The government of the republic of armenia

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ArmeniaEncyclopædia, Inc.
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The portion of Armenia lying within the former Russian Empire declared independence on May 28, 1918, but in 1920 it was invaded by forces from Turkey and Soviet Russia. The Soviet Republic of Armenia was established on November 29, 1920; in 1922 Armenia became part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic; and in 1936 this republic was dissolved & Armenia became a constituent (union) republic of the Soviet Union. Armenia declared sovereignty on August 23, 1990, and independence on September 23, 1991.

The status of Nagorno-Karabakh (also called Artsakh), an enclave of 1,700 square miles (4,400 square km) in southwestern Azerbaijan populated primarily by ethnic Armenians, was from 1988 the source of bitter conflict between Armenia & Azerbaijan. By the mid-1990s Karabakh Armenian forces had occupied much of southwestern Azerbaijan, but, after a devastating war in 2020, they were compelled to withdraw from most of that area.




Physical features of ArmeniaEncyclopædia, Inc.

Armenia is a mountainous country characterized by a great variety of scenery & geologic instability. The average elevation is 5,900 feet (1,800 metres) above sea level. There are no lowlands: half the territory lies at elevations of 3,300 khổng lồ 6,600 feet; only about one-tenth lies below the 3,300-foot mark.

The northwestern part of the Armenian Highland—containing Mount Aragats (Alaghez), the highest peak (13,418 feet, or 4,090 metres) in the country—is a combination of lofty mountain ranges, deep river valleys, và lava plateaus dotted with extinct volcanoes. To lớn the north và east, the Somkhet, Bazum, Pambak, Gugark, Areguni, Shakhdag, & Vardenis ranges of the Lesser Caucasus lie across the northern sector of Armenia. Elevated volcanic plateaus (Lory, Shirak, & others), cut by deep river valleys, lie amid these ranges.

In the eastern part of Armenia, the Sevan Basin, containing Lake Sevan (525 square miles) & hemmed in by ranges soaring as high as 11,800 feet, lies at an elevation of about 6,200 feet. In the southwest, a large depression—the Ararat Plain—lies at the foot of Mount Aragats and the Geghama Range; the Aras River cuts this important plain into halves, the northern half lying in Armenia và the southern in Turkey và Iran.

Armenia is subject khổng lồ damaging earthquakes. On December 7, 1988, an earthquake destroyed the northwestern town of Spitak & caused severe damage khổng lồ Leninakan (now Gyumri), Armenia’s second most populous city. About 25,000 people were killed.


Of the total precipitation, some two-thirds is evaporated, and one-third percolates into the rocks, notably the volcanic rocks, which are porous and fissured. The many rivers in Armenia are short and turbulent with numerous rapids và waterfalls. The water level is highest when the snow melts in the spring & during the autumn rains. As a result of considerable difference in elevation along their length, some rivers have great hydroelectric potential.

Most of the rivers fall into the drainage area of the Aras (itself a tributary of the Kura River of the Caspian Basin), which, for 300 miles (480 kilometres), forms a natural boundary between Armenia và Turkey and Iran.

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The Aras’ main left-bank tributaries, the Akhuryan (130 miles), the Hrazdan (90 miles), the Arpa (80 miles), & the Vorotan (Bargyushad; 111 miles), serve lớn irrigate most of Armenia. The tributaries of the Kura—the Debed (109 miles), the Aghstev (80 miles), và others—pass through Armenia’s northeastern regions. Lake Sevan, with a capacity in excess of 9 cubic miles (39 cubic kilometres) of water, is fed by dozens of rivers, but only the Hrazdan leaves its confines.

Armenia is rich in springs và wells, some of which possess medicinal properties.


More than 15 soil types occur in Armenia, including light brown alluvial soils found in the Aras River plain và the Ararat Plain, poor in humus but still intensively cultivated; rich brown soils, found at higher elevations in the hill country; & chernozem (black earth) soils, which cover much of the higher steppe region. Much of Armenia’s soil—formed partly by residues of volcanic lava—is rich in nitrogen, potash, và phosphates. The labour required lớn clear the surface stones & debris from the soil, however, has made farming in Armenia difficult.


Because of Armenia’s position in the deep interior of the northern part of the subtropical zone, enclosed by lofty ranges, its climate is dry và continental. Regional climatic variation is nevertheless considerable. Intense sunshine occurs on many days of the year. Summer, except in high-elevation areas, is long và hot, the average June & August temperature in the plain being 77° F (25° C); sometimes it rises to lớn uncomfortable levels. Winter is generally not cold; the average January temperature in the plain và foothills is about 23° F (−5° C), whereas in the mountains it drops lớn 10° F (−12° C). Invasions of Arctic air sometimes cause the temperature khổng lồ drop sharply: the record low is −51° F (−46° C). Winter is particularly inclement on the elevated, windswept plateaus. Autumn—long, mild, and sunny—is the most pleasant season.

The ranges of the Lesser Caucasus prevent humid air masses from reaching the inner regions of Armenia. On the mountain slopes, at elevations from 4,600 khổng lồ 6,600 feet, yearly rainfall approaches 32 inches (800 millimetres), while the sheltered inland hollows and plains receive only 8 khổng lồ 16 inches of rainfall a year.

The climate changes with elevation, ranging from the dry subtropical and dry continental types found in the plain & in the foothills up khổng lồ a height of 3,000 to lớn 4,600 feet, to lớn the cold type above the 6,600-foot mark.

Plant and animal life

The broken relief of Armenia, together with the fact that its highland lies at the junction of various biogeographic regions, has produced a great variety of landscapes. Though a small country, Armenia boasts more plant species (in excess of 3,000) than the vast Russian Plain. There are five altitudinal vegetation zones: semidesert, steppe, forest, alpine meadow, và high-elevation tundra.

The semidesert landscape, ascending khổng lồ an elevation of 4,300 khổng lồ 4,600 feet, consists of a slightly rolling plain covered with scanty vegetation, mostly sagebrush. The vegetation includes drought-resisting plants such as juniper, sloe, dog rose, và honeysuckle. The boar, wildcat, jackal, adder, gurza (a venomous snake), scorpion, and, more rarely, the leopard inhabit this region.

Steppes predominate in Armenia. They start at elevations of 4,300 lớn 4,600 feet, & in the northeast they ascend lớn 6,200 lớn 6,600 feet. In the central region they reach 6,600 lớn 7,200 feet và in the south are found as high as 7,900 khổng lồ 8,200 feet. In the lower elevations the steppes are covered with drought-resistant grasses, while the mountain slopes are overgrown with thorny bushes and juniper.

The forest zone lies in the southeast of Armenia, at elevations of 6,200 to 6,600 feet, where the humidity is considerable, và also in the northeast, at elevations of 7,200 to 7,900 feet. Occupying nearly one-tenth of Armenia, the northeastern forests are largely beech. Oak forests predominate in the southeastern regions, where the climate is drier, & in the lower part of the forest zone hackberry, pistachio, honeysuckle, & dogwood grow. The animal kingdom is represented by the Syrian bear, wildcat, lynx, & squirrel. Birds—woodcock, robin, warbler, titmouse, và woodpecker—are numerous.

The alpine zone lies above 6,600 feet, with stunted grass providing good summer pastures. The fauna is rich; the abundant birdlife includes the mountain turkey, horned lark, and bearded vulture, while the mountains also harbour the bezoar goat & the mountain sheep, or mouflon.

Finally, the alpine tundra, with its scant cushion plants, covers only limited mountain areas and solitary peaks.


Ethnic groups

Armenians constitute nearly all of the country’s population; they speak Armenian, a distinct branch of the Indo-European language family. The remainder of the population includes Kurds, Russians, and small numbers of Ukrainians, Assyrians, và other groups.