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Armenia

armenian soviet azerbaijan republic

Armenia, republic in western Asia, bordered by Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

Land and climate

Armenia is mountainous and the landscape extends from subtropical lowland to snow-covered peaks. Small mountain pastures provide rich grazing for sheep and cattle, and the valleys are fertile when irrigated. The climate is continental, with cold winters and hot summers.

People

The population is mainly Armenian (90%) with minorities of Kurds, Russians, Ukrainians, Greeks and Georgians. The majority of the inhabitants are Christians.

Economy

Armenia was highly industrialized during the Soviet period. The economy suffered severely as a result of the Nagorno-Karabach conflict with Azerbaijan.

History

Armenia was conquered in 328 B.C. by Alexander the Great and in 66 B.C. by Rome. In A.D. 303 it became the first country to make Christianity its state religion. Later it was successively under Byzantine, Persian, Arab, Seljuk, Mongol, and Ottoman Turkish control. An Armenian republic emerged after World War I but was swiftly absorbed by the USSR. In 1991 Armenia regained its independence. Armenia is part of the Commonwealth of Independent States. President Levon Ter-Petrosjan eliminated the opposition and had the press monitored by the state. In 1998, Robert Kocharian became the new president.

See also: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

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