicherin, international relations, Soviet embassy.

Citation. Ambartsumyan K.R. Policy of Postponed Sovetization: Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and Georgia in 1920–1921. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 119-132. (in Russian). DOI:

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Policy of Postponed Sovetization: Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and Georgia in 1920–1921 by Ambartsumyan K.R. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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