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Armenia What to see? Monuments Stepan Shahumyan

Monument to Stepan Shahumyan

Stepan Shahumyan was a Bolshevist Russian communist politician and revolutionary active throughout the Caucasus. Shahumyan was an ethnic Armenian and his role as a leader of the Russian revolution in the Caucasus earned him the nickname of the "Caucasian Lenin", a reference to the leader of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Lenin.

Although the founder and editor of several newspapers and journals, Shahumyan is best known as the head of the Baku Commune, a short lived committee appointed by Lenin in March 1918 with the enormous task of leading the revolution in the Caucasus and West Asia. His tenure as leader of the Baku Commune was marred with numerous problems including ethnic violence between Baku’s Armenian and Azerbaijani populations, attempting to defend the city against an advancing Turkish army, all the while attempting to spread the cause of the revolution throughout the region. Unlike many of the other Bolsheviks at the time however, he preferred to resolve many of the conflicts he faced peacefully, rather than with force and terror.

Throughout his revolutionary life, he went by several aliases including "Suren", "Surenin" and “Ayaks." As the Baku Commune was voted out of power in July 1918, Shahumyan and his followers, known as the twenty six Baku Commissars abandoned Baku and fled across the Caspian Sea. However, he, along with the rest of the Commissars, was captured and executed by British-allied anti-Bolshevik forces on September 20, 1918.

A statue of Stepan Shahumyan was erected in 1931. Sculptor Sergei Merkurov has depicted Shahumyan at the moment of his shooting, with his unfailing courage, pride, persistence and contempt in the face of death for the sake of his beliefs.

Monument to Stepan Shaumyan

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