The Karabakh war of 2020 ended with a truce in November of the same year and the introduction of Russian peacekeepers into the region. But one of the key problems, the issue of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, remained outside the framework of the document, according to which a truce was reached. Added to this was the seizure of a number of territories of the sovereign Republic of Armenia by Azerbaijan in May 2021, accompanied by ongoing local hostilities with the killed and wounded.
The issues indicated as the subject of consideration have historical, political, legal, economic and humanitarian aspects. One cannot but agree that political factors began to prevail in modern international politics, but one cannot fail to note that they always have a very significant legal component.
This is evidenced by the position of Azerbaijan, whose authorities claim that the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is an internationally recognized territory of the modern Azerbaijan Republic, which is subject to its sovereign rights. The aggressive wars unleashed in the early 90s of the last century, in 2016 and 2020 against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and the seizure of its territories, they justify the right of Azerbaijan to liberate the regions allegedly occupied by Armenian forces and restore the country’s territorial integrity. President of Azerbaijan I. Aliyev states that the issue of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh no longer exists, the agenda only includes issues of delimitation and demarcation of borders, the creation of the Meghri (Zangezur) corridor, and the mission of the OSCE Minsk Group should be solely to assist in solving humanitarian problems. But according to the statements of the countries, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, from the standpoint of international law, the issue of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh has not been resolved de-jure and it is about the self-determination of its people.
Let us analyze the legal issues related to the right of the people of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) to self-determination, territorial integrity and claims of Azerbaijan on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and the border territories of the Republic of Armenia.
- The belonging of a territory to a particular state is determined by international law on the basis of norms establishing the grounds for the acquisition of territory and its possession. Such a right may be based on succession. Upon secession from the USSR and the proclamation of the modern independent Azerbaijan Republic, Azerbaijan recognized itself as the legal successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR), and not the Azerbaijan SSR. Azerbaijani jurists are trying to assert that at the beginning of 1920, at the Paris Peace Conference, the ADR was allegedly recognized de facto. Moreover, deliberately confusing the concepts of “de facto recognition” and “de jure recognition”, they constantly try to present the case in such a way that the de facto recognition also meant recognition of the validity of the ADR’s claims regarding jurisdiction over Nagorno- Karabakh , which was then allegedly confirmed by the Supreme Council. Allied powers of the Entente and that this is “a historical fact that does not need proof.” This cannot be called anything other than the manipulation of historical facts and norms of international law. “Recognition” of the ADR in this case was nothing more than a de facto ad-hoc recognition, which is not official in nature, but only means entering into a relationship with one or another newly formed structure, for example, for the latter to participate in negotiations or conferences. The League of Nations refused to officially recognize the ADR. The Fifth Committee of the Assembly of the League of Nations, in December 1920, in response to the ADR’s request for membership, came to the conclusion that Azerbaijan cannot be considered a fully established state, since it is de-jure not recognized by any of the member states of the League of Nations and that the territory of the ADR has never been was a state, and was always a part of larger formations, such as the Mongolian, Persian and, since 1813, the Russian Empire. The name “Azerbaijan”, chosen for the new republic, is also the name of the adjacent Persian province. In addition, it was noted that it is difficult to determine the exact boundaries within which the government of Azerbaijan exercises its powers. It was indicated that due to border disputes with neighboring states, it is not possible to accurately determine the current borders of Azerbaijan. The ADR had no legitimate borders, neither the League of Nations nor the arbitration awards recognized the ADR’s claims. Moreover, de facto, the territories it claimed were not under its control. Thus, Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) before the establishment of Soviet power in Azerbaijan, neither de-jure nor de-facto, was not part of the ADR. The ADR itself, which existed from 1918 to 1920, was never recognized by the international community.
- The document of title, the Constitutional Act of the modern Azerbaijan Republic, states that on April 27-28, 1920, the RSFSR introduced parts of its armed forces to Azerbaijan, occupied the territory of the sovereign Azerbaijan Republic. This act notes that the treaty on the formation of the USSR of December 30, 1922 was intended to consolidate this annexation. This document defines the acquisition of independence by Azerbaijan by liberation from colonial dependence. But according to the same logic, Nagorno-Karabakh should be recognized as a colony with the same right to independence as Azerbaijan itself. After all, both of them, within the Russian Empire, were just territories of Russian provinces without any signs of autonomy. Moreover, Nagorno-Karabakh, as indicated above, was de facto not part of the Azerbaijan Republic of 1918-1920s, and was not recognized by the international community as part of the ADR.
- After the establishment of Soviet power in Azerbaijan in 1920, and then in part of Eastern Armenia, the Government of Soviet Azerbaijan on November 30, 1920 adopted a declaration recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh, Zangezur and Nakhichevan as part of Soviet Armenia. This fact was also confirmed by Stalin on December 4, 1920, who noted that Soviet Azerbaijan voluntarily renounced claims against the disputed regions and announced the transfer of Nagorno-Karabakh, Zangezur and Nakhichevan under the jurisdiction of Soviet Armenia. In 1921, the Karabakh issue was resolved at the Caucasian Bureau of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), which on July 4, 1921 decided to include Nagorno-Karabakh in Soviet Armenia. However, on July 5, in the same Caucasian Bureau, without discussion and voting, a new document was drawn up, according to which Nagorno-Karabakh was transferred to the Azerbaijan SSR, with the provision of broad regional autonomy to it. This decision is considered an unprecedented act, since a third-party political party, which did not have the authority and appropriate jurisdiction, made a decision on the status of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Based on the above, it can be argued that Soviet Azerbaijan became part of the Soviet Union in 1922 with the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which was transferred to it illegally and de jure could not belong to it.
- As already indicated, the Constitutional Act of the modern Azerbaijan Republic states that on April 27-28, 1920, the Soviet Russia occupied the territory of the sovereign Azerbaijan Republic. The said act notes that the agreement on the formation of the USSR of December 30, 1922 was intended to consolidate this annexation and the inclusion of Azerbaijan in the USSR is recognized as an illegal act. But if the inclusion of Soviet Azerbaijan in the USSR with the territory transferred to it by the Russian authorities who annexed Azerbaijan, as stated in the constitutional documents of the latter, is considered an illegal act, then the very presence of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of the “illegal” Soviet Azerbaijan is also taken out of the legal field.
- After joining the USSR, Azerbaijan formed the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomy not on the entire Armenian-populated territory, as it was envisaged by the decree of the Caucasian Bureau of the RCP (b) on its transfer to Azerbaijan, but only on a part of it, thereby grossly violating one of the fundamental principles of international rights, namely, the right to self-determination of the Armenian population of the territories withdrawn from the autonomy. In addition to the intention to seize territories, which, according to Soviet legal grounds, were to be part of the autonomy, this was done in many respects so that the autonomy did not have a common border with Soviet Armenia.
- According to Soviet legislation, even with all their changes and adjustments, one of the most important characteristics of Soviet autonomy is the principle of self-determination of the nation on the basis of its territorial isolation, i. e. had the national- territorial character. Soviet autonomy was one of the forms of the state structure of nations on the basis of their self-determination within the framework of a single socialist state. Under current law, an autonomous region of the USSR had the right to develop and adopt legal documents regulating its legal status, fixing guarantee its autonomous rights. The legal status, the territory of the autonomous region could not be changed without the consent of the region itself. So, the USSR Law “On the delimitation of powers between the USSR and the subjects of the federation” on April 26, 1990 established that autonomous republics, autonomous formations are part of the union republics on the basis of free self-determination of peoples, have full state power on their territory. The relations of autonomous republics, autonomous formations with the union republics of which they are members are determined by agreements and treaties (Art. 1). Article 3. of this law clearly defined that the territory of a union, autonomous republic, autonomous entity cannot be changed without their consent. It follows that the provisions of the Constitutional Law of the Azerbaijan SSR, which gave the Supreme Soviet of the republic the right to abolish autonomies, were illegal, incompatible with the right of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh to self-determination. The abolition of autonomy deprived Azerbaijan of the opportunity to refer to international law, according to which all peoples have the right to freely determine their political status, which is enshrined in the UN Charter. The adoption by Azerbaijan of the Constitutional Law, allowing the Supreme Council to liquidate autonomies at its discretion, thereby provided a legal basis for the proclamation of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh of their sovereignty as a guarantee of the right of its people to self-determination.
- As already noted, in the Soviet legal system, autonomies possessed a high level of legal subjectivity and sovereignty. Any issues related to its status and territory were to be resolved solely on the basis of the will of its population and in agreement with the autonomy. But, both during the formation of the Karabakh autonomy, and during the secession of Azerbaijan from the USSR and the decision to liquidate this autonomous entity, Soviet and international legal norms were violated. 1970 UN Resolution 2625 establishes the right of nations to self-determination if this nation is threatened with heavy humanitarian losses, direct destruction. Russian President V.V. Putin noted that the hot stage of the conflict began in Sumgait, and then spread to Nagorno-Karabakh. In his words, “the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh took up arms in order to protect their lives and dignity”. The right of peoples to self-determination, especially in conditions of threat to their physical existence, is one of the fundamental principles of international law contained in the UN Charter. And in the specific conditions of the Karabakh conflict, taking into account the policy of artificial assimilation carried out by the Azerbaijani authorities since Soviet times, the expulsion of Armenians from the territories of their centuries-old residence, genocidal acts against Armenians in Sumgait, Baku, in other regions, aggression against Karabakh, war crimes involving terrorists -mercenaries, the right of the Karabakh Armenians to self-determination is beyond question.
- Law of the USSR of April 3, 1990 No. 1409-I “On the procedure for resolving issues related to the secession of the union republic from the USSR” established that “the decision on the secession of the union republic from the USSR is taken by the free expression of the will of the peoples of the union republic through a referendum (popular vote).” Article 3. of the said law determined that in a union republic, which has autonomous republics, autonomous regions and autonomous okrugs, a referendum shall be held separately for each autonomy. The peoples of the autonomous republics and autonomous formations retain the right to independently resolve the issue of staying either in the seceding union republic or in the USSR, as well as to resolve the issue of their other state and legal status. Article 4 stated that in order to organize a referendum on secession from the USSR, to determine the date of the referendum and to summarize its results, the Supreme Soviet of the Union republic forms a commission with the participation of representatives of all interested parties, including those mentioned in parts one and two of Article 3 of this Law. In a union republic, on the territory of which there are places of compact residence of ethnic groups that make up the majority of the population of a given area, when determining the results of a referendum, the results of voting in these areas had to be taken into account separately. The Supreme Soviet of a union republic, which includes autonomous republics, autonomous regions, autonomous okrugs or places of compact residence of national groups, was obliged to consider the results of the referendum of the union republic together with the corresponding Soviets of People’s Deputies. In case of violation of the law during the referendum, it was envisaged to hold a new referendum on autonomous education, or at the place of compact residence of ethnic groups. The seceding republic was entrusted with the obligation to observe the universally recognized principles and norms of international law, as well as human rights and freedoms. The status of the territories in which national groups live compactly was determined taking into account the results of their expression of will in the referendum, and the status of the territories that did not belong to the seceding republic at the time of its accession to the USSR had to be agreed upon in the manner prescribed by law. It was necessary to provide guarantees for the maintenance of historical and cultural monuments and burial sites on the territory of the seceding republic. All these requirements of the law were not fulfilled by Azerbaijan. On August 30, 1991, Azerbaijan adopted the Declaration on secession from the Soviet Union, without holding a referendum in the NKAO, with gross violations of the relevant requirements of the Law of April 3, 1990, ignoring the right to secede from the republic in this case and independently determine their fate. In response to this, on September 2, 1991, a joint session of the Nagorno-Karabakh Regional Council and the Council of People’s Deputies of the Shahumyan region proclaimed the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) within the boundaries of the former autonomy and the region. This means that Azerbaijan seceded from the USSR without these regions and regions, which de jure gave the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region and the Shahumyan region the right, in accordance with the above-mentioned law of the USSR, to independently dispose of its future fate. Thus, it can be stated that neither de-jure nor de-facto Nagorno-Karabakh was not an “integral part” of the newly proclaimed Republic of Azerbaijan.
- Let’s turn to the documents of the CIS. Both in the Alma-Ata Declaration and in the Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States, concluded in December 1991, all the parties that signed these documents position themselves as a new independent states, and designated their status without any indication of continuity with the former Soviet republics. In addition to the Russian Federation, which also recognized itself in the status of the RSFSR. In our case, this agreement was signed by the newly formed Azerbaijan Republic (AR) – the legal successor not to the Azerbaijan SSR, but to the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) of 1918-1920s, which had no legitimate grounds to consider Nagorno-Karabakh its territory. Both the Agreement and the Declaration make no reference to the recognition of the borders of the signatory independent states within the borders of the former Soviet republics. The legal content of the definition of “existing borders” cannot be considered identical or equivalent to the definition of “borders of the union republics”, since they refer to different subjects, and when applied specifically to Azerbaijan, they have different time frames, scope and content.
- In this regard, it should be noted that Azerbaijani lawyers are trying to substantiate their claims to the recognition of the borders of Soviet Azerbaijan as the borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan by manipulating the principle of uti possidetis (as you own). But the generally accepted legal interpretation of this principle defines it as the existing or existing at a certain moment the territorial position of the belligerents. In some cases, uti possidetis may be identical with the term “status quo”, but refers only to the actual ownership of territories. The use of the term uti possidetis presupposes a precise definition of the moment to which this provision refers. Azerbaijan, when seceding from the USSR, violated the law on secession, which deprives it of legal grounds for claims against the NKR. In addition, at the time of its exit, Azerbaijan did not de facto own these territories. At the same time, the NKR seceded from Soviet Azerbaijan and declared its independence legally. It should be added here that Azerbaijani jugglers juggle the concepts of uti possidetis (de facto, effective possession) and uti possidetis juris (de jure, legal possession), but both of these concepts are fully applicable exclusively to the NKR, and not to the Azerbaijan Republic. Summing up this question, we can say that from the USSR came out almost simultaneously two independent states – Azerbaijan with violations of the law and without the territory of NKR, NKR itself – in compliance with the requirements of the law s and de facto owner of its own territory. This fact is also noted in the resolution of the European Parliament of March 11, “Resolution on support for the peace process in the Caucasus”, which states that the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region declared its independence after a similar declaration of independence by the former Soviet socialist republics after the collapse of the USSR in September 1991. On December 10, 1991, a nationwide referendum on independence was held in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which was covered by the mass media of Russia, France, the USA and other countries. The referendum was followed by a group of foreign observers, which confirmed its results by fixing it in the corresponding act.
- Not a single international legal document contains any legal or other definition of the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan and its borders. Her claims on the territory of NKAO and Shahumyan region, as well as on the territory of the sovereign Republic of Armenia are legally unfounded. The resolution on the adoption of Azerbaijan along with other post-Soviet republics in the UN does not contain any definitions about its borders. The mention in two UN Security Council resolutions of the 1993 (874,884) on the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan is not an administrative, but a geographical designation of the territory where hostilities took place. There is no specification for the territory of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomy, as evidenced by the toponyms mentioned in these resolutions. For maps published on the UN website, the following is stated: The accuracy of the boundaries and the use of geographic names and other relevant symbols on maps and in lists, tables, documents and databases on this website is not guaranteed, and their use does not imply an official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.
- Azerbaijan is constantly violating the fundamental principles of the United Nations. Initially, Baku took a course towards a military solution to the conflict. The fourth paragraph of the UN Charter “Abstaining from the use of force or the threat of force” has been violated. In all UN resolutions, it is noted as the most important and primary principle of international law. Although the OSCE Minsk Group provided Azerbaijan with an opportunity for a peaceful solution, Azerbaijan, Ambassador V. Kazimirov writes, has always neglected this principle: breaking the order of leaving the USSR (1991) and aggressive wars (1992-1994, 2016 and 2020).
- The same applies to Azerbaijan’s gross violation of the fundamental principles of the Joint Statement on the Principles for the Recognition of New States in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, approved at an emergency meeting of European Community ministers on December 16, 1991 in Brussels. It states: “The Community and its member states reaffirm their commitment to the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris , especially the principle of self-determination. They declare their readiness to recognize, in accordance with the usual norms of international practice and political realities on a case-by-case basis, these new states, which, as a result of historical changes in the region, are being built on a democratic basis, have assumed relevant international obligations and have voluntarily engaged in a peaceful process and negotiation». Paragraph 5 of the Principles imposes on the new states “the obligation to settle through agreements all issues related to the succession of states and regional disputes, including with the help of an arbitration tribunal. The community and its member states do not recognize the given, which is the result of aggression. They will take into account the consequences of recognition for neighboring states.” In November 2020, the French Senate condemned the military aggression of Azerbaijan, carried out with the participation of Turkey and foreign mercenaries, and demanded “the immediate withdrawal of the Azerbaijani armed forces and their supporters from the territories seized as a result of military operations carried out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region from September 27, 2020.”
- Trying to somehow substantiate its positions, Azerbaijan, in tandem with Turkey, refers to the Treaty of Kars dated 13. 10. 1921, which recently found its place in statements and documents following the results of the last 15.06. 2021 Erdogan and Aliyev meet in Shushi. But the Ottoman Empire (Sultanate) was liquidated only on 11/01/1922. The legal legitimization of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey with the government in Ankara and the international subjectivity of modern Turkey refers to the Lausanne Conference on 11.11.1922, and to the Lausanne Treaty of 24.07.1923. Kemalist Turkey at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Kars did not have a legitimate status … In addition, it was signed by the former Soviet republics, and modern Azerbaijan is not the legal successor of the Azerbaijan SSR.
- The recognition of a state in public international law is a set of norms that define new states as subjects of international legal relations. The recognition of a state is a unilateral voluntary act of an authorized authority of another state, which considers a new state as a subject and is ready to enter into legal relations with it, and also recognizes the authorities of this state as effective enough to conclude treaties, agreements and other legal acts. It is about this kind of de-jure recognition shows the Bishkek protocol – an agreement on a truce signed between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic on the one hand and Azerbaijan on the other, signed by representatives of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the Republic of Armenia, the Council of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, Parliament of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation, Head of the Mediation Mission of Russia V. Kazimirov. The meeting was held in May 1994 at the initiative of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Federal Assembly and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. In May of the same year, agreements were signed between the Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh republics. In addition to the above explicit elements of the legal recognition of the NKR, it should be noted that the NKR is recognized by many States of the USA, Australia, regional and municipal authorities of France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Canada and other countries. The NKR representative office functions in a number of countries. And in November 2020, the French Senate adopted a resolution on the recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
- The allegations that Armenia itself did not recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic are highly controversial. Armenia has interstate relations with the NKR at the highest level, has signed legal acts, close relations in the economic, cultural, humanitarian and military fields. Therefore, it is difficult not to notice here significant elements of recognition, not only de-facto, but also de-jure. As for the designation of the NKR by the term “self-proclaimed republic”, this term is fully applicable both to the Azerbaijan Republic and to some other republics that seceded from the USSR.
- The right of peoples to self-determination, especially in conditions threatening their physical existence, is one of the fundamental principles of international law contained in the UN Charter (Article 1, paragraph 2 and Article 55 of the UN Charter). The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by resolution 2200A (XXI) of the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 16, 1966 and entered into force on March 23, 1976, states with the utmost certainty: 1. All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of this right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. 2. All peoples, in order to achieve their goals, can freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising from international economic co-operation, based on the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence. The Declaration on the Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, adopted by resolution 2625 (XXV) of the UN General Assembly on October 24, 1970, also clearly formulates that by the power of the principle of equal rights and self-determination enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right to determine, without outside interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and each state is obliged to respect this right in accordance with the provisions of the Charter; 2. Each State has a duty to promote, through joint and individual action, realization of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, and to render assistance to the United Nations in carrying out the responsibilities entrusted to it by the Charter regarding the implementation of the principle; 3. The establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free accession or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute mode of implementing the right of self-determination by that people; 4. Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to above in the elaboration of the present principle of their right to self-determination and freedom and independence. In their actions against, and resistance to, such forcible actions in pursuit of the exercise of their rights to self-determination, such peoples are entitled to seek and to receive support in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter. As it is clearly evident from these documents, this right has a legally binding character of jus cogens norms, gives rise to obligationserga omnes. And in the specific conditions of the Karabakh conflict, taking into account the policy of artificial assimilation carried out by the Azerbaijani authorities since Soviet times, the expulsion of Armenians from the territories of their centuries-old residence, genocidal acts against Armenians in Sumgait, Baku, in other regions, aggression against Karabakh, war crimes involving terrorists-mercenaries, the right of the Karabakh Armenians to self-determination is beyond question. As for the relationship between the principles of self-determination of peoples and territorial integrity, the Declaration clearly states that the latter principle is applicable to states that observe in their actions the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and, as a result, have governments representing without distinction of race, religion or skin color all the people living in this territory. Every State is obliged to refrain from any violent actions that deprive the peoples, which are referred to in the statement of the principle of equal rights and self-determination, of their right to self-determination, freedom and independence. All these fundamental principles of international law have been violated by Azerbaijan.
Wars of aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, according to the quoted Declaration “constitutes a crime against the peace, for which there is responsibility under international law”.
Thus, it can be stated that the claims of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the territory of the NKR are based on the false thesis that the territory of the latter is de-jure part of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan and the self-determination of the NKR violates its integrity. Deprived of any legal basis and claims of Azerbaijan to the territory of the sovereign Republic of Armenia. The peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation is not on the territory of Azerbaijan, but the NKR, formed in accordance with the provisions of the legislation of the USSR and with the norms of international law.
The issues of the borders of Artsakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan should be resolved through negotiations and agreements on the basis of international law with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group with the possible participation of other international bodies and organizations. An important condition for achieving success in this case should be Azerbaijan’s refusal to create humanitarian crises for the inhabitants of the NKR, from the use of force or threat of force, the implementation of the decision adopted by the International Court of Justice in 2021 to prevent the parties from inciting racial hatred and its propaganda, including as indicated in the resolution, by officials and state institutions of Azerbaijan. The court demanded that the Azerbaijani authorities provide protection from violence and bodily harm to all persons captured during the 2020 conflict and in detention. The judges also demanded from Azerbaijan to prevent and suppress acts of vandalism and desecration of the Armenian cultural heritage, including churches and other places of worship, monuments, landmarks, cemeteries and artifacts.
Michael Abramov (Ph.D., Political scientist.)