The Struggle for Mughan (I.1918 – VIII.1919)


By  Andrew Andersen and George Partskhaladze






Chronology of the Major Events





Beginning of the anarchy and regular Tatar attacks on Russian colonies.

Total annihilation of Russian population of northern Mughan.


I-III. 1918

Self-defence organized in southern Mughan by a group of Russian officers of the former Imperial army.

Operations against local Tatars and Shakhsevens of Iran accompanied by mass atrocities and ethnic cleansings from both sides.

By Easter the Tatars and Shakhsevens are defeated.



Formal subordination of Lankaran to the Bolshevik government of Baku.



As Centrocaspian Dictatorship replaced the Bolshevik regime in Baku the “Dictatirship of the Five” is established in Mughan.

Limited cooperation with the British,



Turco-Azeri forces defeated by Mughani troops under Lt. Khoshev at Kochakhkent



The fall of Baku to the Turks.

However, neither Turks, nor Azerbaijanis dare penetrating central/southern Mughan. Mughan is formally loyal to Bicherakhov.



The Ottoman Empire signed the Armistice of Mudros and starts withdrawal from the Caucasus.



The British occupational force re-enters Baku.

British representatives also visit Mughan making it clear that they consider Mughan to be a part of Russia.



In early January, 1919, representatives of Denikin’s Volunteer Army land in Lankaran and claim Mughan. However the Mughanis are treated in a discriminatory manner that leads to their alienation from Denikin. The Mughanis enjoy vocal support of Admiral Kolchak but his forces are too far away and thus are of no help.



Bolshevik coup in Lankaran. Soviet republic is proclaimed there. It claims sovereignty over Mughan as well.

Bolshevik policy causes Tatar and Talysh uprising south of Lankaran. The uprising is supported by Azerbaijan and Turkey.


VI. 1919

The Mughanis under Lt. Khoshev are attempting to capture Lankaran in order to destroy the Soviets. The attempt proves unsuccessful.



The second attempt of the Mughanis to destroy the Bolsheviks is this time successful.



At the end of August, 1919 Mughan and Lankaan are formally transferred to Azerbaijan.



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Map of the Civil War in Mughan and other related maps.