Massacres Started In Baku
Posted 14 January 2008 - 03:01 PM
Eighteen years ago on these days the Armenian districts of Baku became a stage for the Armenian massacres. Different from other regions of Azerbaijan, many Armenians still resided in Baku. Certainly, they could have moved and saved their lives two year before, but they continued to believe in the internationalism of Baku till the very end. Like Sumgayit, the attacks were particularly cruel.
According to one of the former leaders of the Popular Front Zardusht Alizade, a few days before the massacres of Baku posters on the walls of the party building on Rashid Beibutov Street pointed to the houses Armenians lived in: “the whole city had gathered at the meeting of the Popular Front. Anti-Armenian calls could be heard during the whole meeting. The last slogan called ‘Long live Baku without Armenians." The Armenian massacres started during the demonstration,” Alizade declared.
According to historian Arif Yunusov, 86 Armenians were killed between January 13 and 15. According to the data of the Armenian side, the number exceeded 150. Thousands of Armenians found shelter in “Shafag” cinema. They were later moved to Baku port, from where they could reach Krasnovodsk port of Turkmenistan and later to Yerevan.
The Soviet troops were brought to Baku only when the Armenian massacres were over. On January 11 the Popular Front took some administrative buildings in Baku by storm and seized the power in Lenkoran city. Azerbaijan’s leader Abdurahman Vezirov declared on TV that it’s time for decisive actions. Second Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan Viktor Polyanichko negotiated with the leaders of the Popular Front, as a result of which the National Defense Council was formed. Four of the five members of the Council, Etibar Mamedov, Neymet Panahov, Rahim Gaziyev and Abulfaz Elchibey, were from the radical nationalist wing of the Popular Front. Panahov declared on Azeri television that Baku was full of homeless refugees, while thousands of Armenians still comfortably lived in their homes in Baku.
Two years ago, in response to the assertions of the reporter of the “Moskovskiy Komsomolets” saying troops were brought to Tbilisi, Vilnius, and Baku, the first and last President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev declared that upon his order troops entered only the capital of Azerbaijan.
“The events in Baku got out of control, the Supreme Council and the Communist Party were paralyzed, the 200 km-long state border was destroyed, local self-government bodies were being attacked. I immediately sent Evgeny Primakov and Andrey Girenko to Baku. They suggested to declare state of emergency and bring troops. Now I think that we thus prevented a greater bloodshed.”
The presidency of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of The Soviet Union and the Council of Ministers applied to the people of Azerbaijan and Armenia, calling on “men and women, the elderly and the young to listen to the voice of reason, restrain the extremists, denounce the provokers, stop the aggressors,” “to support the efforts of the leadership of the country, the law-enforcement bodies, the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the Soviet troops and frontier guards directed at restoring peace and order.”
Sure, this was a cynical call, since only a few days before that the Soviet leadership, the law-enforcement bodies, the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the troops of the Soviet Army did not even try to prevent the Armenian massacres.
As leader of Nakhijevan in early 1990s, late Heidar Aliyev was telling American reporter Thomas Golts who were guilty for the “black January.” “It was the State Security Committee of Moscow and that of Azerbaijan, as well as the whole leadership of Azerbaijan. They all were involved in the attacks against Armenians on January 12, 13 and 14.”
Public Radio of Armenia
Posted 14 January 2008 - 05:32 PM
As leader of Nakhijevan in early 1990s, late Heidar Aliyev was telling American reporter Thomas Golts who were guilty for the “black January.” “It was the State Security Committee of Moscow and that of Azerbaijan, as well as the whole leadership of Azerbaijan. They all were involved in the attacks against Armenians on January 12, 13 and 14.”
So, this piece of shit scambug Thomas Goltz with a Turkish wife knew about the savageries of the "Azeri" filth from first hand "Azeri" sources, yet he did not have any pangs of conscience smearing the Armenians, fabricating the insignificant Khojaly incident scam...
Posted 15 January 2008 - 01:06 PM
Not so fast, this quote shows how an opportunist was Aliyev who was implicated as a chief mafia in the Sumgait pogroms. The information he provided was to undermine the Azerbaijani officials to help boost his political career. Goltz with that report is promoting Aliyev the dictator, the purpouse is not to incriminate the officials but promote and glorify Aliyev.
Edited by DominO, 15 January 2008 - 02:20 PM.
Posted 16 January 2008 - 05:15 PM
Yes dear Domino, of course I understand that Goltz piece of dirtbag has never given a damn about the Armenians and this was what I meant with the post, i.e. knowing about the "Azeri" atrocities against Armenians the ordure went on smearing them in cold blood, projecting the "Azeri" monstrosities on Armenians. You know also very well that he was on the two visits to the bodies of the so-called victims of Khojaly yet he hid the info about the corpseporn that wasn't present on the first visit, something that even the "Azeri" Chingiz Mustafayev couldn't do and the reporting of the truth cost his life.
It is interesting that in this article that I'm sure you have seen, the author believes that the western major oil companies were behind the Heydar Aliyev coup, it isn't that crazy that a scum like Thomas Goltz would work in their interests...
From the article:
"U.S. oil companies have been accused of spending millions of dollars in Azerbaijan, not just to bribe the government but also to install it. According to a Turkish intelligence source who was an alleged eyewitness, major oil companies, including Exxon and Mobil, were "behind the coup d'itat" which in 1993 replaced the elected President, Abulfaz Elchibey, with his successor, Heydar Aliyev. The source claimed to have been at meetings in Baku with "senior members of BP, Exxon, Amoco, Mobil and the Turkish Petroleum Company.""
Posted 13 January 2015 - 09:56 AM
17:49 13/01/2015 » SOCIETY
Pogroms of Armenians in Baku: evidences and evaluations of politicians, public officials and witnesses
25 years ago, on 13 January in 1990, in the "international" capital of Soviet Azerbaijan began the last act of genocide and expulsion of Armenians. The city was merely drowned in brutal hatred and bloodlust: for a week Azerbaijanis killed, raped, burned and expelled people with impunity and without hindrance only because they were Armenians. The evidence of witnesses on pogroms in Baku can be found on the site of KarabakhRecords.
“When attackers are resolutely going from district to district and from home to home, that means they have been given lists, that there is someone who is directing [the whole thing]”
Garry Kasparov, repeated World Chess Champion, born in Baku
(Source: Bulvar Gordona, 2 December 2008, available at: http://www.bulvar.co...493547f945807/)
“I myself witnessed the murder of two Armenians near the railway station. A crowd gathered, threw petrol on them and set light to them even though the Nasiminsky District Police Station was only 200 meters away – with some 400-500 soldiers of the internal forces. The soldiers drove by the burning bodies at a distance of some 20 meters, and nobody attempted to close off the area and disperse the crowd.”
Etibar Mamedov, a leader of the Azerbaijani Popular Front
(Source: Novaya Zhizn Newspaper, Moscow, 1990, No. 5 (14))
“The massacres were not entirely (or perhaps not at all) spontaneous, as the attackers had lists of Armenians and their addresses.”
Robert Kushen, Reporter at Human Rights Watch
(Source: Conflict in the Soviet Union: Black January for Azerbaidzhan, Human Rights Watch, May 1991)
Russians living in the capital city of Azerbaijan recall with horror scenes of retribution – how their neighbours were shot at point-blank range, thrown off balconies, burned alive and even dismembered by a fanatical Azeri mob.”
(Source: Radio Liberty, 15 January 1990, 06:46)
“The Baku riots had been planned in detail by the Popular Front. On New Year’s Eve, the State Border with Iran was destroyed by the masses; and, on January 11 the pogroms started in Baku. About 40 mobs (with 50-300 people in each) roamed the city.”
Vagif Huseynov, Azerbaijani KGB Chief (1989-1991)
Source: ‘Moskovskiy Komsomolec’ Newspaper, 6 February 2004,
“For five days in January of 1990, the Armenian community of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan were killed, tortured, robbed and humiliated. Pregnant women and babies were molested, little girls were raped in front of their parents’ eyes, Christian crosses were burned on their backs, and they were abused for their Christian faith.”
Source: The seventeenth session of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 17-25 July 1997
Posted 13 January 2015 - 10:40 AM
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 09:16
Exactly 25 years ago, on January 13, 1990, mass killings of Armenians
began in Baku. For a week, unimaginable in their cruelty, brutality and
savagery outrages were taking place in the Azerbaijani capital city,
during which hundreds of innocent people were killed. The January
tragedy in Baku, actually, became the last link in the chain of mass
crimes committed in 1988-1990 against the Republic's citizens of
The events of the bloody week, which were the result of the
anti-Armenian policy consistently conducted by the Azerbaijani
authorities, put a fat point to the existence of the half a million
indigenous and state-forming Armenian population of Azerbaijan,
the exodus of which becameinevitable. A quarter of a century has
already passed since the tragedy in Baku, but it is still echoed
with inescapable pain in the hearts of both those who personally
experienced it and all ourcompatriots.
However, the pain has not subsided yet also because even after a
quarter of a century this terrible crime has not received yet an
adequate legal, political and moral assessment of the international
community. By the way, like all the similar crimes committed earlier
and later by the Baku authorities against the Armenian population both
in Azerbaijan and Artsakh. There cannot be two opinions on the fact
that the monstrous acts of violence against Armenians in Sumgait,
Kirovabad, Baku and other settlements of Azerbaijan were organized
by the authorities of the Republic. They were nationalist actions,
premeditated and planned at the state level, which is testified by
numerous indisputable facts and evidence of eyewitnesses, convincingly
proving the involvement of state structures in the organization of
the mass pogroms, massacres and forced deportation of Armenians.
The planned character of all these crimes allows to state definitely
the Armenophobic andopenly fascist nature of the Azerbaijani state,
no matter who is in power - the Communists, the so-called democrats
of the People's Front, which were among the main organizers and
perpetrators of the Armenian pogroms in Baku, or representatives of
the current regime headed by Aliyev. It alsoallows us to state the
relationship of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey in the early
twentieth century and the genocidal actions of Azerbaijan against the
Armenian population at the turn of the last and present centuries and
the in current days. It is because the criminal policy of these two
states is linked genetically, as it is based on a single ideology
- the ideology of pan-Turkism and extreme nationalism. The crimes
against the Armenian people committed in Ottoman Turkey and Azerbaijan
are the links of one chain and are qualified by international law as
crimes against humanity and mankind.
Another commonality - a policy of denying the Genocides committed
by them - makes native and brings together these two states, the
behavior of which against the Armenian people has not changed for
decades. The authorities of neither Turkey nor Azerbaijan say a single
word of repentance for the mass killing of innocent people. Moreover,
in order to avoid the responsibility for the atrocities committed
by them, the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem is attempting to equate the
victim and the executioner, presenting to the international community
blatant disinformation on the alleged crimes committed by Armenians
against Turks and Azerbaijanis.
Ankara and Baku have still more intensified their efforts to deny the
Armenian Genocide on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the tragedy
of the Armenian people by launching an appropriate propaganda campaign
to counter the international recognition of the Genocide. They do
not even hide the fact that they are acting jointly in this issue,
coordinating their actions. Thus, at a joint press conference of
Azerbaijani President Aliyev and Turkish President Erdogan during the
latter's visit to Baku in last September, the joint activities by the
foreign ministries, diplomatic missions and Diaspora organizations
of Turkey and Azerbaijan on denying the Armenian Genocide were noted.
This once again confirms the indisputable truth that the mass crimes
committed by Azerbaijan in the 20s of the last century against the
indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh, in particular,
extermination and expulsion of Armenians of Shushi, are an integral
part of the Armenian Genocide. It also confirmed the equal blame and
responsibility of Azerbaijan for the crimes of Genocide that have no
statute of limitation.
It is the impunity of the Azerbaijani authorities, as a consequence
of the indifference of the international community, that allowed the
relapse of the terrible tragedy to happen nowadays in the form of mass
crimes against the Armenian population of Sumgait, Kirovabad, Baku,
Maragha and a war unleashed against Nagorno Karabakh... All these
tragedies imperatively require an adequate assessment and condemnation
by corresponding international structures, as further keeping silence
is fraught with a new war and new violent tragedies. Azerbaijan is,
in fact, a terrorist state, as it has implemented a blatant policy
of state terror against the people of Artsakh for many years. But,
shouldn't the present-day international community, which has faced the
threat of terrorism, take measures to protect the Nagorno Karabakh
Republic, which is building a sovereign democratic state, from the
aggressive claims of genocidal Azerbaijan? Or does the international
community consider that Artsakh itself should stop the threat of
Azerbaijani terrorism? Maybe it is so, but it is yet another issue.
Editor-in-Chief of Azat Artsakh newspaper
Posted 14 January 2015 - 08:00 AM
12:20 14/01/2015 » SOCIETY
Revealing truth behind Baku-Sumgait pogroms
“… then we saw people walking on the streets yelling, ‘Armenians, we will kill you, go away!’”, remembers Inna Mirzoyan’s father telling about the massacre against Armenians held in Azerbaijan in 1988 to 1990. In one of its articles titled “Revealing the Truth Behind the Baku-Sumgait Pogroms-One Family at a Time” Asbarez.com has published story-memories written by Inna Mirzoyan whose parents have survived through the Azerbaijani pogroms.
“The existing Armenian state was created on Azerbaijani lands.” That outlandish statement wasn’t made 100, 50, 20 or even 10 years ago but just this past summer as I was only a few weeks into my internship with the Armenian National Committee of America in Washington, DC. The man responsible for such an account of history is the autocratic leader of Azerbaijan, President Ilham Aliyev–a pernicious and prolific purveyor of anti-Armenian aggression, whose words and actions serve to undermine the fragile peace in the Caucasus.
And as we commemorate the anniversary of the tragic events that unfolded in Baku 25 years ago, we find that comments like President Aliyev’s are nothing new.
For seven decades, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh were subjected to a gradual and insidious form of economic and political oppression, designed to depopulate the historically Armenian lands of its indigenous people. For Armenians living in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, and larger cities like Sumgait, anti-Armenian hatred took a violent turn beginning in 1988 when Artsakh’s peaceful calls for self-determination were met with Azerbaijani aggression and war that eventually forced 300,000 Armenians to leave everything- friends, family, careers- in search of a safe haven.
It’s an all too familiar scenario – given the Armenian experience of Genocide from 1915-1923, civil wars and repression at various times in the Middle East which forced Armenian community migration and the Syrian-Armenian refugee crisis that is unfolding in front of our eyes today — but not one that is well known or often discussed.
The early attacks in Baku, Sumgait, Kirovabad, Maragha happened during Soviet times, when news of the aggression was suppressed or delayed for months at a time. A result of the Baku pogroms, credible sources report that hundreds of Armenians were killed while “Soviet authorities, who blocked journalists from the area, estimated that over 30 were killed and 200 injured.” Thomas De Waal, author of Black Garden, summarized these events as “acts of horrific savagery.”
My parents saw the tragic events unfold first hand. I sat down with them recently to understand just what happened.
Garry and Larysa Mirzoyan were born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan. My grandparents also grew up in Baku and enjoyed their Soviet lives. Education was free and available to everyone if they worked hard and produced good scores. My parents were both highly educated lawyers. They met in college and married in the late 1980s. I asked my parents if they noticed any unfair treatment or discrimination because of their Armenian nationality while they were in the university. While my mother said she did not have any negative experiences, my father noted that he had an Azerbaijani professor who made it difficult for him to strive to the best of his capabilities. He explained that this professor told him, “You Armenians are too proud” and she made it clear that she did not like Armenians. After hearing this, I wondered if my father ended up getting a good grade. His response was that, “It was an okay grade. If it was another professor, I believe it would have been a better grade.”
This all got worse in 1988.
My father explained that during and after the February, 1988, anti-Armenian massacres in Sumgait, he noticed Azerbaijani professors in his university saying, “Armenian people are not good, Armenians stole our history, our cuisine. The Azerbaijanis were giving misinformation by saying, ‘they [Armenians] take our culture, our songs, and our teachings.’” My mother was a lawyer for a shoe manufacturing company and dealt with any problems or complaints people had over the quality of a shoe. My father was also a lawyer for a factory and investigated trade relationships between clothing companies in different factories in the Soviet Union. My parents were forced to leave their comfortable and rewarding jobs. My father stated that his director told him to not report back to the job, that it was dangerous and that he had to leave. My mother’s bosses were more aggressive in their demeanor. “They started throwing shoe boxes at me and telling me to go,” she recalled.
And then, all hell broke loose. My father explained, “It was a lot of word of mouth initially, but then we saw people walking on the streets yelling, ‘Armenians, we will kill you, go away!’”
My mother’s memories are far worse because she remained in Baku with her parents and my brother, who was three at the time, while my father explored other countries for a new home or job prospects. She explained that, “Fifty people went inside of my home and forced me to leave. They entered the second floor from the balcony and came into my home looking for my husband.” Because she is half Russian and did not look traditionally Armenian, it was easier for her to hide her Armenian identity when going to the bus or store. Eventually, it was impossible to live in that environment.
My parents escaped with the help of non-Armenians who saved their lives. Fortunately, a Russian friend of my mother’s drove her to the airport with my brother to escape. My mother’s father was aided by an Azerbaijani friend who drove him to the airport. She remembered the scene when driving in the streets. “The areas around the airport were burned, the homes and cars were getting burned, the Armenians that stayed were getting burned and killed.”
My parents were able to exchange land with a friend who had property in Ukraine, that would be our home for the next ten years until we came to the United States to join my extended family and fellow Armenian-Americans who received refugee status after the Baku pogroms.
That’s my story- one family story –similar to hundreds of thousands that survived this tragedy. And each of these stories need to be told.There has been some progress on this front in recent years. One courageous soul, Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte, published her moving childhood memories of this tragedy in a book titled “Nowhere, A Story of Exile.” Erin Henk focused on the conflict-induced displacement of Baku Armenians as part of the completion of her master’s degree in human rights and humanitarian assistance at NYU in 2012 – a summary of which was published in The Armenian Weekly in 2013, titled ‘Something Broke Inside Me’: Armenians Who Fled Azerbaijan Speak.”
Documentaries in English, Armenian and Russian have been produced – many available online.
In my Detroit community, Armenians from Baku were able to organize and form a strong network where they helped each other meet fellow Armenians, find jobs, and simply gather to eat and drink like they did in their homeland. In 2013 on April 24th, during the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, St. John’s Armenian Church installed the first Baku-Sumgait memorial in the world, thanks to the hard work and fundraising efforts of the Baku-Armenian community. Video of the installation of the monument is available here. Then Congressman, now Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), who visited the church April 24th and whose Congressional district is home to many Baku Armenians in Michigan, went on record in 2014 showing his support by stating, “These ethnically motivated mass killings were an affront to basic human rights and the continued lack of international recognition and acknowledgment represents a grave injustice.”
However, much more work needs to be done to educate the world about the tragic events beginning in Baku and Sumgait in 1988 – first to secure justice for the victims but also to better understand the roots of the anti-Armenian hatred being fomented by President Aliyev today.
Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA), a long-time supporter of Armenian issues, explained, “If we hope to stop future massacres, we must acknowledge these horrific events and ensure they do not happen again.”
Survivor testimonials can play a key role in that effort, when shared with elected officials and the media to expose the truth about these crimes. The Armenian National Committee of America wants to help bring to light the story of Armenians from Azerbaijan and their courageous journey to freedom in the United States.
If you or anyone you know has a story to share about their experiences during the Baku-Sumgait-Maragha- Kirovabad pogroms from 1988-1990, please TellYourStory@ANCA.org.”
Posted 19 January 2015 - 09:25 AM
14:46 19/01/2015 » REGION
Armenian pogroms in Baku: Group of senators of US Congress appeal to Mikhail Gorbachev
A group of senators of the US Congress on March 18, 1990 issued an appeal to Mikhail Gorbachev, in which they expressed deep concern about the murder, rape and looting of property of the Armenian population of Baku by organized groups of Azerbaijanis held within six days. Among the 60 dead and 156 wounded, most are Armenians. The original text of the appeal is available at Karabakhrecords.info.
The letter reads that the Soviet officers who left for Azerbaijan characterized the situation as a Civil War. We ask you to take up all the possible measures in order to stop the mass killings of Armenian minority as well as other forms of violence in that region. Besides the resumption of the civil peace we hope that the Soviet authorities will take care of the safe transportation of those Armenians who will have the wish to leave for their country. We hope that you will also cease the economic blockade between Armenia and Karabakh, where in the earthquake zone many foreigners and Americans continue working. The horrible breakout of violence in Azerbaijan once again proves the necessity of unification of 160 thousand Armenians living in Nagorno Karabakh with Armenia. Within 70 years the Azerbaijani authorities succeeded only in depressions of the residents of the region, as well as economic discrimination of the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh who make the 80% of the population of the region. In that way we insist that you resolve the ongoing tragedy by allowing the people of Karabakh to choose their political and cultural identity in the frameworks of the Soviet government.”
It is noteworthy that among the senators who signed the appeal was the current US Secretary of State John Kerry. Senators Pete Wilson, Paul Seimak, Larry Pressler and Claiborne Pell also signed the appeal.
On January 19, in Moscow, chairman of sub-commission of the US Senate on foreign affairs K. Pell had a meeting with the Minister of the FM of the USSR Shevardnadze. During the meeting K. Pell noted that the Soviet Union mustn’t allow Azerbaijan to continue the future control over the Armenian Karabakh. “I am deeply stressed and depressed by the violence of the Azerbaijanis and the pogroms of the Armenians in the USSR. The Soviet authorities is ought to undertake all the measures in order to secure the Armenian population /…/ The Soviet authorities should also take out from Azerbaijan the Nagorno Karabakh. By allowing Azerbaijan to keep Nagorno Karabakh under its control will mean worsening of situation.”
Posted 27 February 2015 - 09:57 AM
13:14 27/02/2015 » IN THE WORLD
Congresswoman Chu commemorates anti-Armenian pogroms
Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.) took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to commemorate the Sumgait, Baku, and Girovabad massacres, condemn ongoing Azerbaijani aggression, and call for freedom for the people of Nagorno Karabakh, reported the Armenian National Committee of America, according to Asbarez.
“The ANCA welcomes Congresswoman Chu’s powerful moral stand in remembrance of those lost to anti-Armenian massacres in Azerbaijan, profoundly values her efforts to educate her colleagues about Baku’s ongoing aggression, and deeply appreciates her defense of freedom for Nagorno Karabakh,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA.
The full text of Congresswoman’s Chu’s February 26, 2015 speech is provided below:
“Twenty-seven years ago, as the lines of the Soviet Union were fading, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh were united in a call for a say in their own futures and greater independence from Azerbaijan. This peaceful movement for self-determination and freedom was followed by premeditated and government-sponsored attacks.
“Over the next two years, the Armenian population in the territory of Artsakh was repeatedly victim to brutal and racially motivated pogroms, darkly reminiscent of the days of the Armenian Genocide. Hundreds were murdered, thousands were displaced, and the Armenian community – both in Artsakh and in exile – continues to bear the scars from the brutal attacks in Sumgait, Kirovabad, and Baku.
“When the people of Nagorno-Karabakh officially declared independence on December 10, 1991, they were met with full-scale war lasting until 1994. Even today, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh are still forced to live under constant ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan.
“As we commemorate the somber anniversary marking the struggle of the Nagorno-Karabakh people, we wish for the peaceful resolution of this conflict and hope that its citizens will be free to determine their own future.”
Posted 01 March 2015 - 08:36 AM
Argentine-Armenian Community Rally Against Sumgait, Baku and Kirovabad
Pogroms at Azeri Embassy
Agencia Prensa Armenia
Feb 27, 2015
The Armenian community in Argentina rallied on Friday February 27 to
the embassy of Azerbaijan to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the
massacres of Armenians in Sumgait, Baku and Kirovabad and report the
anti-armenian activities of Azeri diplomats in Argentina.
"The killings, persecution, harassment, dispossession and displacement
of the Armenians living in Azerbaijan until the late eighties
constitutes a crime against humanity that the Azerbaijani State must
take responsibility," denounced Ary Assadourian, member of the Armenia
Youth Federation (AYF) in his speech. The rally was organized by AYF
and was attended by over 300 people along with a number of political
organizations that support the Armenian cause.
Moreover, the commission for the centenary of the Armenian Genocide in
Buenos Aires, a space that brings together all the institutions of the
Armenian community, issued a statement days ago in which they
considered that while "the Armenian people and their descendants in
many parts of world prepare to commemorate the centenary of the worst
disaster suffered throughout its long history," the massacres of
Armenians in Azerbaijan "can not be dissociated from the
discriminatory policies that the Turkish state and its allies develop
in the South Caucasus".
Agencia de Noticias Prensa Armenia
Armenia 1366, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel. (5411) 4775-7595
Posted 01 March 2015 - 08:54 AM
Historian says Sumgait crime was the result of Azerbaijan's policy on
14:22, 28 February, 2015
YEREVAN, 28 FEBRUARY, ARMENPRESS. The Sumgait crime was the result of
Azerbaijan's policy on ethnic cleansing. "Azerbaijan had been leading
a policy on ethnic cleansing against ethnic minorities residing in the
country for years, and the Sumgait Pogrom was the result of that
policy," historian Gevorg Melkonyan said during a February 28 press
conference, as "Armenpress" reports.
Melkonyan mentioned that the crime of Sumgait showed three things.
"Firstly, the Sumgait Pogrom reinforced in Armenians the conviction
that if Artsakh hadn't struggled, it would have been emptied of
Armenians, just like Nakhichevan. Secondly, Azerbaijan isn't ready to
accept the principle of self-determination of nations. Thirdly, as the
years go by, ethnic minorities residing in Azerbaijan will be subject
to ethnic cleansing," Melkonyan underscored.
Touching upon the international condemnation of the Sumgait pogrom, he
noted that Armenia can use the facts at its disposal to raise that
issue at the international level.
Posted 01 March 2015 - 09:07 AM
AYF Leads Protest Challenging Azeri Aggression, Championing Artsakh's
Freedom - Video
Friday, February 27th, 2015
Armenians in Washington D.C. protest Baku's continuing aggression
WATCH: Pro-Aliyev Counter-Protesters Chant 'Ramil Safarov, Ramil Safarov'
WASHINGTON--Members, alumni, and supporters of the Armenian Youth
Federation (AYF) braved sub-freezing temperatures today outside the
Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 25th
anniversary of the Baku massacres, condemn Baku's ongoing
anti-Armenian aggression, and call for freedom and security for the
independent Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.
"Armenians in the Greater Washington Area -- like our sisters and
brothers across America and around the world -- share a core commitment
to championing Artsakh's freedom and confronting Azerbaijan's
aggression," said AYF "Ani" Chapter Chairwoman Sevan Simonian. "We
were proud today to stand up for our community's values - even against
the hateful tirades of pro-Aliyev counter-protesters."
A small group of staff and supporters of the Azerbaijani Embassy
staged a counter-protest, repeatedly chanting the name "Ramil
Safarov," in an apparent attempt to intimidate those gathered for the
AYF vigil. Safarov is the admitted and unapologetic axe-murder who
killed Armenian Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan during a NATO
peace-training exercise in Hungary. In 2012, after serving only a
fraction of his sentence in Hungary, Safarov was extradited to
Azerbaijan, where he was immediate pardoned, promoted and praised, a
moved that was broadly condemned worldwide, including by President
Following the vigil, Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian of Soorp Khatch Armenian
Apostolic Church led the D.C. community members in prayer in memory of
the victims of the Baku, Sumgait, Kirovabad and Maragha massacres and
all those who lost their lives during the Artsakh liberation movement.
Posted 01 March 2015 - 09:08 AM
Gyumri commemorated victims of Sumgait Pogrom
14:27, 28 February, 2015
GYUMRI, 28 FEBRUARY, ARMENPRESS. Citizens of Gyumri respected the
memory of the victims of the Sumgait Pogrom with an event dedicated to
the 27th anniversary of the Armenian massacres. Among the participants
were representatives of Gyumri Municipality led by Deputy Mayor Ruben
Manoyan."Even the history of the USSR when friendship between Soviet
republics was propagandized couldn't discipline the Azerbaijanis. They
proved once again that a tribe can't become a nation. Most of us
couldn't even imagine that such genocide could have begun in those
years," Ruben Manoyan mentioned.
Like every year, the event dedicated to the victims of the Sumgait
Pogrom was also held near the cross-stone sculpted by sculptor from
Gyumri Zaven Koshtoyan. All the participants laid flowers near the
cross-stone to the memory of the victims of the Sumgait Pogrom and
respected the memory of the peaceful Armenian civilians with a moment
of silence. Most of the survivors of the genocide took shelter in
Gyumri in 1988 and shared the fate of the citizens of Gyumri during
the devastating earthquake that struck Spitak in December 1988.
Posted 21 September 2015 - 09:26 AM
ALEKSANDER SAFAROV: ANCIENT MAP PUBLISHED IN PRESS TRIGGERED POGROMS OF ARMENIANS IN BAKU
11:20 21/09/2015 Â" POLITICS
Karabakhrecords.info published Aleksander Safarov's article "Black
January" about the events he witnessed in Baku on 20 January 1991. In
Azerbaijan, the day is called "Black January" and stories about
"the Soviet Army's atrocities over the Azerbaijani civilians" are
told and flowers are put to monuments, the author writes.
As the author describes, tanks "decorated" Baku streets for already
a year, and the troops got their food supplies from the locals.
"The Armenians take various goodies to the soldiers, look hopefully
into their eyes and say, 'You are protecting us, aren't you?'" Safarov
recalls. He draw parallels with Baku's Azerbaijani population who
are concerned with another question, "You won't shoot at us, will you?"
The response that they would not shoot if they behaved well totally
satisfied them. "They go away to bring more on the following day
by traders' instinct. They need guarantees for any turn of events,"
the author points.
According to the story, the days before New Year were calm and nothing
foreboded the impending misfortunes. The enterprises started to work
recovering after the Armenian workers had been ousted before curfew
was enforced. The Russians started to pack their things after the
Armenians. However, Azerbaijan leadership realized that they could
not do without qualified personnel, and started to persuade those
ousted to come back and promised safety guarantees. "And they had
the incaution to trust in promises, and came back," Safarov writes.
The publication of a news report about the sale of an ancient
geographical map, where Armenia stretched from the Black Sea to
the Caspian, at a famous auction provoked an outburst of aggression
against the Armenians by the Azerbaijanis. "The red crosses vanished
from ambulance vehicles being replaced by crescents in a single night.
In broad daylight, the mob burned up an Armenian church in the
city center and killed the priest before everyone's eyes. While
the church was on fire, they used the ladders of the fire engines,
which had arrived at the place, to cut down the crosses on it,"
the author recalls.
Further, the mob broke down the fountain Seven Beauties leaving
only the Azerbaijani beauty there. Then they drove a bulldozer over
the Christian cemetery. "The republican papers wrote in those days,
'In Armenia, they do not touch our mosques and cemeteries to say that
we are beasts and barbarians while they are a civilized nation!' Just
this, nothing more and nothing less," Safarov writes.
As the topic of "the refugees from Armenia" regards, the author
recalls watching an Azerbaijani TV program where the "Yerazis" stated
that no one had expelled them. Just the opposite, they persuaded the
Azerbaijanis to stay. However, they were afraid to be made a scapegoat
for the atrocities their fellow tribesmen committed. That is why they
preferred to leave. "All the efforts the host made to get them accuse
the Armenians failed," Safarov points. He notes that the "Yerazis"
did not understand what he wanted from them, and did not want to lie.
Remarkably, the program was recklessly aired live.
Safarov's story also includes facts about spreading rumors in order to
provoke violence against the Armenians. In particular, he writes about
an episode in an Azerbaijani village when someone spread rumors that
allegedly "the damned Armenians lured a teenager into their village and
killed him." As a result, the Azerbaijanis armed themselves and rushed
to the Armenians "to render justice" threatening to utterly slaughter
the Armenian village. "An almost fivefold numerical superiority and
the factor of suddenness - for the neighbors did not suspect anything -
made the assaulters brave," the author describes.
In another instance, an Azerbaijani thief was killed as he was robbing
the savings bank in an Armenian village: "But this was not important.
The main factor was that he was Azerbaijani and he was killed in an
Armenian village. The press made an awful noise." Later the thief was
found out to be shot at by a policeman, a "pure-blooded" Azerbaijani.
The story also includes information about how the "Popular Front" and
villains of all levels used the "Yerazis" factor. "Once I witnessed
the following picture on my way home. A 'Yerazis' group settled in
a camp in the yard where our housing and communal services bureau
was situated. The bureau head, a well-known thief and bribe-taker,
conducted the spectacle," the author recalls. On his signal, women
pinched the children making them yell out at the top of their voice.
The spectacle intended to evoke pity for the "victims" and seize the
Armenians and Russians' accommodation under that guise. "The bystanding
Azerbaijanis noisily welcomed his initiative for it was not about
their accommodation," Safarov notes. The bureau head turned out to
have already prepared the blanks of the orders for the Armenians,
Russians and soldiers' flats, and sold them to the "Yerazis" after
the massacres in January 1990.
Taking advantage of the calmness of the year, the representatives of
the "untitled nation" started to leave Baku. The property of those
leaving was being deliberately damaged. Cranes rose the containers
and banged them to the ground turning the fortune acquired over
years into a pile of rubbles. The people were powerless against the
lawlessness and they were forced to pay money so that their property
was not broken, according to the story.
The demonstrations of the "Popular Front" renewed by November. Under
the slogan "Bribe-takers, get away!" they spoke about completely
another thing during the demonstrations, "He who does not sit now,
is not Azerbaijani. Now let all the Azerbaijanis rise," this is how
the unity of the nation was being forged.
"During a backgammon game, an Azerbaijani told his Armenian neighbor
that in case the Armenians were expelled and murdered again, he would
slaughter him himself so that no one suspected him of friendship with
an enemy of the Azerbaijani people. It really happened later," the
author recounts. Everyone knew that the factories almost openly made
arms, and lists of addresses of the Armenians and soldiers, in first
place, and the Russians, in the second place, were prepared. However,
they still "confined themselves to talks."
Aleksander Safarov claims being a witness of the Azerbaijanis making
fireworks and dancing in the streets shouting "Glory be to Allah"
for the earthquake in Armenia, while the whole world was shocked
and help was offered from everywhere. Azerbaijan sent a railway
train with fuel, "Congratulations on the earthquake! Wishing it to
repeat!" being written on its cisterns. "The train was sent back,
and it became clear that there would be no reconciliation. Such deeds
are neither forgotten, nor forgiven," the author highlights.
Safarov further describes the slaughterers' behavior on 13 January
1990. Groups of twenty or thirty young armed Azerbaijanis rushed
into the Armenians' flats, murdered atrociously the owners without
any regard of age or sex, and then went on looting. The victims'
neighbors enthusiastically joined them, and started to fight over
the looted stuff. "They threw the corpses out of the windows and the
mockery at them continued in the street. Before killing the women and
boys, they raped them in turn before everyone's eyes. The children
did not yield to the adults; they, too, carried what they could while
their parents yelled in approval. On the Ukraine Square, about forty
of those beasts raped a 15-year-old Armenian girl one after another
under their wives and children's rapturous hooting. Another girl,
10 years old, was crucified on a balcony grid on Kamo Street; she
remained hanging there until the troops entered the city. Children
were burned alive on a fire near the cinema Shafag," he writes.
"The first attack on the soldiers came with the start of the
massacres. A kindergarten, with many officers' children inside,
was seized from dozens of locals. Then they said they would use the
children as a shield if the soldiers took up any action, or they
offered to change them with arms. One of the teachers managed to get
out into the street and inform a group of officers, who were rushing
to the unit on alarm. The guys did not wait for the headquarters'
decision and rushed to the rescue. Everything was done so swiftly
that those bitchy bastards lost their head and were disarmed with
bare hands," Safarov writes.
The Azerbaijanis did not dare to assault the flotilla itself. They
drove refuelers to apartment buildings and threatening to burn them
down with the people inside, started negotiating. Meanwhile they were
engaged in a "safer" activity - throwing newborns out of the windows
of Krupskaya maternity hospital. The Azerbaijanis also undertook
an attempt to seize the Military Marine Academy - they demanded the
Armenian officers and their families for revenge.
"Meanwhile massacres are going on in the city. The territory of
the flotilla is packed with people who seek our help. Here one can
meet Armenians, Russians and even Azerbaijanis, who do not want to
participate in the massacres and fear revenge for that," Safarov
testifies. According to the story, the situation continued until 19
January, when the arms were at last given back to the flotilla.
"Troops are expected to be deployed into the city, and we are supposed
to screen them," he remembers.
Troops started to enter the city at night of 19-20 January. "They
went from three directions sweeping barricades on their way. They
were shot at from the windows. Interestingly, those shots came from
the Russians and Armenians' flats so that the response fire did not
damage the Azerbaijanis' flats," the author notes.
He writes that the Azerbaijanis had placed two rows of people in
front of the barricades of lorries: one was made of Armenians hands
tied to each other, the second row consisted of women, old people
and children - residents from the houses nearby. A microbus with some
fifteen armed thugs hid behind the barricade.
The approaching troops did not suspect that the crowd to which they
spoke with a megaphone urging to disperse and clear their way, were
in reality hostages. "In response, gunfire bursts from the barricades.
The major and some of the soldiers fall on the ground. These were the
first military losses. Shooting out all the cartridges, the thugs
hastily get into the microbus, which disappears in the narrow side
streets of the city outskirts," the author writes.
When the tanks drove at the barricades, the Azerbaijanis in the
"second row" disappeared, while the Armenians tied in the first row
were tangling themselves in the ropes and falling down. Realizing that
those were hostages, the officers freed them and advised them to go
home. Little did they know that those people had no homes any more.
"So now they are running by the tanks' side. They have no one else
to rely on and they are running with their last bit of strength:
they know that if they fall behind, they will be finished off. They
believe that the Soviet soldier will not let the Soviet people be
killed," the author writes.
A night combat was on in the city: the troops were shooting into the
air, while being under an aimed fire conducted from the roof corners
and windows. In Salyan barracks, Azerbaijani cadets were fighting
against their fellow soldiers, according to the story.
"On the fourth day, the Azerbaijani side asked an armistice to bury
those killed from its side. To that aim, they asked the Defense
Minister marshal Yazov to take the troops away from the city streets.
They also asked him to take away the units stationed in Baku streets
completely. They justly reasoned that there will be no need to expect
for mercy after seeing all their atrocities with their own eyes. Yazov
acceded to their request, and the tanks and soldiers hid behind the
fences of enterprises," Safarov recalls.
The funeral was conducted in a special pomp. An endless flow of
a million people went to the alley of the solemn funeral. Later,
those graves will become an evidence for all the visitors how the
army killed unarmed people, and even not only Azerbaijanis... On
the burial place, the minister Elmira Gafarova promised in powerful
speakers to take revenge for the victims and vowed that those wrong
will be choked in their own blood.
Those wrong, these are all we...
Related: The Voice of Russia: In Azerbaijan murder on ethnic grounds
is a governmental policy Armenian pogroms in Baku: The New York Times -
Indifference and silence can cause another genocide
Posted 13 January 2016 - 12:13 PM
ARMENIAN POGROMS IN BAKU STARTED 26 YEARS AGO ON THIS DAY
Theme: Politics, Analytics
Pogroms of the native Armenian population of Baku, the capital city
of Azerbaijan, had begun on January 13, 1990, exactly 26 years ago
on this day.
Several thousand power-striving savage supporters of the Azerbaijani
National Front had organized the mass killings of the Armenians in
When the pogroms had started, the leadership of Azerbaijan SSR had
almost completely lost control of the situation. And the Soviet
military units in Baku were locked in their barracks
The leadership of Soviet Azerbaijan had officially accepted the fact
that these pogroms were carried out on ethnic grounds.
The logic of these tragic events in Baku, however, does not fit in
the "logic" of modern-day Azerbaijan's state propaganda machine,
which the country's ruling Aliyev clan has taken under its supervision.
On this day, Armenia mourns for the fallen and the maimed of these
pogroms. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, either does not remember them,
or disseminates respective cynical and apparent falsehood, especially
through its state-subject media.
Posted 19 January 2016 - 10:20 AM
THE CIRCLES OF HELL
Friday, 15 January 2016
26 years have passed since the January tragedy in Baku...
These days mark another anniversary of the Armenian pogroms in Baku.
>From 13 to 19 January, 1990, unimaginably cruel and savage events took
place in the capital of Azerbaijan, in which hundreds of innocent
people were brutally massacred and thousands were deported. The
misanthropic and outright fascist policy of the Azerbaijani
authorities resulted in the exodus of half a million indigenous
Armenian population, which had contributed greatly to the creation
of the state of Azerbaijani and the construction of its capital. This
bloody crime actually put an end to the presence of Armenians in Baku
and in Azerbaijan as a whole. Although over a quarter of a century
has passed since the events, time cannot ease the pain in the hearts
of those who personally passed the circles of hell and survived
this terrible tragedy and in the hearts of all our compatriots who
accepted it as their own. We can state that the pogroms and massacres,
the mass expulsion of the Armenians of Baku became the culmination of
the anti-Armenian policy pursued by the authorities of Azerbaijan for
decades. The January events in the Azerbaijani capital city shocked
our nation by their medieval cruelty, but, though it may sound as
blasphemous, they were not perhaps surprising, as they presented
"merely" another link in the long chain of familiar genocidal actions
of Azerbaijan. The bloody handwriting of the Azerbaijani-Turkish
murderers was displayed both in the early and late 20th century -
1905 and 1918 in Baku, 1920 in Shushi, 1988 in Sumgait, Kirovabad
and Baku, 1990 - again in Baku... The planned character of all
these monstrous crimes committed against the Armenian population
allows us to state definitely about the racist and outright fascist
essence of the Azerbaijani authorities, which has not changed for a
century. Even in spite of the change of the social system, the essence
of the Azerbaijani leadership's policy, which is based on the extreme
nationalism, remained unchanged. And it is no matter who is in power
in this country in the existing historical period - the Musavats, the
Communists, the so-called democrats of the Popular Front, who were
among the main organizers and perpetrators of the Armenian pogroms
in Baku, or representatives of the obviously monarchical Aliyev
dynasty, which not only started a war against Nagorno Karabakh, but
has not either renounced the crazy idea of a military solution to the
Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict so far. The tragedy of January 1990 is
underway, as its organizers and perpetrators have not either repented
or been properly punished yet for the mass murders and expulsion of
the Armenian population. The Azerbaijani authorities did not and do not
recognize their crimes. Alas, regret and repentance are not absolutely
inherent to the mentality of the Azerbaijani leadership, and we do
not, surely, expect it to express finally a single word of sympathy
or apology. Moreover, new generations of Azerbaijanis are brought up
today in Azerbaijan, based on the ideology of radical nationalism and
xenophobia, the brightest representative of which is the night murderer
of a sleeping Armenian officer, Safarov, who has been made the idol of
the youth via the efforts of the authorities. Is it cynical? Surely,
yes. But, cynical is also the fact that official Baku, sneering at the
victims of the Armenian massacres, continues to blatantly distort the
truth. The then and current authorities of Baku refer to the Soviet
troops' suppression of the actions of the bandits, who murdered and
raped the defenseless people, as "the Soviet regime's suppression of
the democratic movement of the Azerbaijani people". On January 20,
the Azerbaijanis will traditionally pay tribute to the memory of the
"heroes" of the bloody bacchanalia of 1990, but they will not utter
a single word of repentance about the real victims of the tragedy -
the Armenians of Baku, whose hands and talent were used to build the
city, which committed a monstrous crime against them. The acts of
violence against the Armenian population as an ethnic group, which
were organized and committed in Azerbaijan at the state level, are
unambiguously qualified as genocide by international law. We believe
that this objective truth must be necessarily taken into account by the
political figures and leaders of the states involved in the settlement
of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, and, first of all, the OSCE
Minsk Group co-chairing states - Russia, the USA, and France. Today,
however, even after more than a quarter of a century, the heinous
crimes of that period have not yet received the corresponding legal,
political or even moral assessment by the international community,
which, surely, encourages Azerbaijan as an aggressor-state to commit
new crimes. Life has confirmed the validity of these words - less
than two years after the events in Baku, the Azerbaijani criminal
authorities committed armed aggression against the NKR, and today,
ignoring the efforts of the international mediators, they daily violate
the ceasefire in the conflict zone, provoking a new war. The January
tragedy in Baku, like other bloody crimes against Armenians committed
by the Azerbaijani authorities, taught us, though a cruel, but a
valuable lesson - we learned to defend ourselves and to protect our
own interests. But, it is equally important that our tragedies teach
lessons also to international organizations. The Pharisee statements
of official Baku on its commitment to the peaceful settlement of the
conflict, to the norms and principles of international law must not
mislead the international community, and, first of all, the OSCE Minsk
Group co-chairing states as the mediators in the Karabakh settlement
process. They should finally realize and accept the axiomatic truth
that the secure existence of Nagorno Karabakh is possible exclusively
outside genocidal Azerbaijan.
Leonid MARTIROSSIAN Editor-in-Chief of Azat Artsakh newspaper
Posted 20 January 2016 - 09:49 AM
BAKU POGROM SURVIVORS ALSO PARTICIPATE IN COMMEMORATION CEREMONIES IN ST. PETERSBURG (VIDEO)
19/01/2016 Diaspora News No comments
The Saint Katarine Church of Saint Petersburg offered a Requiem
Service in memory of the victims of the pogroms that took place in
Baku on January 13, 1990. After the Requiem Service, pastor of the
Armenian community of the Northwestern Region, Friar Poghos Vardanyan
addressed the gathered. "People can kill the body, but the soul never
dies, and we as a nation are the descendants of those immortal souls.
There should be no more pain, infidelity, murder and evil. We are the
followers of God. We are Christians," Father Poghos Vardanyan said,
as reports YerkirMedia.
Members of the Armenian community laid flowers near the cross-stone
placed in the churchyard. Members of the New Generation youth
organization of the Church presented the history of the Armenian
community of Baku at "Vernatun" Cultural Center. Among the speakers
were pastor of the Armenian community in the Northwestern Region and
Deputy General Secretary of the Council of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary
Assembly Haik Chilingaryan, who stressed that the Baku pogroms were the
consequence of not learning the lessons from history, particularly the
Armenian Genocide of 1915. The attendees also watched the documentary
film "Typical Genocide: January 1990".
Some of those who were saved from the raging hooligans by a miracle
also settled in Saint Petersburg, and one of them is Adelina
Mnatsakanova, who is the director of the "Tsiternak" international
center for the recovery and social protection for refugee and displaced
children of CIS countries. "I was the director of one of the best
kindergartens in Baku, and I was also included in the list of the
Armenians who were doomed to die. I remember the worst things on this
day since many of my friends were killed. One of my friends and her
family were killed. God saved me. When I reached Moscow and came off
the plane, the first thing I asked myself was if I was alive or not,"
the eyewitness said. Watch the video for details.
Posted 29 January 2018 - 11:56 AM
Armenpress News Agency, Armenia
January 26, 2018 Friday
Arif Yunusov claims Heydar Aliyev as organizer of Armenian massacres in Baku
YEREVAN, JANUARY 26, ARMENPRESS. Azerbaijani human rights activist,
historian Arif Yunusov who is in exile in the Netherlands claims that
the Armenian massacre in Baku of 1990 was organized by the then
president of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, ARMENPRESS reports Yunusov told
Azerbaijan-based oppositionist internet TV “Objective”.
The Azerbaijani human rights activists noted that the entry of the
Soviet troops to Baku for dispersing protest overnight January 20,
1990 was also organized by Aliyev’s instruction, as a result of which
over 100 civilians were killed.
Arif Yunusov mentioned that Aliyev organized all these for coming to
power in the future.
“There are many imaginary stories about the incidents of January 20.
These incidents were presented as a glorious page of the heroic
struggle of the national-democratic movement, the result of which is
the independence of today’s Azerbaijan. In reality, the January
incidents of 1990 are connected with Heydar Aliyev and were committed
by his instruction”, Arif Yunusov said.
Yunusov informs at that time he personally read some part of the
materials of the investigation launched against Heydar Aliyev by the
instruction of Mikhail Gorbachev.
“The results of the investigation would be negative for Aliyev. The
congress of the Central Committee of Azerbaijan Communist Party was
scheduled at the end of January and Heydar Aliyev, together with his
team, would be expelled from the party and politics. Aliyev knew about
all these, and with the help of his supporters (Elchibey, Nemat
Panahli, Fazail Aghamali, Bejan Farzailov) takes active steps within
the Communist Party and the country. Nemat Panahli, who stood behind
the demolition of the Nakhchivan state border (with Iran – edited) on
December 31, 1989, initiated also the Armenian massacre, since he
believed that much blood must be shed to create chaos to overcome the
situation”, he told.
Yunusov noted that Panahli was engaged in Armenian massacres and
looting, while Elchibey was occupied with bringing Heydar Aliyev to
power and raising his reputation.
“Colonel of Committee for State Security (KGB) Oleg Aliyev overtly
said that the Azerbaijani and Russian KGBs were informed of all these,
but took no measures to prevent the Armenian massacres. Moscow took an
advantage of this and entered troops to Baku. So the meeting of the
USSR General Prosecutor's Office as well as the congress of the
Communist Party scheduled at the end of January did not take place,
the investigation against Heydar Aliyev by Gorbachev was suspend some
time later Aliyev came to power”, Yunusov informed.
Arif yunusov was the head of the Informational and Analytical
Department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan in
1992-1993 and was occupied with the investigation of the Armenian
massacres of 1990.
Posted 23 February 2018 - 11:55 AM
By Ivette Alexander on February 22, 2018
Special to the Armenian Weekly
I do not know how my fate would have unfolded in Azerbaijan, if all that happened to our family—and the Armenian people who once inhabited it—had not happened.
But I can say with certainty that I do not want to know. I do not see myself there anymore. We were exiled from our country, from our city, from our home. It no longer exists for us. We have not been there since Aug. 1989. And never again will be. I hope.
Today, decades later, it seems odd to me that I was even born in Baku at all. Why Baku? Why not in Artsakh; my ancestral motherland, in the village of Khndzristan, the birthplace of my father Aleksandr Djavadi Mirzoyan, and a large part of my deep historic Melik-Mirzakhan lineage?
My mother, doctor Victoria Solomonovna (Soghomonovna) Mirzoyan, was once chief of medicine at Melikov Hospital #6 and head physician of Pediatrics, in the Kirovsky district of Baku. Soon after our forced exile from the city, she fell ill with cancer and passed away in Moscow, never having lived to see our emigration to the United States.
Why did she get sick? I don’t believe in those terrible days that it was possible to process the horror of what was occurring absolutely independently of one’s own body. The cool and collected mind of a doctor was joined by a warm and loving heart of a woman—wife, mother, grandmother, upon her the responsibility of family.
The Sumgait pogrom horrors of Feb. 1988 came as a complete shock and left an indelible scar and a terrible pain in our souls. How naive I was, to have offered our home as sanctuary to my friend, a teacher, Lyudmila Israelyan and her family after they escaped the Sumgait pogrom. But they never made it to us in Baku. They were right to consider Baku no less dangerous for Armenians. They fled to Russia, with relatives awaiting them. Yet my mother still had faith in law and order.
Ivette (center) was a music teacher at school number 151, photographed here with her students (Photo courtesy of Ivette Alexander/Zham)
“Graves of 26 Baku Commissars lie here, no such thing can happen here!” She spoke with conviction.
Mom, my dear brilliant mother, how could you have believed it so? Meanwhile, rabid crowds of rioters cried out in Azerbaijani: “Karabagh is ours! Death to Armenians!”
It was happening in the center of the city. It was happening all around.
In those terrifying days, I lived with my five year old, Julie, at my parent’s home. It seemed safer there. Or at least higher off the ground—the fourth floor.
Behind the windows of my parent’s apartment, in the third micro district (micro-rayon), stretched Tbilisi Avenue, along which, in those nightmarish days, rampant, extremist-minded Azerbaijanis marched, seeking to attack and kill Armenians in sight.
Like a scene from a horror film, I recall that night and the voice of our neighbor calling out as she passed our home: “Clockmaster! Clockmaster! Sasha! The workshop is on fire!”
We ran to the window. The fire department already arrived, all was covered in foam. Everything that could burn down, did. Nothing remained, nothing to salvage—the business was gone.
Dad taught mechanics at the Repair of Precise Mechanisms factory. He had taught many the craft. Word about his mastery spread wide and his kindness was known among strangers. Just as patients would often be referred to mom for treatment, clients were often referred to dad for watch, clock and jewelry repair. For the retired, fellow countrymen from Karabagh, students and enlisted soldiers, he repaired at no charge. “Where would they get the money?” he would say.
Dad stood on the ashes of his shop and looked dolefully at his “breadwinner,” as he called it, searching for the cause of the fire. My sister and I stood near, trying to remain optimistic so that dad would feel supported.
“Master, it was a spontaneous ignition,” said one of the firefighters.
“What do you think could have self-ignited, if I have not worked in over a month?” asked my father.
“There’s a canister,” I said, pointing to an empty vessel dumped next to uncle Alyosha Dolukhanov’s burned down cobbler shop.
But the fireman insisted: spontaneous ignition.
Dad knew that no one would do anything. The country was derelict, he felt. The commandant, a Russian officer, arriving with a group of soldiers upon our appeal, spoke intently: “Forgive us, but we cannot handle this. Not far from here, in the Khutor, Armenian homes are ablaze. We are barely able to manage saving and sheltering people. My advice to you: leave the city while we are still able to help you.”
By morning, a young, Armenian police officer was sent to our home.
“I beg you, Alexander, sign that it was spontaneous combustion. I must close this case. Otherwise, they will not let me out of this city. And I have family.”
Of course, dad signed the papers.
Sometime later, a pre-dawn call woke my father. It was my cousin, Karen Ambartsumov, the son of my mother’s sister Amalia. His car was set on fire. Flames blazed below the windows of his apartment in Ahmedly, where he lived with his wife, his mother and three young children, the youngest of whom was three months old. Dad and I went to them. And although a molten plastic bottle of gasoline still lay on the roof of the charred car, Papa and Karen signed another vile “spontaneous ignition.”
And yet, my mother still believed all would work out. It just could not be otherwise! But a tearful call from Arega—mom’s relative and nurse, who lived with her family in a house built by her own husband Ashot Musaelyan in the Kirov township—opened mom’s eyes.
“Victoria Solomonovna, we are in the street! We were kicked out of our home!” cried out Arega.
“What? Who? How dare they? Is there no Soviet power? Run to the police! Run, they will help!” mom repeated anxiously and loudly, trying to shout over the cry of her beloved.
“I’ll call their charge, Comrade G,” mom added, ready to hang up the phone. Arega cried out “Dr. Mirzoyan, Vika jan, the police put us out. We are leaving for Armenia. And you should leave.”
Both cried. They knew that they were parting for good.
We continued to go to work, while ongoing anti-Armenian demonstrations carried in the streets, and Armenians and their homes were repeatedly attacked.
In the teacher’s lounge at school 151 where I taught, Armenians talked of leaving Baku. The majority spoke of moving to Armenia.
This terrible year began and ended with the misfortunes of the Armenians. It was Dec. 7, 1988. We learned about the terrible earthquake in Armenia. We were in shock and the grief of the tragedy was felt. In tears, we watched the footage in the news and glued to every article in the newspapers.
The Armenians suffered, while Azerbaijan rejoiced. Cheers, fireworks and festive gunfire was heard in the streets of Baku. News of the earthquake in Armenia was transmitted on Azerbaijani television and the announcers barely hid their zealous smiles. Celebrations in the streets lasted the entire night. They were not ashamed.
Fervent shouts below our windows, declaring the wrath of Allah, sent a wave of horror and revulsion through us at the realization of what kind of people we lived next to. We feared for our parents. We feared for our children. We feared for ourselves.
“The horror. What horror! Poor Armenia. They have so much of their own tragedy to deal with and now the aid to our refugees fell upon them too,” my mother said.
“Yes. It’s terrible. We will help Armenia by not obliging her with our care,” concluded father.
The planned move to Armenia was abandoned. The country already had plenty to deal with. We sought other ways out. We continued to walk the streets of Baku, take public transportation, interact—all while looking over our shoulders or simply keeping our gaze low.
Relying on the USSR army peacekeeping, we gradually got used to its presence in the city—which provided a sense of security. But not always, of course. Although soldiers and military vehicles were posted at many intersections of the city, the extremists persisted.
My sister Ida, who worked in the Baku State Philharmonic choir, managed to miraculously escape from a group of pogromists that burst into the M. Magomaev great hall in search of Armenians. Colleagues managed to hide her and help her escape. She never returned there again. It was hard to believe that this was really happening, in a once peaceful and, it seemed, kind city.
Returning by foot from ballet class at Gagarin Pioneer Palace with my daughter, we walked to the metro station Baki Soveti (now İçәrişәhәr). Meanwhile, a band of pogromists marched on the Chkalov Street (now Niyazi), from the boulevard up to Kommunisticheskaya Street (now Istiqlaliyyet). Seeing them, I realized we would not make it to the metro station. We ran across the street to the armored personnel carrier (APC) stationed on the intersection. Two armed young Russian soldiers hid us behind the APC.
“Are you Armenian? You should leave the city while we’re still here,” the soldier spoke.
My husband, Albert Asriyan, a well-known musician, violinist, composer and arranger, was on tour of the Soviet Union and Azerbaijan as part of Gaya state orchestra and the rock band Talisman, which he then directed. We awaited his return. His last show was at the end of the summer of 1989. Shortly after, we took off, along with all the members of our large family.
The author’s father, poet Aleksandr Djavadi Mirzoyan, in1954 (Photo courtesy of Ivette Alexander/Zham)
We managed to flee Baku with the help of friends and mom’s patients before the last Armenian Baku pogrom in January of 1990. We found ourselves in Moscow, but the shadows of those horrible events continued to haunt us for long after.
Mom was born in Baku in 1923 and left it forever in 1989. A doctor, who provided 40 years of care and service at one institution, remained forever there—in the USSR. She never could imagine herself outside of her home city, outside of her great country, outside of her vocation. A long line of Armenian refugees of Baku joined our family in Moscow in wishing her a final farewell. They were her former patients who knew their beloved doctor throughout their lives and the lives of their children, and trusted her both in their former homeland and in exile. After burying my mother, we were preparing to emigrate from Russia. Having spent four complicated years in Moscow, we were finally granted permission to leave.
This was 1993. By this time, our family had grown as we welcomed our little one, Kristina.
We flew to New York, having known very little about it. All we knew for sure is that our relatives are waiting for us. A year prior to our arrival to New York, Ruzanna, Albert’s youngest sister, emigrated with her family. Soon joined by the arrival of their other sister Elza with her family and their parents—Sirvart Ashotovna Karnizyan (whose mother, Aikanush Ter-Terian, originally from Trabzon, escaped Armenian Genocide of 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Empire when she was thirteen) and Mikhail Avanesovich Asriyan (whose mother—Anaid Abramova, born in Shushi, escaped the massacres of Armenians in 1920, having lost much of her family).
Albert and I, along with Julie, now ten years old; Krisina, two years old; and my father, Alexander, settled in New York. Thus began a new chapter in our lives in immigration. The page was turned anew in our destiny—but this was a different world entirely…
A version of Alexander’s story of escape first appeared in Moscow’s Zham (Жам) magazine (in Russian).
Posted 27 February 2018 - 01:46 PM
Սումգայիթը` կեղեքիչ հիշողություն և ծանր դաս
Երեք տասնամյակ է անցել սումգայիթյան ողբերգությունից: Խորհրդային ժամանակաշրջանում աննախադեպ երևույթ էր, երբ ազգային մի հանրապետությունում նման ծավալով այլատյացություն է դրսևորվում մեկ ուրիշ ազգի նկատմամբ: Եթե անգամ ժողովուրդների բարեկամությունը կոմունիստական կեղծ կարգախոս էր, այդուհանդերձ, կար խորհրդային մի կարծրատիպ, որը կարծեք պիտի կանխարգելեր միջէթնիկական բախումները: Ավաղ, պարզվեց, որ դա ընդամենը միֆ է, որով շուրջ յոթանասուն տարի մոլորեցնում էին խորհրդային բազմազգ ժողովրդին:
Սումգայիթում, Բաքվում, Կիրովաբադում և Ադրբեջանի հայաշատ մյուս բնակավայրերում հայերի նկատմամբ կատարված լայնածավալ բռնությունները, ինչպես նաև Ղարաբաղյան պատերազմը փաստեցին խորհրդային ինտերնացիոնալիզմի սնանկությունը: Ակնհայտ դարձավ, որ կայսրությունում ապրող ժողովուրդները իրավունք և հնարավորություն չունեն իրենց կամքով տնօրինելու սեփական ճակատագիրը: Թեպետ կոմունիստական գաղափարաբանությունը ստրկատիրությունը համարում էր մարդկության մեծագույն արատ, սակայն երկրի ներսում համագոյակցող ազգերը կամարտահայտության սահմանափակման առումով նույն ստրկական վիճակում էին: Եվ դա վերաբերում էր ինչպես հայերին, այնպես էլ մյուս էթնիկ հանրություններին:
Սումգայիթում հայ բնակչության նկատմամբ իրականացված բռնարարքները բնավ էլ մի խումբ խուլիգանների կողմից կատարված գործողություններ չէին, որովհետև խորհրդային միլիցիան և հատկապես պետանվտանգության մարմիններն անողոք էին խուլիգանական արարքների նկատմամբ: Կայսրության որևէ այլ տարածքում դժվար թե զանգվածային արյունոտ բախում տեղի ունենար տարբեր ազգությունների ներկայացուցիչների միջև, որին իրավապահներն անմիջապես չարձագանքեին: Սումգայիթի պարագայում, միլիցիայի աչքի առաջ և նրանց խրախուսմամբ, հայերի ջարդը շարունակվեց երեք օր: Ավելին, կազմակերպիչները հատուկ այդ նպատակով գործարաններում պատրաստել էին սառը զենքեր ու տրամադրել ջարդարարներին, ինչպես նաև նախապես կազմել էին հայերի ցուցակներն՝ ըստ բնակության ու աշխատանքի վայրերի, անջատել նրանց բնակարանների հեռախոսները: Իսկ բժշկական հաստատություններին էլ հանձարարված էր բուժօգնություն ցույց չտալ հայազգի տուժածներին: Այս ամենը կատարվում էր տեղական իշխանությունների բացահայտ թողտվությամբ, ինչը հաստատում է, որ Սումգայիթ քաղաքում փետրվարի 26-28-ը տեղի ունեցածը իսկական ցեղասպանություն էր:
Բայց ո՞վ էր ցեղասպանության իրական հեղինակը: Անշուշտ, եթե Խորհրդային Միությունը դիտարկենք որպես մեկ պետական միավոր, ապա հիմնական մեղավորությունն ընկնում է կենտրոնական իշխանությունների վրա, որովհետև գորբաչովյան վարչակարգը երեք օր անց միայն զորքեր մտցրեց քաղաք` իբր կանխելու հայերի սպանդը: Ինչո՞ւ, օժտված լինելով քաղաքական և իրավական անհրաժեշտ լծակներով, Մոսկվան պատշաճ գնահատական չտվեց սումգայիթյան դեպքերին: Դա չարվեց թերևս ԽՍՀՄ վարկանիշը պահպանելու համար, քանզի ցեղասպանությունը մեկ հանրապետության ներսում` նույն հանցագործությունն է ամբողջ երկրի մասշտաբով: Ադրբեջանը թեև կամավորաբար միութենական կազմ մտած հանրապետություն էր, սակայն խորհրդային սահմանադրության ուժով կենտրոնական դատական մարմիններն իրավասու էին առնվազն Սումգայիթի կուսակցական, համայնքային և իրավապահ կառույցների ղեկավարությանը քրեական պատասխանատվության ենթարկել:
Ճիշտ է, դատավարություններ եղան, բայց դրանք, ըստ էության, ծաղրանքի շոու էին: Ջարդերին մասնակցել էին հազարավոր թափթփուկներ, մինչդեռ դատապարտվել էր 94 հոգի, որից միայն մեկ անձի նկատմամբ էր կայացվել մահապատժի դատավճիռ։ Շեղվելով քրեական դատավարության նորմերից՝ խորհրդային արդարադատությունը բոլոր հանցագործությունները` սպանություններ, բռնաբարություններ, ջարդեր, հրկիզումներ, թալան և այլն, մեկ քրեական գործի մեջ ներառելու փոխարեն դրանք մասերով անջատեց ու հանձնեց տարբեր դատարանների: Ընդ որում, ծանրացուցիչ հանգամանքներում կատարված հանցագործությունները որակվեցին իբրև խուլիգանական դրդումներով կատարված: Բնականաբար, երբ Խորհրդային Միությունը փլուզվեց, ոճրագործներն ազատ արձակվեցին ռամիլսաֆարովյան մեզ արդեն հայտնի լկտիությամբ:
Ստույգ քանի՞ հայ է սպանվել Սումգայիթում. պաշտոնական թիվը 27-ն է, մինչդեռ այլ վկայություններով նրանց թիվը հազարի է հասնում: Հասկանալի է, որ հետայդու անկախ Ադրբեջանի արխիվներից հանվել ու ոչնչացվել են ցեղասպանությունը հաստատող իրավափաստերը։
Սումգայիթը խարան է Ադրբեջանի երեսին, և ինչքան էլ հարևան երկրում փորձեն չքմեղ ձևանալ, մեկ է, մի օր ստիպված են լինելու ընդունել եղեռնի փաստն ու մեղանչել արածի համար:
Հարկավ, ցեղասպանությունը կեղեքիչ հիշողություն է, բայց այն նաև ծանր դաս է, որը պիտի լավ սերտել` հետագայում նոր ողբերգություններ թույլ չտալու համար:
Հեղինակ` Կիմ Գաբրիելյան
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