Difference between revisions of "Ukraine"

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Ukraine has a long history of Armenian colonies.  Many centuries ago there was a large Armenian population in [[Lviv]], while it was still a part of [[Poland]].  An important Armenian community also existed in the [[Crimea]], dating back to [[Russia]]n rule there.  During the [[Soviet]] era, many Armenians came and went, with some settling down in Ukraine.  [[Sergei Parajanov]] married a Ukrainian woman.
Ukraine has a long history of Armenian colonies.  Many centuries ago there was a large Armenian population in [[Lviv]], while it was still a part of [[Poland]].  An important Armenian community also existed in the [[Crimea]], dating back to [[Russia]]n rule there.  During the [[Soviet]] era, many Armenians came and went, with some settling down in Ukraine.  [[Sergei Parajanov]] had a Ukrainian wife.
==Armenian Community==
==Armenian Community==

Latest revision as of 02:26, 19 July 2020

Ukraine has a long history of Armenian colonies. Many centuries ago there was a large Armenian population in Lviv, while it was still a part of Poland. An important Armenian community also existed in the Crimea, dating back to Russian rule there. During the Soviet era, many Armenians came and went, with some settling down in Ukraine. Sergei Parajanov had a Ukrainian wife.

Armenian Community


There is an Armenian Square (aka Armenian Market). Just south of the square is the Armenian magistrate with its remaining 16th century black and white square bell tower. The small Armenian Church of St. Nikolai (14th c.) is behind the ruins of the much larger Armenian Cathedral. Visitors can walk down into the cross of the original crypt.


Armenian Cathedral at 7 Virmenska St. - This beautiful 14th c. cathedral is one of the oldest in Lviv. The church rarely has services, but the courtyard is usually open and is paved with tombstones. The interior has colorfully painted vaults.


The Armenian Church (1760s) is the pale blue building facing the main square. Today it is owned by the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.


The Armenian Church is at 30 Ukrayinska St. One of Hlavka's building used as an organ hall throughout the Soviet years on the pretext that a suicide in the chapel made it unfit for worship.


Armenian Church (15th c.) is at 1 Kutuzova St.


  • St. Georgy's Armenian Church (11th c.).
  • Aivazovsky House and Museum - tickets cost 5 UAH. 2 Galereinaya St. (at the corner of Prospekt Lenina) Open 09:00-20:00, closed Wednesdays. House and museum have separate entrances and tickets, both are filled with his paintings, many focusing on the sea. This is the largest collection of Aivazovsky works in the world, many of which are not on display.


AZG Armenian Daily #186, 15/10/2005



A press release from the RA Foreign Ministry informs that an Armenian class opened at the 85th secondary school of Kiev. The opening ceremony drew the Armenian ambassador to Ukraine, clergies from the Ukrainian diocese of the Armenian Church and members of the Armenian community. Ambassador Armen Khachatrian and head of the Ukrainian diocese Archbishop Grigoris Buniatian spoke about Armenia's past and present, its culture and Armenian-Ukrainian friendship. The newly opened Armenian class will teach Armenian language, history and geography to 35 pupils. The graduation documents will include grades on these subjects.

The Armenian embassy in Kiev handed the class Armenian textbooks and the Armenian community presented a TV and a videocassette recorder.

By Gohar Gevorgian

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  • Kavkazkaya Plennitsa. Khreschatyk 12. 044-278-1852. Open 10:00-23:00. Mains from $4. Armenian ambiance and cuisine.


Armenian Restaurants:

  • Chistye Prudy. No phone. Located right at the main entrance to Gagarin Park. Serves great Armenian food. Mains from $7. Open 10:00-24:00.


Armenian Restaurants:

  • Vernisazh. Corner of Naberezhnaya and Kirova. No phone. Extensive outdoor cafe. Traditional Armenian food plus kebabs, salads and seafood. Everything under $5. English menu, cash only. 11:00-23:00.


Armenian Church.


  • Armenia. Krasnoarmeyskaya 82. 0642-522-385. Armenian Restaurant right next to the Armenian Church. Great food, fresh lavash. Mains from $10. Open 10:00-24:00.


Akhtamar Hotel. Krupskaya 38. 0577-384-193. Small, nice, friendly, central hotel. Run by Armenian family. Guest get lots of personal attention and rooms are plush and homey. Cash only. $50-90.



  • Gurman. Petropavolovskaya 65. Armenian restaurant serving authentic spicy cuisine in warm setting. Local favorite. Mains from $5. Open 10:00-23:00.


The past and future of Crimea’s Armenian community

Crimea gave the world many outstanding Armenians, including world-renowned painter Hovhannes Ayvazovsky.

Recent events in Crimea may complicate the live of the peninsula’s Armenian population – one of the oldest ones in Russia’s south. The first Armenians settled in Crimea in the 8th century, with the first wave of immigration starting in mid-eleventh century. March 3, 2014

PanARMENIAN.Net - In the 8th century, Crimea was a part of Byzantium, with Armenians, as its subjects, moving here from various cities of the empire. The region’s stability allowed them to achieve economic prosperity not much shaken even in the face of Mongolian invasion.

Hardships in Armenia drove increasing number of Armenians to Crimea, with Armenians becoming the 2nd biggest ethnic group after Crimean Tatars. In the 1475, Crimea became part of the Ottoman Empire, with Christian persecutions starting. Despite strengthening of Islam in the region, Armenian communities still existed in Kaffa, Karasubazar, Balaklava, Gezlev, Perekop and Surkhat. From 1778-1779, more than 22,000 Armenians were resettled in the Azov province.

In 1783, the Russian Empire conquered the Crimean khanate. Russian authorities encouraged the settlement of foreign colonists, including Armenians, into the Crimea. This led to a fresh wave of Armenian immigrants, reviving former colonies. In 1913, their numbers totaled around 9,000 and 14,000-15,000 in 1914. The resettlement of Armenians to the peninsula lasted until the First World War and the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1923. The immigrants of the 19th and 20th centuries were largely from Western Armenia and the various regions of Ottoman Empire.

In 1944, the Commissar of Internal Affairs of the Soviet Union, Lavrentiy Beria signed Directorate 5984 to deport 37,000 Bulgarians, Greeks and Armenians. The Armenians were deported to Perm Oblast, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Omsk Oblast, Kemerovo Oblast, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan and Kazakhstan.

In 1989, the communal life of the Crimea's Armenians was institutionalized with the formation of one of the peninsula's first national-cultural associations, the Armenian Luys (Light) society. Later, after re-registration in 1996, it was renamed the Crimean Armenian Society. At present, the Crimean Armenian Society consists of 14 regional offices, coordinated by the National Council of Crimean Armenians. The highest governing body is the National Congress, which convenes at least once every four years. Operational management of the society is carried out by the executive committee, which functions in the periods between meetings of the National Council. The society operates the Luys cultural and ethnographic center and publishes a monthly newspaper, Dove Masis. The one-hour Armenian-language program Barev airs twice a month on Crimean television, and radio broadcasts are made five times a week. There are Armenian churches in Yalta, Feodosiya and Evpatoria, while the first Armenian secondary school opened in 1998 in Simferopol.

Armenians living in the Crimea are currently concentrated in the cities of Armyansk, Simferopol, Evpatoria, Feodosiya, Kerch, Yalta, Sevastopol, Sudak. The Armenia Diaspora Encyclopedia indicates that there were 20,000 Armenians living in the region in 2003.

The Armenians were mostly adherents of the Armenian Apostolic Church. There were a number of churches built in Yalta, Feodosiya and Yevpatoria. Construction activity took place from the 14th century and according to one manuscript the monastery of Gamchak had been built by the fifteenth century in Kafa.

In Kafa, there were a number of Armenian schools, dozens of churches, banks, trading houses, caravanserai, and craftshops. The town was served as a spiritual center for the Crimean Armenians, and its stature grew so prominently that that in 1438 the Armenians of Kafa were invited to send representatives to the Ferrara-Florence Cathedral (Florence ecumenical council).

The second largest Armenian population after Kafa in the same period was Surkhat. The name of Surkhat is probably a distorted form of the name of the Armenian monastery Surb Khach (Holy Cross). There were many Armenian churches, schools, neighborhoods here as well. Other major settlements included Sudak, where until the last quarter of the 15th century and near the monastery Surb Khach there was a small Armenian town called Kazarat. Armenian princes kept the troops there and on a contractual basis to defend Kafa.

The social life of the Crimean Armenians surged in the late 19th and 20th centuries. They organized themselves into community organizations. Wealthy Armenians and the church tried to "raise" the nation to the level of modern civilization, and to carry out charitable activities. The source of money and material welfare of the church were grants, wills, offering.

The church's role in the colonies was to some extent becoming secularized. In 1842, the Catholicos in Crimea lost his position to the Chief Guardian of the Crimean Armenian churches.

Surb Khach Monastery is a medieval Armenian monastery located on the Crimean peninsula near Staryi Krym and founded in 1358. It has been an Armenian spiritual center and a place of pilgrimage for centuries.

Crimea gave the world many outstanding Armenians, including world-renowned painter Hovhannes Ayvazovsky, composers Alexander Spendiarov and Christopher Kara-Murza, artist Vardges Sureniants.

At present, no outflow of Armenian population from Crimea has been noted, with Armenians safe here, as opposed to Syria. However, considering unpredictability of the development of events in Ukraine, a negative outcome shouldn’t be precluded in the most pessimistic and least likely case.

A referendum on the status of the autonomous republic of Crimea was scheduled for March 30.


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Relations with Armenia

Genocide Recognition

Ukrainian public figures to request leadership to recognize Armenian Genocide

A group of Ukrainian public figures to request Ukraine's leadership to recognize Armenian Genocide

arminfo Saturday, April 14, 15:40

On April 13, the Press Center of a Ukrainian news agency hosted a roundtable on "Armenian Genocide: impunity brings forth relapse". The roundtable was initiated by Amram Petrosian, Head of the Party of Pensioners of Ukraine.

Analitika.at.ua reports that well-known Ukrainian political experts, scientists, journalists, politicians and public figures participated in the roundtable. The participants made a decision to request the President and Parliament of Ukraine to recognize the Armenian Genocide at the legislative level. The participants also watched the film "Common genocide: Maragha, 10 April 1992" shot by the Public Relations and Information Department of the Armenian President's Administration.

To note, the process of Ukraine's recognition of the Armenian Genocide started on 19 May 2005, when the Supreme Rada of Crimea made a decision to declare April 24 the Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Armenian people's tragedy.

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Armenian Churches

The Armenian Cathedral in Lviv dates back to the 11th century.


PanARMENIAN.Net 17.04.2006 21:39 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ In 1992 the Kyiv authorities decided to grant 1022 square meters of land to the Armenian community of Ukraine for the construction of an Armenian church. The community collected the essential funds and launched the construction. However, not long ago the residents of Podol (one of Kyiv districts) broke the fence and said they will not allow any construction in the green zone. They say the garden can be spoiled and they do not care who builds, let it be Armenians, Muslims or Ukrainians. Even the Jews, who have lived in Podol long since, did not build Synagogue here, the people say.

Business manager of the Ukrainian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Vahe Stepanyan said he is ready to defend the interests of Armenians in all court instances. "The community possess the essential documents and some funds have been already spent on the preparation works," he said, reported RFE/RL.

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Armenians in Ukraine article

Armenians [вірмени; virmeny]. Armenian settlements first appeared in the territory of present-day Ukraine in the 11th century. Before that time Armenians came to Ukraine only occasionally, as merchants, physicians, or interpreters. In the second half of the 11th century the attacks of the Seljuk Turks on Armenia gave rise to periodic waves of Armenian emigration to Ukraine. By the middle of the 11th century there was an Armenian colony in Kaffa (present-day Teodosiia) in the Crimea and in the latter part of that century a colony arose in Kyiv, which grew into a community of considerable importance by the 12th century. At the time an Armenian physician named Ahapit gained fame in Kyiv and treated Prince Volodymyr Monomakh in Chernihiv. The capture of eastern Armenia by the Tatars in 1243 led to a mass exodus of Armenians to the Crimea. Kaffa, then an autonomous Genoese city-state, continued to be the major center of the Armenian people. Other Armenian centers in the Crimea were Soldei (Surozh in ancient Ukrainian, now Sudak) and Solkhat (now Staryi Krym). When the Crimean peninsula fell under Tatar rule, Armenian merchants continued to be tolerated. New Armenian immigrants to the Crimea adopted the Cuman language of the local Armenians and subsequently brought it to Ukraine. By the 13th–14th century the Armenians represented such a large percentage of the Crimean population that the peninsula came to be known as Armenia Maritima or Armenia Magna.

The fall of the Armenian state in Cilicia in 1375, the persecution of Armenians in the Crimea after the Turkish conquest of 1475, and the religious persecution of Armenians in Moldavia in the mid-1500s contributed to the expansion of Armenian emigration to Ukraine, primarily to Galicia, Podilia, and Volhynia. This periodic influx of Armenians continued until the 18th century. During the 13th and 14th centuries new communities developed in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Bar, Seret, Lviv, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Volodymyr-Volynskyi, Lutsk, and Zamość, and close to Ukraine, in Suceava; from the 15th to the 17th century—in Uman, Stanyslaviv, Pidhaitsi, Horodenka, Buchach, and Brody; during the first half of the 18th century—in Mohyliv-Podilskyi, Rashkiv, Obertyn, and Kuty; during the second half of the 18th century—in Odesa and Balta. At least 70 Armenian colonies are known to have existed on the territory of present-day Ukraine.

The greatest concentration of the Armenian population was in Lviv, where in the mid-1600s they numbered almost 2,500, or one-tenth of the total population. The second largest community was in Kamianets-Podilskyi. The Armenian colonies in Ukraine usually had their own community organizations and their own priests and bishops of the Armenian rite. Lviv, having been the seat of the Armenian bishopric since 1365, was the center for Armenian religious life. In Lviv the Armenian community was self-governing until 1469; in Kamianets-Podilskyi, until 1787; and in most other communities, until the end of the 18th century. The larger Armenian communities exercised self-rule on the basis of a common-law system called the Armenian Statute, which was approved in 1519 with minor changes by the Polish king Sigismund I the Old and remained in force until 1780–1. The Armenians brought an organization of charitable and ecclesiastical brotherhoods to their communities in Ukraine. The Armenian bishop in Lviv was subordinate to the catholicos-patriarch in Echmiadzin until 1667, when Bishop M. Torosovych (Torosowicz) agreed to a union with Rome. The Armenian Uniate church retained its own rite. During the second half of the 17th century the Armenian communities throughout Galicia and Podilia accepted the union.

Merchants and artisans constituted the majority of the Armenian population in Ukraine. In the 16th and 17th centuries the merchant class belonged to the wealthiest stratum of Ukrainian society. For centuries Armenian merchants acted as middlemen in the trade of Ukraine and Poland with Turkey and Persia. The artisans occupied themselves primarily with goldsmithing, manufacture of weaponry, weaving, and embroidery.

The Armenians developed a lively cultural life in their communities. During the 16th and 17th centuries literature and chronicling (in Armenian and Cuman), linguistics, medicine, and the artistic transcription of books flourished. The monumental architecture of the Armenians is best represented by the Armenian Cathedral in Lviv, the church in Teodosiia (11th century), and the Surb-Khach monastery in the Crimea (14th century). The Armenians also had their own theaters and schools. There was an Armenian college in Lviv from 1664 to 1781, where the languages of instruction were Latin and Armenian until 1701 and Armenian and Ukrainian from that time on.

From the mid-17th century the Armenians in Ukraine were rapidly becoming Polonized, a process that was partially influenced by the church union with Rome. The new influx of Armenian-speaking immigrants, primarily from the Balkans, in the 18th century had little effect in altering the tendency towards Polonization. Increased Jewish activity in trade caused the decline of the Armenian merchant class. In spite of assimilation several thousand Armenians preserved their church rite, and an Armenian Catholic archeparchy continued to exist in Lviv until 1939.

Just prior to the Second World War the Armenian population in the Ukrainian SSR numbered close to 25,000. This was primarily an urban population, half of which resided in the Crimea. The Armenian population in all Ukrainian ethnic lands, including Subcaucasia, approached 150,000. The largest concentrations of Armenians were to be found in Yevpatoriia, Simferopol, Yalta, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, the Donbas, Sochi, Krasnodar, Armavir, the vicinity of Maikop, Terek oblast, and the town of Kuty in Galicia.

After the Second World War the majority of Galician and Volhynian Armenians emigrated to Poland. In 1970 there were 33,400 Armenians in the Ukrainian SSR (as compared to 28,000 in 1959), and 90 percent of this population was located in urban areas. Only 33.4 percent preserved their native tongue; 11.1 percent spoke fluent Ukrainian. In 2001, the Armenian population of Ukraine constituted 99,900, or 0.2% of the total population of Ukraine.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Barącz, S. Rys dziejów ormiańskich (Ternopil 1869) Linnichenko, Ivan. Obshchestvennaia rol' armian v proshlom Iugo-zapadnoi Rusi (Kyiv 1895) Melikset-Bek, L. Drevniaia Rus' i armiane (Yerevan 1946) Zavrian, H. ‘The Polish Armenian Colony,’ Armenian Review, 4 (Boston 1951) Khachikian, L. ‘Armianskie kolonii na Ukraine v XVI–XVII vv.,’ in Velikaia druzhba (Yerevan 1954) Petrowicz, G. ‘De ecclesia Armena in Polonia et terris adiacentibus,' Antemurale, 4 (Rome 1958) Istoricheskie sviazi i druzhba ukrainskogo i armianskogo narodov, 3 vols (Kyiv–Yerevan 1961–71) Dashkevich, Ia. Armianskie kolonii na Ukraine v istochnikakh i literature XV–XIX vv. (Yerevan 1962) Grigorian, V. Akty armianskogo suda g. Kamenets-Podol'skogo XVI v. (Yerevan 1963) Oleś, M. The Armenian Law in the Polish Kingdom, 1356–1519 (Rome 1966) Dashkevich, Iaroslav. (ed). Ukrainsko-armianskie sviazi v XVII veke. Sbornik dokumentov (Kyiv 1969) Blažejovskyj, D. Ukrainian and Armenian Pontifical Seminaries in Lviv (1665–1784) (Rome 1975) Mikaelian, V. Na Krymskoi zemle. Istoriia armianskikh poselenii v Krymu (Yerevan 1974) Grigorian, V. Istoriia armianskikh kolonii Ukrainy i Pol'shi (armiane v Podolii) (Yerevan 1980) Dashkevych, Iaroslav. Virmeniia i Ukraïna (Lviv–New York 2001) Bardakjian, Kevork, Frank Sysyn, and Andrii Yasinovskyi (eds.) Virmeno-ukraïns'ki istorychni zviazky / Armenian-Ukrainian Historical Contacts (Lviv 2011)

Bohdan Struminsky

Source: http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pages\A\R\Armenians.htm

[This article was originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984). The bibliography has been updated.]

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  • Surp Khach Vank in Crimea (Crimea)
  • St. Hripsime (Yalta, Crimea)
  • St. Nikolay (Evpatoria, Crimea)
  • Sourp Krikor Lousavorich Armenian Apostolic Church (Odessa)
  • Armenian Catholic Church (Lvov/Lemberg)
  • Armenian Cathedral of the Assumption of the Saint Virgin (Lvov)