Transcaucasus Map fragment, courtesy of Hrant Mikaelyan blog.

In 1928, the Soviet People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) prepared the first detailed collection of maps of the country, the Atlas of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In its Caucasus maps several notable details are evident.

At the time, the three republics still comprised the Transcaucasus Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. Yet, the map also shows persisting territorial disagreements between them. One notable dispute is east of Goris, where it likely dealt with Armenia seeking to maintain a land link to the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO). Another territorial disagreement is shown between Azerbaijan and Georgia.

NKAO borders are considerably different from what they were in the late 1980s, indicating a number of land swaps and demarcation changes that occurred in the interim.

The area between NKAO and the Soviet Armenian republic, what later became Kelbajar, Lachin and Kubatly districts, comprised one entity, what was then known as Red Kurdistan.