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Karabakh is a historical region extending from the highland part of the Lesser Caucasus in Azerbaijan up to the country between two - the Kura and the Araz rivers. In various periods of history the territory of Karabakh has been referred to in various ways: the Country of Gargars, Uti, Orkhistena, Artsakh, Khachin and etc. The name Karabakh is mentioned in sources beginning from XII c.

Karabakh is one of the most ancient centers of civilization. There are many reasons to believe, that this territory, together with the Mediterranean and Northern Africa, was within the zone of the ancestral home of mankind, that this region was among the firsts, where the process of evolution of the human, as a biosocial and social being took place.1 1,5-2 million years ago the climate of the region was warm and moderately humid. This zone had very rich flora and fauna. Namely in Karabakh in 1969 in the cave of Azikh situated near the present town of Fuzuli, archeologists have found the most ancient traces of life and activity of the human being. The Azikh cave was the most ancient place of stay of the human being in the territory of the former Soviet Union. Archeologists found here the famous fragment of a jaw of a woman living approx. 350-400 thousand years ago.

Named Azikhantrope, the Azikh human, who is defined as belonging to preneandertals, has early apprehended fire, was able to save it for a long period of time, used stone instruments for work and engaged in hunting. No doubt that the founders of the Azikh (also known as Kuruchay) culture already had intelligence and forming speech, and also some elements of spiritual culture. The hiding-place with the bear skulls, «the cult of the skull» in Azikh, points to the presence of the most elementary notions about religion among the inhabitants of this zone. The cuts on one of the skulls, undoubtedly being accounting elements, and even the artwork, testify about some natural supervisions of the inhabitants of Azikh. Already more than 300 thousand years ago the Azikhantropes make the first attempts to construct dwellings for themselves.

The Mustier Period (120-30 thousand years ago) is presented rather well in the Azikh and Taglar caves. A Mustier person had already comprehended the essence of the color and of the color parities. In the inventory of the Taglar cave archeologists found many stores for preparing work instruments and all of these findings are notable for their color gamma.

The Eneolitic period (VI - IV thousand years B.C.) is notable with the establishment of the ancient land planting and cattle breeding economy and settled agriculture in Karabakh.

The Bronze Age is, primarily, characterized by the development of the metal processing with wide use of local ores. Apparently, there was organized an independent metallurgical manufacture in this territory. Crafts developed. The ceramic manufacture occupied an important place. In the mountainous areas semi-nomadic, distant-pasture cattle breeding began to develop and constituted one of the main branches of the economy of this area. In the same time, agriculture intensively developed in the lowland areas, covering the needs of all inhabitants of this region in agricultural production. Thus, the mountainous and lowland parts of Karabakh were closely linked with each other.

Culture of Karabakh of the Bronze and Early Iron Ages is well reflected in the burial monuments. This culture, more known as Khojaly-Gedabey culture, began from II - I Millennium BC. Tumuli (kurgans) of the Khojaly-Gedabey culture, similar to other tumuli in Azerbaijan, are notable with their rich inventories. The deceased are buried with a rather magnificent funeral ritual, with killed slaves, warriors and wives of the leaders of the tribes. The inventory of the tumuli contains working tools and weapons made of stone and metal, ornaments made of gold and other valuable metals, and also a lot of ceramics. Potters of the Khojaly-Gedabey culture have reached a high level of skill in work with ceramics.

The most ancient city type settlement in the territory of the Caucasus - Uzerliktapa also belongs to the Khojaly-Gedabey culture. Uzerliktapa is located on a hill 6-7 m high near the present city of Aghdam.2 The town was settled 3-4 thousand years ago. It is notable that, like in all over Azerbaijan, ancient inhabitants of Karabakh, including Uzerliktapa, established their settlements on the heights. And apparently, it pursued purely military- defense purposes. During tribal wars inhabitants of Uzerliktapa quickly could discover the enemy and took defensive measures. A brick wall led the settlement round. Furthermore, there was dug a ditch around the hill, on which the settlement was situated, and in case of danger, this ditch was filled with water making Uzerliktapa something like an island. Archeological digs have discovered, that a three-meter deep cultural layer was formed in Uzerliktapa throughout the centuries. According to that layer the scientists found out, that people lived in Uzerliktapa for approximately 2 thousand years.

Like in other settlements of the Khojaly-Gedabey culture, ceramic art had achieved a high level of development in Uzerliktapa. But the most important was that people in Uzerliktapa had learned to make vegetative paints, which they used to paint the ceramic products.

In Uzerliktapa archeologists have also found an idol of a woman. This find allows us to understand the religious notions of that time in the region. In general, idols of women make the majority among the idols found in Azerbaijan. Mother was a symbol of the continuation of the mankind and also was considered to be the embodiment of the beginning of life.

1. About the Azikh cave, look for further: Gerasimov I.P., Velichko A.A. and others «Drevneyshiye lyudi v Yevrope I usloviya ix obitaniya» (Most ancient humans in Europe and their the conditions of their inhabitance) The Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences of USSR, 1981, No 10, p.23 (in Russian); also look I. Aliyev «Karabakh in ancient times», History of Azerbaijan Based on the Documents and Publications (from now on the Documents and Publications), Baku 1990 (in Russian);
2. For more details about Uzerliktapa look: Ismailov G.S., Danielyan O.A. «Arxeologicheskiye pamyatniki mezhdurechya Kuruchai I Kendelenchai» (Archeological monuments of the land between the two rivers of Kuruchai and Kendelenchai) Baku 1985 (in Russian) also: Kushnareva K.Kh. «Poseleniya epoxi bronzi na xolme Uzerliktepe okolo Agdama» (The Bronze Age settlement on the Uzerliktapa hill near Aghdam) vv. I-II, Moscow 1959, 1965 (in Russian);

Karabakh has historically developed as one of the biggest cultural centers of Azerbaijan. Among the prominent representatives of science and culture, who lived in the medieval period in Karabakh were Seyid Amir Berdayi, Abubekr Berdayi, classic of the Azeri poetry Mujireddin Beylakani (all lived in X-XII cc.), a prominent philosopher, astronomer and traveler Yousif Muhammed Karabakhgi (?-1645) and others.

After establishment of the Karabakh khanate in the mid XVIII c. the Karabakh culture entered a new era of high cultural renaissance, which continued further in XIX c. with Azerbaijan's incorporation into Russia. High level of the economic development, Karabakh's marvelous nature and geographic situation, have all facilitated Karabakh to be a center of science, poetry and, especially, of the musical culture of Azerbaijan.

The foundation of the contemporary Azeri national poetry school was laid in Karabakh in XVIII c., mainly, due to the literary activity of a great Azeri poet Vagif (1717-1797). Another famous Karabakh poet Kasim bey Zakir (1784-1857) worthily continued and improved Vagif's traditions further.

Beginning from the mid XIX c. the interest to the history if Karabakh increased in the Azeri literature. This fact was reflected in creation of six historical works - «Karabakh-nameh»s. The list of them is as follows:
1. «Karabakh-nameh» (1845) by Mirza Adigezal bey;
2. «History of Karabakh» (1847) by Jamal Javanshir Karabagi;
3. «The rule of Panah khan and Ibrahim Khalil khan in Karabakh and the events of that time» (1854) by Rzakulu bey Mirza Jamal oglu;
4. «Tarihi-Safi» (1856) by Mirza Yousif Karabagi;
5. «History of Karabakh» (1862) by Mir Mehti Khazani;
6. «The political situation of the Karabakh khanate in 1747-1805» (1884) by Ahmed bey Javanshir.

All these works are one of the most valuable documents on the history of Karabakh.

The characteristic feature of the literary environment of Karabakh was that women have always played an important role in literary activities. Among the prominent representatives of the «woman poetry» of Karabakh were Ashuk Peri, Agabeyim aga, Fatma khanum Kemine, who lived in XVII-XVIII cc., and especially Khurshid Banu Natevan (XIXc.).

The town of Shusha played the most important role in development of the Karabakh culture. Being the capital of Karabakh, Shusha consolidated the major creative and intellectual forces of Azerbaijan. Namely in Shusha, for the first time in the history of the Azeri nation, were staged first theatre performances, circus shows, European and Oriental concerts, created first scientific and educational societies, opened typographies, city library, fully secular educational institutions and a number of other cultural and educational institutions. Prominent Azeri poet S. Vurgun said: «...Shusha is called the cradle of music and poetry. Almost all the famous singers and musicians of Azerbaijan are natives of Shusha».

Karabakh musicians in Warsaw, 1912.
sitting (from right to the left): Jabbar Karyaghdy, Davud Safiyarov, Meshadi Mamed Farzaliyev, Kechachi Mamed.
below: Kurban Pirimov and Sasha Oganezashvili.
standing: the owners of the firm «Sport-Rekord».
Another author V.D. Karganov (an Armenian by nationality) wrote: «Shusha provides the Caucasus [«Zakavkazye» in original] with musicians and singers. This is a blissful land of poetry, music and songs, it serves as a conservatoire for the Caucasus, providing new songs and motives for every season, and even for every month». A prominent Russian music historian V.S. Vinogradov expressed an analogous thought, when saying, that «here [i.e. in Shusha] there are plenty of music, here, more than in any other part of Azerbaijan, one can come across the folk songs, dances, singers and musicians. Shusha is a musical center from ancient times and is famous in the whole Caucasus as a inexhaustible spring of national musical talents. «The Shusha musicians» have created the history of the Azeri music and represented it not only in their Motherland, but also in other countries».

Yet in the end of XVIII-beginning of the XIX c. Shusha was famous with such renowned national singers as Yousif Shahsanam oglu, Mirza Husein, Kosa Muhammed bey, Mirza Ismayil and others. Beginning from the second half of XIX c. the Karabakh-Shusha school of vocal arts became even more famous by the names of wonderful folk music and mugham singers (khanendeh), among them the names of the splendid khanendehs Haji Husi, Abdulbagi, J. Karyaghdy, Meshadi Mamed Farzaliyev, Bul-bul, Seyid and Khan Shushinsky, Z. Adigezalov; musicians- Sadikhjan, Kurban Pirimov, Bagdagul oglu Ata and many others.

By the end of XIX c. the Azeri folk music went beyond the framework of the folk festive companies and found its way to the theatre and concert stages. First performances of this kind took place in 1897 in Shusha, mainly, due to the efforts of a prominent representative of the Azeri culture A. Hakverdiyev.

With the beginning of XX c. the «Karabakh spirit» embodied with a special completeness and harmonious perfection in the works of one of the greatest Azeri composers U. Hajibeyov, the author of the first Azeri opera («Leili and Majnun», 1908), and also the author of the national anthem. U.Hajibeyov's works opened way for many other renowned composers and musicians, the majority of whom was either born in Karabakh, or were originally from there. Among them were F. Amirov, Zulfukar and Soltan Hajibeyov's, Niyazi, S. Aleskerov, S. Aleskerov, A. Badalbeyly and many others.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MKAR (Mountainous Karabakh Autonomous Region)

Though, the question of Karabakh's belonging to Azerbaijan was solved, serious disagreements emerged during the discussion of the concrete forms of the autonomy and its borders. To the contrary of the Armenian communists, the Azerbaijanian communists, headed by Narimanov, didn't want to separate Karabakh and to hold ethnic segregation between the Armenians and the Azeris.

On September 26, 1921 the Karabakh issue was discussed again in the Politbureau and Orgbureau of the CC AzCP with participation of Narimanov, Kirov and others. Taking into account the complexity of the socio-political, cultural and economic aspects of the Karabakh issue this session adopted a decision: «To request the Kavburo to review its decision about detaching he Mountainous Karabakh, and not to declare the autonomy until that»6.

The final solution of the issue was delayed till summer 1923. On June 1923 the Presidium of the Central Committee of the AzCP adopted a new decision: «To consider detaching Karabakh, both upland and lowland, to one administrative unit»7. However, such decision didn't satisfy some Armenian communists. They, headed by the chairman of the Azerbaijan Trade-unions Soviet, member of the special commission on Karabakh L.I. Mirzoyan, posed the issue in the Transcaucasian Comittee (Zakkraykom) of the RuCP, which «advised» the Central Committee (CC) of the AzCP to establish autonomy on only the mountainous part of Karabakh. On July 1 the Presidium of the CC AzCP had to change its recent decision and decreed: «To request the AzCEC [i.e. Central Executive Committee] to decree (on behalf of the Presidium) the autonomy of the Mountainous Karabakh, having created from it an Autonomous Karabakh region with center in Khankendi and with the executive committee in the head»8.

At this time, as a result of «cleansing» there was left no influential Azeri-communists, who could hamper this hidden Armenian policy aimed and its division and depersonalization of Azerbaijan. Narimanov was effectively distanced from Azerbaijan after being elected to the CEC of the USSR, where, in fact, he had no real influence to the events in Azerbaijan. All the real power in Azerbaijan was concentrated at the hands of the Russian and Armenian communists (Kirov, Mirzoyan and others).

On July 7, 1923 the special commission on Karabakh hold a session, which decided to create a regional administration with center in Aghdam, consisted of the lowland parts of the Karabakh districts, left from the detachment of the Mountainous Karabakh.9

On the same day, there was published the decree of the CEC of the AzSSR «On establishment of the autonomous region of the Mountainous Karabakh». The decree said: «...Azerbaijan Central Executive Committee of the Soviets decrees:
To create from the Armenian part of the Mountainous Karabakh an autonomous region as a constituent part of the Azerbaijan SSR with center in Khankendi [it was soon renamed Stepanakert, after Stepan Shaumyan, «great Armenian Bolshevik» of the Baku commune];
The organs for administration of the autonomous region will be the regional executive committees (ispolkoms) and the local communes (sovety)»10.

On July 16, 1923 the Presidium of the Central Committee of the AzCP decided to include some lands of the Skobelevsky community and the town of Shusha, inhabited by Azeris, to the MKAR too. Soon afterwards, the special commission defined the border between the mountainous and lowland Karabakh.

From the first years the Mountainous Karabakh Autonomous Region (MKAR) was established, there were conducted considerable reforms in the economic, social and cultural spheres. Along with Ganje and Nakhichevan, Karabakh was defined, as the region of priority tempos for industrialization in the republic. Special attention was paid to the firm observance of the proportionality of the national composition of all the elective organs with the population's ethnic composition in the region. Thus, in 1925-1926 Armenians constituted 89.5 % of the population of MKAR, Azeris- approximately 10%, Russians- approximately 1%, and in the Central Executive Committee Armenians constituted 88%, Azeris- 11%, and Russians- 1%.11

Thus the «Karabakh issue» was solved positively, in favor of the Armenian population of Karabakh, which was granted autonomy within the frontiers, in which it constituted the majority. Speaking in the VI congress of the AzCP in 1924 the head of the Azerbaijan SSR Kirov said: «...We finally have solved this issue [i.e. Karabakh] and, undoubtedly, have done a good work. No doubt, that, in the whole, we will not have to re-decide this issue, again»12.

Despite this, the «Karabakh issue» arose again in autumn 1945, right after the end of the World War II. At that time, the Soviet Armenia's leader Arutyunov brought the issue of transfer of MKAR to Armenia in the highest instance in Moscow (the Central Committee of the All-Union CP). In his letter on this occasion, Arutyunov claimed, that MKAR's incorporation into Armenia «would assist greatly its development and would better the administration of the economy». Arutyunov also argued that with MKAR's incorporation the Armenian SSR would get more specialists from the Karabakh region.

Upon receiving Arutyunov's letter the former secretary of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party Malenkov sent inquiry to Azerbaijan's Soviet leader of the time Baguirov requesting to inform about his opinion on this suggestion from the Armenian communist party. When replying to this inquiry, Baguirov declined all the arguments in Arutyunov's letter, but at the end, diplomatically, expressed his consent to incorporate MKAR into Armenia (excluding the Shusha district, inhabited by Azeris), but with condition that three regions of the Armenian SSR adjacent to Azerbaijan and inhabited mainly by Azeris to be transferred to Azerbaijan.13 But this couldn't satisfy not only the Armenia, but also Moscow. Thus, the Armenian claims didn't succeed this time.

However, after this diplomatic defeat, the Armenian leaders understood what a big obstacle was the Azeri population of Armenia on the way of their expansionist plans. They, with Mikoyan in the head, convinced Stalin of the necessity to allow resettlement of the Armenians from abroad to the Armenian SSR, and by the way, suggested to solve the housing problems that might occur with regard to this process by resettlement of the Azeris from Armenia to the few-populated regions of Azerbaijan.

On December 23, 1947 there was adopted a decree of the CEC of the USSR «On the resettlement of the collective farmers and other Azeris from the Armenian SSR to the Kura-Araz lowland of the Azerbaijan SSR». According to the decree, it was planned to resettle «on voluntary principles» 100.000 people. The Armenian leadership have demonstrated a special zeal in carrying out of this task and resettled more than 150.000 people (according to some other sources approximately 240.000 people) from Armenia to Azerbaijan. Thus, the Armenian leadership achieved its goal to considerably diminish the number of the Azeri population in Armenia. Now, it was important to wait patiently a favorable moment to set forth territorial claims against Azerbaijan again.

These claims were set forth in 1963 as well, when some Armenian political circles, having used the squabbles inside the communist party which came as a result of Khruschev's destalinization policy, gave Moscow a petition on behalf of 2.500 Karabakh Armenians, which claimed, that allegedly, Azerbaijan doesn't pay enough attention to the economic development of the Mountainous Karabakh and hinted towards MKAR's transfer to Armenia. At that time, Moscow not wishing to aggravate the situation and also considering the fact, that many economic indices of the MKAR didn't lag behind, and in some cases, even exceeded the average standards in the republic,14 ignored this message. Nevertheless, violence erupted in the Mountainous Karabakh in 1963 and in 1968, the victims of which became approximately 20 people. But at that time the Soviet power was strong enough to suppress and prevent such actions. In many cases, these events were not reflected even in the local newspapers, and the clashes didn't spread beyond those narrow limits in which they had erupted.

In the second half of the 1980s, with beginning of the Gorbachev's era of Perestroika and Glastnost, «the Karabakh issue» became topical in the Armenian political circles again. In August 1987 the Academy of Sciences of Armenia prepared one hundred thousand-strong petition requesting to annex MKAR and Nakhichevan AR to the Armenian SSR. This petition was followed by meetings in Yerevan, which began in October 1987 and which were hold under demand of «reunification» («Miatsum») of Mountainous Karabakh and Nakhichevan with Armenia. In November of the same year Gorbachev's advisor on the economic affairs A. Aganbekyan when giving an interview to the French newspaper «L'Humanite» expressed «his own point of view», that, allegedly, the Mountainous Karabakh would be soon transferred to Armenia. Thus, the passions over the Karabakh issue continuously grew up.

Soon it became clear that the artificial «union of the brother-peoples»- the USSR is not ready to the impetuous global changes, which passed beyond the limits of Perestroika and slipped away from the central government's control. This «giant with clay legs» couldn't exist with freedom of speech and the dissolution of the USSR got an irrevocable form. As it happened before, in condition of crisis of the existing system, and the lack of clear outlines of a new one, along with the national-liberation movements, the nationalistic tendencies began to grow. Already, by January 1988 the first wave of refugees from Armenia reached the capital of Azerbaijan Baku. Similar to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Armeno-Azeri conflict got more and more irrevocable character...

6. Id. reserves1, inventory 74, folder 123, list 118/ Id. p. 13;
7. Id. reserves 1, inventory 74, folder 132 list 110 / Id. p. 14;
8. Id. reserves 1, inventory 74, folder 132, list 146 / Id. p. 15;
9. Id. reserves 1, inventory 74, folder 132, list 170 / Id.
10. «Baku worker» (Bakinsky rabochi) newspaper July 9, 1923 / Id.
11. «Karabakh» op. cit. [21] chapter VII, p. 138;
12. Id. 137 / also: I. Aliyev Nagorno-Karabakh op. cit.[20] p. 88;
13. [Azerbaijan Communist] Party Archive [PAAF IML] reserves 1, inventory 169, folder 249, lists 3-6a / also: I. Aliyev Nagorno Karabakh p. 89;
With regard to the economic development, the Mountainous Karabakh Autonomous Region (MKAR) really leaved behind many other regions of Azerbaijan, particularly the neighboring regions of Karabakh not included into MKAR.
For example, involvement of the labor resources in the various sectors of economy in 1987 was 74 % in the whole territory of Karabakh (i.e. including the Lachin, Kelbajar and other regions of the Lowland Karabakh), whereas this figure was 85 in only MKAR.
Twelve years have passed since then and still we have not heard the true and complete story of the Khojaly tragedy. It happened so that there was an airport in this town, and many of those who lived in Khojaly did not realize that this will cost them their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
Yes, human race has changed and we used to refer to the society we lived in as "civilized". But is it?
What happened in Khojaly screams "NO!" A human being still exterminates another for a piece of land under the sun and can do it in a most savage way using not only guns, but also his perverted intelligence. The executor chooses his victims and executes them in a cold blooded manner with a purpose: to terrify others still alive, make them run away.
The victims were chosen, the executors were ready. The act started...
"Around 200 bodies were brought into Agdam in the space of four days. Scores of the corpses bore traces of profanation. Doctors on a hospital train in Agdam noted no less than four corpses that had been scalped and one that had been beheaded. ... and one case of live scalping". ("A tragedy whose perpetrators cannot be vindicated. A report by Memorial, the Moscow-based human rights group, on the massive violations of human rights committed in the taking of Khojaly on the night of 25/26 February 1992 by armed units", newspaper Svoboda, 12 June 1992.)"
"I had heard a lot about wars, about the cruelty of the Fascists, but the Armenians were worse, killing five- and six-year-old children, killing innocent civilians", said a French journalist, Jean-Yves Junet, who visited the scene of this mass murder of women, old people, children and defenders of Khojaly. (Khojaly - The Last Day, op. cit.)

"Some children were found with severed ears; the skin had been cut from the left side of an elderly woman's face; and men had been scalped." (In the words of the journalist Chingiz Mustafaev, Khojaly - The Last Day, Baku, Azerbaijan publishing house, 1992)

More quotes

The mere brutality of the massacres in Khojaly was aimed at preparing the grounds for subsequent massive refugee flows, since no one amongst civilians from Agdam, Shusha, Kelbadjar and other districts of Azerbaijan (total of 8 occupied regions) would have preferred to stay and witness another massacre by those, who chose to become executors by their own will. Khojaly was chosen as a stage for a slaughter at the very beginning of the large occupation campaign. Having created panic and fear the executors moved further:
28 February 1992 – Khojaly
8 May 1992 - Shusha
18 May 1992 - Lachin
3 April 1993 - Kelbajar
28 June 1993 - Agdere

23 July 1993 - Agdam
23 August 1993 - Fizuli
26 August 1993 - Djebrail
30 September 1993 - Kubatly
28 October 1993 - Zangelan and Goradiz
"A group of 19 members of the Nukhiyev family from the village of Gorazly in the Fizuli district of Azerbaijan was said to have been taken hostage by ethnic Armenian forces at around 5pm on 2 July 1993. They had gathered for a wedding. Seven members have been released in exchanges since then and one, Vagif Kutais ogly Nukhiyev, is said to have died five to six months ago. The remaining 11 family members - four women, two men and five children, all named above - are reported by their relatives to remain held as hostages on the premises of the hospital in Khankendi (known to the Armenians as Stepanakert). The five children still detained, all girls, are Sevda (born 1980), Leyla (born 1983), Matanat (born 1983), Arzu (born 1986) and Narmina (born 1989)." From the Amnesty International archives

Their advocates were ready too, ready to justify the crime. "Fight for the freedom", they say, no, they shout!
What a cynical notion for a mere act of slaughter! No prosecutions, no war criminals, only real politics and frantic propaganda in a cynical world.
World? What about it? The world replied with the United Nations Security Council resolutions: 822, 853, 874 and 884, which were nothing, but words. The last resolution from 12 November 1993 ended with "Decides to remain actively seized of the matter", but actually it did not. Territories are still occupied, hundreds of thousands are still living in tents in refugee camps under unbearably terrible conditions which no human being would wish to have.
How about the "Big Brother?" Yes, they were there, in Khojaly, 366th, notoriously known as the 666th, Motorized Infantry Brigade of the Russian Interior Ministry forces[3].
What about the democratic of all? They too came forward, but with the Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, barring US humanitarian aid to the needy refugees, and penalizing victims for being victims.
Yes, twelve years have passed, but still children of Khojaly are dying, this time in the refugee camps, not in a slaughter field.

"Every year hundreds of elderly people, women and children die in refugee camps as a result of diseases and epidemics." From the UN archives

Still no one has ever been prosecuted for the crimes committed in Khojaly.
14. MKAR had got 36% of the industrial potential for producing consumer goods, albeit the autonomous region occupied only 25% of the territory of the whole Karabakh region and only 21% of the Karabakh population lived in MKAR (of them 25% Azeris


After sovetization of Azerbaijan, Armenia, which remained independent for some time, didn't stop its attempts to annex Karabakh and other western regions of Azerbaijan. The XI Red Army was engaged more in disarmament of Azeris and reprisals over the protesters against the Bolshevik violence, rather than in protecting the civilian population from dashnaks. In summer 1920, the dashnak troops having benefited from the extremely difficult political situation that arose in Azerbaijan as a result of anti-Bolshevik riots in a number of regions, including Karabakh, attacked Zangezur, Karabakh, Nakhichevan and southern parts of the Kazakh district again. Self-defence forces with support of the XI Red Army expelled them only by the end of 1920. However, the most part of Zangezur remained under occupation. The head of the Azerbaijan SSR (chairman of the Sovnarkom) N. Narimanov informed in his telegram to Moscow in June 1920: «...As to the allegedly contested Zangezur and Karabakh, which are already part of the Soviet Azerbaijan, we categorically state, that these territories are indisputable and must remain within Azerbaijan in the future»1. Another telegram sent by Orjonikidze, the chairman of the Kavburo (the Caucasus section) of the Russian Communist Party (RCP(b)) and addressed to Lenin and to the minister (narkom) of foreign affairs of the Soviet Russia Chicherin informed: «the Soviet authority is declared in Karabakh and Zangezur and both mentioned territories consider themselves a part of the Azerbaijan Soviet Republic»2.

With sovetization of Armenia on November 30, 1920 the hostilities between the parties ended but the territorial claims of Armenia to Azerbaijan gained further momentum. The December 1, 1920 declaration of the head of the Azerbaijanian Soviet leader Narimanov proclaimed that «from now on no territorial disputes can be a reason for bloodshed of two centuries-long neighboring peoples: Armenians and Muslims»3 [i.e. Azeris]. According to the same declaration, «as a jest of revolutionary solidarity» under pressure from Moscow, Zangezur was transferred to Armenia. Azerbaijan lost more than 10 thousand km2 of its territory and direct link with Nakhichevan, while Armenia increased its own territory as much as twice.

Armenia laid claims also to Nakhichevan, which was occupied by the Turkish troops at that time. However, according to the Moscow Treaty signed in 1921, Turkey withdrew its troops from Nakhichevan only with condition that Nakhichevan remained a part of Azerbaijan. But Armenian territorial clams didn't ended yet.

The communist leadership of Armenia demanded transfer of the mountainous part of Karabakh to Armenia and conducting a territorial demarcation based, exceptionally, on the national division. On June 27, 1921 the joint session of the Politbureau and Orgbureau of the Central Committee of the Azerbaijan Communist Party (CC AzCP) having considered these demands made a decision stating that «the suggestion to separate the territories with Armenian and Turk [i.e. Azeri] population, respectively, to Armenia and Azerbaijan from the view of the administrative and economic consider unacceptable» and decreed: {[The only solution to the issue can be broad involvement of the Armenian and the Muslim masses to the process of the Soviet reconstruction»4. The final solution of this issue was to be discussed in the plenum of the Kavburo.

On July 4, 1921 the session of the Kavburo began discussing the «Karabakh issue». In the session participated the members of the Kavburo Orjonikidze, Makharadze, Narimanov, Kirov, Myasnikov, Nazaretyan, Figatner and the member of the Central Committee of the RuCP, the commissar on the nationalities Stalin. The eighth member of the Kavburo Orakhelashvili was absent. Kavburo had to decide whether to leave Karabakh within Azerbaijan or whether to transfer it to Armenia. Narimanov, Makharadze and Nazaretyan voted in favor of Karabakh remaining a part of Azerbaijan; Orjonikidze, Myasnikov, Kirov and Figatner voted against this decision. Nazaretyan also joined the last four, when voting for conducting a plebiscite only among Armenians. According to this voting the Kavburo adopted a decision «On inclusion of the Mountainous Karabakh to the Armenian SSR». Thus, the Mountainous Karabakh was transferred to Armenia and considered its territory for almost 24 hours. But discussion didn't end here. This Kavburo decision triggered the head of the Azerbaijan SSR Narimanov's decisive protest. Having pointed out that this decision is fraught with political instability in the region, he proved it to be unjustified and demanded the transfer of the discussion to the Central Committee of the RuCP- the highest instance of the Soviet government.

Narimanov's position played a crucial role in further events. On July 5 the session returned to the discussion of the «Karabakh issue». The new session made decision: «Proceeding from the necessity of national peace between the Muslims and Armenians, and economic links of the upland and lowland Karabakh, its constant link with Azerbaijan, to leave the Mountainous Karabakh within the Azerbaijan SSR, having granted it a broad regional autonomy with the administrative center in the town of Shusha included in the autonomous region»5. Definition of the concrete questions and forms of the autonomy was entrusted to the CC AzCP, stipulated with its consequent approval in the Kavburo.

Today the Armenian historians write a lot that, ostensibly, the Kavburo decided to «annex» Karabakh to Azerbaijan «under pressure from Stalin». This is a substantial mistake, since the question was not about annexing Karabakh to Azerbaijan at all. The question was posed as following: to leave Karabakh within Azerbaijan or to transfer it to Armenia, and, as seen from the Kavburo's decision, it voted to «leave» (and not to «annex») Karabakh within Azerbaijan.

As to the Kavburo's first decision on July 4, it should be noted that it gave no argument in favor of Karabakh's transfer to Armenia. Most probably, the Kavburo members voting in favor of Karabakh's transfer to Armenia were guided by two arguments: firstly, Armenians constituted the majority in Karabakh's mountainous part, and secondly, after war with Turkey in September 1920 the territory of Armenia considerably decreased and was not more than 10 thousand km2. Some people even noted, that by the size of its territory and population Armenia was too small to fit under the notion of not only a state, but even of a union republic. Thus some soviet leaders thought about expanding the territory of Armenia on the expense of the Azeri lands of Zangezur, eastern bank of the Gekcha lake (present-day Sevan), Karabakh and Nakhichevan. And as history showed, Armenians considerably succeeded in achieving these goals.

And finally, as to Stalin and his alleged role in the Kavburo, it's not a secret that he had sympathized neither Azerbaijan, nor its leader Narimanov. Simply, he, as well as other members of the Kavburo, didn't want prolongation of the discussion and aggravation of the situation over Karabakh. Transfer of the discussion of the Karabakh problem to Moscow to the Central Committee wouldn't have satisfied many members of the Kavburo, as well as Stalin, who, at that time, had been continuously criticized for his erroneous positions regarding the national problems. All of these, as well as Narimanov's resolute position, predetermined the further discussion of the Karabakh issue.

1. Azerbaijan Central State Archive, reserves 410, inventory 2, folder (delo) 69, lists 181-187 / also: I Aliyev «Nagorno Karabakh» op cit. [20] p. 80;
2. Archive of the MFA of USSR, folder (delo) 54882, list 20 / also: Id. p. 81;
3. The «Communist» newspaper (in Azerbaijan) No 178, December 2, 1920;
4. [Azerbaijan Communist] Party Archive [PAAF IML] reserve 1, inventory 74, folder 123, list 64 / also: J. B. Kouliyev «Regarding the history of the establishment of the MKAR» (Is istorii obrazovaniya NKAO- in Russian) Information bulletin of the Azerbaijan SSR Academy of Sciences (series of history, philosophy and law) No 3, p. 12, 1973;
5. Id. reserves 1, inventory 125, folder 107, list 107 / Id. p. 12;
Mass human rights violation during the deportation of Azerbaijanis from Armenia as well as from Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenian military forces.

The policy of genocide and «ethnic cleansing» that Armenia carries out in relation to Azerbaijani people was reflected in active operations of Armenian separatists, since 1988, which are supported by powerful Armenian lobbies in major Western countries.

Refugee camp
During the period from 1988 till 1989 about 40,897 families (total: 185,519 people) of Azerbaijanis and Kurds were deported from their places of permanent residence in Armenia. 218 Azerbaijanians were killed during the deportation, 45 of them froze to death, trying to escape in the mountains, 43 died as a result of cruel beating, 34 were killed after cruel tortures, 19 were burned, 16 were shot, 13 persons died of heart attacks after tortures; 6 were killed by Armenian doctors in hospitals, 2 were drowned; 1 person was hung, 2 committed suicide in a protest against tortures, 1 was killed after he was subjected to electric shock-treatment, 1 was beheaded, 18 were killed after being run over by car, 5 persons, being at the hospital, were reported lost and 12 were reported missing.

Obviously there is no hope that those who are missing are still alive. Most of the killed are children, women and elderly people.

21 children died at that period, three of them were under 1 year old. Nabiyeva Zohra, a 7-year-old girl, was burned. A 3-year-old boy Rahman Mamedov was denied medical care, as a result of which he died. Seven children froze to death; two died after cruel beating, 2 more were shot. A 3-year-old Elman Aliyev died after heart attack. Four children died not enduring the tortures, 3 children were run over by a car.

28 women were killed in Armenia. Seven of them were beaten to death, 5 were frozen, 4 died of tortures, 3 died for infarct, 2 died under wheels of the car, 1 was, beheaded, 1 woman was throttled in the water, 1 was burned. Two women died as a result of gunshot wound denied medical care, and doctors at the hospital killed 1. Novruzova Banovsha was reported missing. Taking into account the fact that there has been no news from her for nearly 6 years, she is supposed to be dead.

During the deportations, from Armenia, 60 elderly persons died. There are 40 men and 20 women among them. Most of them died as a result of torture, bullet wounds, heart attacks beatings, and frostbite's. The following cases are most remarkable:

Aliyeva Ciulsum (76 years old), Isgandarova Khanum (73 years old), Alivev Mehrali (68 years old), Bairamov Garih (67 years old) and Huseynova Leila (63 years old) were burned. The doctor at the hospital killed Hassan Ellazov, of 68 years old. The crudest acts of brutality were marked in the Ghukark region, 22 persons were killed there and 13 among them were burned to death.

Hundreds of centuries old Azerbaijani monuments on the territory of Armenia, where Azerbaijanis had lived in 89 populated areas inhabiting 171 villages were either destroyed or Armenized.

Azerbaijan received approximately 50 thousand Meskhetian Turks, refugees from the Central Asia. The total amount of damages caused to people, who'd left their homes in Armenia and Central Asia, is 255 billion roubles.

In order to obliterate from history the evidence of Azerbaijanians' residence in Armenia, about 94 villages were renamed on Armenian territory by a Supreme Soviet Decree of the Republic of Armenia, dated April 9, 1991. Having realized its plan of «ethnic cleansing», Armenian politicians have begun to put into practice the next phase that directed at the immediate seizure by force of Azerbaijani territories.

As a result of this large-scale aggression by the Armenians part about 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan have been annexed by the regular Armenian military units and those of Mountainous Karabakh Armenians and foreign hirelings. More than 700 populated centers are plundered, destroyed and burned, and only 170 of them are situated in Mountainous Karabakh.

The total number of the refugees and displaced persons is over 1 million people (about 200 thousand are Azerbaijanians, exiled from Armenia; 50 thousand are originally from Central Asia - Meskhet Turks). The number of those who left their places of residence as a result of the capture of the part of the territory of Azerbaijan is about 800.000 people.

Considerable areas of cultivated land have become unfit for agricultural purposes. More than 4.000 of industrial objects, commercial enterprises, and public catering centers, about 80.000 places of residence, more than 2.000 objects of social and cultural purpose, including 541 secondary schools, 230 pre-school and 250 medical institutions have been destroyed. The total number of women, old men and children killed has reached 16.000 people the number of wounded is over 30,000 people, more than 50.000 people became disabled, the number of those taken into hostage and missing is 4.000.

Among those who were taken hostages there are 320 women, 73 of them are old aged (older than 61 years old) and 71 children, who are kept in different places, many were committed to custody in Khankendi and 1 in the Ministry of National Security of Armenia, and private houses. The price for one hostage was about 3 to 15 mln. roubles. The price for corpses that Armenia selled, reached 1 mln. roubles and more. In this connection, we would like to quote some facts of murders, capture and keeping of hostages. One of the most monstrous crimes against Azerbaijani people is the tragedy in Khojaly, a town that was seized by Armenian troops in February 1992. On February 25 and 26 Armenian Army by support of the 336th guards regiment of the Russian Federation has destroyed Azerbaijani town Khojaly in Karabakh. Inhabitants of the town have pressed to the fighting infantry machines and tanks. Old men, women and children have been fired at close, pulled out their nails, put out their eyes and cut out of their ears. Only, sole their guilt was on being them Azerbaijanians. Thousands of people of Khojaly have been mercilessly killed or taken into hostage.

Khojaly - Azerbaijan settlement, occupying a strategically location in roads Aghdam-Shusha, Khankendi(Stepanakert)-Askeran. Population of the town: more than 7.000 according to growth of population it became as town. Here found shelter refugees from Uzbekistan-Meskhetian Turks and Azerbaijani refugees from Armenia.

The number of inhabitants of Khojaly, killed and frozen to death is about 1.000 people, as a result of barbarous actions of vandalism. Among the killed are many children from 2 to 15 years old, women and old men. The position of the corpses demonstrates the fact that people were killed cruelly without compassion.

Some were killed one at a time, after being led away, and some - in family groups, all at once. Several corpses showed the sign of several wounds, one of which was in the head. It points to the fact that the wounded were finished off. A number of the children killed were found with the cut-off ears; the skin from the left side of the face of one old woman was cut out, men were scalped. According to the testimony of one inhabitant of Khojaly Sarya Talibova, about 4 Meskhet Turks, refu-gees from the Central Asia and 3 Azerbaijanis were beheaded, their children were tortured and killed under their very eyes, the eyes of 2 Azerbaijanis in the National Army's uniform were put out by means of screwdriver. According to the inhabitants of Khojaly, who returned from captivity, they were regularly subjected to brutal tortures and beatings, a number of woman and minors were raped.

A lot of Russian and western newspapers and magazines wrote about crimes of Armenian aggressors from the 1-th till the 16-th of March 1992. Among them are: «Sunday Times», «Times», «Guardian», «Financial Times», «Le Monde», «Le Croix», «Valeurs Actuels», «Corriera della Serra», «Time», «Newsweek», «Izvestiya», «Pravda», «Nezavisimuva gazeta», etc.

On March 31, 1993, when Armenian troops were taking the city of Kelbajar, 11 persons, trying to break away from town, were captured as hostages. 7 women were among them, 4 of them were wounded. Karimova Samaya who was born in 1967, committed suicide, since she couldn't bear the outrage. Her 2-year-old daughter left after her, was bought back for 1,5 mln. roubles. But the child, who had the head injury after she spent 4 months in prison, lost its eyesight. As for the others, there's no news about them. According to our information, they are kept in the city of Khankendi. On July 2, 1993, the family of Nuriyev, the inhabitants of Fizuli, (19 persons on the whole), was taken into hostage.

Among them are: 8 women, 2 of them are of old age and 7 children. On the part of International Read Cross Committee, 47 people, kept in Khankendi, were discovered. Among them are: 8 women, 7 persons of old age and 10 children, also 10-month-old child Ilyasov Babek, helped out later of the Armenian captivity with the help of IRCC. According to medical expertise, he wasn't rendered help in captivity after getting severe shellburst shrapnel eye wound, as a result of that it's impossible now to preserve the child's eyesight.

In the, time of seizure of Aghdam by the Armenian troops, passenger-car, with help of which, the family of Aliyev, including 6 persons, trying to get away from the town was fired on. Among them were 2 women; one of them is of old age, old man and 2 children - 2 and 3 years old. The old man and the child were killed while they were under the fire. The rest of them got the wounds of different degree. Aliyev Shovghi, the 3-year-old boy, got the shoulder trauma. After medical interference of Armenian doctors in Khankendi the boys shoulder middle third was extracted. Later on, with the efforts of IRCC, his badly wounded mother and grandmother were returned to their land. According to the results of medical investigation in Baku, doctors said that there was no necessity in extracting his bone and his wound didn't need such medical actions. According to the opinion of specialists, such gunshot wounds don't require extraction of large fragments that are bones of growth zone.

In a majority of world press publications, concerning the transplantation of human organs, Armenia is the principal supplier of this kind of «goods». One can't help mentioning the fact that this child has become a victim of a criminal business. It's wrong to except that this kind of business is one of the principal reason for taking the hostages in a mass order on occupied Azerbaijanian lands. Numerous facts point to the use of the Azerbaijani captives. According to the brief extract from the case history of Mamedov Mayil, born in October 4, 1971, he was taken by the Armenian combatants into captivity in the district of Khankendi and imprisoned, where he had tried systematic derisions, was beaten with the gun and the hammer, the result of it was fracture of left foot bones, left forearm bones and shoulder bones. On October 7, 1992 he was put a scorching metal cross on the chest. In February, 1993 he was intravenously injected violently some kind of fluid, after that the symptoms of allergy appeared on his body.

Mamedov Mayil was set free on May 9, 1993 in exchange with Armenian captive combatant.

According to medical conclusion, Mamedov Abdulazim, 27-year-old, was wounded in the left leg and was taken in Armenian combatant's captivity. Besides, he had gunshot punctured wound of left shank tissues and numerous shrapnel injures. According to Mamedov's words, after one-hour interrogation, he and 8 soldiers of National Army, taken in captivity with him, began to be beaten with rubber cudgel on the head, back, hands and then they made an injection in the neck with some kind of medicine, and after it he was imprisoned.

Since then he was daily dragged out on the yard and was beaten with the soldier boots' heels on the head and with rubber cudgels. Once, having tired his wound, they drew the bloody cross on his forehead. Under the temperature below zero he was doused with cold water in his cell, on New Year day. Also took place the facts of hounding of the watchdogs on him, after that numerous scratches, abrasions and bites left its traces on his body. They almost didn't give him any food and made him injections with drugs daily, and he fainted momentarily.

According to Mamedov's words, before the captivity his weight was 79 kilos, and after the release - 55 kilos. But majority of the captives are exterminated physically. According to the conclusions of forensic medical expertise, the following injures are found on the corpse of Atakishiyev F. R.:

a) pressed fracture of the coronal bone, internal fracture of both the forearm and shank bones, fractures of nose bones, traumatic extraction of the incisive of the both jaws, 61 internal bruises of the head, trunk and extremities;
b) stab punctured stomach wound with the internal organs' injures, 8 dotted wounds (i.e. traces of injections) of the backside of the neck and left hand injures;
c) 2 punctured gunshot wounds of thigh.

The injures, indicated in (a) group, are made with blunt tools. The wounds of hand and forearm might have appeared because of dogs' bites.

The injures, numerated in (b) group, are made with prickly tools and those in the (c) group-with the firearms shots.

In the war that was imposed on Azerbaijan, had already died 9 representatives of mass media. 4 of them are: Osman Mirzayev, Press Secretary of President of the Azerbaijani Republic, Ali Mustafayev - TV journalist, Fakhraddin Shahbazov - TV cameraman, Arif Huseyn-zadeh - the cameraman's assistant, had died in an air catastrophe of Armenian terrorists' rocket.

Armenian snipers killed five journalists. They are:
Chingiz Mustafayev, TV cameraman (national hero, posthumously) (Azerbaijan)
Salatin Askerova, the reporter of a newspaper «Molodezh Azerbaijana» (Azerbaijan)
Leonid Lazarevitch, the special correspondent of «Mayak» radio station (Russia)
Valery Dementyev, the editor of a newspaper «Milostivye gosudari» (Russia)
Kazimaga Karimov, the journalist (Azerbaijan)

Tragedy of Hodjali city

Over the night from February 25 to 26, 1992 the Armenian armed forces implemented the capture of the Khojali city with support of hard equipment and the personnel of the infantry guards regiment ¹ 366 the of former Soviet Union.

The massed firing with using the artillery weapon, hard military equipment, was began in the evening of February 25 and preceded assault of the city.

As a result of this the fire began in the city and by 5 o’clock in the morning the whole city was in fire. The population (about 2500 people) remained in the city was forced to leave their houses with the hope to find the way to Aghdam - the district center and the nearest place mainly populated by Azerbaijanis.

But these plans have failed. The Armenian armed forces with the military support of the infantry guards regiment destroyed Khojali city and with particular brutality implemented carnage over the peaceful population. As a result:

· 613 people were killed, among them, 63 children, 106 women, 70 elders.

· 8 families were completely killed.

· 25 children lost both parents.

· 130 children lost one of the parents.

· 487 people were wounded, including 76 children

· 1275 people were hostages.

· 150 people were missing

· The damage done to both state and private property estimated 5 billion robles (according to the prices of 01.04.92)

These figures have indicate the results of the most bloody tragedy of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which began on February, 1988 with illegal demands of ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of Azerbaijan SSR to join to Armenia SSR that was provoked by direct support of ruling circles of the Armenian SSR, consent and inactivity of the central authorities of the Soviet Union.

Khojali the main target

Khojali assault by the Armenian armed forces was predetermined by a strategic location of the city. The city with population of 7000 people is situated 10 kilometers to South-East from Khankendi. Khojali is situated on the route Aghdam-Shusha, Askeran-Khankendi and has the sole airport, in the Nagorno-Karabakh.

Khojali is the historical place and the memorials of ancient history have still remained here. The memorials of Khojali-Kedabek culture of XIV-VII centuries B.C. are near Khojali village. The funeral memorials - the stone boxes, barrows and necropolis of the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age, as well as architectural memorials – round crypt (1356-1357) and mausoleum (XIV century) were found here. The various stone, bronze, bone adornment, the ceramics household goods were found during the archeological excavations. The name of the Assyrian king Adadnerari (807-788 cc. B.C.) was written on one of the beads found in Khojali.

The population was engaged in ranching, wine-growing, beekeeping and grain farming. There were the textile fabrics, 2 secondary schools and 2 partial secondary schools in the city.

In connection with the events of the last years 54 turk-meskhets families - refugees from Fergana (Uzbekistan), as well as Azerbaijanis expatriated from Armenia have taken refuge in this city. Because of that the construction of branches of big industrial enterprises of Azerbaijan, residential buildings and other sites were developed.

Later the Armenian side admitted that one of the first goals of Armenian armed forces was the liquidation of Khojali base to open the corridor connecting Askeran village and Stepanakert across the city and unblocking of the sole airport, which was under the control of the Azerbaijanis.

Pay attention to the phrase “the liquidation of the Khojali base”. These words, which are also heard today, have disclose the motives of mass extirpation of children and women, motives of bloody massacre implemented by Armenians.

Chronicle of the tragedy

Khojali was under blockade since October, 1991. On October, 30 the ground traffic was cut off and helicopter was the only way of transportation. The last civilian helicopter arrived in Khojali on January, 28 and after the civilian helicopter was brought down over Shusha city, as a result of which 40 people died, the helicopter traffic also stopped its functioning. Beginning from January, 2 there was no electricity in the city. The city lived due to the courage of the population and the heroism of its defenders. Defense of the city was organized by the local guard forces, militia and fighters of the National Army mainly armed by submachine guns.

From the second part of February Khojali was encircled by the Armenian armed forces and subjected to the daily artillery and the hard military equipment firing, the attack attempts of the Armenian side.

Preparation for Khojali attack began in the evening of February, 25 when the military equipment of regiment No 366 began to take positions around the city. The assault of the city began by two-hour firing of tanks, armored cars and guns with the missile Alazan. Khojali was blocked from three sides and the people tried to escape in Askeran direction. But very soon they understood that it was the ominous trap. Near Nakhchivanik village the Armenian armed forces opened the fire on the unarmed people. Just here, in Askeran-Nakhchevanik shallow gully many of children and women, elders, frostbitten and weaken in the snow of forests and mountain passes became the victims of the brutality of the Armenian armed forces.

These events took place when the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ali Akbar Vilayati had visited the region with the mediatory mission. On February, 25 he met with the leadership of Azerbaijan in Baku and on February, 27 he planned to go to the Karabakh, and then to Armenia. In connection with this according to the agreement of the both parts three days cease fire was declared from February, 27 till March, 1, but it was also ignored by the Armenian side. It was also happened on February, 12 when the mission of the Council of Security and Cooperation in Europe arrived in Karabakh with the aim to acquaint and analyse the situation in the conflict zone and the possibilities of its settlement, and then it was planned to go to Yerevan and Baku. Exactly on February, 12 the Armenian extremists carried out the capture of Malibeyli and Gushchular villages of Shusha district, as a result of which the villages were completely destroyed and burnt. Only in Malibeyli about 50 people were killed, wounded and taken as hostages.

Those days the Azerbaijani forces couldn’t burst through to help the population of Khojali, and there was also no ability to take away the dead bodies. At the same time special groups of Armenians in white camouflage cloaks using helicopters searched the people in the forests: the groups of people who came out the forest were shot or taken as hostages and subjected to tortures.

On February, 28 the group of local journalists could reach the place of massacre of Azerbaijanis by two helicopters. Awful sight shocked everybody the field was covered by dead bodies. Despite the convoy of the second helicopter they could take only 4 dead bodies because of firing of the helicopters by the Armenian terrorists. On March, 1 when the group of foreign and local journalists could come to this place, the sight that they saw was more terrible. The dead bodies were mutilated. Many of them had of the bullet wounds to head and this showed that the wounded people were finished. After the medical inspection of dead bodies it was determined that they were scalped, their ears and other organs were cut off, the eyes were put out, their extremities were chopped off, they have numerous gun wounds, many of them pressed by hard equipment.

Those days foreign newspapers wrote:

Crual L Eveneman magazine (Paris), March 25, 1992: The Armenians attacked Khojali district. The whole world became the witness of the disfigured dead bodies. Azeris speak about thousand killed people.

Sunday Times newspaper (London), March 1, 1992: Armenian soldiers annihilated the hundred families.

Financial times newspaper (London), March 9, 1992: Armenains shot down the column of refugees, fled to Aghdam. The Azerbaijani side counted up about 1200 dead bodies…

The cameraman from Lebanon confirmed that the rich dashnak community of his country has sent the weapon and people to Karabakh.

Times newspaper (London), March 4, 1992: Many people were mutilated, and it was remained only the head of one little girl

Izvestiya newspaper (Moscow), March 4, 1992: Camcoder showed the kids with the cut off ears. One old woman were cut off the half of her face. The men were scalped

Financial Times, March 14, 1992: General Polyakov said 103 Armenian servicemen from regiment No 366 stayed in Nagorni Karabakh.

Le Mond newspaper (Paris), March 14, 1992: The foreign journalists in Aghdam saw the women and three scalped children with the pulled off nails among the killed people. This is not Azerbaijani propaganda, but reality

Izvestiya newspaper, March 13, 1992:

Major Leonid Kravets: I saw about hundred dead bodies on the hill. One little boy was without head. Everywhere were the dead bodies of women, children, elders killed with the particular brutality.

Valer actuel magazine (Paris), March 14, 1992: In this autonomous region Armenian armed forces together with the people who are natives of Near East have the most modern military equipment, including the helicopters. ASALA has military bases and ammunition depots in Syria and Lebanon. Armenians annihilated Azerbaijanis of Karabakh, implemented bloody massacre in more than 100 Moslem villages.

Journalist of British TV company Funt man news R. Patrick who visited the place of tragedy: Crime in Khojali can not be justified in public opinion.

From the report of Memorial Human Rights Watch Center


Since autumn of 1991 Khojali has been practically blocked by Armenian armed formations and after withdrawal of internal troops from Nagorno Karabakh, full blockade of Khojali was imposed. Beginning from January, 1992 the electrical energy transfer to Khojali was stopped. Part of inhabitants left the blocked city, however, despite insistent requests of the head of the executive power of Khojali city E.Mamadov, the total evacuation of the peaceful population was not organized.

On February, 25 the Armenian armed formations began the assault of Khojali.

Participants of the assault

Units of Artsakh National Liberation Army participated in the assault using the armored equipment - armored troop-carriers, combat infantry cars and tanks.

Course of assault

The Artillery shelling of Khojali began about 11 p.m. on February, 25. Barracks located in housing estate and outposts were destroyed first of all. The entering of infantry units into the city took place from 1 a.m. till 4 a.m. in the morning on February, 26.

The last resistance was broken by 7 a.m. in the morning.

As a result of firing of the city the unknown number of peaceful inhabitants was killed on the territory of Khojali during the assault.

The free corridor for population leaving

60 people fled from Khojali during the city assault were questioned by Memorial observers in Aghdam and Baku. Only one man of all questioned people said that he knew about existence of the free corridor.

These refugees proceeded along the free corridor situated on the territory adjoined to Aghdam district of Azerbaijan were fired, that resulted in death of many people.

Fate of the inhabitants who stayed in the city

After the occupation of the city by the Armenian armed formations about 300 peaceful inhabitants including 86 Turks-Meskhets were in the city.

According to information received from both sides over 700 captive inhabitants of Khojali took as hostages in the city and on the way to Aghdam were passed to Azerbaijani side by March, 23 1992. Among them were mainly women and children.

Fate of property of Khojali inhabitants

Inhabitants of Khojali who could fled had no possibility to take with them even the most necessary part of their property. The inhabitants who were taken as captives by the members of the Armenian armed formations also had no possibility to take the part of their property.

Observers from Memorial Human Rights Watch Center became witnesses of active unlimited marauding in the occupied city. The property left by Khojali inhabitants got out from the city by inhabitants of Khankendi (Stepanakert) and neighbouring settlements. The names of new owners were written on the gates of the most of houses.

Estimation of findings

Mass violence against peaceful population of Khojali city took place during implementation of the military operation on the occupation of the city.

The majority of Khodjali inhabitants were not informed about the existence of the free corridor.

Mass murders of peaceful inhabitants in the zone of the free corridor and adjacent territory can not be justified by any circumstances.

Servicemen of infantry guards regiment No 366 belonged to Commonwealth of Independent States troops have participated in Khojali assault.

Memorial Human Rights Watch Center establishes that actions of the Armenian armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh towards Khojali peaceful inhabitants during the assault of Khojali city roughly violate Geneva conventions as well as the following articles of Human Rights Declaration (adopted by UN General Assembly on December, 10 1948):

Article 2, declaring that every person must have all rights and all freedoms, declared by this declaration without any distinction of language, religion, national origin, or any other position;

Article 3, admitting rights of every person to life, freedom and personal immunity;

Article 5, forbidding brutal, inhuman or humiliate treatment of person;

Article 9, forbidding arbitrary arrests, detention or expatriation;

Article 17, declaring right of every person to have property and forbidding to deprive arbitrary the person of his property.

Actions of armed formations roughly violated Declaration on protection of women and children in emergency and during armed conflicts (declared by UN General Assembly on December, 14 1974)".

Regiment No 366

It is necessary to note the part in Khojali tragedy of the infantry guards regiment No 366 billeted in Khankendi.

This regiment repeatedly engaged in firing of Azerbaijani villages, Shusha and Khojali cities. Evidence of deserters of this regiment points to these facts and allows us to imagine the moral picture and mutual relations among the personnel of the regiment. Clear evidence of engaging of regiment No 366 in Khojali events is rash withdrawal of this the regiment from Khankendi that points to intention to conceal vestiges of this tragedy.

Moral degradation of the officers of the regiment No 366 reached such a level that the infantry guards regiment failed to implement itself withdrawal of troops allegedly because of interference of local residents. Forces of landing division located in Ganja city were involved in implementation of this operation. However, before commandos arrived, 103 people of the personnel of the regiment, who were mainly Armenians clearly admitting their guilt in the outrage refused to obey the order and remained in Karabakh. According to the criminal agreement of the high command of the regiment and because of inactivity of other higher commanders who were responsible for troops withdrawal, part of arms of the regiment including the armored equipment was transferred to Armenians, factually, to commit the further crimes, to continue the separatist actions against Azerbaijan. This is clear fact of participation of the regiment No 366 in implementation of Khojali tragedy!

They are charged

The Armenian terrorist armed formations and personnel of the infantry guards regiment No 366 participated in firing of the Azerbaijani settlements are the main culprits of vandalism acts implemented in Khojali city.

Actions of Armenian terrorists and their accomplices participated in Khojali tragedy are rough violation of human rights, cynical neglect of international legal acts, Geneva convention, Universal declaration of human rights, International pact on civil and political rights, International pact on economic, social and cultural rights, Declaration on child rights, Declaration on protection of women and children in emergency and during armed conflicts and other facts of the international law.

The Political and military leadership of Azerbaijan is also guilty for this tragedy. Ayaz Mutallibov, the president and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, being the guarantor of the territorial integrity, security of the country and its citizens, have not taken sufficient measures to prevent the tragic events in Karabakh including Khojali events. As top official of the Republic, he didn’t provide the protection of the constitutional order, territorial integrity of the republic, rights and freedoms of citizens. Even after the the tragedy, the leadership of the Republic frightened of the reaction of the people was afraid to inform the bitter truth and concealed information about the scale of massacre implemented by the Armenian armed formations.

The history will not forget

Milli Majlis (Parliament) of Azerbaijan declared February, 26 as the Day of Khojali genocide. Every year at 5 p.m. on February, 26 people of Azerbaijan reveres memory of Khojali victims by the minute of silence.

Khojali inhabitants became refugees and took temporary refuge in 48 districts of Azerbaijan are waiting for fair a solving of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the end of the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, the restoration of the territorial integrity of the Republic. They appeal to the peoples of the world, states and international organizations to protect the truth and justice, condemn the facts of terrorism, ethnic cleaning implemented in Khojali.

Culprits of Khojali tragedy, its orginizers and executors must get deserved punishment. There is no and can not be the crime without the punishment. XXth century witnessed many bloody pages which are the history of genocide and ethnic cleaning. Khojali is one of the most terrible tragedies among them. Everybody who implicated in this terrible crime now has responsibility just only before his conscience, but the day will come and they will answer for all before the court of history.

History remembers everything

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