|Target||Russian military train holding military equipment|
|Deaths||Estimates vary from several hundreds to 1000+|
|Perpetrators||Military Council of Nationalities, Azerbaijani nationalists|
The Shamkhor massacre happened in January 1918, Şəmkir, Azerbaijan, when Azerbaijani armed groups, acting on orders from the Military Council of Nationalities, killed several hundred armed Russian soldiers who were returning home from the Caucasus Front, in an effort to obtain sufficient arms.
After the October Revolution the Russian Army ceased to exist as an organized force and its soldiers in large numbers moved into Transcaucasia, trying to get home and often terrorized the Armenian population, forcing it to flee. The leaders of Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic needed to act quickly to prevent the sacking of cities and the fall of their regime. Therefore they organized a Military Council of Nationalities in which the Armenians, the Georgians, and the Azerbaijanis were represented.
When a particularly large and militant group of Russian soldiers began to move along the railroad away from the front in January 1918, the Military Council of Nationalities decided to disarm them. The operation was ordered by Noe Ramishvili, the Interior Minister of Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic.
A large group of Azeris had stopped a Russian train near the village of Shamkhor, riding along what is known as the Tbilisi-Baku rail line, and demanded the handover of the military supply on the train, but the Russian soldiers had refused to give the military equipment away. It is impossible to determine who fired the first shot, but eventually Azerbaijanis stormed the train, which led to hundreds of deaths in the aftermath of clashes. Azeris had gained significant amount of war equipment after their attack. Thousands of Russian soldiers were disarmed and sent on their way. The events also had angered Bolshevik and Azeri leaders which had led to confrontations later on in that year. The incident at Shamkhor was also followed by organized attacks against Russians throughout Azerbaijan.
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