British occupation
zone of Russia
Military occupation
1942–1949


Flag

British Occupation zone in green.
Capital Astana
Languages English, Russian, Armenian, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Kazakh
Government Military occupation
Military governors
 •  1942–1945 Victor Fortune
 •  1945–1948 Richard McCreery
 •  1948–1949 Charles Keightley
History
 •  Armistice 27 March 1942
 •  Occupation established 23 May 1942
 •  Independence of Georgia 9 April 1945
 •  Independence of Azerbaijan 30 August 1945
 •  Independence of Armenia 21 September 1945
 •  Federal Republic of Turkestan established 23 May 1949
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Soviet Union
Georgia
Azerbaijan
Armenia
Turkestan

The British zones of occupation consisted of the Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Tajikistan, Turkmenia and Uzbekistan. The waring powers divided the Soviet Union into three occupation zones for administrative purposes. In autumn 1941 Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom had agreed on the zones by the London Protocol. From this zone Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia regained their independence, lost between 1920-21. In 1949 a new nation was formed from the Central Asian republics Turkestan.

History[edit | edit source]

Upon the end of hostilities with the Soviet Union which ended the European War, the victorious powers asserted their joint authority and sovereignty over 'Russia west of the Yenisei', defined as all territories of the USSR which lay west of the Yenisei river. The United Kingdom had declared war independently from the other Axis powers in responce to the Soviet attack on neutral Finland. In conjunction with a German offensive the British Expeditionary Force invaded the Soviet Union around the Arkhangelsk region. Winston Churchill wanted to push south and reach Moscow before the Germans, however fierce resistance by the Red Army prevented this. The BEF advanced along the North Dvina river reaching Shenkursk by December 1941. All further operations were supsended due to Moscow falling to the Germans and the outbreak of war with Japan.

The Soviet Union approached the British and Germans with requests for an armistice. The British were willing to negotiate an end to the war in Russia so they could focus their efforts in the Pacific and Asia. In the autum of 1941 the British signed the London Protocol. This protocal was an agreement that included the British, Germans, and Finns about dividing the USSR into occupation zones after the war. The Armistice of Vologda was signed in March 1942 which triggered the London Protocal. Two months later the BEF withdrew from Northern Russia that had previously been agreed to be occupied by the Wehrmacht. Most of the same units were transported through India and Afghanistan and occupied Soviet Central Asia and Southern Caucasas.

Within the British Zone of Occupation the British re-established the republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. In Central Asia the seperate Soviet republics were initally treated as different zones and carried out different policies toward the population and local governments there. A uniform administration of the Central Asian zones evolved. The complete breakdown of British-German cooperation and joint administration in the Soviet Union over the course of 1948 to 49 lead the British to seek for a strong Central Asia. The five zones of Central Asia were merged to form the Federal Republic of Turkestan in May 1949.

The occupation continued until 5 May 1955, when the Samarkand Treaty (Turkic:Samarqand kelisimi) entered into force. However, upon the creation of the Federal Republic in May 1949, the military governor was replaced by civilian high commissioner, whose powers lay somewhere between those of a governor and those of an ambassador. When the Türkistan Şartı became law, the occupation ended, the various occupation zones ceased to exist, and the high commissioner was replaced by a normal ambassador. Turkestan was also allowed to build a military, and the Qaruwlı küşteri, or armed forces, was established on 12 November 1955.

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