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C., were the various Aryan tribes of Armens and Hayasas who later melded to form the Urartu civilization and kingdom (860-580 B. These settlers developed advanced skills in farming and metal work.
The Armenian civilization managed to survive despite a steady succession of wars and occupations by much larger groups, including the Hittites, Assyrians, Parthians, Medes, Macedonians, Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Tartars, Mongols, Turks, Soviet Russians, and now Azerbaijanis, in the 25 centuries that followed.
The capital city of Armenia today, Yerevan (population 1.3 million), celebrated its 2,775th anniversary in 1993.
The long history of the Armenian nation has been punctuated by triumphs over adversity. D., the small kingdom of Armenia became the first to adopt Christianity as its national religion, some 20 years before Constantine declared it the state religion of the Roman empire.
(The remaining 90 percent in Eastern Turkey lies empty of Armenians today.) Though Stalin successfully encouraged some 200,000 diaspora Armenians to "return" to Soviet Armenia after World War II, the Stalin years were marked by political and economic oppression.
On September 23, 1991, with the Soviet Union dissolving, citizens of Armenia overwhelmingly voted to form another independent republic.
A cease-fire went into effect in 1994 but little progress has been made towards a permanent peaceful resolution.
Disagreements within the government over the peace process led to the resignation of Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossian in 1998.
Meanwhile, the four million Armenians in the diaspora energetically extended their support for Armenia's survival. It was also the most educated (in per capita students), and the most ethnically homogeneous, with 93 percent Armenians, and 7 percent Russians, Kurds, Assyrians, Greeks, or Azeris.
Facing the stronger Turkish army, the short-lived Republic quickly accepted Russian protection in 1920.
In 1936 it became the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR), the smallest of the Union's 15 republics, occupying only the northeastern ten percent of the territory of historic Armenia.
As of 1995, Armenia is one of only two of the 15 former Soviet states not headed by a former communist, now maintaining a free press and vigorous new multi-party system that it has not had before.
Armenia is still recovering from a severe 1988 earthquake that destroyed several cities and killed some 50,000 people.
Although the independent Republic of Armenia has existed since 1991, it is misleading to term it a homeland like, for example, Sweden is for Swedish Americans, for a few reasons.