[M.]: Kom. pomoshchi Armenii, 1923. 28x20cm. In original publisher’s wrappers.
Fine. Scarce. One of 1500 copies.
This is the first and only issue of the non-periodical organ of the Moscow Committee of Assistance to the Armenian SSR. After the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917, the Armenian population of Transcaucasia declared the independence of the first Armenian Republic (1918). By the time the short-lived independent state of Armenia was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist
Federative Soviet Republic (1920), the country had already been plagued by multiple domestic and foreign problems: the influx of refugees from Turkish Armenia, hunger, wars with Azerbaijan (1918) and Turkey (1920), disease and economic misery. The atmosphere worsened even further when in December 1918 a two-week long military conflict erupted between Georgia and Armenia and the latter, having no outlet to the sea, became completely blockaded. Economic crisis was compounded after two consecutive seasons of severe drought and the number of Armenians that fell victim to starvation increased to 180000 (1918-1919).
In order to defeat hunger and raise funds for those suffering from famine, a group of Armenians (led by the noted Armenian poet and public activist Hovhannes Tumanyan (1869-1923)) decided to organize an Assistance Committee for Armenia in 1921. The same year the committee turned to the representatives of Armenian intelligentsia in Moscow and asked to join forces in a battle against economic misery in the country. Established in 1922, The Moscow Committee of Assistance to the Armenian SSR was presided by the Soviet Armenian statesman Sahak Ter-Gabrielyan (1886-1937) and encompassed the following members: S. Aslanov, S. Akhnazaryants, S. Akopov, S. Ter-Mkrtychyan, Karen Mikaelyan, S. Ter-Manuelyants, Z. Vatylyats, etc.
The edition includes articles aimed at defining main goals of the committee and raising awareness on the contemporary economic state of Armenia: irrigation and electrification issues in Shirak, land utilization and intensification of the rural economy (A. Kalantar), cotton production and irrigation (On. Aghanjanyan), etc. The publication also features reports of Karen Mikaelyan and Arutuynov on the recovery process in Armenia and geographical/economic overview of the country. Especially interesting is the article “Pomoshch’ RSFSR Armenii” [i.e. Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in Help of Armenia] (from a conversation with Sahak Ter-Gabrielyan), which offers a detailed information on the support provided by the RSFSR to Armenia in 1922: 500000 rubles for different needs, monthly donation in the amount of 166 000 gold, 10 wagons of wheat, 650 wagons of corn, etc.