Our bloody memory

March 31 - Genocide Day of Azerbaijanis

The Gulustan and Turkmenchay agreements, signed in 1813 and 1828, laid the foundation for the division of the Azerbaijani people and the division of our historical lands, and in the following period, the process of expropriation of those lands began. In a short period of time, Armenians were resettled en masse to the lands of Azerbaijan.

Armenians settled in the territories of Iravan, Nakhchivan and Karabakh khanates managed to create an administrative division called "Armenian province" under the auspices of their protectors, despite being a minority compared to the Azerbaijanis living there. The artificial territorial division, in fact, created conditions for the expulsion of Azerbaijanis from their lands and the implementation of the policy of genocide against the people of Azerbaijan. In order to realize the idea of ​​"great Armenia" in the lands of Azerbaijan, the history of the Armenian people has been falsified. Distortion of the history of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus in general was an important part of this activity.

Inspired by the dream of creating "Great Armenia", Armenian usurpers carried out mass massacres against Azerbaijanis in 1905-1907. Mass massacres of Armenians, which started from Baku, covered Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani villages on the territory of present-day Armenia. Hundreds of settlements were destroyed and thousands of Azerbaijanis were brutally murdered.

The Armenians, who skilfully used the First World War and the February and October coups of 1917 in Russia, tried to realize their hateful intentions under the Bolshevik flag. Since March 1918, the Baku Commune has implemented a plan to cleanse the Baku governorate of Azerbaijanis under the slogan of fighting counter-revolutionaries.


The tragedy of January 20

The road leading to the tragedy of January 1990 began in 1987, when the next mass deportation of Azerbaijanis from their historical lands in Armenia, attempts to unite Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia became widespread. Instead of preventing the ongoing tension along the rising line, the Soviet leadership committed a terrible crime against the people of Azerbaijan.

On the night of January 19-20, 1990, under the direct orders of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, troops of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR, the State Security Committee and the Ministry of Internal Affairs entered Baku and several districts of Azerbaijan. Mass killings were carried out by firing from equipment and various types of weapons. The occupation of Baku by special forces of the Soviet army and a large contingent of internal troops was accompanied by special cruelty and unprecedented brutality. Before the introduction of the state of emergency was announced to the population, 82 military personnel were mercilessly killed, including 20 mortally wounded. After the declaration of the state of emergency, 21 people were killed in Baku within a few days. Eight more people were killed in regions and cities where the state of emergency was not declared on January 25 in Neftchala and on January 26 in Lankaran.

Thus, 131 people were killed and 744 injured in Baku and its surrounding regions as a result of the illegal deployment of troops. Among the dead were women, children and the elderly, as well as emergency workers and militiamen.

The illegal introduction of troops was also accompanied by mass arrests of civilians. During the operations, 841 people were illegally arrested from the capital Baku and other cities and regions of the republic, 112 of them were sent to prisons in various cities of the USSR. Military personnel fired at 200 houses, 80 cars, including ambulances, and a large amount of state and private property was destroyed as a result of fires caused by incendiary bullets.

The actions of the Soviet troops showed all the signs that were condemned in the international tribunal held in 1945-1946 and went down in history as the Nuremberg trials.

The victims of January 1990 are symbolically called "January 20 Martyrs". In total, Azerbaijan has 150 "January 20 martyrs" (their complete list).

Immediately after the tragedy on January 21, 1990, the national leader Heydar Aliyev came to the permanent representation of Azerbaijan in Moscow together with his family members and demonstrated his solidarity with his native people. "...I consider the events that have taken place in Azerbaijan to be against the law, democracy, humanism and ... the principles of legal state-building ... If necessary measures had been taken by the political leadership of the supreme party of the country at the initial stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh events, the grounds for the military intervention that resulted in many massacres on the night of January 19-20, 1990 would not have been created ... All those who committed the massacre should be properly punished!". On November 20 of the same year, at the session of the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, the national leader Heydar Aliyev assessed the January tragedy as an attack on the sovereign rights of the Azerbaijani people: "I think that this tragedy that happened on January 19-20 was the fault of both the political leadership of the Soviet Union and Gorbachev personally. İt is a result of his dictatorial tendencies, and at the same time, it is the result of the betrayal and crime of the leaders of Azerbaijan. I am of the opinion that there has not been such a bloody massacre on this scale after the end of the Great Patriotic War, in the Soviet Union, within the country, nowhere, in any region. The Soviet army did this. And the scale of this can be measured by the fact that for the implementation of this military action, the Minister of Defense of the USSR, Yazov, and the Minister of the Interior of the USSR, Bakat, came to Baku ahead of time and led these operations. During the war, the minister of war went to the front little by little, but look how much attention they gave to this military operation, how big it was, that Marshal Yazov came to Baku and led this operation. That is, this is a military aggression against the people of Azerbaijan, an insult, a crime against the people of Azerbaijan."

In addition to being a national sadness, the January tragedy also showed the indomitability and determination of the will of the Azerbaijani people. Despite the ruthlessness and cruelty of the Soviet army and the imposition of a state of emergency in Baku, the people of Azerbaijan held a mourning procession on January 22 in the "Azadlig" square of the capital in connection with the burial of the martyrs of January 20. About 2 million people attended the funeral ceremony in the Alley of Martyrs. At the request of the people, an emergency session of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR was called and a decision was made to cancel the state of emergency in Baku, but most of the leading officials of the republic did not participate in that session, fearing the anger of the people.

This epochal event had a decisive impact on the formation of Azerbaijan's national identity and was a turning point in the restoration of state independence. It was after this tragedy that the national liberation movement became a complete political reality, became irreversible, and the people saw their future only in independent Azerbaijan.

On March 29, 1994, at the initiative of national leader Heydar Aliyev, the January 20 tragedy was first assessed at the level of the highest legislative body - Milli Majlis. The decision of the Milli Majlis states: "In order to suppress the national liberation movement that has spread in Azerbaijan, to break the faith and will of the people who stood up with the act of creating a democratic and sovereign state, to humiliate their national identity, and to demonstrate the power of the Soviet military machine to any nation that embarks on such a path." The entry of the Soviet Armed Forces into the city of Baku and several districts of the republic on January 20, 1990, as a result of which the brutal killing of unarmed people who came to the streets to defend rights and justice, should be considered as military aggression and a crime by the totalitarian communist regime against the people of Azerbaijan.

The people of Azerbaijan honors the memory of the martyrs of January 20. Every year, the anniversary of the tragedy is accompanied by mass visits, the people put red carnations on the graves of the martyrs of independence, which have become a symbol of the tragedy, commemorate them with pride, curse their killers, and express their deep hatred for those who committed this tragedy.

Every year on January 20 at 12:00 Baku time, the memory of the martyrs of January 20 is commemorated with a minute of silence, there are sound signals from ships, cars and trains, and national flags are lowered as a sign of sadness.


Khojaly genocide

The Khojaly genocide is the most terrible of the genocide crimes committed against the peaceful Azerbaijani population during the war of aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan. Before that, during the occupation of Baganis Ayrim village of the Gazakh region of Azerbaijan bordering with Armenia, during the occupation of the villages of Imarat Garvand, Tugh, Salaketin, Akhullu, Khojavand, Jamilli, Nabiler, Meshali, Hasanabad, Karkijahan, Gaibaly, Malibeyli, Yukhari and Ashaghi Gushchular, Garadagli, where Azerbaijanis live in Nagorno-Karabakh, a part of the peaceful population of those settlements was killed with particular cruelty based on a pre-prepared plan. It is enough to note that a few days before the Khojaly genocide, on February 17, 1992, more than 80 Azerbaijanis were massacred in the Garadagli village of Khojavend.

Khojaly, located 10 kilometers southeast of Khankendi, in a strategic location between the Aghdam-Shusha and Askaran-Khankendi roads, where Nagorno-Karabakh's only airport is located. It has been completely besieged by Armenian military units since the second half of February. All attempts by civilians to break out of the siege in groups or alone were prevented.

On the night of February 25-26, 1992, the armed forces of Armenia, violating all international legal norms, deployed heavy military equipment on the peaceful population of the besieged city of Khojaly, treated them with unprecedented cruelty, and barbarically destroyed the city. As a result of a terrible crime directed not only against the people of Azerbaijan, but against the entire humanity, 613 peaceful Azerbaijanis were brutally murdered due to their nationality, 63 of them were children, 106 were women, and 70 were elderly. As a result, 8 families were completely destroyed, 25 children lost both parents, 130 children lost one of their parents. In addition, 487 civilians were seriously injured, 1275 people were taken hostage. The fate of 150 hostages, including 68 women and 26 children, is unknown.

The national leader Heydar Aliyev strongly protested the fact that Khojaly was left completely defenseless by the country's leadership at that time and said: “The treacherous position of the government of that time in relation to the national independence of Azerbaijan and our people, the criminal indifference to its constitutional obligations, the ongoing political power games that took place in the republic, anarchy and turmoil, the insidious personal ambitions of individual politicians created the immediate conditions for the commission of this historical tragedy. The pleas of our citizens for help has been ignored for a long time, surrounded by enemies from all four sides. Despite the existence of real opportunities to save Khojaly, the innocent population was purposefully drawn into this national massacre.

The Khojaly genocide is a historical crime directed not only against the people of Azerbaijan, but against all humanity, revealing the inner face of Armenian fascism once again, and it must be condemned by the civilized world in accordance with international law.

The nature and scale of the crimes committed in the city of Khojaly prove that this genocidal act fully corresponds to the definition stated in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution No. 260 (III) dated December 9, 1948. The pre-planned mass and merciless act of massacre was committed with the intention of completely killing the people living in that area precisely because they were Azerbaijanis. These executioners skinned people's heads, cut off various limbs, put out the eyes of babies, ripped up pregnant women's bellies, buried people alive or burned them, and mined some of the corpses. The people who wanted to escape from the burning city were not spared, Armenian soldiers ambushed civilians on the roads and in the forests.

Khojaly tragedy stands in line with genocides such as Khatyn, Holocaust, Songmi, Lidice, Babi Yar, Rwanda and Srebrenica, which have left a deep mark in world history as a mass killing of civilians.

The organizers of the Khojaly genocide, which is a crime against humanity, are the political and state leadership of the Republic of Armenia, and the direct executors are the units of the Armenian armed forces, the Armenian terrorist groups in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the personnel of the 366th motorized rifle regiment of the former Soviet army located in the city of Khankendi.

The Khojaly Genocide is one of the series of mass murders committed with the intention of shaking our people who stood up for the defense of their native land during the aggression of the Armenian armed forces against Azerbaijan, breaking their determination to fight, and destroying a part of the Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh. This is proven by the killing of 67 civilians, the hostage taking and disappearance of dozens of people, and the complete burning of the village about a month and a half after the Khojaly tragedy - on April 8, during the occupation of Aghdaban village of Kalbajar region, in the act of mass slaughter carried out on the basis of a pre-prepared plan, including children, women and the elderly. Another brutal crime was committed in Balligaya village of Goranboy district - Balligaya massacre. It was as a continuation of these measures, on August 28, 1992. As a result, 24 Azerbaijani civilians were mercilessly killed, among them were 6 minor children, including a 6-month-old baby, and 3 minor children lost both their parents. The bodies of some of the killed civilians were cremated. A 93-year-old old woman was not spared in Balligaya, and the majority of those killed were children, women and the elderly.

According to the decision of the Milli Majlis dated February 24, 1994, February 26 was declared the Khojaly Genocide Day.

On February 24, 2017, the Parliament of Azerbaijan condemned the massacre of Azerbaijanis in the city of Khojaly by the military units of the Republic of Armenia, Armenian armed groups in Nagorno-Karabakh and the 366th motorized rifle regiment of the former Soviet army on the night of February 25-26, 1992. According to the decisions of the Milli Mejlis dated February 24, 1994, February 24, 1995, February 27, 2007 and February 24, 2012, it has once again confirmed the assessment of genocide as a crime.

The law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Azerbaijan continue to take measures to identify and bring to criminal responsibility those who participated in the act of genocide in the city of Khojaly.

National leader Heydar Aliyev said about the Khojaly genocide: "The government and people of Azerbaijan were tasked to convey the truth about the Khojaly genocide and the atrocities committed by Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh as a whole to the world states, parliaments, and the general public with all their scale and horrors. All of this should be recognized as a real act of genocide. This is our civic and human duty to the souls of Khojaly martyrs. On the other hand, the real international legal and political assessment of the tragedy, the proper punishment of its ideologues, organizers and executors is an important condition for the prevention of such cruel acts against humanity as a whole in the future."

In this regard, the work done within the campaign "Justice for Khojaly!" organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation is expanding year by year. As a result of the systematic work carried out in the field of worldwide recognition of the Khojaly genocide, the relevant documents of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the parliaments of Mexico, Pakistan, the Czech Republic, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Sudan, Guatemala and Djibouti confirmed that the mass murders committed in Khojaly were an act of genocide. The parliaments of Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Jordan, Slovenia, Scotland, as well as the executive and legislative bodies of more than 20 states of the United States of America strongly condemned the Khojaly tragedy as a massacre.

Khojaly genocide is commemorated every year with large-scale events by the order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. In 2017, the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly Genocide was commemorated with another national march in Baku. "The world must recognize the Khojaly genocide!", "Justice for Khojaly!", "Don't forget Khojaly!", "Reject Armenian fascism!", "Khojaly - the genocide of the 20th century", "Criminals will not go off unpunished!" and other such appeals and slogans were displayed there.


Homeland war

The Second Karabakh War, Homeland War, or Operation "Iron Fist" is an ongoing armed conflict between the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan and the Armed Forces of Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh. It is the most intense and long-lasting battle observed after the armistice. It is the latest escalation of the unresolved conflict over the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but created under the administration of the Armenian government.

Clashes began on the morning of September 27, 2020 along the contact line established after the Karabakh war. After that, Armenia declared martial law and general mobilization, and Azerbaijan declared martial law, curfew and partial mobilization. Turkey provided military support to Azerbaijan, although the degree of this support is disputed. Turkey's participation is thought to be an attempt to expand the sphere of influence by increasing Azerbaijan's position in the conflict and removing Russia's influence in the region. International experts claim that the war started with the attack of Azerbaijan, and the main goal was to liberate the weakly defended southern regions of the region from occupation. The war was marked by the use of drones, sensors, heavy artillery and missile strikes, as well as the use of state propaganda and official social media accounts in an online information war.