History the Armenian Community of OdessaIn Odessa region Armenians lived from XIII-XIV centuries in the cities of Kiliya and Akkerman (Belgorod - Dniester). In Armenians were Kiliya at the Turkish dominion by considerable part of the population, and then many of them moved to Grigoriopol (Moldova), constructed by Armenians in 1792 and, according to the legend, called in honor of St. Gregory the Enlightener.
At the beginning of the 19th century to Odessa more than 30 move - ti the Armenian families from Grigoriopol. Among the first settlers - Armenians there were fur affairs of the master, dealers and hairdressers. They lived generally in the southern part of the city. Gradually Armenian population grew also in 40 - x years of the XIX Art. the small church was constructed, and in 1880 it is reconstructed and extends. At church was Armenian 4 - x cool school which was opened at the end of 1830 - x - the beginning of 1840 - x years.
Escaping from genocide v1894 - 1896, the part of Armenians settled in Odessa and in a number of the ports of the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. The genocide of 1915 caused a mass flow of refugees.
In the period of I - oh World war of 1914 - 1918 in Odessa the Armenian Committee which was engaged in research of means for assistance to refugees and orphans, voluntary groups was organized. On the sum of donations the Odessa Armenian Committee at the head the given scientist V. E. Tairov won first place in all South of Russia.
B 1918 E. Tairov began to issue the monthly " in Odessa; Armenia and war “ devoted to life of the Armenian people during the military period. In a monthly journal the big group of prominent Russians and Armenian writers - Bitter, Korolenko, Bryusov, Bunin, Tumanyan, Shirvanzade, Marietta Sciaghinjan, etc. was recruited. In 1918 - 1920 under the leadership of V. E. Tairov and the associate professor of the Odessa University V. K. Bagdasaryan left the historian - the literary weekly “ Bulletin of Armenia “ where materials socially - political character were published.
Under the chairmanship of the princess Argutinskoy - Dolgorukova in Odessa the Women`s Armenian Committee for assistance to the refugees needing clothes, means, housing, etc. functioned. With A. K. Unanova and A. E. Popova`s vigorous participation the considerable sums for purchase of clothes and other necessities were collected. By means of V. E. Tairov the special sewing workshop in which local Armenians selflessly worked was open. The linen and clothes sewed by them were distributed to refugees, and also sent to Tiflis and Echmiadzin where the main group of refugees crowded.
At the beginning of the 20th century to Odessa there came the Armenian mobile theaters of Petros of Adamyan and Hovhaness Abelyan, and also a number of outstanding actors, and among them Vagram Papazyan. Short time there lived classics of the Armenian literature Avetik Isaakyan and Alexander Shirvanzade here.
After revolution in the Odessa port worked 8 Armenian teams of loaders. The bulk of shoemakers, masters - shoemakers (about 200 people) was collected in shoe artel of S. Shaumyan which was headed by Caspar Muradyan. On the basis of this artel workers and employees of port created fine collectives of art amateur performance - drama and dancing which appeared on stages port - club and international club.
An important role in life of the Armenian population of the city was played by the Armenian school - a semiletka No. 45 of A. Mikoyan. All objects were taught at school in Armenian, the Ukrainian, Russian and German languages were seriously learned. At school there was a fine group of teachers which directed many efforts that pupils were not only good experts, but also good people.
The Odessa Armenians did not lose the nice traditions also in days of the Great Patriotic War. Loaders, seamen, shoemakers together with the companions - peers Russians, Ukrainians and representatives of other nationalities left on the front.
After war the Armenian diaspora of Odessa decreased since repressions of 1937 - 38 and war were reflected in population of the city.
B ranks of the Odessa intellectuals were joined these years by new names of representatives of the Armenian people. Among them it is necessary to mark out the famous urologist - the rector of the Odessa Medical institute, the doctor of medical sciences, professor, the honored worker of science of Russia and Armenia Ashot Mikhaylovich Gasparyan. At the same institute the department of obstetrics and gynecology was headed by Agaronov (Agaranyan) Ashot Moiseevich, the prominent scientist who created the school of gynecologists. More than 30 - ti years professor Avak Melik - Megrabov, one of the first the written textbook " headed department of physiology at the same institute; Human physiology “ in Ukrainian. In pre-war years a lot of work in the field of balneology was carried out by professor Nalbandov who was one of heads of the Ukrainian Institute of Balneology. At the Odessa medical institute also other our compatriots - the department chair of tuberculosis, professor Nersesyan worked and work, associate professor Tumasyan K. P. is a great gynecologist, etc. The family of doctors Petrosyan is well-known to inhabitants of Odessa. Pyotr Aslanovich, the military physician, is an honored doctor of Ukraine, and his spouse and the son - authoritative cardiologists.
In the oldest higher education institution of the city - the Odessa National University of I. I. Mechnikov the largest scientist, the Doctor of Chemistry, professor Oganes Karapetovich Davtyan who entered science the original works on thermodynamics and electrochemistry worked. “ Fuel elements of Davtyan “ now were widely used in space equipment and other areas of high technologies. By O. K. Davtyan it is written (1962) first in our country the textbook in quantum chemistry, and at the end of 90 - x years - the big monograph on quantum physics. In the Physicist - chemical institute of A. V. Bogatsky NAN of Ukraine the pupil of the Odessa university, the corresponding member of NAN of Ukraine, the honored worker of science and equipment of Ukraine, the Doctor of Chemistry, professor, G. L. Kamalov famous for the researches in the field of the physicist - organic chemistry and a catalysis successfully works. G. L. Kamalov combines the scientific work with teaching at department of organic chemistry of the Odessa university. At this university the department of the mathematical analysis was headed by the famous mathematician Gaydzak Mironovich Mirakyan managing then department of the higher mathematics in the Odessa sea academy. His son, professor M. G. Mirakyan, for many years directed department of mathematics in the Odessa Academy of cold, and now works at the Odessa university. In the same place prominent scientists - Armenians whose names are widely known outside the city and the countries - the head of the department of theoretical physics, professor V. M. Adamyan, the famous philosopher - the sociologist, professor I. M. Popova, the large expert in the field of English phonetics (unfortunately, early died) professor E. A. Nushikyan, and also the manager of department work at Romano`s faculty - the German philology, professor N. R. Grigoryan.
A number of experts - Armenians work also in other higher education institutions of the city - Sea, Polytechnical, Pedagogical and Construction Universities - professor Dzhugaryan T. P., Ambaryan O. A., Nunuparov S. M., Naumkina S. M., etc.
Armenians in Odessa work at many industrial enterprises and in establishments.
In Odessa the famous military leaders and generals of the Soviet Army - the commander of the Odessa military district, the Main Marshall of armored troops of the USSR, the Hero of the Soviet Union Amazasp Hachaturovich Babadzhanyan left about themselves kind memory, the head of department it is rocket - artillery arms the Odessa military district S. S. Minosyants, the chief of the Odessa highest artillery school S. A. Malakyan, the general - the lieutenant H. I. Ivanyan, the general T. V. Dedeoglu and other our compatriots. In 2001, in acknowledgement of merits of the marshal A. H. Babadzhanyan, by several voyenno - patriotic societies and the Odessa society of the Armenian culture it is created “ Society of memory of the marshal A. H. Babadzhanyan “.
To inhabitants of Odessa names of the honored actress of Ukraine, one of the leading soloists of the Odessa opera theater, professor of the Odessa state conservatory Dzhamogortsyan Alice, professor of the same conservatory, the honored worker of culture of Armenia Matsoyan Sergey heading conductor`s office of this authoritative higher education institution are well-known. The performances of chorus and a symphonic orchestra of conservatory prepared by professor Matsoyan made great success in days of celebration in Odessa 1700 - the anniversaries of adoption of Christianity as state religion of Armenia. The singer and the artist the soloist of the Odessa opera theater Stepan Davtyan is popular in the city as, and his spouse Valentina is an actress of Ukrainian musically - drama theater. The considerable mark in the history of the Odessa culture was left by the artist and the sculptor Valiko Gegamyan bequeathing all the creative heritage to the Art museum of Yerevan.
Now in Odessa region Armenians live, mainly, in Odessa, and also to Belgorod - Dniester, Izmail, Ilyichevsk, Kotovsk, Ovidiopole and other districts of the area. On All-Union census of 1989 more than 10000 Armenians, but at present, for obvious reasons lived in area, it is impossible even to estimate approximately the Armenian population of the area owing to a large number of migrants and refugees from various regions of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Karabakh, Chechnya, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, the North Caucasus, etc.
In January, 1990 was created the Odessa society of the Armenian culture. Its organizations the huge role was played by Margarita and Miroslav Torosyan, and also the young astrophysicist from the Odessa university David Mkrtchyan. Associate professor Hiruntsev Eduard Movsesovich was elected the first chairman of the board of Society. In the first years after creation of Society big and important work was carried out by Margarita Torosyan who organized sunday Armenian school for children and adults. An important milestone in life of the Odessa Armenian diaspora was the organization in 1992. A religious Community that put bases for spiritual association of compatriots. It should be noted especially the crucial unifying role and huge work done in Ukraine in 1991 - 2000 by the locum tenens of the Armenian Apostolic Church (then the Head of the Ukrainian Diocese) the Bishop Nathan Oganesyan on a reconstruction of the Armenian communities in all regions of Ukraine and in Odessa, in particular.
In April, 1993 the newly elected joint Board of the Community led by G. L. Kamalov supported by most of members of the Community puts one of the main tasks - construction of the temple. The building staff, led by Eduard Mkrtumyan and his deputy Samvel Tigranyan where Eduard Hachatryan, Garegin Baboyan, Raisa Avanesova, Gagik Shakhazizyan, Ashot Arutyunyan, Yury Chirkinyan and Radik Saakian entered, daily and hourly dealt with various and very difficult issues of the organization of construction of church. Already 13 - go November, 1993 consecration and laying of the base of the temple, and took place on November 26, 1995. The Supreme Patriarch, the Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin the First solemnly consecrated the Odessa Armenian church for the sake of St. Gregory the Enlightener constructed on donations of members of the Odessa Armenian Community. And here, besides the members of a staff of building stated above, it is necessary to mark out with special gratitude Miroslav Torosyan, Vanik Eranosyan, Artak Avetisyan, Suren Sardaryan, Artur Beybutyan, Felix Petrosyan, the Eros of Grigoryan, Eduard Muradyan, Martiros Kocharyan, Hachik Grigoryan, Samvel Minasyan, Kerop Arutyunyan and many, our many other compatriots helping construction of the temple according to the lights and the opportunities and continuing the charitable mission still. It is important that among donors were not only Armenians - gave big help Sergey Soldatov, Vladimir Sopilko, Yury Shvaga and other citizens of Odessa.
Since April, 1998 the head of the Odessa Armenian religious community and the dean is the father Abkar Glchyan, the pupil of Echmiadzinsky spiritual Academy. He carries out big pastoral work with members of the Community, paying special attention to involvement of new parishioners and youth to active public life, imparting the best traditions of the Armenian people. Three years ago at church the youth organization " is created; Gregory the Enlightener`s Grandsons “ the Armenian youth bulletin " is issued; Chorus Virap “ actively works youth literaturno - folklore studio under the leadership of Gelena Pogosyan. It is a lot of forces and time Abgar gives the lake to the mezhkonfessinoalny relations in the city and the area, to opposition to sectarianism and a raskolnichestvo, formation mutually understanding people with various religion.
The joint Board of the Odessa Armenian Community carries out a big complex culturally - educational actions, gives feasible help to persons in need, actively participates in support of compatriots from “ hot spots “ the former USSR, represents the interests of the Armenian diaspora in various city and regional national - cultural and educational public organizations, and also in municipal administrative bodies, makes all efforts for closer and versatile contacts with the historical Homeland, structurally cooperating with Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Ukraine.
In October, 2002 meeting of the Community unanimously elected the chairman of the Joint Government of Shakhazizyan Gagik Babkenovich who is deservedly holding among the compatriots authority intelligent, creatively conceiving, wise, business, weighed and very responsible person. The Board of the Community delivered to one of the main and main objectives for the next years construction of the cultural center in which for a long time and the Odessa Armenian diaspora is in great need.
Without exaggeration it is possible to note that the Odessa Armenian Community is held in respect and authority, both in the city, and among other Armenian communities of Ukraine for the unity, organization, tolerance, loyalty and civic consciousness. It is symbolical that in days of historical visit of the Catholicos Garegin the First to our city, the delegation of the Yerevan city hall which signed the contract of twinning between the capital of Armenia and Odessa was a guest of the Odessa City Council. In July, 2000 reciprocal visit to Yerevan of delegation of Odessa headed by the current mayor R. B. Bodelang took place. In March, 2001, during official visit of the President of Armenia R. S. Kocharyan to Ukraine, at the initiative of the head of Region administration of S. R. Grinevetsky, Odessa was chosen as the meeting place of the President with representatives of a local Armenian Community and the Armenian business community of Ukraine. It is possible to note that, dynamically developing Odessa Armenian Community makes the worthy contribution to cultural development, education and a city economy and area, promoting the social world in so specific polietnichny region of Ukraine.
On material of a historical sketch of the Armenian community of Odessa - “ Armenian diaspora of Odessa “ written by Levon Hachikovich Kalustyan and left in 1999 in " publishing house; Astroprint “ Odessa