Born in Artvin (today northeastern Turkey), Yakov Zarobyan and his family fled as refugees to Rostov-on-Don. Later, the young Zarobyan began his career as a worker in NEP-era Ukraine. Eventually becoming a Party activist, he became engaged in the affairs of Soviet Armenia and rose to the position of the republic’s First Secretary in 1960. It was from that position that Zarobyan forged greater ties between Soviet Armenia and the Diaspora, and advocated for the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Although his tenure in Armenia was short, it would truly have a lasting impact on the republic. The series is hosted by historian Pietro A. Shakarian and produced by Sona Nersesyan. Illustration by Armine Shahbazyan.