The decree “On establishment of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast” of the Azerbaijan Central Executive Soviet Committee

July 7, 1923

The czar autocracy, which strived for enslavement of the national minorities in the former Russian Empire, did not hesitate to annihilate individual nationalities by means of setting them against each other.

The Armenian-Moslem massacre of 1905-6 in the South Caucasus, could serve as the best evidence of the ruinous policy of the Russian autocracy. At the moment when revolutionist labor people of the South Caucasus began to openly express their discontent at capitalist oppression, czar general Vorontsov-Dashkovs created hostility among two historically related nations of Armenians and Moslems.  This became even more evident when the South Caucasus was divided into three “independent states”, headed by a group of national chauvinists-Musavatists, Dashnaks and Mensheviks, who were the flunkeys of the Western capital and brought domination over the national minorities to the forefront. Within a short period of the existence of these “states” they spilled a great deal of blood of working peasants in the Karabakh Mountains and other parts of the South Caucasus.

The annihilation of national oppression and inequality in whatever form these are displayed is in the replacement of the national hostility and hatred by the international solidarity of fraternal nations within a single state union, is one of the main tasks of the working and peasant revolution and the Soviet power.

In order to fulfill this task, the Central Executive Soviet Committee of Azerbaijan decides:

  1. To establish an autonomous oblast from the Armenian part of the Nagorno Karabakh, as a constituent part of the ASSR with the center in Khankendi.
  2. The government of the autonomous oblast is the Oblast Executive Committee and the local Soviets.
  3. Prior to the establishment of the oblast executive committee, to establish a temporary revolutionary committee which will have to summon a congress of Soviets for the election of a permanent executive body no later than 2 months after. Note: All pastures, forests, gardens and actual ownership of land and water will rest with the current owners.
  4. The Oblast Executive Committee is provided with the appropriate financial and technical means from the budget of the ASSR by direct decrees of the AzCEC.
  5. In order to develop the oblast regulations and actual transition to administrative units into the autonomous oblast of Karabakh, as well as to determine the autonomous oblast’s borders, to establish a mixed commission of representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh, lowland Karabakh, Kurdistan and central authorities of ASSR. The commission will have to complete its work by 15 August of this year.

Chairman of AzCEC M.B. Kasumov

Secretary of AzCEC M. Hanbudagov.