Soviet Transcaucasia

Courtesy Reuters

GEOGRAPHICALLY the Transcaucasian region forms a bridge between East and West, between Asia and Europe. Politically it has been a perpetual battleground of opposing civilizations and of invading armies; this in part accounts for the fact that it is the cradle as well as the grave of numerous cultures. Each of the conquering Powers left the imprints of its particular civilization upon the inhabitants of the land. This is particularly true of Russia, the last of the invaders. Transcaucasia as it exists today has been very largely conditioned by the century and a half of Russian domination.

Before the advent of Russia, the areas included in the present Socialist Soviet Republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan and in the eastern part of Georgia were under Persian domination. Almost all of the remainder was held by the Ottoman Turks, though some of Georgia enjoyed a certain degree of independence. But this state

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