Armenia: 30th anniversary of independence

Armenian flag

Independence Day in Armenia is a public holiday on September 21st each year, and this year commemorates 30 years since independence.

Known as 'Ankakhutyan or', this holiday commemorates independence from the Soviet Union on this day in 1991.

Unlike most countries, Independence Day is not the National Day of Armenia. That is observed on May 28th, on the Day of the First Republic.

Following periods of rule by the Ottoman and Persian empires, most of modern-day Armenia came under Russian rule in the 19th century.

After the collapse of the Russian Empire, Armenia declared its independence in 1918, but then became a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922.

After the failed coup in Moscow in August 1991, a referendum for independence in took place on September 21st 1991, ending nearly 70 years of Soviet rule.

This resulted in the Caucasian country becoming the first non-Baltic republic to secede from the Soviet Union.

Levon Ter-Petrosyan was elected as the first President of the Republic on October 16th 1991.

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