As of the second half of the 19th century, the support given by some influential Armenian organizations to the policies of Czarist Russia aimed at weakening and dividing the Ottoman Empire was considered to be a major security concern. The separatist actions and revolts of these groups and their armed attacks in the areas with predominant Ottoman Muslim population escalated the threat. During the First World War, Armenian radical groups did not hesitate to join forces with the invading Russian army to create an ethnically homogenous Armenia.
While the ARF program aspired to freedom and autonomy within the framework of the empire, the Hunchak program aspired to the complete separation and independence of Turkish Armenia. Consequently, these groups used different tactics to achieve their goals. For example, in order to quickly bring European attention to the Armenian Question, the Hunchaks staged mass demonstrations. Their most notable activities were the Kum Kapu demonstration of July 27, 1890; the placards (Yafta) incident in Anatolia in 1893; and the Sassun Rebellion of August 1894 against the nomadic Kurdish tribes and government tax collectors.