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In April 1920, the Bolshevik Red Army supported by Armenian armed units invaded the country massacring scores of civilians and overthrowing the democratic government.
Located in the Caucasus, on the western coast of the Caspian Sea, the modern Republic of Azerbaijan occupies the world’s most important strategic crossroads between East and West.
Azerbaijan became one of the first nations in the region to adopt a secular, democratic form of government.
At the conclusion of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, U. President Woodrow Wilson was said to have remarked that the Azerbaijanis he met “talked the same language that I did with respect to ideals, and the concepts of liberty and justice.” Within two years of declaring independence, however, Russia again asserted its rule over Azerbaijan.
Russia’s imperial expansion in the Caucasus began in 1723 with Peter the Great’s Caspian crusade. After the annexation of Georgia in 1801, the Russian Empire began the process of occupation of the Azerbaijani khanates, and by 1828, after two Russian-Persian wars, Azerbaijan was split into two parts.
The northern portion is what would become modern Azerbaijan.