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The Armenian Red Army (Armenian language: Հայկական կարմիր բանակ ) was a field army of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. It was created by the decision of the Government of the Armenian SSR on 6 December 1920 on the basis of the Armenian Separate Rifle Regiment (formed in Baku in October 1920 under the leadership of the Foreign Bureau of the CPA and the PFR 11th Army)

The Armenian Red Army was built on the model of the Red Army of the RSFSR. So, the following were created: the People’s Commissariat for Military Affairs (headed by A. S. Nuridzhanyan), the political department, the institute of commissioners. On 1 January 1921, M.V. Molkochanov was appointed commander of the army and I. Sviridov was appointed military commissar.

Armenian Separate Rifle RegimentEdit

In July 1920, in Gandzak, the Armenian Regiment of about 750 people (mainly from the participants of the May Uprising, who were soldiers that had sided with the Bolsheviks) was formed within the 20th Division of the 11th Army, which was sent to Baku on July 27 to replenish the regiments of the 32nd Division. On October 16, 1920, the Armenian Separate Rifle Regiment was formed in Baku as part of the 32nd Division (the commander was Ivan Panfilov and the military commissar was Garegin Yesayan). From November, the regiment moved to Armenia from Gandzak as part of the 20th Rifle Division. As part of the 11th Red Army, it entered Yerevan via Kanaker.

Creation of the Armenian Red ArmyEdit

The Armenian Red Army was created on the basis of the Armenian Separate Rifle Regiment on 2 December 1920 on the order of the Yerjanyan group of the 11th Army. On December 5, the Revolutionary Committee of Armenia appointed Avis Nurijanyan as a member of military affairs. Commissar was to deal directly with issues related to the formation of the Red Army of Soviet Armenia. The command tried to complete the ARR with the help of the 11th army and create a real fighting army. The condition of the equipment, armaments and supply was bad.


Initially, the ARR consisted of:

  • 3 infantry brigades, 3 regiments in each brigade, 3 battalions in the regiment
  • 3 cavalry regiments (of three squadrons)
  • 3 artillery regiments (three divisions, three batteries in each division)
  • 5 separate batteries
  • Sapper battalion
  • Radio telegraph division
  • one plane
  • 10 cars
  • 20 trucks
  • two armored vehicles ("Azatamart", "Musayelyan")


On February 16, 1921, during the February uprising, the national liberation forces captured Bash Gyarn, Akhtan, Kanaker, and on February 18, Yerevan. The military units of the Red Army retreated to Artashat after fierce battles. From February 18 to April 4, the hostilities were going on with variable success. The small dispersed force (total - 6883 people, in military units - 3992 people, 382 horses, 3145 rifles, 83 machine guns - 14 artillery guns) did not have enough ammunition, food and supply. Nonetheless, the ARR fought in Daralagyaz, Artashat, Vedi, Khulukhanlu, Aghbash, Charbakh, Shengavit, Etchmiadzin regions. Being separated from the rest of the Red forces, Mikhail Molkochanov managed to not only defend himself, but also organize a counterattack. He established radio communication with the 11th Army, whose command sent auxiliary forces to aid him. On April 4, they enter Yerevan from the sides of Kanaker, Shengavit and Etchmiadzin. The rebel forces were forced to retreat to Zangezur. At the request of the 11th Red Army of the Soviet power, in April 1921, the Turkish troops under the command of Kazim Karabekir Pasha left Alexandropol. In the summer, the last military units of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation were defeated in Zangezur. After the hostilities had ended, the ARR was reduced. On 20 November 1921, Alexander Myasnikyan, People's Commissar for Military Affairs of the Armenian SSR, ordered the reorganisation of the ARR into one brigade (19,000 personnel), composed of:

  • two rifle regiments,
  • two cavalry regiments,
  • one separate artillery division,
  • one mountain artillery battalion of two light and one mountain batteries

On September 5, 1922, the commander of the Red Banner Caucasus Army A. By the order of Sergo Orjonikidze, a member of the Yegorov Military Revolutionary Council, formed the 76th Armenian Rifle Division on the basis of the Armenian collective brigade. In 1935, the former was renamed to 76th Voroshilov Mountain Red Rifle Armenian Division and became part of the Transcaucasian Military District when the Separate Caucasus Army was reorganized.

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