After that, a free union of urban and rural communities based on collective labor and property ownership was to be established on the ruins of the Russian statehood. However, although Bakunin’s and Kropotkin’s ultimate goals were the same, their views on the methods of struggle to achieve these goals were quite different.
While Kropotkin considered himself an anarcho-communist, Bakunin was an anti-communist. In 1869, Bakunin wrote, “Many accuse me of being a Communist. What difference, I am asked, do you make between Communism and collectivism? I hate Communism because it is the negation of liberty and because humanity is for me unthinkable without liberty. I am not a Communist, because Communism concentrates and swallows up in itself for the benefit of the State all the forces of society, because it inevitably leads to the concentration of property in the hands of the State, whereas I want the abolition of the State, the final eradication of the principle of authority and the patronage proper to the State, which under the pretext of moralizing and civilizing men has hitherto only enslaved, persecuted, exploited and corrupted them.” (Komin, 1969:30). Pyotr Kropotkin explained his ideology as follows: “Our Communism is not that of either the Phalanstery or the authoritarian school: it is Anarchist Communism, Communism without government, free Communism. It is a synthesis of the two aims pursued by humanity since the dawn of its history—economic freedom and political freedom.” (Kropotkin, 1917:9-10).
In the early 20th century, political parties in Russia had different views of the country’s future. The Bolsheviks, Social Revolutionaries and Anarchists wanted to abolish the monarchy by armed rebellion, and the Mensheviks by parliamentary means. The Liberals, on the other hand, thought only of restricting autocracy with a constitution. During this period, there were two main groups of anarchists among the masses in Russia: anarcho-communists and anarcho-syndicalists. The anarcho-syndicalists, led by Olga Taratuta and Daniil Novomirsky, attached particular importance to the trade union as a unit of the future industrial communes. They sought to infiltrate trade unions and give the workers’ movement an anarchist orientation (Mintz, 1984:77). The position of individualist anarchism among the masses in Russia was very weak. Mikhail Bakunin also opposed individualist anarchism. Since he was also anti-communist, he proposed anarchy-collectivism instead. (Komin, 1969:31).
The formation of anarchist groups in Azerbaijan
The anarchist movement in Russia gained momentum during the first Russian revolution. The cities where the anarchists held the strongest position were Białystok, Yekaterinoslav and Odessa. Anarchist groups operated in smaller forms in Zhytomyr, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Kyiv, Nizhny Novgorod, Sormovo, Saratov, and Penza. The centers of anarchism in the Caucasus were Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Baku (Krivenkiy, 1998:15). The anarchist movement in the Caucasus manifested itself in two forms during this period: peaceful propaganda, including legitimate newspapers, and expropriation, including small robberies. The Georgian newspaper Orgeiani notes that after the bourgeois revolution in Russia, the ideological propaganda of anarchism was conducted mainly in a peaceful way. In Georgia, anarchists were the strongest in Tbilisi and Kutaisi, where the Social Democrats dominated. The city with the strongest anarchist movement in the Caucasus was Baku. The Baku anarchism was considered the Odessa-type “anarchism”. (Gorev, 1930:67-68).
The anarchist movement did not succeed in Baku at first. The Armenian-Azerbaijani massacres that began in the South Caucasus in 1905 resulted in the strengthening of anarchists in the region. According to some sources, the number of anarchist organizations operating in Baku was estimated at 13-40. 1906-1907 was the period when anarchism was at its peak in Baku. Most of the supporters of the Baku anarchists were workers. They also included some criminal groups, especially beginning from 1906. Different figures are given for the number of anarchists in this period. According to their own magazines, the number of anarchists in Baku surged to 2,800 in three months. (Gorev, 1930:69). The data for 1906 estimates that about 2,800 workers were members of anarchist groups in Balakhany and the Black City. The accuracy of this information is debatable. Police reports say that each of the anarchist organizations had no more than 35 people in it, which, multiplied by the total number of organizations, makes 1,400 people. According to press reports, from 20 to 90 anarchists were arrested in each police operation. Based on these data, it can be concluded that their total number varied from 2,000 to 2,200. But even these figures are unreliable because of the constant arrests and exiles, as well as because many people joined anarchist organizations sporadically. (Bagirova, 1997:98).
Anarchist organizations in Azerbaijan
In 1905, the anarcho-communists established groups Borba (“Struggle”) in the center of Baku and Anarkhiya (“Anarchy”) in the territory of Bibi-Eybat. These organizations strengthened their positions in a short time. At the same time, other anarchist organizations were formed, including Bunt (“Riot”) in Balakhany and The Internationale in Black City. Interestingly, the Anarchy group also included an anti-parliamentary group of social democrats working at one of the Baku factories. On July 1, 1906, a group of anarcho-communists split from Anarchy to form a new organization, Krasnaya Sotnya (“Red Hundred”). The members of Red Hundred explained their departure from Anarchy by the bureaucracy in that organization and the new group’s commitment to more “effective” methods of struggle. The Internationale was another strong group. It owned a printing press, and its members printed and disseminated numerous pamphlets and leaflets in Armenian and Azerbaijani. The local bourgeoisie was very wary of the Internationale, as those anarchists were involved in a series of “expropriations”. (Krivenkiy, 1998:286).
There were also other, smaller anarchist groups: Individualist Anarchists, Black Crow, Anarchist Bombers, Red Banner, Terror, Bread and Freedom, and Azad (“Free”), the anarchist group consisting of Azerbaijanis. Police records show that all members of the anarchist groups, with the exception of Azad, were Russian. But the reality was different. Anarchist organizations included a large number of Armenians (former Hnchakians and Dashnaks who had split from their parties and had even become hostile to them), and Jews (former Social Democrats and Zionists using terrorist methods of struggle). Red Hundred also had eight Georgian members. The average age of members of these organizations was 28–30 (the youngest was 19, and the oldest 35). The Anarchy group was headed by former Hnchakian S. Kalashyants who issued a pamphlet entitled “To Struggle and Anarchy” in early 1906. After Kalashyants, the group was led by Yatsenko, Zakharyants, and Ter-Sarkisov (Bagirova, 1997:99).
Here is Anarchy’s proclamation addressed to the masses, dated June 27, 1906. “The spirit of sacred vengeance lives on. It lives to rid our freedom-loving working people from all parasites and executioners. There is only one language we can use with our oppressors—the language of the bullet and the bomb. And now the vengeful hand of the anarchist worker rises, and for the first time in the life of the Baku proletariat, anti-bourgeois terror is being committed. The parasite Bogdan Dolukhanov, who dared not to meet the demands of the workers, went down. So did the exploiter Skobelev, who dared to refuse us money. So did the spy Dolpenikov, this loyal dog of the state and the bourgeoisie. Violence is all around, and the “rebellious spirit” cannot be content with these acts. Countless are the parasites and tyrants, and the acts of retaliation must also be countless. The bullet spoke again today. Today, the vengeful hand of the anarchist worker has risen again, and the well-known Baku executioner, the assistant to the exploiter Zhghenti, has already been “removed from circulation”. Although these are our first anti-bourgeois and anti-state acts, they can never be the last. The hour of awakening of the working people is nigh, the proletariat will soon free itself from the hands of the socialist statesmen, these reactionary politicians, and will begin to mercilessly exterminate its enemies. Our propaganda is to “remove from circulation” parasites and executioners and thereby fill the hearts of the masses with the revolutionary idea, to raise their rebellious spirit.” (Krivenkiy, 1998:136-137).
Red Hundred was led by Zeints and Stern, who were both shot in September 1906 while trying to escape from prison. This anarchist group played a leading role in the Federation of Baku Anarchist Groups in 1906-1908. The group had a printing press and an explosives laboratory. The proclamation of this group to the people of Baku in 1906 is noteworthy. The proclamation was aimed against those hiding behind the name of anarchism and extorting for personal enrichment, as well as against the Azerbaijani bourgeoisie’s demagogic propaganda on these issues (many were members of the Dashnaktsutyun party, which claimed political supremacy in the region).
The proclamation said: “Comrades and citizens! Recent events, such as expropriation and extortion, have forced us to make this statement. Dolukhanov, Antonov, Israfil Hajiyev and the local press—Baku and Kaspiy newspapers—are currently engaged in this expropriation. Instead of exposing the suffering of the proletariat, Dolukhanov and Co and the local press shed crocodile tears for Zeynalabdin Tagiyev. The newspapers praise the “criminal” Tagiyev, who spent hundreds of thousands of rubles on the construction of a prison, but not a word is said about the working hours of the workers of his factories and their brutal exploitation. Comrades and citizens! Do not believe the lies of the local press. Messrs. Tagiyevs, Musa Katayevs, Dolukhanovs, government and bourgeois thieves, journalists led by expropriators want to obliterate you. You should answer them, “No, Messrs. Tagiyevs, Musa Nagiyevs, Dolukhanovs, Prokopovichs and Israilsons. We have no intention to protect you. Expropriation, extortion and terror from the left will not stop until you stop expropriation and extortion from the right, until you refuse to maintain the capitalist system and support despotic governments.
Long live the revolutionary organization!
Long live revolutionary terror!
Long live the Red Hundred organization!” (Krivenkiy, 1998:254-255-256).
The Azad organization, consisting of Azerbaijanis, was founded in 1906. It was the largest among the small groups existing at the time, such as Riot and Terror. These groups consisted of 5 to 10 people, while Azad had 15 members. Most of the Azerbaijani anarchists in the Azad group were gang members. The group was led by two brothers, Aga Karim and Aga Sangulu. Members of Azad feuded with the local gangs led by Teymur Ashurbeyov. At the end of 1907, both Aga Karim and Teymur Ashurbeyov were arrested, after which Azad ceased to exist, and the remaining members joined other anarchist groups. (Bagirova, 1997:99-100).
Relationship of Azerbaijani anarchists with other parties
Before the first Russian Revolution, Azerbaijani anarchists were mainly allied with the Social Revolutionaries and partly with the Bolsheviks. Especially during this period, the maximalist Social Revolutionaries differed from anarchists ideologically in very small matters. Both anarchists and Social Revolutionaries considered terror to be an important element of revolutionary tactics. Anarchists mainly advocated the use of economic terror against capitalists and landlords, while Social Revolutionaries advocated the use of political terror against members of the government (Mintz, 1984:78).
Founded in October 1905 by Baku Social Revolutionaries Rasul Sharifzade, Mammad Juvarlinsky and Rahim Melikov, the Union adhered to individual terror and anarchist methods of struggle. They did not hesitate to ally themselves with various tribal gangs. (Bagirova, 1997:78). The Baku-based anarchist group Internationale used the Social Revolutionaries’ printing press to print pamphlets, which they disseminated with the epigraph “Neither God nor Master.” Among other things, the pamphlet said: “Stateless communism is the end, social revolution is the means! Only by adopting this point of view we bring the great idea of freedom to life and put an end to the existing economic and political slavery. If the liberals and those in power view slavery and aggression as a historical necessity, then we will expand the movement and continue our struggle until the revolution takes a chronic form.” (Krivenkiy, 1998:190).
As we can see, the idea of a permanent revolution was put forward by the anarcho-communists before Trotsky. Besides, the anarcho-communists used communist slogans like the Bolsheviks. Members of Anarchy and Red Hundred used Bakunin’s slogans “The passion for destruction is also a creative passion” and Maxim Gorky’s “The madness of daring is the wisdom of life” (Bagirova, 1997:101).
Although anarchists were usually allied with the communists during the revolution, there were some confrontations between them. The murder of several anarchists in Poland by members of the Polish Socialist Party with the intent to commit a robbery aggravated the relationship between the two groups. In return, the anarchists killed two communists during clashes in Baku (Gorev, 1930:76-77). Another conflict began after Mir Hasan Movsumov, a member of the Hummat party, distanced himself from the Bolsheviks and, being a supporter of active methods of struggle, established contacts with the anarchists. According to Isa Ashurbeyov, in early June 1907, Movsumov contacted the police and was involved in the arrest of many members of Hummat. Following these accusations, the military wing of the RSDLP decided to execute him. Sultan Majid Efendiyev also notes that the Baku Bolsheviks, who made the decision to kill Movsumov, could not prove the facts of his betrayal (Bagirova, 1997:50-51).
The most powerful enemy of the anarchists in Baku was the Dashnaktsutyun party. During the Armenian-Muslim pogroms of 1905-1906, Dashnak industrialists actively supported the Armenian military groups. However, after the intervention of Russian troops, those military groups began to disintegrate due to lack of funding and poor organization. The now “unemployed” Armenian gangs began looting the local population, including Armenians, in the towns and villages of the South Caucasus. To combat them, the Armenians created the Zelyonaya Sotnya (Green Hundred) group. The group was led by Kanach-Aryuryan. Green Hundred was to protect Dashnak industrialists from both the Armenian gangs and the anarchists (Bagirova, 1997:219).
Nevertheless, the pogroms and the subsequent aggravation of the social situation in Baku significantly strengthened the position of the anarchists. The reason was that Dashnak industrialists appropriated the money intended for the people. During the pogroms between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the South Caucasus, 128 Armenian and 158 Azerbaijani settlements were destroyed. The tsarist government allocated 16 million rubles to the population affected by the pogroms. However, this money was not given directly to the people, but to the management of industrial enterprises instead. Some industrial enterprises in Baku refused to give the state-allocated funds to the workers whose property was damaged during the pogroms. In response, the workers went on strike that lasted two months. The anarchist groups provided financial support to the workers. Since economic terror against shareholders did not yield the desired result, the anarchists assassinated the head of an anonymous company and the manager of the Mantashev factory, I. Dolukhanov.
These two actions were welcomed by the proletarian masses. Dolukhanov was a member of the Dashnaktsutyun party, and after his assassination, the Dashnaks launched a counterattack against the anarchists. During these clashes, the leader of the anarchists, Sarkis Kalashyants, was killed. The Dashnaks also targeted several other anarchist workers for their involvement in the “expropriations.” After all this, the military unit of the anarchists declared war on the Dashnaktsutyun party. As a result of the war between the Dashnaks and the anarchists, 17 Dashnaktsutyun members and 11 anarchist workers were killed. (Qorev, 1930:77).
Anarchist burials were large rallies attended by the local population. According to police records, thousands of people took part in those funerals. During Kalashyants’s funeral, one of the government’s spies was identified and killed by the anarchists (Krivenkiy, 1998:285). The anarchists made an attempt at the life of the British Vice-Consul Urquhart during this period in order to protect the interests of workers. Such terrorist acts forced shareholders to pay their employees. Some members of the Green Hundred group, which Dashnak industrialists hired to protect themselves from the anarchists, stopped obeying the Dashnaks’ orders and joined the anarchists during that war. Most of them joined the Struggle anarchist group (Bagirova, 1997:219).
Anarchists’ methods of struggle against the state
The areas of Baku where the anarchists were the strongest were Bibi-Eybat, Balakhany and Sabunchu. Tens of thousands of workers labored here in arduous conditions (Krivenkiy, 1998:285), and the anarchists wanted to put pressure on the state through the workers. The anarchists in Baku tried to spread their ideology in the masses by disseminating leaflets and pamphlets. Struggle, Anarchy and Red Hundred, who had press organs, stood out in this regard. Leaflets were printed by Gorbunov, Kulikov, Lyubomudrov, Kostina, Pishchik in the Struggle group, and by Zayachenkov and Studnev in the Red Hundred group.
From time to time, the anarchists organized general meetings with the aim of uniting different groups into one organization and developing unified tactics, which, as a rule, failed, both through the fault of the participants themselves and as a result of the police intervention. The meeting of various groups of anarchists on September 11, 1906 became a sensational event. During that meeting at Sevastopol restaurant in Baku, the police and the army cordoned off the area. The police found a large cache of weapons in a nearby house. 38 anarchists were arrested after a fierce firefight, and many escaped. 88 people were also arrested during police raids in and outside the city. Some of the fleeing anarchists went to Batumi, where they joined the local anarchists to form the Batumi Workers’ Syndicate, led by David Rostomashvili (Bagirova, 1997:100).
In 1906, the anarchists began their struggle against the state by methods of terror. First, the mail steamer Tsesarevich of the Caucasus and Mercury Society was hijacked in the Caspian Sea by a group of anarchists. According to official information, the ship was robbed by the maximalist Social Revolutionaries, allies of the anarchists. However, it turned out that the ship was hijacked by anarcho-communists Mdinaradze, Beburashvili, Topuria and Gobiraxashvili, members of Red Hundred. According to the anarchists, the money went to the needs of the organizations and was also used to help the workers. Red Hundred usually used individual terror in their struggle against the state. The most high-profile assassination in the country was that of the Baku Deputy Police Chief Zhghenti. (Krivenkiy, 1998:285).
From 1906 to 1908, Red Hundred also committed assassinations of police officers Zavgorodny and Kudryashov, detective police agents Dolzhnikov and Levin, bailiffs Prokopovich and Richter, prison chief Prokopenko, police officer Pestov, manager at Nobel company Eklund, detective Rachkovsky and others. Involved in these crimes were known anarchists Abram Stern, the Shishkin brothers, the Polyakov brothers, the Slimak brothers, Ter-Galustov, Staroverov and others. In 1906, the anarcho-communists from the Anarchy and Struggle groups assassinated Urbanovich and Slavsky, managers of the Bibi-Eybat oilfields, who were notorious for their cruel treatment of the workers, as well as the provocateur Tavmisyants.
Along with individual terror, economic terror was also practiced. Anarchists threatened industrialists, especially oil magnates, to set fire to oilfields and sabotage the production with explosions in order to force them to comply with the workers’ demands. Between 1906 and 1908, police repeatedly discovered arms depots, laboratories, and explosives workshops belonging to the anarchists. Anarchy, Anarchist Bombers, and Individualist Anarchists became notorious for their acts of economic terror (Bagirova, 1997:102-103).
The weakening and end of the anarchist movement
Gradually, however, the “ideological anarchism” began to weaken in these organizations, and their demands degenerated into plain extortion and robbery. One of the reasons was that the arrested and murdered leaders and members of the organizations were usually replaced by people far removed from the ideology. Still, new anarchist groups emerged during this period. Black Crow, Red Banner, Terror, and others became famous mainly for their armed attacks on offices, shops and foreign companies. The Baku Society of Terrorists and Individualist Anarchists and its leader, Kalinin, stood out for their “exploits” in this area. The growing hostility within the anarchist movement between different groups that stopped acknowledging each other over time and the constant armed conflicts dealt a serious blow to the popularity of these groups with the people. As the popularity of anarchist organizations declined, many workers left those groups.
The propaganda of the Social Democrats (RSDLP) also contributed to the weakening of the anarchists’ reputation. For example, the anarchists’ sending letters of terrorist nature to the Moscow-Caucasus Partnership was met with dissatisfaction by the company’s employees. After discussing the issue, they adopted the following resolution: “We do not recognize such protection as correct from the point of view of the RSDLP and we declare that robbery with the purpose of allegedly helping our injured comrades is nothing more than an intent to provoke us.” The resolution and a letter signed by Bolshevik and Menshevik workers were sent to the editorial office of the Baku newspaper. At the height of the war between the anarchist groups, the Bakinskiy Rabochiy newspaper wrote: “Anacho-communists, Individualist Anarchists, Anarchy, Terror, and others destroyed each other through terror. Today, the leaders of the anarchist groups are the leaders of the many blackmailer gangs operating in Baku.”
The anarchists themselves blamed the Marxists for weakening their influence in Baku, but this was not the case. Both government and liberal press were full of articles and feuilletons exposing the anarchists. The police also fought hard against them. From March 24 to September 5, 1907, at least 16 anarchists were killed and 40 were captured alive in anti-anarchist operations. This figure was about half the total number of the anarchist organizations in Baku at the time. (Krivenkiy, 1998:286). The anarchists who were arrested and sentenced to exile before 1908 were usually released later. Arrests became widespread because of the terrorist attacks in Baku in 1908-1909. In March 1908 alone, 50 members of Red Hundred were arrested and all were exiled to Siberia. The arrests of the members of this group continued until 1909. In 1909, as a result of police operations, almost all members of the Black Crow, Terror and Red Banner groups were arrested. The remaining small groups disintegrated on their own. Thus, the anarchist movement in Azerbaijan was unable to recover after the mass repressions of 1908-1909 and left the political arena (Bagirova, 1997:103-104).
Комин, Владимир (1969) Анархизм в России [Komin, Vladimir (1969) Anarchism in Russia]
Горев, Борис (1930) Анархизм в России: (от Бакунина до Махно) [Gorev, Boris (1930) Anarchism in Russia: (from Bakunin to Makhno)]
Кропоткин, Петр (1917) Безначальный коммунизм и экспроприация [Kropotkin, Pyotr (1917) Beginningless Communism and Expropriation]
Багирова, Ирада (1997) Политические партии и организации Азербайджана в начале ХХ века: 1900-1917 [Bagirova, Irada (1997) Political Parties and Organizations of Azerbaijan at the Beginning of the 20th Century: 1900-1917]
Кривенький, В. В. (1998) Анархисты. Документы и материалы. 1883-1935 гг. т.1. [Krivenkiy, V. V. (1998) Anarchists. Documents and Materials. 1883-1935 Vol.1.]
Минц, Исаак (1984) Непролетарские партии России: урок истории [Mintz, Isaac (1984) Non-Proletarian Parties of Russia: A Lesson in History]
 Phalanstery (phalanstère) is a type of commune based on the ideas of the French socialist Charles Fourier. Such a commune consisted of 1,600–1,800 people working together for mutual benefit.
 You can read more about Kropotkin’s views in his book (http://books.e-heritage.ru/book/10072476)
 Yekaterinoslav. Located in present-day Ukraine, the city was called Dnepropetrovsk until 2016, when it was renamed to Dnipro.
 Expropriation is an economic or forceful deprivation of a social class of its property, or even of its previous social position, usually as a result of coups or revolutions. You can find more information about it in Bakhtiyar Atakishiyev’s book Administrative Law and Glossary. (http://anl.az/el/Kitab/2013/251957.pdf)
 In Odessa-type anarchism, terror was used as the only method of struggle. There were also provocations with the involvement of the police, kidnappings of children of the bourgeoisie for ransom.
 According to other sources, his last name was Keleshyan.