Zangezursky Uyezd

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Zangezursky Uyezd (in English)
  • Зангезурский уезд (Modern Russian)
Elisabethpol Governorate Zangezursky uezd.svg
Coat of Arms of Yelizavetpol Governorate.png
Coat of Arms
Established 1868
Abolished 1921
Political status Uyezd
Region Caucasus
Area 6,829.7 verst²
Population (1897 census)
 • Total 137871
 • Density 20.2 inhab. / verst²
Karabakh Khanate on a map of 1823

Zangezursky Uyezd (Russian: Зангезурский уезд) was one of the uyezds (administrative units) of Elisabethpol Governorate of the Russian Empire with its center in Goris from 1868 until its formal abolition in 1921 by Soviet authorities.[1]

After the establishment of the Soviet rule over the Southern Caucasus, the uyezd's territory was divided between Soviet Armenia and Soviet Azerbaijan: Armenia acquired the predominantly Armenian-populated Sisian, Goris, Kapan, and Meghri districts and Azerbaijan took Lachin, Kubately, and Zangelan, where the population was mostly Muslim.[2]


Elisabethpol Governorate consisted of Yelizavetpolsky, Nukhisky, Shushinsky, Zangezursky, Kazakhsky, Areshsky, Dzhebrailsky, and Dzhevanshirsky Uyezds.[3] Zangezursky Uyezd was located in the southwest of Elisabethpol Governorate bordering its Dzhevanshirsky Uyezd on the north, Dzhebrailsky and Shushinsky Uyezds on the east, Persian Empire on the south, and Erivan Governorate on the west. The area covered 6,829.7 square verst.

Almost all of the area is mountainous with many gorges and valleys of Lesser Caucasus mountain range. The altitude ranges from 10,000 feet to 12,855 feet at Mount Kapudzhukh, a range dividing Elisabethpol from Erivan Governorate. The rivers in Zangezursky Uyezd are located within the Aras River basin. Bergushad (Bazarchay), Chaundur-chay, Basut-chay, Megri-chay played an important role in irrigation system of the uyezd.[4] Gorysy (Goris) served as the uyezd center.


During the Armenian rule, it was part of the Armenian province of Syunik and Armenian melikates until the middle of the 18th century while at times being seen as part of the Persian Empire as well. Between the 1770s and the territory's transfer to the Russian Empire in 1813, the uyezd was part of Karabakh Khanate.

In the 1850s, Zangezursky Uyezd was part of Shemakha (later known as Baku Governorate) and Erivan Governorates. With the establishment of Elisabethpol Governorate on February 25, 1868, Zangezursky Uyezd was established from parts of Shushinsky Uyezd, Baku Governorate, and Ordubadsky Uyezd of Erivan Governorate.[4] After the fall of Russian Empire, Karabakh, Nakhchivan and Zangezur became a subject to Armenian-Azerbaijani territorial disputes.[5] Once the British forces took over Baku in 1918, General William Thomson, who represented the Allied Powers, recognized Nagorno Karabakh along with Zangezursky Uyezd as Azerbaijani territory. He confirmed the appointment by the Government of Azerbaijan of Khosrov bey Sultanov as the Governor of the Karabakh General-Governorship, which included these two regions. In 1919, the Armenian Assembly of Nagorno Karabakh recognized the authority of Azerbaijan.[6] After establishment of Soviet rule in the region, Zangezur was ceded to Armenia by Azerbaijan SSR as a "symbol of friendship".[7]


According to census held in 1897, the population of uyezd was 137,871, of which 71,206 were Tatars (modern Azerbaijanis), 63,622 were Armenians, 1,807 Kurds, 1,006 Russians and other minorities.[8] There were 326 villages. The population was engaged primarily in agricultural farming, gardening, sericulture, cotton-growing, cattle-breeding and development of copper fields. The lowland area was used for growing cotton, which produced 20,000 pounds of cotton per year. Vineyards covered as much as 4,494 desyatinas of land, producing 106,860 lbs of grape. Nearly 3,728 lbs of silk pods were being collected in 1890. According to statistical data from 1891, there were 9,784 horses, 83,000 of cattle, 780 buffalos, 133,648 sheep, 4,600 goats, 7,008 donkeys, 1,505 mules.[4]


  1. ^ Tsutsiev, Arthur (2014). Atlas of the Ethno-Political History of the Caucasus. Translated by Nora Seligman Favorov. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 34. ISBN 9780300153088.
  2. ^ Tsutsiev, p. 80–82.
  3. ^ (in Russian) "Административно-территориальные реформы на Кавказе в середине и во второй половине XIX века" [Administrative-territorial reforms in Caucasus in middle and second half of 19th century]. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  4. ^ a b c (in Russian) "Энциклопедический Словарь. Зангезурский уезд" [Encyclopedia dictionary. Zangezur uyezd]. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  5. ^ Drobizheva, Leokadia; Gottemoeller, Rose; McArdle Kelleher, Catherine (1998). Ethnic conflict in the post-Soviet world: case studies and analysis. USA: M.E. Sharpe. p. 230. ISBN 1-56324-741-0. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  6. ^ Swietochowski, Tadeusz (1995). Russia and Azerbaijan: A borderland in transition. USA: Columbia University Press. pp. 75–76. ISBN 0-231-07068-3. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  7. ^ Raymond Duncan, Walter; Holman (Jr.), G. Paul (1994). Ethnic nationalism and regional conflict: the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. USA: Westview Press. pp. 109–112. ISBN 0-231-07068-3.
  8. ^ (in Russian) "Первая всеобщая перепись населения Российской Империи 1897 г. Распределение населения по родному языку и уездам Российской Империи кроме губерний Европейской России" [First All Russian Imperial Census of 1897. Population split according to languages spoken; uyezds of Russian empire except for governorates in European part of empire]. Retrieved 2011-08-03.