Any significant event, if it is an element of a system, mainly clarifies as subsequent events unfold which are related to the past ones and controlled from the common Centre. If events have common logic, then one is to be the continuation of another and they all are to be links of one logical chain.
In our case, important are Gorbachev's actions after the bloody January events in Baku, their relation to one another and their common logic alleged by Gorbachev after the introduction of troops in Baku.
So, by Gorbachev's verbal order, the Soviet troops killed civilians and actually seized power in Azerbaijan.
Several days later, on 6 February, 1990, PLENARY SESSION OF THE CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE was held. Naturally, all citizens of Azerbaijan, both Communists and nonpartisan, were waiting for Mutalibov's speech there, since it was the first authoritative all-Union platform where Mutalibov could and had to tell the whole truth about 20 January, 1990 at the top of his voice and demanded severe punishment for those responsible. He had to demand resolutely putting an end to the provocations against Baku. And what did he do? Let us give him the floor, though.
SPEECH OF THE FIRST SECRETARY OF THE AZERBAIJAN COMMUNIST PARTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE A.N. MUTALIBOV AT THE PLENARY SESSION OF THE CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE
6 February, 1990
Dear comrades! A tragic situation emerged in Azerbaijan. The expectations my people has lived on for the last two years drove it to the verge of despair. The dream of peace and quiet, hope for justice and help proved to be futile. Blood is pouring at the moment; it flooded the streets of Baku in the black days of January. Deceived people were killed, Azerbaijanis, Russians, Jews, Armenians, old men, women, men. Of course, we mourn these victims and our blame for our helplessness is great.
We are to examine everything (?! - Author), the people are to know the truth and they will. At the same time, the January events cannot be considered without taking into account cause and effect factors ((?! - Author). I had certain reasons to begin my speech with what we have been concerned about for two years. The whole country and the whole world are watching the events in Transcaucasia. The conflict that began on the first crests of the perestroika wave, the events in Nagorno-Karabakh developed into the tragic confrontation of two peoples that had never reached such degree of alienation and open hostility before perestroika. Actually, it is a civil war and even army cannot stop it.
Estimating similar events, we refer to the accumulated problems in the ethnic relations. Without ruling out these problems, I still believe that the main problem of the Soviet people is their dissatisfaction with their life. As for ethnic relations, we must call a spade a spade. If we speak about the relationship between the Armenians and the Azerbaijani before the events in NKAO, problems were solved, amazing as it may seem, by thousands of intermarriages (?! - Author), which made the families even unhappier. No one have doubts today that the cause of the events were the claims on the territory of NKAO. It is clear that the aim was set to join Armenia at any cost, even to do everything to break the proved economic relations with Azerbaijan and artificially redirect them wherever they wanted to.
I must to speak about it today frankly, because it is the root of the tragedy. The same aim is pursued by the idea of self-determination of nations that has emerged recently. They imply the Armenian population of NKAO, referring to Lenin, probably to add authority to their thesis. Should we think that the Armenian community, or any other nationalities in one or another republic, is sure to gain independence?
The recent frequent discussions of the long-sufferance of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh (which is quite justified today, by the way), "care" about it inflicted irreparable damage on all Armenians living in the cities and regions of Azerbaijan and all Azerbaijanis that lived in Armenia until recently.
Believe me, I am not using this rostrum to stir up emotions. We have heard such accusations many times. My purpose is to stress again with all responsibility that it is impossible that both sides are equally responsible for what happened. It is impossible that the conflict was initiated simultaneously in collusion. Someone must have started this vicious action. Why, let me ask you, do the names of these people remain unsaid? Many of them continue to stir up the ethnic conflict with persistence that is worth of better use. Besides, some of them are lodged with powers of the USSR people's deputies. Isn't it time we put an end to their activity in this direction?
So, the original cause of the conflict was open and unfounded territorial claims on the part of Armenia against Azerbaijan.
This fact has no precedents in the history of the Soviet state. Unfortunately, the Centre did not give principled party and state assessment to it from the very start and no appropriate firm measures were taken to stop any attempts to realize these plans. In your speech today, Mikhail Sergeyevich, there was a statement of the maintenance of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. We are grateful to you for it (?! - Author), since it is a constitutional right. In this statement, we put the idea of the primacy of this law, according to which NKAO is an inseparable part of Azerbaijan and its state and political system. And no one has the right to violate sovereign rights of the republic and interfere from outside. The Soviet law is the guarantee of the impartial observation of all civil rights and we will follow this law strictly. It was the violation of this principle that made us perceive the establishment of the Committee of Special Administration of NKAO as mistrust to the leaders of the republic, though it was a peacekeeping action. However, as a matter of fact, the activity of the committee did not stabilize but rather aggravated the situation in the republic.
This unsolved problem was considered by the working population of the republic as incapability of the Azerbaijan Communist Party to ensure the protection of national interests. The established practice of appealing to the Centre was regarded as lack of independence, inability to assume responsibility for the solution of fundamental issues put forward by life. All this inflicted serious damage on the authority of the republican party organization, forming vacuum between it and the people, which was used by everyone who decided to take advantage of this split.
It led to the virtual paralysis of the political authority that will long suffer the consequences of the black January of 1990. And yet, I would like to say today concerning the January events, proceeding from humanistic ideals, basing on all I have heard during the last week from everyone I chanced to meet, that we should have shown higher degree of professionalism (?! - Author), avoided unjustified atrocities. Our whole republic talks of it today and I must bring it to notice of the participants of the Plenum.
Comrades, I do not wish by any means to damage the army. Army has to interfere when local authorities actually lose power (?! - Author). But I do believe that we all, all our law enforcement institutions should turn to the processes that take place in different regions and solve the problems in a common way without resorting to introduction of troops. Tbilisi and Baku are enough (?! - Author). I say this both to myself and first of all to the republican party organization (?! - Author).
Against the current events, there are many things that prevent us from stabilizing the situation. Different kind of people, different sort of scum splashed out to the surface, Comrades. Including those who advance different slogans (?! - Author).
But we cannot generalize and question the loyalty of the Azerbaijan people to the Socialist ideals and develop the myth of Islamic fundamentalism (the term "pan-Turkism" is also used to create more fever) which is too painful for the hearts of the working Azerbaijan people.
There are dangerous "theories" of homebred political analysts aimed at stirring up unhealthy passions. These ideas are planted by certain persons (?! - Author). We should also say that mass media should show more sensitiveness and understanding of the situation in the region. Newspapers, programmes of the Central Television are paid attention to not only in Armenia and Azerbaijan but in the whole country. Any inconsiderate biased word is spread by the wave of indignation and only furthers destabilization of the situation. I refer this first of all to the wide publicizing of Russian refugees who sowed panic.
So, we ended up seeing armed formations operating on either side. But here is another fact! What are we to do? When speaking of Azerbaijan, we call them militants; when speaking of Armenia, we call them citizen soldiers. Both cases violate the Soviet laws. How can we describe it all like this, moreover, film it and show to the whole world!
Surely, we must set things right (?! - Author) and I think that the measures we are taking now, the outlined recovery, all this alongside with that attitude to the problem that was voiced here today, will help us arrange it and avoid further confrontation.
All that happened in Azerbaijan, despite the acuteness and uniqueness is the consequence of the common disease, Comrades, formation of democracy characteristic of our society (?! - Author). It is no secret that in the party and public circles the idea is voiced louder and louder that perestroika is getting uncontrollable, now it stalls and then it swerves, glasnost often turns into a mouthpiece for some and a means of blocking for others. Some forces feel too freely in the conditions of democracy, while others are exposed to defamation. Comrades have spoken about that. A paradoxical situation emerged when the political system reforming in the direction of consolidation of legal relations has to resort to cohesive methods from the arsenal of command-and-control management (?! - Author). What is it? Inconsistence of democracy? Lack of political experience in new conditions? Or demoralization of state legal structures?
We still do not get answers to these questions from the discussed project of platform. We witness the situation when so-called informal movements have already become parallel bodies of authority in a number of regions. It probably became possible not only due to the weakness and tactical mistakes of party organizations but also due to the fact that the activity of these organizations has not been regulated so far. And most importantly, the CPSU failed to work out a definite political course in regard to new movements, define their place and role in the renewed political system. It results in putting true democrats and ardent nationalists, fighters for perestroika and separatists on the same plane. It is not accidental probably that political strike added to the armoury by certain forces as a means of pressure has not met serious resistance first of all on the part of the public yet.
I think it is time we called a spade a spade. Political struggle requires Lenin-like clear accents, characteristics and guidelines. I would like to agree with all the suggestions voiced by the previous speakers. And literally some of my own. I should say that there is much contradiction in the project of platform as well. In particular, in the self-determination right of nations. On the one hand, this principle is approved up to secession and the mechanism is to be worked out later; on the other hand, it says about the duty of the party to convince in inexpediency of such choice, We should be more definite and unambiguous here. The project points out that the role of the party is to be the political leader recognized democratically. But I am not sure that the party will keep its leading role in the society against enormous social problems that are unlikely to be solved soon. Furthermore, it is emphasized in the economic sphere that the party will seek realization of social and economic programmes, with detailed enumeration from resources saving to conversion. But all this is not the prerogative of the party activity. That is why we need more accurate definition. As for planned and market economic methods, the aspiration to improve economy by them alone, without solving the problem of property drastically or ensuring the necessary discipline, seems half-hearted. And I believe this is what we should pay attention to."
Whereas all Azerbaijanis have been driven out of Armenia, with hundreds of peaceful people killed, Soviet tanks are crushing marchers in Baku, the process of pushing Azerbaijanis out of Karabakh is under way, Mutalibov thanks… Gorbachev for reading a line from the USSR Constitution!
There is no hint in his speech at the establishment of a commission to investigate the events in Baku, at the reasons of the introduction of troops, at the punishment of the criminals etc.
He is afraid of damaging the image of the Soviet Army that killed people in Baku and believes that the use of the army in Tbilisi and Baku was enough and it should not happen again.
Not a single conceptual proposal, not a single definite demand to the Centre, not a single sharp claim against Gorbachev.
The imitation of Gorbachev's speech style by Mutalibov is rather unpleasant in this speech. It is impossible to understand his meaning, to place right stresses, which is so important! And all this happens in the critical period when the wounded Azerbaijan expected him to be firm and resolute in everything!
Mutalibov's entire speech, monotonous, conciliatory, calming, is an insult of the cherished memory of SHEKHIDS of 20 January, 1990 in Baku.
The most terrible thing was that SHOWING HEROISM AGAINST GORBACHEV AGGRESSION AT THE COST OF THEIR LIVES, SHEKHIDS OF 20 JANUARY RAISED HIGH THE BANNER OF THE FREE AZERBAIJAN, AND AS THE HEAD OF STATE MUTALIBOV HAD TO RAISE THIS BANNER HIGH AND SPEAK AT ALL FORUMS HE ATTENDED AS THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE HEROIC PEOPLE SHOULD, CALL A SPADE A SPADE FRANKLY AND FEARLESSLY!
INSTEAD, LIKE A TIME-SERVER AND GORKY'S ANTIHERO THAT TROD ON DANKO'S BURNING HEART, HE TROD UPON THE BANNER BESPRINKLED WITH THE BLOOD OF SHEKHIDS OF 20 JANUARY. HISTORY WILL NEVER FORGIVE HIM FOR THAT!
Complete indifference to the terrible problems of Azerbaijan was also demonstrated by the last congress of the CPSU. As a matter of fact, it could not be any different, since Azerbaijan delegation was formed according to the new concept voiced by Mutalibov in the beginning of 1990, "The new concept of Socialism is the call of the times… Conviction is growing stronger in the party and scientific circles that it is necessary to return to the classical Marxism."
Among other "representatives of the classical Marxism", Director General of TASS L. Kravchenko, Minister of Railways of USSR I. Konarev, head of the CPSU Central Committee Ethnic Issues Department V. Mikhaylov were elected from the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, that is, open and secret enemies of Azerbaijan, a classical "fifth column" in modern style. All reports of Azerbaijan delegates written in the spirit of "classical Marxism" were approved and there was no acuteness of Karabakh problem in them. One of the delegates told us that when he saw empty talking shop at the congress he and another delegate went to Hungary on business for five days and nobody noticed. These facts show that Azerbaijan had no solid team united with single idea at the congress. One of the delegates shares the chief "success" with readers in press, "Never have there been so many representatives of Azerbaijan in the party leading bodies." They were the last!
On 11 May, 1990 in the Central Committee of the Azerbaijan Communist Party a meeting with Victor Polyanichko was held, the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Azerbaijan Communist Party, the chairman of NKAO Republican Committee and, most importantly, the politician that had followed and would follow the course of Moscow in Baku and Nagorno-Karabakh. His speech was perceived by the audience, and not them alone, as the Centre's new concept of Karabakh problem after the tragic events in Baku. Everyone was expecting new ideas from Moscow, as it was clear that the Karabakh movement was not social one but naked support of the blood separatism in Azerbaijan on the part of Armenia. Here is Polyanichko's speech (in full accordance with the shorthand record).
…I am not going to speak about the history of the problem; I just want to let you into the fact that… You cannot hear me, can you? I just want to define the fact that it is a cyclic problem. As you know, it has repeatedly put us, first of all Azerbaijan, in lasting deadlock. It is a political volcano that wakes up in cyclic order and we know these cycles.
A question arises in this respect. Did our science develop some recommendations, do something to cushion those blows or even contain them? It is the first circle of questions we are not simply interested in but concerned about. Why have we always played the part of commentators and informers and followed this problem both in the forties and in the fifties, let alone the twenties. And finally, the recent years. As I found out, the situation has been brewing since 1981, 1982 and in 1986 it already found its ideologists, its organization forms, and 1987 and 1988 were the years of realization of this programme of all those Dashnak and other extremist forces. This is first.
Second. I think that should seriously analyze and personify these two years, 1988 and 1989. It is already clear what persons were interested in the tension in such developments. It is clear now why and at what stages it was suggested for the public consciousness and people. The situation that formed at the end of 1989 and the beginning of 1990 looked like this. If we take several circles around NKAO, then the first one is diaspora, the second is Moscow, the third is Transcaucasia, and finally Stepanakert itself. It is like this if we look at the Armenian side. It all looks like a well-thought system, with all actions and recommendations polished, very accurate both in time and performers. And we can say quite definitely that the diaspora has a centre engaged in the development of Karabakh problem, it had such a centre. The issue is dealt with professionally in Moscow now. Yerevan deals with this practically, and Stepanakert acted like performer and perhaps sometimes as initiator. As for the analysis of these forces and their actions, I have little information so far but I can draw general conclusion. The whole diaspora and lobby chose this foothold for solution of large-scale tasks, including subversive ones and not perestroika, all over the country. The Armenian side worked and is working very intensely, giving many negative examples which were caught up in the country, something even shook it. Today we can say in one word that all negative that spread over the country in these two or three years had roots in Karabakh. Such was the case with strikes, with pogroms, with refugees, autonomism of party organizations that passed from the subordination of the Azerbaijan Communist Party Central Committee under that of the Armenian Communist Party Central Committee. And there are plenty of such examples, Karabakh so to say ranks first; generally, our opponents worked very hard and realized such completely unexpected programmes all over the Union.
Where did they fail? Where did they lose? Aganbegyan and other Armenian minds developed these programmes and offered them to Stepanakert in very large scale and form without adjusting this wide-gauge track policy for the Stepanakert narrow gauge. And much of all that had been suggested to Stepanakert as the leading group was not realized because at that time Karabakh lacked five or ten competent practitioners, pragmatists who could have done it all; so they put into practice major ones instead… That is, what happened was general logic, as we call it in ideology, general… They hung in midair, among the clouds.
But much worked. If everything had worked we would have lost Karabakh long ago. They do not know that yet. They are still bathing in the beams of social political thought, and these beams are falling on Karabakh from the whole world and maybe merely some sober minds begin to realize now how these ideas cam through. This is our main loss which we are trying to use now.
The Armenian side managed not only to work on the level of idea but they managed to give several new forms proved in Karabakh. It is "Krunk", it is Karabakh movement, it is a number of other subsystems that were created for these big ideas but I say once again that the most interesting figures among them were Pogosyan and Manucharov. But even they proved to be unqualified for the work they had been offered from above.
Thus, we deal with the opponents armed with ideological and political forms and methods, the opponents we have not analyzed yet. Our dealing with the whole Karabakh problem is on the level nominative sentences, trite, unoriginal and superficial formulations.
There is probably something else in this bloc which we relate to the actions of the Armenian side. We completely… newspaper war, TV screen war, leaflet war. In the country… And this was so strong, it worked so smoothly that actually shook the entire Soviet Union. A small fact, a stone thrown at a bus somehow became a serious incident in just one day. One has to have brains for that. Though such stones, such explosions happened in the whole country every day. But it was the incidents on the road Shusha - Agdam that was reported.
Maybe I will return to something today. Now, I would like to say several words about our, Azerbaijan stand, about our actions. I think that we should mildly, flexibly call these two years, 1988 and 1989, the years of patience. It was not us who waited patiently but our Azerbaijanis in NKAO, and it can be equaled to ordeal, to a great war.
1988. Handshakes, embraces, meetings of first secretaries, invitations of the Bureau members here from Karabakh. A kind of kaleidoscope. I can look through newspapers, booklets now but there is no time. However, what I heard from comrades shows that there were impulses on our part but there was no system in them. Besides, these impulses were mutually destructive. This is first. And second, we were using very out-of-date methods, very stereotypically, well, as I said, for instance, meetings of first secretaries, invitations of the Bureau. The opponent did not use nothing of the like, considering it past, primitive and na?ve, and it proved to be true.
The most interesting year of Karabakh problem was certainly 1988. For a very long time, the wholesome forces of the Armenian population of Karabakh, and naturally of Azerbaijan, did not want this split, did not want allow this aggravation of ethnic hostility, confrontation. It all lasted very long, comrades. That is, the diffusion was so psychological, political, so deep that some forces had been tearing and breaking this root system for a very long time. And with great efforts. But suffice it to say that until April 1988 marches were held… marches against social injustice. Armenians and Azerbaijani were standing side to side in those marches. And even at the end of the last year Azerbaijan party workers worked in district committees under the supervision of Armenian secretaries. They were still employees of the apparatus. There were still some economic relations.
What I am driving at is had we opened our eyes in 1988 and gone to Karabakh even on 31 December, we would have been remembering these difficulties now. 1988 was the year of missed opportunities and unclaimed desires, aspirations of both sides. The most interesting thing is that the Armenians were weak in 1988. Both "Krunk" and "Karabakh" were just being founded, they had no sympathies, no range and it was easy to put in among common ones. Which the KGB tries to do, as well as law enforcement bodies, when first material for dissolution, for bringing to administrative responsibility appeared. I think that we just talked away the whole 1988.
At the same time sparks of Karabakh flew from the Azerbaijan Karabakh zone to Baku. You remember 17 November, when the word "Topkhana" sounded for the first time. Now we fly over Topkhana every day, we go by Topkhana but no one recalls at all what place it is, what plateau it is. Few knew even then what it is but that spark in 1988 was enough and Baku was prepared for provocations.
We know how we overcame this problem in 1988, we know how we ended up in a special situation due to that event… And 1989 passes under the banner of incompetence, unreadiness of the leaders of the republic to solve the issues… And on 10-12 January the document appears on the establishment… the country has never known and God grant that it not happen again, on the introduction of the Committee of Special Administration. Owing to… it was intentional. Unfortunately, Vezirov ruled in Azerbaijan then.
The Committee of Special Administration remained the sole leader violating all sovereign rights of Azerbaijan. The activity of the Centre is interesting here. I think that the activity of the Centre was often related to the passivity of Baku, with requests of Baku, and it seems to me that the activity of the Centre most often reflected sentiments in Azerbaijan. What do I mean? Gorbachev and other authority bodies used all possible means and methods to stabilize the situation in those regions on the level of 1988. And here it is, 1988, 1989, look at it, the whole world is thinking of Karabakh, then Politburo resolution, resolution of the Council of Ministers and the CPSU Central Committee on the participation of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the social economic development of Karabakh.
It is clear now that this resolution was probably the most unexpected for us. Because for the first time in 70 years it gave Armenia open passage. Then economic, then political methods followed. Presidium of 18 July, meeting of deputy groups, meetings of deputies. All this lasted until 10 January, 1989. And finally, a big step back to command-and-control methods and the independent Committee of Special Administration is restored.
Even in Stalin's times there was no such command-and-control body. That is, the Committee of Special Administration was the concentration of all monsters we had never seen before. One pair of hands controlled the KGB, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the army, economy and trade, policy, party, Komsomol, trade unions, everything! But what is going on? On 12 January in Dzerzhinsky club, after the report, we thought that Moscow, the Centre would help us with its powerful forces, with its authority, solve the problem. And some relations with the Committee of Special Administration existed, I cannot say they were normal but they were quiet, probably till June or July. Volsky arrived here, he spoke before the activists, he often went to Moscow... So, at least some work started.
But in July we began to realize that Volsky was working only for one side, for the Armenians. In one of our conversations, on 23 August, I went to Karabakh for two days, I told him, if you work with the Armenians, then you must understand that our citizens, citizens of Azerbaijan... Well, give at least 20% of your time, of material resources to the Azerbaijanis. But he never visited our villages. Even if he did, he was with serious guard. The day before yesterday, we congratulated war veterans in Kirkijan and one of them said in his speech, you've arrived well, but Volsky came once - first three circles of armed guard and only then Volsky himself. It was probably the only meeting with an Azerbaijani village.
Under public pressure, under the pressure of the people's front in assistance to perestroika, as you were called, we tried to determine our relations with the Committee, conducted analysis, and demanded dissolution of the Committee, you know, it was on 24 September. This dissolution was rather torturing...
We immediately, on 6 December, issued the Resolution on NKAO, after the well-known resolution of 28 November. We suspended partially several items, including Item 3 on the establishment of Organization Committee. On 6 December we started working; on 9 January we tried to enter Stepanakert together with Ghirenko and Nishanov. Someone's provocation led to clashes, bloodshed and Zhdanov and Ghirenko could not get into Stepanakert.
And all who gathered there... framed us, for Ghirenko and Nishanov. I can say, to you alone, that I did not leave the airport for three hours. I kept Nishanov and Ghirenko there for three hours and insisted that we should enter on APC or tank. I knew how it all would end. That was the second spark that flew to Baku and on 12 January set on fire the meeting, the fuel that had accumulated in Baku, both against the republican leaders and Karabakh."
Afrand Dashdamirov, secretary, head of state legal building and ethnic relations department of the Central Committee, "Against the Armenians as well."
V. Polyanichko. "We stayed to work in the Azerbaijani area, worked on 9, 10, 11, on the night of 12 were sent for and then Baku tragedy... On 25 January, Gorbachev made the decision about going to Stepanakert. We are there on Gorbachev's instructions. They call from Moscow, "Victor Petrovich, you'd better be one day a week here and six days in Baku, or maybe you stay there, I will send everyone to Comrade Gorbachev. When he gives the order, I will leave Karabakh or... I will tell about it some day.
...The Centre supported us but none law, none resolution on Karabakh was carried out. We published a book, collection of documents on Karabakh. This is a tragedy, comrades, if seven resolutions are issued on a small region, and they were all carried out, all from here. We needed just one more document, that's all.
What can I add? Concerning mass media. I think that the most disgusting role here was played by..." The shorthand record stops here. We heard that Polyanichko finished his speech with an appeal for consolidation of all wholesome forces in Azerbaijan and Armenia, without showing the address of such wholesome forces in Armenia.
Polyanichko's speech resembles theatre of absurd, doesn't it?
Whereas Baku is healing its wounds inflicted by Gorbachev on 20 January, waiting for a fair solution of Karabakh problem, willing to fight for its lands without sparing its life, but instead of giving a deep and well-thought concept of solution of Karabakh problem, calling to be ready for a hard and exhausting struggle for the territorial integrity, the hand of Moscow, the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Azerbaijan Communist Party, the chairman of the republican organization committee on NKAO Victor Polyanichko says such nonsense that one gets the impression that he himself does not understand clearly what he says.
This speech was made at the time when armed units are legally organized in Armenia, formation of the national army is declared, and Azerbaijanis are driven out of Karabakh, whole units of the Soviet Army are disarmed.
"If this be madness, there's a method in it," wrote Shakespeare.
There are elements of madness in Polyanichko's speech but the most important in it is the terrible method in it, terrible for Baku.
It became clear that the Centre made no changes in its stand on Karabakh problem, and Baku continued to execute all orders of the Centre as before 20 January, 1990.
Power in Armenia was seized by extremists. One example: the landing strip of Yerevan airport was blocked, and the plane of the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Armenian Communist Party returning from Moscow was not allowed to land in Zvartnots. Internal troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs broke up the crowd, many soldiers were wounded, their photos appeared in the central press. But Gorbachev remained inactive!
At the elections in the Armenian parliament in May 1990 chief ideologists of Karabakh separatism won. On 4 August L. Ter-Petrosyan was elected the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Armenia, V. Manukyan became the Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
In its first manifest published in August 1990 the new government of Ter-Petrosyan declared void the agreement between the USSR and Turkey on state borders signed in 1921.
This issue was publicly raised for the first time on 24 April, 1965. The leaders of the Soviet Armenia and Armenian Church gathered for the first time in the building of Yerevan opera theatre to commemorate the mournful date, 50th anniversary of the "genocide" of 1915. This event gathered a crowd of a hundred thousand people in the streets of Yerevan who demanded that Turkey return the Armenian land and that NKAO be joined to Armenia. In those days L. Ter-Petrosyan was arrested for the first time for taking part in the campaign on setting up a memorial to the victims of the genocide; he was soon released. His name has been related to the KGB since then.
When asked if it is truth that Levon Ter-Petrosyan, Ashot Manucharyan, Ara Saasyan and some other members of "Karabakh" committee were KGB agents, the former head of the KGB of the Armenian SSR Usik Arutyunyan answers, "Probably, L. Ter-Petrosyan causes most interest in this group (so, we are to understand that others are out of question - Author). You might remember that at the end of 1992 a photocopy of a document appeared in one of opposition newspapers (there were such already then) where my signature (signature of the head of foreign political, scientific technical and clandestine intelligence) approved the reference to L. Ter-Petrosyan. Everyone was shocked as to how such document could leak into press (not the fact of existence of such document but its publication - Author) and what it could mean. The fact is that when the situation in Armenia became aggravated all top secret documents of state security committee of the Armenian SSR were taken out to Smolensk on several planes. It is not improbable that the instruction on work with secret documents was violated there and part of them could be stolen or photocopied.
Realizing that, I suffered no shock at all. When a TV film crew came to interview me concerning this incident, I explained the situation. I said then and I repeat now, "Levon Ter-Petrosyan has never been a KGB agent." A question arises as to what kind of reference it was. The fact is that the KGB of Armenia had the order of the KGB of the USSR to form intelligence subversive groups in the territory of the republic taking into consideration possible military operations in both directions the USSR was interested in. In particular, our close neighbours, the Middle East, Iran, Turkey, Arab countries and so on; naturally, citizens who spoke those languages and had certain skills were enlisted in those groups (those groups were actually used against Azerbaijan - Author). But I should point out that in this issue we worked not under the aegis of the KGB but of the Ministry of Defence. THOSE GROUPS CONSISTED OF PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT PROFESSIONS, DOCTORS, FIELD ENGINEERS, TRANSLATORS, IN A WORD, ALL WHO COULD BE USEFUL IN INTELLIGENCE DIVERSIVE ACTIVITY (highlighted by the author). By the way, none of them even suspected that the worked for the State Security Committee.
L. TER-PETROSYAN WAS AMONG OTHER PEOPLES IN ONE OF SUCH GROUPS, NOTHING MORE (highlighted by the author). If someone of the group members learned that he worked for the KGB he was dismissed. A man was dismissed also if he had a second child, or for health reasons, or due to some personal qualities, for instance, cowardice. THERE WERE PEOPLE IN "KARABAKH" COMMITTEE THAT ASSISTED US BUT I HAVE HO MORAL RIGHT TO MENTION THEIR NAMES EVEN NOW (highlighted by the author)."
Even this intricate text demonstrates that L. Ter-Petrosyan was related to the KGB, how and to what extent are different questions.
Material aid, human resources and armament is going from Armenia to Karabakh in a continuous flow. K. Myalo writes, "…Armenia delivered Mi-24 helicopters (no one denies that) and provided its instructors for Karabakh troops, allocated finances to the budget of Karabakh and the government of Armenia coordinated all Armenian military assistance to Karabakh." Official authorities of Armenia confirm these words; state bodies of Armenia sent different weapons from their reserves to Nagorno-Karabakh with the total connivance of the central bodies in Moscow. Answering questions of the "hot line" of Voice of Armenia, the former head of the KGB of the Armenian SSR Usik Arutyunyan says, "I would like to say one more thing. The KGB had emergency supply of weapons and ammunition. It was not to be taken without the permission of Moscow. Karabakh needed those arms badly. Only I, Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Ashot Manucharyan knew about it, the latter was the minister of internal affairs then. L. Ter-Petrosyan phoned me in case of necessity and asked to help. Hundreds of grenade launchers, machine-guns, submachine-guns and cartridges were sent to Karabakh, though I realized that I could be severely punished for that. And one of issues of Vremya demonstrated the video tape recorded by agents of Azerbaijan in Karabakh; there were green boxes signed "Emergency Supply. KGB. Arm. SSR". You must have understood already what a "bomb" exploded in Moscow. Naturally, I had rather unpleasant conversation with the head of the KGB of the USSR Kryuchkov after that…"
There was no "bomb" explosion in Moscow. Moreover, in his numerous interviews Kryuchkov does not say a word about that outrageous fact, he spoke rather of the scheming of international imperialism. When one of the Azerbaijan deputies approached Kryuchkov at the congress and asked him to comment on the TV reportage about the delivery of armament from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, the latter answered that the KGB of the USSR was unaware of this fact. Correspondent of Vremya were aware but not the KGB of the USSR! Such answer could come from a very dull-witted man or a man who willy-nilly furthered the collapse of the USSR.
Separate subdivisions of the 128th regiment of the 127th motor rifle division GRVZ (permanent dislocation in Gumri, Armenia), 12th special mission brigade, 10 tanks with officer crews and also hired formations of Don and Kuban Cossack troops began periodically take part in the military actions on the Armenian side. When Yeltsin came to power such actions of the Russian army became systematic.
When Gorbachev brought troops in Azerbaijan on 20 January, 1990 and was crushing civilians by tanks, Armenia formed and armed AOD, ANA - Armenian National Army, formations "David Susunsky", "Vretaruner" ("Avengers"), "Aydat" ("The Court of the Armenians"), "Neutral Squads", NART (Independent Army of the Republican Party), MUS ("National Union").
By the middle of 1990, armed groups with total number of over 15,000 militants were operating in Armenia. The largest and most active formation was Armenian National Army (up to 10,000 militants) that operated in the frontier area and often in Karabakh. There were also formations of political parties of different orientation (Armenian National Movement - AOD, "Dashnaktsutyun" etc.) and independent paramilitary groups (MUS, NART, "Adana", "Aydat", "Tigran Mets" etc.), from 50 to 700 militants each. They were equipped by up to 30 units of armour (BTR, BRDM), about 150 cannons and missile launchers, several dozens of mortars, more than 20 Mi-4 helicopters.
Journal du Dimanche (Paris), 24 January, 1990. "Planes with heavy arms, mortars and submachine-guns continue to arrive in Yerevan from Lebanon in the recent weeks. Unloading was carried out at night under the guard of Armenian customs officers. The latter got rid of all surveillance from outside the republic and sided with most radical Armenians. It is several days that not a single Russian has worked at the airport customs…
These gangs are more and more often headed by Armenians from Beirut and Damask. Some of them are close to Lebanese terrorists and Christian armed formations. Several hundreds of Lebanese Armenians well familiar with the tactics of street fighting arrived here without visa. Part of then is still in Yerevan bot most have already left for border regions in the vicinity of Goris and opposite Khanlar.
Lebanese Armenians call their "brother" refugees to even the score with the Muslims. Thus, the future of the Caucasus looks rather gloomy."
"Lebanese secret services, on their part, developed their own plan on secret military assistance to Armenia. They began building a training camp in territory of Lebanon in the region Baalbek that borders with Syria on the mountain Arsal; total number of 500 Armenian militants were to be trained there under the guidance of instructors from Syria and Lebanon," writes Vyacheslav Shironin.
There were actual fights between the Soviet troops and Armenian militants in May, 1991. Press did not report about them, writing just about separate "clashes with gangsters". 24 Armenian militants were killed in these fights, hundreds were wounded. Losses of the Soviet troops were not reported and this information has not been published so far. Cargo 200 without return address arrived in Russian regions like during Afghan war.
WITHOUT MEETING ANY CONDEMNATION ON THE PART OF MOSCOW AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, KARABAKH SEPARATISTS SYSTEMATICALLY SET TO THE REALIZATION OF THEIR CHIEF AIM, EXTERMINATION AND EVICTION OF AZERBAIJANIS FROM NKAO.
AS ALWAYS, THE MAIN WEAPON OF KARABAKH SEPARATISTS AND MILITANTS FROM ARMENIA WAS TERRORISM.
14 July, 1989. An improvised explosive device was blown up in one of flats in Stepanakert, 51 R. Zorge Street, where 26 Azerbaijani families lived.
24 July, 1989. An Armenian terrorist blew up a passenger train at Karchevan station.
16 September, 1989. An Armenian terrorist blew up a passenger coach Tbilisi - Baku. 5 people killed, 25 wounded.
26 September, 1989. In Agbulag village, Gayk Ghetverdyan killed the 23-year-old Barkhudar Askerov who was returning home after his wedding.
15 January, 1990. Armed airborne troops of Armenian separatists landed in Gushchu village of Khanlar region. Victims among the civilians.
Night of 20 January, 1990. Armenian armed squads occupied Kerki village of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. Armenian armed gangs attacked Sadarak settlement. Victims among civilians. Other Azerbaijan villages of Nakhchivan were regularly fired upon with heavy artillery shells and "Grad" multiple-launch rocket system.
30 January, 1990. Five Azerbaijani inhabitants of Ghedabey region are missing. Several days later all five mutilated bodies were found in the territory of Armenia.
18 February, 1990. Explosion in the shuttle bus Shusha - Baku on the 105th km of Evlakh - Lachin road. 13 people wounded.
24 March, 1990. Armed Armenian gangs attacked villages of Gazakh region of Azerbaijan, first opening fire from "Grad" multiple-launch rocket system. Numerous victims among the civil population.
8 September, 1990. Three Azerbaijanis, Suleymanov brothers, driving their GAZ-53 motor-car from Lachin, were attacked by Armenian terrorists from ambush in Khojavend region. Two brothers died, one severely wounded.
15 September, 1990. Television and radio broadcasting centre was blown up in Stepanakert.
20 November, 1990. Two inhabitants of Lachin region of Azerbaijan were killed by Armenian separatists, one wounded.
9 January, 1991. On the 5th km of Lachin - Shusha road Karabakh separatist A.M. Mkrtchyan, G.A. Petrosyan, A.A. Mangasaryan, G.M. Arutyunyan and G.G. Arustamyan killed the journalist of Molodezh Azerbaijana newspaper S. Askerov and Soviet servicemen Lieutenant Colonel S.M. Larionov, Major I.U. Ivanov and Sergeant I.I. Goek.
20 February, 1991. Separatists in Khanlar region fired upon a civil motor-car. Two Azerbaijanis were killed.
25 February, 1991. Near Gulably village of Agdam region separatists attacked two Azerbaijan peasants, one of them was killed.
16 April, 1991. Separatists fired upon a car of Fizuli motor pool near Khojavend (Martuni) region. Two workers of the motor pool were killed, another two severely wounded.
25 April, 1991. Separatists fired upon the Azerbaijan village Umudlu, as well as villages Kapanly and Garadagly in Terter region. Victims among civilians.
28 April, 1991. Armenian armed gangs fired upon the Azerbaijan settlement Sadarak in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic from heavy guns. Victims among civilians.
29-30 April, 1991. Armenian armed gangs fired upon villages of Gazakh and Lachin regions from heavy guns. Victims among civilians.
After this lawlessness Gorbachev decided, of course for appearances' sake, to demonstrate his determination and put an end to this. And he did "demonstrate" it!
Azerbaijan well remembers that information noise in the Soviet mass-media round the operation "Ring" conducted in Nagorno-Karabakh against separatists. Soviet and western mass-media trumpeted, again, with the word "genocide". Leading scientists, writers, intellectuals spoke in support of the Armenians. "Memorial" made a special statement. The impression was made that a large-scale operation against the Armenian extremists was being conducted. And what was going on actually? This question is clarified by the former chairman of the KGB of the Armenian SSr Usik Arutyunyan. Answering the question of the "Hot line" of "Voice of Armenia", "In April-May, 1991 in operation "Ring" was conducted in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. In that period you were the head of the KGB of Armenia. What role did the KGB play in this operation?" he says, "Very narrow circle of people knew about "Ring" and no one even hinted at its conduction. Not only because the Centre did not trust us, but they were afraid of information leakage. Besides, the USSR authorities wanted to prove to the whole world that illegal armed formations of Armenia "threaten the poor Azerbaijan". But on 16 April, 1991 I received information from reliable sources that on 30 April "Ring" operation was to begin by the decision of highest instances, schedule had been worked out and roles distributed. I phoned to Levon Ter-Petrosyan, suggested that we meet and take measures. Owing to my information, they did their best to upset the operation. If you remember, its organizers "stuck in the mire" when they could not detain a single Armenian with weapon not only in Armenia but also in Karabakh. Only several employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic were arrested in Shurnukh and Noemberyan. We actually undermined this operatopn, not only in Armenia BUT ALSO IN KARABAKH (in the territory of Azerbaijan - Author)."
"The permanent post of internal troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs in Chaykend was small and could stabilize the situation only partially; SEPARATE ATTEMPTS TO DISARM ARMENIAN COMBAT DETACHMENTS MADE BY INTERNAL TROOPS OF THE USSR MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS WERE UNSUCCESSFUL (highlighted by the author)," THE REPORT OF "MEMORIAL" points out.
At all international forums, when the issue of Khojaly was touched upon, the Armenian side would declare that Azerbaijanis had been killing Azerbaijanis there and it had been a part of fight for power. In this connection, let us mention another fact concerning "Ring" operation. "Memorial" writes, "Murders. (Chaykend). When villagers were led away, 30-year-old inhabitant of Chaykend V. Nazaryan was shot in attempted flight. Bodies of ten villagers were foundin houses in the outskirts and also more then ten wounded. Among the killed there were: a woman, Minasyan Ripsime, about 80 years old, and men: Akhumyan Vanes, about 83 years old, Ganjumyan Benjamin, 75 years old, Seyran Papik, 84 years old." Doesn't the venerable age of the killed suggest certain ideas about the authors of this crime? Reproaching the Azerbaijan side, the Central Television declared all over the USSR that "the gangsters did not even spare old men." A clear trace of Sumgayit!
Baku knew about "Ring" even then but these backdated confessions are significant!
How much condemnation Baku suffered because of this actually futile operation is hard to estimate!
The Armenian side was as usual depicted with a martyr's halo.
Summer 1991. The journalist of Russian radio station Mayak Leonid Lazarevich was killed by an Armenian terrorist in Kerkijakhan, Azerbaijan SSR.
9 June, 1991. Separatists killed two inhabitants of Azerbaijan village Kachanly, Terter region, another 2 wounded.
27-28 June, 1991. A group of Armenian gangsters from "Karabakh" terrorist organization made a night attack on the village of Garadagly of Khojavend region, Azerbaijan Republic. 6 civilians were killed.
3 July, 1991. Armenian militants attacked inhabitants of Kajar village, Fizuli region. Victims among peasants.
4 July, 1991. Armenian militants killed an inhabitant of Azerbaijan village Umudlu.
8 July, 1991. Inhabitants of Jamilli village, Askeran region, were fired upon by Armenian militants during haymaking. Victims among peasants.
22 July, 1991. Armenian militants from "Karabakh" terrorist organization with assistance of armour attacked summer pastures in Lachin region of Azerbaijan. Nine shepherds were brutally killed.
18 August, 1991. Armenian militants attacked a village in Goranboy region; two peasants were killed, 3 wounded.
23 August, 1991. Armenian terrorist fired upon a bus on Shusha - Jamilli highway. 4 people were killed, 13 wounded.
3 September, 1991. H. Aliyev is elected Chairman of the Supreme Council of Nakhchivan: 64 votes for, 5 votes against, 4 abstentions, 1 spoiled ballot.
Being in blockade, Nakhchivan was exposed to endless provocations on the part of Armenia. What was Baku doing to assist Nakhchivan? Instead of rendering aid, Baku is watching the events gloatingly and waiting for Aliyev's political failure. A madman or a provocateur appears on republican TV screens and says that if Aliyev struck Armenia from Nakhchivan, then "it would be easier to solve Karabakh problem!"
Aliyev holds the field skillfully, stopping armed provocations and playing diplomatic game with Ter-Petrosyan, every time showing him to the world public as an aggressor.
Aliyev developed his flexible controlling system that managed to prevent involvement of the Soviet armed forces deployed in Nakhchivan in the conflict like it had been in Khojaly. We should point out that owing to Aliyev subdivisions of Soviet troops and special units of the KGB of the USSR in this region had much tougher stand towards the Armenian aggressors than in other regions of Azerbaijan; numerous facts confirm that.
Turkey and Iran showed invaluable economic assistance to Nakhchivan in those years. The visit of Turkish president Suleyman Demirel was especially important for Nakhchivan.
7 September, 1991. Armenian militants killed 2 Azerbaijanis in Tog village of Khojavend region.
7 September, 1991. Armenian terrorists fired upon a bus from Stepanakert, 3 passengers were killed, 4 wounded.
8 September, 1991. Armenian terrorists from "Karabakh" terrorist organization exposed a bus on Agdam - Khojavend highway to fire from grenade launchers. 4 Azerbaijanis were killed, 20 severely wounded.
25 September, 1991. As a result of firing upon Kerkijakhan (suburb of Stepanakert) by Armenian militants 1 person was killed and 6 wounded.
29 September, 1991. Separatists fired upon Azerbaijan villages Zeyve and Shafag of Goranboy region, 1 person was killed, 9 wounded.
October - November 1991. After artillery stank from "Grad" system, Armenian armed gangs from "Karabakh" terrorist organization made a number of attacks with the purpose of eviction of Azerbaijan population from the territory of Khojavend region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Over 30 settlements were occupied.
15 November, 1991. Azerbaijan. Armenian gangs killed 5 inhabitants of Khojavend (Zamzur village). Next day the village was taken and burned.
20 November, 1991. Near Garakend village of Khojavend region, Azerbaijan Republic, Karabakh separatists shot down Mi-8 helicopter, with the following people on board: people's deputy T.K. Ismaylov; deputy prime minister of the Azerbaijan Republic, people's deputy Z.S. Gajiyev; state counsellor of President of the Azerbaijan Republic, people's deputy Major General M.N. Asadov; Prosecutor General of the Azerbaijan Republic, people's deputy, state counsellor of justice I.I.Gayibov; people's deputies V.D. Jafarov and V.T. Mamedov; the head of press centre of Apparatus of President of the Azerbaijan Republic O.M. Mirzoyev; first deputy minister of melioration and water resources of the Azerbaijan Republic G.G. Namazaliyev; prosecutor of NKAO I.A. Plavsky; head of NKAO Department of the Ministry of National Security S.S. Ivanov; head of NKAO Department of Internal Affairs Major General V.V. Kovalev; commandant of NKAO emergency region N.V. Zhinkin; aide of the state secretary of the Azerbaijan Republic R.M. Mamedov; journalists of Azteleradio A.M. Mustafayev, A.I. Huseynzade and F.I. Shakhbazov; observers from the Russian Federation Major General M.D. Lukashov and Lieutenant Colonel V.M. Kocharov; first deputy minister of internal affairs of Kazakhstan Major General S.D. Sedrikov. The delegation was bound to the given region with peacekeeping mission. All passengers and the crew were killed.
23 December, 1991. Armenian gangs from "Karabakh" terrorist organization attacked Meshali village of Askeran region. 6 people were killed and 15 wounded.
When it became clear that the chief political sponsor of Karabakh separatists Gorbachev and his team were already staggering, they began to flirt with Yeltsin.
According to the confession of the chairman of "State defence committee" of NKR R. Kocharyan made in his interview to Andrey Karaulov, the host of Moment of Truth Russian TV programme on 10 January, 1994, at the end of 1991 the then chairman of the "Supreme Council" of NKR G. Petrosyan sent a letter to Yeltsin with a request for NKAR to become a part of Russia.
Clearly, Yeltsin did not give an official answer but he assured Karabakh separatists through his numerous pro-Armenian channels that they could expect from him comprehensive support incomparable even to Gorbachev's assistance.
Karabakh separatists understood that they could continue their black deeds in the same vein, since they would have no problems with the new Russia!
1 January, 1992. Separatists attacked villages Akhmedavar and Chukhurmekhle of Agdam region. Victims among the local population.
11 January, 1992. Armenian armed gangs attacked villages Juvarly, Goga of Fizuli region and Akhulu of Khojavend region. Victims among the population of the villages.
18 January, 1992. Separatists attacked Azerbaijan villages Keybaly of Shusha region, Khydyrly of Agdam region. Killed and wounded among the civilians.
28 January, 1992. Near Shusha a civil helicopter flying on the route Agdam - Shusha was shot down by Armenian terrorists. 3 members of the crew and 41 passengers, mainly women and children, were killed.
10 February, 1992. Armenian gangs headed by "Karabakh" terrorist organization occupied Azerbaijan villages Malybeyli and Gushchular. Many victims among the civilians. Wounded were killed after tortures on the spot.
13 February, 1992. At 6.00 a.m. a big Armenian armed gang equipped with modern weapons broke into Azerbaijan village Garadagly near Agdam and made mass slaughter among the civilians. More than 90 Azerbaijanis were taken hostages during the massacre, including 41 women. About 200 peasants were killed and all this was recorded on video tape. Among them are Guliyeva Sadagat, Gulyaev Rafig, Huseynov Novruz, Huseynov Firuz, Akhundov Gafiz, Eldar, Bakuvian (name unknown), Bayramov Arif, Kerimov Ali-gesmet, Shirinova Milara, Dadashev Eldar, Huseynov Shakhmurad, Taghiyev Telman, Rapimov Mekhi, Zeynalov Mobil, Huseynov Khanaly, Gasanov Altay, Dadashev Manar, Huseynov Asker, Rustamov Ziver.
19 February, 1992. Armenian armed gangs fired upon villages of Gubadly region from the territory of Armenia. Numerous victims among the civilians.
From materials of the commission investigating the tragedy in Khojaly. "On the night of 26 Febuary, 1992 366th regiment attacked Khojaly. The attack on Khojaly was made not only from Stepanakert but also from Askeran, and from above. Other Russian units also took part in the attack alongside with 366th regiment.
The storm of the city was preceded by massed fire from artillery guns, heavy military equipment begun in the evening of 25 February. As a result, fire began in the city and by 5.00 am. 26 February it had been almost entirely aflame. The population that remained in the city, about 2,500 people, had to leave their houses with only hope to break in the direction of Agdam, the neighborhood centre, the nearest settlement inhabited manly by Azerbaijanis.
But their plans were doomed to fail. Armenian armed gangs with the assistance of motorized rifle company destroyed Khojaly and perpetrated a massacre of the civilians.
Children, old men and women were led out of Khojaly by the Armenians in the direction of Shelli. An Armenian pig farm was situated on that road where they were all gathered under the pretence of safety. There were up to 3,000 people. Those who had time to escape to Agdam were safe and those who believed promises and stayed to wait for help were shot in the morning. Bodies were insulted, sucklings were spitted by bayonets, some had their heads cut off."
According to the materials of the investigation, militants of Armenian terrorist organizations ASALA and "Gnchak" took part in the brutal massacre of Khojaly population.
In his book I Photograph War: A School of Survival Yuri Romanov, trying to be impartial, describes the events in Nagorno-Karabakh. He basically succeeds in his attempt, though the Christian factor is present in his narration - "a small Christian enclave surrounded by Muslims", "the last defenders of Christianity in the region" etc. But in one thing this honest Russian did not palter with truth at all. He described the genocide of Azerbaijanis in Khodjaly honestly and truthfully. Let us quote his entire view of the events in Khojaly unabridged so as not to break the wholeness of the picture.
"My eyes pick up two figures from the mash of bodies, a grandmother and a little girl. The grandmother, with grey bare head, is lying with her face down next to a tiny girl in a blue jacket with a hood. Their feet are somehow tied with barb wire, the grandmother has her arms tied. Both shot in the head. The little girl, about four years old, is stretching out her hands to her killed grandmother in the last gesture. Stupefied, I even do not immediately remember my camera…
The viewfinder shows the road, a car with the wounded rushing along it. The wounded are moved to stretchers and brought into the surgical carriage right through the opened windows. A girl of about six with bandaged head. The bandage is arranged so that both her eyes are closed.
I bend to her without turning off the camera.
"What's wrong with you, sweet?"
"Eyes are burning… Me eyes are burning… Uncle! Me eyes are burning!"
The doctor touches my shoulder.
"She's blind. Eyes burnt out with cigarette ends… When they brought her here, cigarette ends were sticking out of her eyes…"
When we finally approach the hospital train, bloody work is in the full swing on the platform and in the carriages. Trucks with lit headlights stop at the platform one after another, and unusual wounded are moved from them, women, children, old men. Almost no men…
"From where are they?" I ask the almost crazy driver.
"Khojaly…" he waves his hand and as soon as the body is empty, the truck starts off with a jerk and goes away…
"And from where are they?" I ask a second driver who has brought a whole family in a UAZ. All in wounds, in blood, a woman and three children. The head of the family is lying on the metal floor with no traces of life. The woman rocks the fourth child, a blood-stained bundle, in her arms… When the overloaded engine fails, the woman's quiet wordless lullaby is heard.
"Mum! Mummy!" the boy and two older girls pull at her sleeve… They are also crippled or wounded, their clothes are also stained with blood. But the mother pays no attention to them…
"Khojaly.." says the driver helping the wounded woman with a dead baby out of the car.
Trucks with wounded approach one after another. A whole column of different cars with lit headlights forms on the road. One of the drivers, sitting down into the cab, says, "It's only bridal processions that go here like that, with headlights on, in broad daylight…"
And the bloody "wedding" goes on…
A thickset Lieutenant Colonel of Medical Corps is tossing about the platform along the train. His face is sallow, his short breath is the one of a man with a bad heart. But the necessity to be in many places at the same time gives him not a single minute of rest. Khanlar Gajiyev, the head of Medical Corps of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence, stops for a minute and puts a white grain of nitroglycerine under his tongue.
"What is going on in Khojaly?"
"We don't know exactly yet but most probably, a group of refugees got under cross-fire… A helicopter's to be sent there soon…"
"It's not the word," he takes out his notebook. "Now, for 1.00 p.m., doctors of our train alone have rendered medical assistance to 290 people. 123 of them with frostbites, 67 gunshot wounds. 43 bullet wounds, 24 shrapnel wounds. Plus 8 people with knife wounds…"
We are deafened with flapping fans and rumbling of engine. A helicopter materializes from low clouds.
Gajiyev shouts, "We've already sent 66 people in Baku… Now the next group…"
There are a lot of people by Agdam mosque. The bare bulb under the tent seems even brighter against the winter and grey weather. People are crowding around. A kind of morgue has been arranged here. Two volunteer old men prepare for the last journey those who fell in this "national liberation" war. Who and why needed to take peasants from fields, workers from lathes if they ended their earthly way under this improvised tent?
The old men work almost twenty-four hours a day, and so does the production line of death, turning young blooming men and women into silent cold corpses. A young, until recently beautiful black-haired woman. A splinter of a grenade or a shell transformed the fine lines of the right side of her face into a bloody mash, the left side remained intact and is not even stained either with mud or blood by some absurd chance. Deathly pallor gives the features unearthly beauty… Below the chest the body is as of cut off unevenly by a drunken butcher. Only few remaining scraps of muscles, sinews and clothes connect the two halves of the slender body…
A naked man is lying on the unplaned blood-stained "prosector's" table. The muscular torso could do honour to any bodybuilder. One leg is half-bent in the knee. A young body, beautiful even in death. it resembles Michelangelo's sketches for one of his great pictures, but it is without head. Round shoulders end with the stump of the neck. The pink larynx and bright white fragment of a neck-bone can be seen in the huge yawning wound… Screams of relatives who recognized the head of their family by the tattoo on the arm…
The scene seems everyday and almost impassionate. Another truck arrives, prosily dumps the corpses that earlier were the participants of another battle and leaves for another batch. The old men put the dead on the improvised prosector's tables, wash them and put into coffins. The latter are piled up right here, at the mosque walls… Most self-restrained of relatives, after recognizing members of their families, bring cars and take the dead bodies away. Several hours later the coffin appears in the city square surrounded by inconsolable relatives to go under the ground for good.
Perhaps, I will always keep in memory this morgue in the mosque and these old men, doing their doleful work day by day…"
One has the impression that those inhuman monsters in their terrible deeds in Khjaly were doing the same as fascists, with the only difference that fascists did not disembowel children or burn out their eyes! Romanov described everything he had seen with his own eyes. He described it honestly without hiding anything, with a heavy heart, but he did not say a single wrathful word against the Armenian side and the 366th motorized rifle company, that is, tragedy happened and the perpetrators are virtual. We can hardly blame Romanov for such stand. Khojaly opened eyes of many DECENT politicians, journalists and so on and they were shocked seeing that those they had considered "fighters for freedom" turned out to be bloodthirsty murderers. They did not change their stand fundamentally but became more restrained in their estimates of Karabakh conflict.
"I could not help a eight or nine-year-old girl who got a bullet wound in ten steps from me. I am scared of the day when God punishes me for that.
Cursed days replaced one another…" These are the words from the secret report of the head of special department N 02270 of Chief Intelligence Department of Russia Colonel V.R. Savelyev. This man prepared and sent the material about the atrocities that were going on in Khojaly to the UN, to the Council of Europe and GRU.
The last reports sent to the above-mentioned structures are signed by "Officer Pugachev".
The head of Strategic Research Centre Against World Terrorism and Corruption "Bank-Information", the political analyst ROvshan Novruzoglu presented the confessions of the colonel to Zerkalo newspaper.
"I could not help writing my report. I cannot forget the blood-stained bodies of children and women, including pregnant ones. Let the Azerbaijani forgive me, since I could not do anything concrete.
The only thing I could do was to write a report to the Kremlin and the General Staff of the Ministry of Defence. I have written it, read and see how the honour of a Russian officer was discredited…"
Russia is and will be held up by such officers as V.R. Savelyev! Afraid of God alone, showing courage and honesty, this officer could not execute his military duty to the end in view of the circumstances and repents and proved the sincerity of his repentance in practice. Risking his life, he tries to bring the tragedy of Khojaly to the world community. It was such Russian officers as Savelyev who endured the whole burden of the war and defeated fascism! As for the 366th regiment, we are convinced that if its soldiers and officers had heard that soldiers of the German army were better fed and given schnapps, they would have betrayed their Motherland during the Great Patriotic War at the earliest opportunity! It did not matter to them what to break the oath for, for schnapps or chacha!
Yeltsin's reaction to the tragedy in Khojaly was rather revealing.
On 10 March, 1992 President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin received a letter from the minister of defence Victor Yerin who wrote about Khojaly, pointing out that he would give the details at personal meeting, and asked to watch the video record attached to the letter. The record showed the actions of the 366th regiments (about 1,890 people) and shots of Khojaly tragedy.
General Yerin wrote to Yeltsin, "…Women, chidren and old men were shoy in Khojaly. Bodies were scalped. This is demonstrated by the film shot by Azerbaijan documentary makers.
Camera filmed two children with cut off years. An elderly woman has skin cut off the left side of face. Men were scalped. Corpses with definite signs of robbery… Many bodies were even more mutilated," N. Gavrilov. Military News. St. Petersburg Publishing House, 1998, p. 96
After watching the record, Yeltsin signed a special resolution (О219/21.-0D-1992.III.12) prohibiting video filming of such shots that damage honour of Russian soldiers. One of the chief tasks to achieve the set aim was expansion of intelligence network in the conflict area.
YELTSIN DID NOT SAY A WORD ABOUT KHOJALY IN ANY OF HIS PUBLIC SPEECHES, EITHER THEN OR NOW. Moreover, he took care that the obtained information be hidden safely.
Yeltsin's source of information, Yerin had always been a pro-Armenian general which he declared repeatedly and openly. His concern about Khojaly events had nothing to do with his care about the Azerbaijani and condemnation of the Armenians; as a Russian general he understood that the Armenian side involved Russian soldiers and officers in the monstrous antihuman crime, and this would stay in history which he worried about. Besides, Yerin was Yeltsin's loyal comrade-in-arms. Here is a typical example. In his book Romance with Presidence V. Kostikov writes concerning President's reaction to the decision of the State Duma on the amnesty for "putschists" of 1991-1993, "The meaning of his words is to arrest immediately those released by amnesty. President was very resolute. He said to V.F. Yerin right away, in our presence, "We should immediately carry out arrests. You know who." We heard all answers of Victor Fedorovich, as President did not find it necessary to hide the conversation. Yerin said that he was ready to execute the order but that also required the official consent of the Prosecutor General Ilyushenko.
"You will have it," President answered."
Yerin realized well that such actions of Yeltsin's favourits in Khojaly could create serious political problems for Yeltsin, which worried Yerin as Yeltsin's loyal comrade-in-arms. Finally, the contemptuous attitude of the high military command of Russia to the militiaman Yerin, especially after the events in Budennovsk, was generally known. Yerin did not fail to get the information on the tragedy in Khojaly to Yeltsin, though the army command tried to hide it (to all inquiries from Baku they replied that they knew nothing about the part the Russian troops had taken in Khojaly events).
Publication of documents on Khojaly is the end of the myth about the "long-suffering people", which Armenia understands well. In Yeltsin's period Armenia was completely calm, since those documents were under seven seals. In post-Yeltsin period they started to fidget, understanding that those documents were a delayed-action bomb! On 22 December, 2003 they sent a letter to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. The letter was signed by President of Armenia Kocharyan, minister of defence Serzh Sarkisyan and minister of national security Petrosyan. "Appealing to the centuries-long friendship between the Armenians and the Russians, the authors of the letter remind Putin that they have always been brothers and ask him to establish a new commission to investigate Khojaly genocide, The Armenians know that Savelyev's report is kept in the GRU archive. They point out that Savelyev sent to Moscow information on Khojaly which contradicts to the fact and that the documents should be returned to the commission for the sake of impartial investigation. Putin left their message without response," said the political analyst R. Novruzoglu. Not introducing those documents, Russia insults the memory of the innocent people killed in Khojaly but if it passes them to the Armenians, which means their destruction, it will disgrace itself for ever!
Victims of the genocide of Azerbaijanis in Khojaly:
613 people killed, including: children - 63, women - 106, elderly - 70
8 families completely annihilated.
25 children lost both parents.
130 children lost one parent.
Wounded - 487 people, including 76 children.
Hostages - 1,275 people.
Missing - 150 people.
These figures tell of the bloodiest tragedy in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that began in February, 1988 with unlawful claims of ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijan SSR on joining the Armenian SSR.
Thus, the whole 4,000 inhabitants of Khojaly actually can be more or less regarded as victims of the genocide.
Khojaly is Lidice, Khatyn and Oradur of contemporary history!
February 1992. Separatists occupied Azerbaijan quarters in the suburb of Khankendi, as well as a number of villages along the road Shusha - Khojaly and around Shusha.
Killing Azerbaijanis and robbing Azerbaijan villages, on 1 May, 1992 separatists from NKAO appealed to the world countries for… humanitarian aid. And Russian and world mass media report at once, as if on command, about the "famine" in Nagorno-Karabakh, Vesti on 3 May, Vremya on 3 May, Svoboda on 4 May. Perfect synchronism! Several days later… humanitarian aid from France appears in NKAO. Considerable part of this aid goes to butchers of Khojaly. The phrase "humanitarian aid" assumed a new unprecedented meaning in NKAO in contemporary history!
8 May, 1992. Separatists with the assistance of Armenia occupied the entire Shusha region.
9 May, 1992. Separatists headed by Arkady Ter-Tadevosyan, taking advantage of incompetent guidance of the Azerbaijan authorities in the Centre and in NKAO, occupy the city of Shusha. The Azerbaijan television, deceiving the people, reports that Shusha is under control of the authorities again.
The document spread by the US Department of State Reference: History of Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, 30 March, 2001, says, "…In May 1992 ARMENIAN AND KARABAKH TROOPS (highlighted by the author) occupied Shusha (the historical capital of the region inhabited by Azerbaijanis) and Lachin, thereby providing geographical connection between NK and Armenia."
We believe that this reference (its authors are undoubtedly well-informed experts) will put en end to the talks that Shusha was occupied by "ethnic Armenians from Azerbaijan".
This reference saw the light almost ten years after the events; then, in 1992, everyone was referring to "ethnic Armenians".
After the fall of Shusha, on 18 May, 1992, the regular forces of Armenia and NKAO separatists coordinate their actions and seize Lachin road, each from their own side, opening the road to Armenia. It is relevant to point out here, as became clear at the trial on the occupation of Shusha, what petty military commanders were in charge for the defence of Shusha. The trial actually turned into a showdown where everyone was talking not as a specialist but by the rules of the underworld.
18-19 May, 1992. Armed formations of Armenia together with separatists, with the assistance of heavy artillery, seized Lahin region situated outside the highland part of Karabakh of Azerbaijan. Many killed and wounded among the civilians. As a result of the occupation, 63,341 Azerbaijanis were driven out of their home lands.
18-19 May, 1992. Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. Armed formations of Armenia made another attempt to seize Sadarak settlement. Victims among the civilians.
11 June, 1992. Separatists fired upon Naryshtar village of Agdere region and villages of Agdam region. Victims among the civilians.
11-12 June, 1992. Armenian armed formations from Armenia and separatists exposed Sadarak settlement, settlements of Gazakh, Tovuz, Kalbajar, Fizuli, Jabrail regions to artillery bombardment. Numerous victims among the civilians.
25 June, 1992. Armenian armed formations exposed the ancient Azerbaijan city Ordubad to artillery and missile bombardment.
24 September, 1992. Armenian armed gangs exposed to artillery bombardment settlements of Nakhchivan. Victims among the civilians.
In October 1992 the central authorities in Baku tried to overthrow Aliyev by force but met worthy resistance. This action of Baku actually opened the second front against Nakhchivan.
December 1992. Armed formations from Armenia, using heavy artillery and "Grad" system, occupied eight villages of Zanghilan region of Azerbaijan.
The withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Azerbaijan was unquestionable political success of the Azerbaijan leaders of that time; the events in Khojaly showed what could be expected from them. But a significant detail must be taken into account. In Armenia, where the 7th army remained, the tactics of "hire" went one. Everything and everyone could be "hired". "Hired" host was doing its dirty work ruthlessly, naturally, for certain recompense.
Reading these lines about the lawlessness of the separatists, the readers will naturally ask - where were the military, first of all internal troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs that should have ensured safety in NKAO?
To understand their logic, let us give the floor to General A.S. Kulikov who describes one very characteristic episode.
"In spring 1990 the time of my graduation from the Academy of General Staff came and it became clear that I would have to practise my new knowledge in Nagorno-Karabakh. My appointment to the posy of the head of Internal Troops Department of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Northern Caucasia and Transcaucasia was expected…
In mid-May I called to talk to the USSR minister of internal affairs Vadim Bakatin. He asked if I was ready for such work and gave me some advice (no need to doubt what kind of advice could be given by one of murderers of the Azerbaijan people - Author)…
Several days later, at the set time, I approached the latticed gates of the CPSU Central Committee in the Old Square from Ilyinka and showed the sentry my party card, which traditionally was the primary identification document here…
The interview with the head of the Central Committee Department on the work with administrative bodies Obolensky (unfortunately, I do not remember his first name and patronymic) meant the high degree of trust and state level of the task I was entrusted with… (instructions here were commonly known - no one is left out - Author).
General Shatalin in the central committee did not beat about the bush at all, "You've been enjoying yourself in the Academy of General Staff… Now ahead…"
My fellow student General Alexey Nefedov, who was seeing me off in the military airfield Chkalovsky near Moscow, even brushed away a little manly tear (when the Germans were near Moscow, Soviet generals exchanged firm manly handshake saying good-bye to one another before a mortal combat - Author). He wished me luck, understanding well where I was going…
After Stepanakert and Nakhchivan, Shatalin and I flew to Yerevan on the same night to meet with the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia Movsesyan. The conversation seemed efficient and the party secretary himself made the impression of a clever and able person seeking peaceful (?! - Author) settlement of NKAo conflict.
Next day we were already in Baku (all appropriate instructions received - Author).
In October 1990 three officers of the task force of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs were taken hostages by Armenian militants in Mardakert. This incident was followed by another one. The day earlier, a detachment of twenty people (all Armenians) from Mardakert was detained and disarmed in Karabakh. Two officers and sergeant driver sent there to conduct investigative activities did not return. It became known soon that they had been taken hostages. They were to be exchanged for the militants we detained.
I was in Baku at that moment.
The commander of internal troops of the USSR Ministry of Defence General Shatalin phoned me and said, "Minister (the USSR minister of internal affairs, then V. Bakatin - Author) demanded that you should go to Stepanakert and take measures to release the hostages!"
I went to Stepanakert immediately and first made sure that those people had been detained legally. They were taken with weapons in hands. The confiscated submachine-guns, handguns, grenadesm equipment demonstrated that these Armenian militants were most likely to attack one of Azerbaijan villages or our soldiers serving in that region. We were just in time to stop them.
Realizing that conversation with the militants holding hostages could be long and futile (?! - Author), I decided to resort to the mediation of a man who enjoyed authority both in Armenia and in Nagorno-Karabakh. My choice fell on Vazghen Sarkisyan, whom I knew as a clever and brave man (After that name Kulikov could spare efforts in describing the episode, but let us nevertheless look what happened next. - Author).
I phoned to Yerevan, "Vazghen, the thing is… We should go to Mardakert together. We should release the people. They are to consider your opinion."
Sarkisyan agreed and promised to depart for Stepanakert as soon as possible (behind the back of Baku Kulikov invites in Azerbaijan one of Yerevan ideologists of Karabakh separatists. - Author).
Soon he actually appeared in the regional centre of NKAO and called me back from Zory Balayan's office (it is a direct contact with the chief ideologist of Karabakh separatists. - Author). "Comrade General, do you guarantee that Azerbaijanis will not stop me on my way to Mardakert?" I confirmed, "It stands to reason that I guarantee it!" (now, it is a direct contact with gangsters. - Author).
Before setting off, I showed Sarkisyan the weapons confiscated from the militants to rule out any speculations, as if we had taken innocent peasants or, for instance, stray alpinists. (Something like repentance. - Author).
We reached Mardakert without problems. In the district department of internal affairs, where we immediately went, I laid down my demands in Vazghen's presence, "Your people have been detained legally. The representative of Armenia (what does a representative of Armenia have to do with it? - Author) brought by me here will confirm it. You are to set free colonel, major and sergeant, otherwise I will use other methods…"
I should add that all that time I was accompanied by a colonel, one of our honoured veteran officers. He did not take part in conversations but just sat where it was best for him to hold the whole room under control, settled a submachine-gun on his knees as comfortable as he could and all his appearance made it clear that they would not take us barehanded…
This officer had been slightly contused in Nagorno-Karabakh. The consequences of this contusion showed themselves so that he was endlessly moving the bolt of his Kalashnikov up and down with the palm of his right hand. Not up to the stop, naturally, but the sound was rather characteristic, as if someone was pushing a cartridge into the cartridge chamber every five seconds behind your back.
By the way, not everyone liked the view when the look of my escort froze on some detail of interior or man for a long moment, due to the very same contusion. And when fleeting convulsions passed over his face from time to time.
Finally, the Armenians broke down. They cried loudly, "Comrade General, don't you see that? He's going to shoot!"
I smiled and laid down the conditions of my ultimatum, "Don't you pull my leg! I give you chance to think everything over till tomorrow morning. But I'm warning, hostages are to be released tomorrow! Otherwise I won' let any of you out of here!.." (Looking ahead, I can say that these demands would have their effect on the militants. Next day, at 3.00 p.m. sharp hostages would be given to me safe and sound).
I said that and stood up, making it clear that the conversation was over. I knew that the Armenians were having some celebration that day. They invite us hospitably to the district House of Culture.
Making himself comfortable in the seat of our UAZ, on the left, the most convenient place to open fire from in case of necessity, the very same impassionate colonel gives me wise advice, "Comrade Major General, we'd better not go anywhere. They can take us as well, as the case was with Shatalin… Who knows what's on their mind…"
I nod and wait until the car with the Armenians that we were to follow starts off. As soon as it disappears behind the turn, our driver turns to another street and we leave Mardakert that could easily become our prison.
As I already said, the hostages were released. But my actions in Mardakert unexpectedly caused furious reaction of the head of Azerbaijan Ayaz Mutalibov. He demanded my punishment for arbitrariness, saying that I had privately invited Vazghen Sarkisyan from Armenia, secretly brought him in my car through the posts of Azerbaijan militia and on the whole, I took too much upon myself… In the context of the Azerbaijan-Armenian confrontation I had allegedly furthered involvement of the neighbouring state in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan.
It is not that I am declared persona non grata but the Azerbaijan authorities demand that Moscow should "remove the insolent general".
I am a military man. Having received the order from the command to release hostages, I first of all thought of the best way to execute it. Lives of my subordinates were concerned and I acted as my experience and intuition prompted me. I could not even imagine that it would cause such reaction of Mutalibov.
Though I was somewhat encouraged by the first deputy minister of internal affairs of the USSR Colonel General Ivan Fedorovich Shatalin, who was in Baku on business trip, I was naturally worried a little. Be as it may, I actually acted in my discretion without asking for anyone's sanctions. Hurt pride is a terrible thing, especially if it is pride of the first secretary of the Central Committee, a member or candidate member of Politburo, I cannot remember exactly now (these lyrical digressions are a lie. Kulikov was well aware that Mutalibov had no positions in Moscow, especially in his department. - Author).
THOUGH, VICTOR PETROVICH POLYANICHKO WHO REPRESENTED THE INTERESTS OF THE UNION CENTRE IN THE AREA OF KARABAKH CONFLICT (highlighted by the author) told me the following, "A.S., forget it. Don't worry, I'll try to sort this problem out (unfortunately, Baku did not regard it as a problem. - Author)."
Reading these lines, one has the impression that Kulikov is not a combat general sent to restore the order but some kind of mediator acting not by Soviet laws but in according with the rules of underground! We were told that it had not been the only case of his contact with Yerevan. He called there repeatedly at slightest complications in NKAO, and not always to Vazghen Sarkisyan, and asked assistance. He avoided contacts with Baku, saying that "they are the party concerned" (?! - Author).
And finally, who could believe after reading these lines that KULIKOV AND GENERALS LIKE HIM COULD SERIOUSLY FIGHT AGAINST SEPARATISM IN NKAO? One must be very na?ve to believe that!
Separatism should be fought not brutally but firmly! Bringing one's mediatory activity to the foreground is recognition of righteousness of the separatists' cause in a sense. Separatists must be called separatists, the rest is secondary. A.S. Kulikov does not do it in his book, which makes everything clear.
We should say that there were many generals like Kulikov in the cohort of those operating in the conflict zone.
But they did not understand that all this would come to Russia as well. Or they wanted it to happen so that they could be of use!
As we can see, the strategy of creation of "ethnically pure areas" planned by Armenian aggressors and Karabakh separatists was being carried out stringently by the Armenian side in the conditions of complete inactivity of the Centre. All the settlements attacked by Armenian militants had no strategic objects and armed formation, just peaceful farmers and cattle-breeders. They had no weapons, as even sporting guns had been confiscated from them by Vezirov's order.
Armenian strategists had only one aim, to intimidate actually defenceless Azerbaijan population and force them to leave the land of Karabakh. "Scorched earth policy" was used against Azerbaijan settlements; all this was carried out so that nothing would remind in the future that Azerbaijanis had lived there for centuries.
The experience of Armenian aggressors and Karabakh separatists on ethnic cleaning in contemporary history was used by the Serbs. The top of crimes of Armenian aggressors and Karabakh separatists was Khojaly, and that of Serbian fascists - Srebrenica where eight thousand Muslims were annihilated. Justice has found only Serbs so far; the chief gangster is tried in the Hague, and others are searched for to be put on the dock. Separatists from NKAO are talked to in the language of diplomats - double standard is evident! Whereas Russian press ignored fascist acts of the Serbs and kept on telling about the tragedy of the Serbs, Western press regularly informed on the atrocities of the Serbs and showed shocking records. Similar acts of Armenian aggressors and Karabakh separatists in the Azerbaijan land were covered neither by Russian press, nor by Western one. Double standard again!
If we analyze the geography of gangster sorties it is easy to see that they were made both from Armenia, and from NKAO, i.e. were of coordinated, total nature.
As REPORT OF "MEMORIAL" points out, "In Chaykend, Martunashen and surrounding mountains, Armenian armed groups consisting of inhabitants of these villages and also from men arriving in shifts from NKAO and ARMENIA (highlighted by the author) were dislocated. ARMED GROUPS FROM THE TERRITORY OF ARMENIA PENETRATED INTO ARMENIAN COMMUNITIES IN THE TERRITORY OF AZERBAIJAN (highlighted by the author) (НКАО and adjacent areas).
Informing on the death Lieutenant General of Grach Amayakovich Andresyan, the Ministry of National Security of Armenia writes, "IN SUMMER 1992, AT THE HEIGHT OF MILITARY OPERATIONS, THE COMMANDER'S MI-8 FLIES FROM YEREVAN TO STEPANAKERT ACCOMPANIED BY TWO MI-24 HELICOPTERS WITH THE FIRST DEPUTY MINISTER OF DEFENSE OF ARMENIAN REPUBLIC LIEUTENANT GENERAL G.A.ANDRESJANOM ON BOARD. CLASS 1 PILOT LIEUTENANT COLONEL B.E. KHACHATUROV THE COMMANDER OF AIR FORCES COLONEL A.S. ABRAMYAN ARE IN THE FLIGHT DECK (highlighted by the author). Over Gubadly region of Azerbaijan fire was opened on helicopters, and both our Mi-24 force-land within the interval of 10 minutes in the enemy territory as a result of the received damages.
Despite the danger, Mi-8 approaches the damaged helicopters by the order of General Andresyan and twice lands in the territory controlled by Azers, taking on board the crews of both helicopters, thereby saving them. When Mi-8 miraculously landed in Goris, sixteen holes were counted on it…
So brave and selfless, loyal to military friendship was our general," tells about the commander Colonel I.G. Gukasov who accompanied him in that flight and was wounded in the air battle, Gukasov, the then head of GIII intelligence of Armenian Armed Forces, legendary veteran of Afghan war, earlier adviser of the head of clandestine intelligence of Afghanistan Armed Forces GIII intelligence department and the head of special intelligence of Southern Army Staff Intelligence Department."
Let us leave aside heroic Armenian pathos with which a common military operation is described. More importantly, after reading such lines no one should doubt in the participation of the regular forces of Armenia (exactly Armenia and not only ethnic Armenians of Azerbaijan) in the aggression against Azerbaijan.
"...Armenia was the source of military assistance and volunteers for Karabakh and Armenia was a transshipment point for Russian armament sent to Karabakh," write Levon Chorbajian, Patric Donabedian, Claude Mutafian in The Caucasian Knot. The History and Geo-Politics of Nagorno-Karabagh. Zed Books, London and New Jersey, 1994.
Svante Cornell writes that "the report of Helsinki human rights group contains indisputable evidence of involvement of whole military contingents of the Armenian army in the Karabakh war, besides not as volunteers."
On 16 April, 1993, M. Campton wrote in New York Newsday, "The deputy minister of foreign affairs of Armenia Libardyan said that the troops of Armenia were fighting… to defend the sovereignty of the Nagornio-Karabakh state…"
We intentionally cite only foreign and Armenian sources, speaking about the participation of the regular troops of Armenia; to disprove those facts, their authors should be first called the enemies of Armenia. In that period, critical for Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan side referred to numerous blatant facts of Armenia's part in the attack on Azerbaijan but the official documents of the USSR, later Russia, the USA and the UN every time, despite the protests of Baku, referred to "ethnic Armenians".
According to the UN representative in Azerbaijan, they told him in the UN that proving the participation of Armenia in the military actions against Azerbaijan required evidence "corresponding to world standards"; but at that time Azerbaijan had neither corresponding experts nor equipment of the world standards, and those who had it all KEPT SILENT, encouraging the aggressor.
In the thirties a number of the European countries in the League of the Nations suggested applying sanctions for aggression, but each time the answer was that "there is not enough evidence". Sanctions were applied when Germany started to seize Europe. In contemporary history Armenia seized 20 % of territory of Azerbaijan, and the United Nations again say, that "there is not enough evidence" to recognize Armenia as an aggressor.
Within the limits of the common state one republic, using an ethnic enclave in another republic in its own purposes, conducts against it gangster sorties with human victims and arranges the genocide of Azerbaijanis in Khojaly, and Gorbachev, Yakovlev and the like speak about democratic reforms in the country.
Only a complete fool can think that after bloody events in Baku Gorbachev, quietly looking at the lawlessness committed by the militants from Armenia and separatists from NKAO in the territory of Azerbaijan, brought troops in Baku on 20 January, 1990 for the preservation of the USSR. Had he cared about the preservation of the USSR, he would have stopped without special efforts the lawlessness committed by the militants from Armenia and separatists from NKAO. For this purpose it was necessary to declare tough state of emergency in Stepanakert, disarm separatists and to close tightly the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The realization of these actions required much less efforts, both military and economic ones, than the introduction of troops in Baku.
And it is necessary to say that in this case there would have been no bloodshed (certainly, except for separate cases). Separatists accurately kept track of the political situation in the country. And if they had seen that they were dealt with quite seriously, they would have understood quickly what to do.
In this case it would become clear to many, that Gorbachev seriously intended to preserve the USSR; serious politicians understood well that one thing is to bring troops in Baku behind which no one had been standing those years, and another thing is to enter the struggle against the Armenian lobby and their defenders abroad, protecting interests of the USSR.
After the bloody introduction of troops by Gorbachev in Baku on 20 January, 1990 in the state of the USSR, whose president was Gorbachev, ARMENIAN ARMED FORMATIONS OCCUPIED 61 AZERBAIJAN VILLAGES. WITHIN THE SINGLE STATE, ONE REPUBLIC SEIZES THE TERRITORY OF ANOTHER REPUBLIC, AND THE CENTER DOES NOT TAKE STRICT MEASURES! What a liar this man should be to assert again after that commonly known fact, after more than ten years, that he, Gorbachev, brought troops in Baku to preserve the USSR. These words smell both of blasphemy and delirium at the same time.
It is difficult to imagine that the something like that could occur in any other major country of the world, for example, in the USA if one of its states attacked another, or in England when one county attacked another.
And it is even more difficult to imagine that in this improbable case heads of these countries would stay idle and speak about universal values. It is possible only in banana republics. Gorbachev transformed the USSR into a banana republic, and in such republic separatism and terrorism are given full play!
The new leader of Russia Yeltsin hurried to help Karabakh separatists as well. In October, 1991, on the basis of comparison and the analysis of the documents submitted in the course of hearings of documents, evidence etc., the Human Rights Committee of the RSFSR Supreme Council came to the following conclusions (extracts):
"- It follows from the available materials of the Human Rights Committee that the most mass and serious cases of infringement of human rights were committed by employees of OMON of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Azerbaijan Republic.
- The Human Rights Committee considers that on the part of the RSFSR Supreme Council a serious investigation and checking of all reports on clashes with use of weapon between military servicemen of the Union submission divisions of and employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Azerbaijan Republic should be carried out.
- The Human Rights Committee expresses its anxiety in connection with the stand of the high-ranking officials and the bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic allowing and justifying practice of deportation of the civilians, and also the continuing practice of property offences concerning property of deported citizens. The Human Rights Committee believes that the RSFSR Supreme Council cannot show indifference to the issue of observance of human rights in sovereign republics - possible partners of the Russian Federation in the Treaty of alliance."
Not a single word of condemnation against Armenia and Karabakh separatists!
This document which had passed through the office of Yeltsin became the law for the subsequent actions of all Russian structures in the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict.
In 1989-1991 Russian courts pass death sentences for murders of Azerbaijanians to the Armenians whose guilt has been proved by Russian investigators. The chairman of the pardon commission by the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation (i.e. at Yeltsin) F. Shelov-Kovedyaev who publicly admitted his hatred for the Azerbaijan people, achieves repeal of this sentence in all 14 cases. The condemned for murders receive several years of imprisonment and are released in two-three years and they come back in Karabakh to continue murders of Azerbaijanis.
Taking advantage of her post, the aide of President of Russia Yeltsin, G. Starovoytova was engaged in similar activity. More than 300 prisoners condemned from among Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh were transferred to prisons and pre-trial prisons of the Russian Federation, and therefrom subsequently transported to Armenia, and then in NKAO for continuation of their "activity".
Pilgrimage of Russian public figures, deputies, etc. begins, which, having felt Yeltsin's stand, try to get in the "set". The secretary of Club of voters of academy, a certain K. Alexeyevsky appears in NKAO in July 1991. He arrived for the sake of sharp sensations. And received them in full. Mr. Alexeyevsky was accidentally told on his arrival that those who did not help separatists could catch a stray bullet. A joke! He was a quick-witted person and knew that many a true word is spoken in jest, and sat down to telegrammes dictated to him about terrible sufferings of separatists. Here is one of his numerous telegrammes and telephone messages. The news agency of Democratic movement of Russia "DR-Press" spread K.Alexeyevsky's following telephone message, "Fire of the army patrol does not allow take out of the deported Erkej village the decapitated corpse of the 90-year-old Khachatur Lalayan. We managed to bury the head of Rosa Lalayan last week..." Similar telegrammes and telephone messages about the dismembered and prolonged funerals go to all ends of the USSR. K.Alekseevsky works diligently.
Eventually he starts to understand that he had become a hostage, a hostage of his own stupidity. Somehow he informs Baku on it, and Baku appeals to the commandant of the region Colonel Chegunov.
Separatists remind Mr. Alexeyevsky of the "joke" again and he writes to the military commandant Colonel Chegunov that he is staying in Shaumyanovsk settlement and has no problems. We do not know how and when K. Alexeyevsky left NKAO but this name did not appear in Karabakh events any more!
As smugglers, in roundabout ways, passing Baku, the People's Deputy of the USSR S. Belozertsev and deputy of Mossovet L. Balashov etc. appear in NKAO.
A long-playing ritual begins: Soviet and Russian deputies who wish to please Yeltsin and his environment consider it as their debt to "put in an appearance" in NKAO, to increase their rating that then to "suck it off" (definition of deputy Nevzorov)!
The overwhelming majority of scientists was true to the Soviet power and believed in it. Since Khruschev's times, the word "scientist" has been losing its value, scientists were mainly young people who did not wish to go to work at plants. The quantity of scientists began to grow not in accordance with scientific thought in the USSR.
By 1980 there were about 1.4 million scientists, including scientific and pedagogical staff of high schools in the USSR. That made up a quarter (!?) of the general number of all scientists of the world.
"Languid with idleness," Valery Legostayev writes, "and not seeing any definite career prospects before themselves, they were passing time till retirement, intriguing, visiting cinema and shops during working hours (Andropov tried to take them in hand for this once), grumbing in untidy smoking-rooms about their, naturally, dumb bosses, idiotism of Brezhnev's rule, from their point of view, and Soviet Socialism in general. It was from among this environment of defective specialists leading miserable lives that tycoons of "black" economy easily recruited their army of particularly talented, vehement and shameless commissars of capitalist revanche in the difficult hour of Gorbachev's betrayal." THESE INTERNATIONAL PERSONALITIES WERE THE "DEMOCRATIC" FOUNDATION OF KARABAKH SEPARATISM IN MOSCOW.
What was the reaction of international organizations which had once turned a blind eye to the events in Baku in January, 1990, to the lawlessness committed by the Armenian side, to the genocide of Azerbaijanis in Khojaly? In one word, it was understanding or, at best, indifference!
Here is a small example of the interaction of Karabakh separatists and their patrons with international organizations.
20 March, 1992. By the decision of the UN Security Council, Baku and Stepanakert were visited by the former US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and the responsible authorized representative of the CBSE Janos Kubic (Hungary).
At the press conference in Baku Cyrus Vance speaks of nothing in his well-trained ringing voice and does not give definite answers to correspondents' questions. Mutalibov mutters something under his nose and is not asked questions at all.
The author believes that he speaks Russian quite well and English with difficulty but he understood something of what Cyrus Vance was speaking and nothing of Mutalibov's speech at the conference that was broadcast on the republican television.
In Stepanakert, Cyrus Vance looked quite different, he spoke more definitely than in Baku. "We understand the problems of Karabakh Armenians… all your wishes will be considered in our report… The USA welcomes the yearning for democracy everywhere…" etc.
21 March, 1992. The minister of health of France Bernard Kouchner arrives in Stepanakert. He brings humanitarian aid. But anyone who thinks that the aim of his visit was humanitarian aid to NKAO is deeply mistaken. Bernard Kouchner suddenly spoke of… "opening a humanitarian passage to NKR", in other words, he directly hinted at the occupation of Lachin passage.
1 April, 1992. The incumbent chairman of the CBSE, minister of foreign affairs of Czechoslovakia I. Dinsbir arrives in Stepanakert, who says that he is "satisfied with the meeting with the leaders of NKR and the discussion of issues both parties are interested in." They began speaking the language of diplomacy to separatists!
1 April, 1992. The deputy minister of foreign affairs of Iran M. Vaezi visited Stepanakert. His conversation with the "leaders" of "NKR" remains unknown. He says publicly that all problems should be solved peacefully.
None of the international delegations visiting Stepanakert REPROACHES THEM FOR ANYTHING, they all just say they treat their problems with understanding and add for more dignified appearance that problems should be solved peacefully. Such attention, and more importantly, well-wishing attitude on the part of international organizations gives new strength to Karabakh separatists and their patrons.
THE FUTURE WAR PLANNED BY ARMENIA REQUIRED DIFFERENT KINDS OF ARMAMENT AND "THE PROCESS STARTED" AT THE TOTAL INACTIVITY OF MOSCOW! WEAPON WAS DELIVERED IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH THROUGH DIFFERENT CHANNELS; SOVIET ARMAMENT LEFT TO ARMENIA BY THE WELL-KNOWN AGREEMENT WENT TO KARABAKH; THE EMERGENCY SUPPLY OF ARMENIAN POWER STRUCTURES WENT TO KARABAKH AS WELL; PURCHASED OR FORCIBLY TAKEN ARMAMENT OF THE SOVIET ARMY WENT TO KARABAKH. DIFFERENT KINDS OF ARMAMENT WAS DELIVERED THROUGH ARMENIA FROM ABROAD. SOME TYPES OF WEAPON WERE PRODUCED IN ARMENIA AND ALSO WENT TO KARABAKH.
Izvestiya, 17.01.90 writes, "Yerevan. The situation is extremely strained in the republic. 16 case of armed attacks were registered in one day. The only aim is to seize weapon."
On 31 January, 1990 Izvestiya wrote, "5,906 units of different fire arms have been seized since January in the region (the republics of South Caucasus), including 5,742 in Armenian SSR…
Weapon and ammunition were taken from depots of the Soviet Army and special agencies. On 17 and 18 January, 1990 alone they seized 108 AKM, 141 handguns and revolvers, 106 small-bore rifles, 14 carbines, 46 sporting guns, 10,000 cartridges, 250 kg ammonite, 1,150 electric detonators, 4,527 detonator capsules in Goris, Oktemberyan, Martuni regions of Armenia. The total "trophy list" for January is as follows: 954 submachine-guns, 1,452 rifles and guns, 1,676 handguns and revolvers, 536 grenades, 3 mortars, 1 grenade launcher, 7 machine-guns, 15 anti-Grad guns, about 1,300 anti-Grad sjells, 1 tank, 4 APC, 5 armored infantry carriers, about 600,000 cartridges. The seized weapon and ammunition were meant mainly for ANA detachments consisting of groups of 30-40 people each. Afterwards, it was planned to form 40 regiments with total number up to 100,000 people."
Krasnaya Zvezda, 31 July, 1990, writes that "Armenian National Army", ANA, had not only headquarters, weapon depots, training centres but also even tribunals. When a journalist from Moscow asked, "Is there death penalty in your army?" the chairman of the military council answered with a light smile, "We have no death penalty. But we made up a more dreadful punishment. A defaulter is given several grenades and sent to the territory of Azerbaijan."
In August 1990 the future president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan pointed in his programme: "…building strong Armenia united with Artsakh, therefore formation of our own army and security bodies". Communist, 10.08.90. Within the limits of the single state, let us note.
Only on 10 October, 1991, President of Azerbaijan Mutalibov says the same, "The aggression against Azerbaijan continues, therefore Azerbaijan forms its own armed forces. In the current situation, the people cannot accept any treaties or agreements. Azerbaijan will sign the agreement only when the Soviet Army gives all the necessary elements to the armed forces being formed in the republic." This delay adversely affected the Azerbaijan side. When Mutalibov resigned from his post the number of the Azerbaijan army made up… 200 people, whereas the Armenian army was armed at all points.
Krasnaya Zvezda, 7 December, 1990, writes, "National army formations are being knocked together in Armenia at full speed."
"The number of attacks on military details on the part of Armenian militants with the use of fire arms, servicemen were killed. 117 attacks in total were made in the region of state of emergency (Nagorno-Karabakh - Author) in 1990, 128 in January-April 1991," the report of "Memorial" says.
From 14 September till 18 September, 1991 with the support of artillery and APC Armenian armed gangs attacked some Azerbaijan villages in Goranboy region. Dozens of peaceful inhabitants of the region were killed and wounded. According to the document submitted by the US Department of State, 30 March, 2001 Reference: History of Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, during this period, in September 1991, "...Armenian militants launched a campaign of violence". It is known that violence in relation to the peace population on the part of the Armenians began much earlier, and this reference did not influence the attitude of the USA to the Armenian aggressors in any way.
"On the night of 2 April a group of civilians (14 people, according to preliminary information) armed with submachine-guns and handguns penetrated into the territory of a military station and disarmed the officer of the day senior warrant officer I. Sarkisyan. Then the attackers rushed to the barrack hoping to seize weapon storage room… The insolent attack of extremists is investigated.
On 30 and 31 March representatives of Armenian national movement were giving orders in the centre of Yerevan to use weapon against "the Soviet occupation army" if it interfered in the actions of Armenian militants."
The same newspaper on 03.03.92: "In Yerevan the administration of oath of the division of the CIS Allied Forces deployed there is planned on 8 March. Depots of this division have been seized in Abovyan. All officers are suggested staying to serve the Armenian national army. About 15% of officers agreed."
The same newspaper on 12.03.92: "An extremist group in the town of Artik near Yerevan made an attack on the military station of air defence brigade on 8 March. They were armed with submachine-guns and blocked the territory of the station and, opening fire from cars, roofs of nearby house, laid down their ultimatum: ground arms, open depots, and leave the territory of the station. Before that robbery action, officers of the garrison had been invited to the City Council under the pretence of a meeting. They were all taken hostages. As a result of firing of the military station that lasted for about 10 hours, 2 servicemen were killed, there were also wounded."
According to the information collected in the beginning of 1991 by the special commission of Transcaucasia military district of the USSR Armed Forces, directly from the positions of military units deployed in the territory of Armenia militants "confiscated" 361 units of weapons, including 148 submachine-guns of 5.45 mm calibre, 87 submachine-guns of 7.62 mm calibre, 112 9mm handguns, 13 machine-guns and 1 grenade launcher.
Officers of the 7th Army of Guards quartered in Armenia told Den that the command of the army headed by the traitor General Mescheryakov had handed 40 BMP (armored infantry carriers on caterpillars), 6 BRDM, 4 BTR-70 and 4 BM-21 launcher of valley reactive fire, type "Grad". This equipment stormed Shusha.
Considerable number of servicemen of the Soviet Army who took part in the bloody events of 20 January in Baku ended up in the Armenian armed forces. Participation in the bloodshed in Baku meant entry n the Armenian army.
Sovershenno Sekretno ("Top Secret") wrote in those years, "You could easily bring an elephant through the customs of Armenia."
Deputy of the USSR Supreme Council Veli Mamedov who remained true and honest Communist to the end of his life taken by Armenian terrorists, approached Mikhail Gorbachev between meetings on 23 October, 1990 and said, handing him a booklet on the history of determination of the borders between Transcaucasian republics in the twenties, "The people of Azerbaijan is waiting for the unconditional disarmament of all militarized formations in the neighbouring republic." Like Ter-Petrosyan, Gorbachev answered without batting an eyelid, "The appropriate bodies are dealing with the disarmament issues." He was lying!
All Russian military experts pointed out that, according to the data for 1991, the 4th army deployed in Azerbaijan had 27% more tanks, armoured vehicles and heavy artillery than the 7th one deployed in Armenia (1,310 and 955 units of heavy armament correspondingly). We know how much was taken out to Russia and how much was left in Azerbaijan, in accordance with Tashkent agreement. But what happened to the armament of the Soviet Army in Armenia is under seven seals.
To be impartial, we should point out that in the situation when control was actually lost in Azerbaijan, the Armenians were seizing armament from separate Azerbaijan formations. For instance, according to Professor Tofik Guliyev, in Uzun-Dar near Agdam, the Armenians seized depots of weapons and ammunition. During the occupation Fizuli that was being defended by the speaker of parliament, the Armenians seized over ten tanks with computation.
Seizing armament, the Armenian side resorted to immoral actions.
A. Eyubov writes, "From 13 to 16 August, 1991, separate subdivisions of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs with full armament are taken "hostage" by the Armenian terrorist formations operating in the highland area of Karabakh of the Azerbaijan Republic."
Izvestiya, 16 August, 1991, cites the head of Public Relations Centre of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs A. Chernenko, "The military could not use weapons, since the Armenians put women and children to the "forward line" at the ambush. Not everyone is capable to shoot at a man in such conditions."
And naturally, the chief weapon of Karabakh separatists was terrorism which became frontal in Karabakh. It was already impossible to deny that Karabakh separatists resorted to terror; it was already a common thing for them and impossible to hide. Trying to look more or less decent in the eyes of the international community, Karabakh separatists and their ideologists began asserting that their terrorist acts were directed at the Azerbaijanis who oppressed them.
The choice of aim of Karabakh terrorists was determined not by some abstract principles but by the principles of REASONABILITY in their understanding. They killed the Azerbaijani most of all because believed that the Azerbaijani must be killed all without distinction and everywhere. In his book The History of Armenia, Movses Khorenatsi recommends explicitly, on behalf of the "Armenian god", all Armenians "…to sentence to death every Turk from his birth day."
TERRORISM ON THE PART OF KARABAKH SEPARATISTS WAS THE CHIEF ALL-PURPOSE TOOL and was used not only against the Azerbaijani but against everyone who, in their opinion, hampered the realization of their plans. Terror was used not only against, so to say, "external forces" but in internal discord among the separatists.
Another big lie of the Armenians was Z. Balayan's statement that "not a single Russian military serviceman suffered from the hands of Karabakh inhabitants."
General A.S. Kulikov, the former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, writes, "My two deputies were killed in that war, Colonel Vladimir Blakhotin and Major General Nikolay Zhinkin...
Colonel Blakhotin was shot by the militants of the Armenian organization "Dashnaktsutyun" when coming out of his house in Rostov-on-Don. Many officers of our department lived in that house. The militants used Czech automatic arms for the murder. They were detained and afterwards the version began to predominate that they had confused Blakhotin with General Vladislav Safonov who lived in the next entrance and had been allegedly sentenced to death by the Armenians for his activity on the post of the commandant of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Be as it may, I regarded Blakhotin's murder as a purely terrorist act aimed at intimidation of the command of internal troops in the Northern Caucasia and Transcaucasia. It happened on 8 April, 1991." As we can se, Karabakh separatists had a long reach.
Zory Balayan can be regarded as the inspirer and mastermind of this and many other terrorist acts. This is what he said about Safonov, "Literally in one or two days Kosolapov was replaced by General of Internal Troops Vladimir Safonov who showed himself as a provocateur of almost all anti-Armenian actions both in Stepanakert and in the regions from the first days of his appearance." In all his public speeches he appealed to do away with Safonov. Balayan left his trace in other terrorist acts in the territory of Azerbaijan as well. Interpol had some reasons to be interested in Mr. Balayan, but did not follow to the logical end!
For instance, not a single Soviet general was killed by the Azerbaijani. But you will not be able to read it anywhere in the memoirs of Soviet generals!
The attempted murder of the commander of the internal troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs Shatalin, and there was just a little message about it.
Sergey Prygunov writes, "True professionals began hunting him later when he became actively involved in the solution of Nagorno-Karabakh problems in Baku, on the post of the second secretary of the Azerbaijan Communist Party. Not everyone was happy with Polyanichko on this post. And one of Armenian extremist organizations sentenced him to death again."
M. Sergeyev discloses some details of those actions, "Armenian extremist nationalist organizations earlier made six unsuccessful attempts on the life of Victor Petrovich Polyanichko in NKAO in 1990-1991… By the way, the final decision on terrorist acts was most probably made in November 1990 when Polyanicko and Safonov refused to make concessions to nationalist leaders of Armenian separatists and livened political and force activity directed at the stabilization of the situation in the conflict region. Field commanders and leaders of nationalist movements did not even hide that terrorist acts were being prepared.
That is why Polyanichko could easily live and work while he was in Moscow. But as soon as he was appointed to the Caucasus, both Yerevan and Stepanakert began prepare for terrorist acts more actively. According to the available information, the direct organization and performance were entrusted to the deputy head of department of intelligence operations in the enemy territory of the Central Department of National Security of Armenia (the former KGB of the Armenian SSR) Lieutenant Colonel Jan Oganesyn. Operative information says that the KGB of the Armenia and the head of the republican KGB himself, Lieutenant General Marius Yuzbashyan were carrying out activity in the seventies and the eighties on the establishment of contacts with Armenian nationalist and terrorist movements both abroad and in the underground in the territory of the Armenian SSR, with the purpose of seizure of NKAO from the Azerbaijan SSR… Even then, weapons and ammunition for illegal armed formations were secretly delivered in NKAO."
M. Sergeyev continues, "So, concerning the terrorist act. Lieutenant Colonel Jan Oganesyan graduated from Dzerzhinsky High School of the KGB of the USSR, was specially trained as an intelligence diversionist agent. In 1990-1991 he was sent by the KGB of the Armenian SSR to NKAO to conduct joint activity with the organization committee, military commandant's office of the KGB of the USSR and the KGB of Azerbaijan on disarmament of illegal armed formation. At the same time, Oganesyan kept contacts with "Dashnaktsutyun" and secretly participated in diversion actions aimed at the destabilization of the situation in NKAO. By nature of his official service, Oganesyan was well in the commandant's office and organization committee and could meet Polyanichko.
In 1993, after the attempt of Polyanichko's life, Oganesyan was arrested in Moscow by officers of Antiterrorist Department of the Ministry of Security of Russia and General Military Prosecutor's Office on the accusation of organization of sabotage on railway and pipeline transport in the territories of Azerbaijan and Dagestan. His arrest was preceded by the exposure of a certain Khatkovsky in Azerbaijan, who had committed sabotage on the Azerbaijan Railway. Together with Oganesyan, another two terrorists of Armenian nationality were brought to trial; one of them, Major Simonyan, was the former consultant of the antiterrorist department of FSK.
In March 1996, Oganesyan was sentenced by the military court of Tambov garrison (that was in charge of this case) to six years of imprisonment and was transported under guard to the correctional labour colony for foreigners (Mordovia, st. Potma-DubrovLAG), Simonyan to three years but was released in the courtroom as the term of his pre-trial detention was taken into consideration. According to the available information, in Armenia where he went, he was awarded Colonel's rank.
They all confessed only to the insignificant details of sabotage that were indisputably proved. Investigators of the General Military Prosecutor's Office headed by Major General Justice Dukhanin faced strong counteraction on the part of Armenian lobby in Moscow and Russian politicians related to it. President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan himself arrived in Moscow to solve the issues on the case of three arrested Armenian intelligence officers. The Russian ambassador to Yerevan and the Armenian ambassador to Moscow were discharged. Soon after those events the activity of "Dashnaktsutyun" was banned in Armenia, and it became underground again.
Polyanichko showed in Baku batches of letters with threats received by him in Stepanakert. They demanded that he, as he said himself to the colleagues in Baku, should execute all orders of separatists as Volsky had done before him, i.e. should be the same paid puppet in their hands as Volsky.
He publicly repeated it to the TV reporter, while staying on treatment in hospital in Moscow. And in that interview he correctly noted that when he had been there, despite protests of the separatists, the flag of Azerbaijan towered over his residence, the only Azerbaijani flag in Stepanakert.
19 January, 1991. In Stepanakert A. Bagmanyan, S. Bagmanyanom and A.Antonyanom committed another act of terrorism, an armed attack on the head of NKAO Department of Internal Affairs, the Russian General V.Kovalev. The helicopter of the minister the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Kozyrev was fired upon at the attempt to approach Stepanakert, and it had to return back. Russia kept silent.
The only high-ranking official, who was as comfortable in Stepanakert as in Moscow, was Arkady Volsky. In one of his interviews he says that walking around Stepanakert, he had never used bodyguards. And it was truth, but the reason of it was not Volsky's courage, he had never had this human quality.
Summer 1991. A Soviet officer, major of Internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of USSR Khomich was killed on the highway in Stepanakert by an Armenian terrorist group.
9 January, 1991. On the 5th km of Lachin - Shusha road Karabakh separatist A.M. Mkrtchyan, G.A. Petrosyan, A.A. Mangasaryan, G.M. Arutyunyan and G.G. Arustamyan killed the journalist of Molodezh Azerbaijana newspaper S. Askerov and Soviet servicemen Lieutenant Colonel S.M. Larionov, Major I.U. Ivanov and Sergeant I.I. Goek.
This list can be continued!
Terror was one of the most convincing "arguments" of Karabakh separatists in internal discord among themselves as well. In this respect the course of actions in Karabakh of one of the "heroes", Karabakh "democrat" separatist-terrorist Samvel Babayan and his final fate are rather characteristic.
Samvel Babayan was one of organizers of meetings in Stepanakert, and it is necessary to say that he controlled them skillfully and strictly. He was one of the first to speak at all anti-Azerbaijan meetings. Then his new "activity" began.
"On the night of 14 July, 1990 the house on Martuni street in Stepanakert which belonged to the driver G. Sartaryan was blown up; the latter transported army details which were carrying out patrol and inspection service in the city. The owner and his son were wounded, and his wife, the head of the local airport, was killed. It was punishment for the family cooperating with the authorities. Several days later the city radio centre was blown up," reported the Armenian sources. The same sources say that these events occurred not without Samvel Babayan's participation. On 11 July, 1990 between settlements Getavan and Charaktar of Agdere region a terrorist attack was made on the civil motorcade accompanied by the army detail bound for the city of Kalbajar. As a result, 3 people were killed and 23 wounded. The investigation established that the act of terrorism had been committed by the inhabitants of Khankendi Arkady Ayriyanom alias "Napoleon" and Samvel Babayan.
15 December, 1990. A group of Armenian terrorists headed by S. Babayan and A. Ayrumyan killed 3 Azerbaijanis between Jamilli and Kosalar stations of Askeran region.
Samvel Babayan was arrested, and in 1992 exchanged for a captured Azerbaijani.
After the conclusion of truce between Azerbaijan and Armenia Samvel Babayan in 1993-1999 was "Minister of Defence" of the so-called " Nagorno-Karabakh Republic".
"Yesterday at night in the centre of Stepanakert as a result of attempt the president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic 43-year-old Arkady Gukasyan who was coming back home from work was wounded in both legs. At the same time, his driver Sergey Sarkisyan and bodyguard Samvel Garibyan received heavy wounds threatening life," Armand Jilovyan writes.
"The former Minister of Defence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Samvel Babayan recognized his guilt in the organization of act of terrorism against President of NKR Arkady Gukasyana… All 5 persons arrested on suspicion in participation in act of terrorism named Samvela Babayan as the organizer of attempted murder of President of NKR. According to the public prosecutor, the act of terrorism was made with the purpose of revolution. There are documents testifying that in case of a successful outcome of the act of terrorism criminals planned to establish Provisional military government," report the Armenian sources. One would think that civilians rule there today!
As soon as "president" of "NKR" Arkady Gukasyan took control of the situation which he had nearly lost due to his wound, he arrested S. Babayana and his relatives-accomplices.
The diagnosis on Karabakh terrorism is made by Arman Jilovyan, "Whatever the results of the conducted investigation might be, whoever proved to be the real inspirer and organizer of the attempt on Karabakh president'a life, the event make one think about many things. In particular, AN IMPRESSION IS MADE THAT INDIVIDUAL TERROR BECOMES AN ORDINARY METHOD OF SOLUTION OF ALL PROBLEMS (highlighted by the author). The first chairman of the Supreme Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Arthur Mkrtchyan was killed in the early nineties under obscure circumstances. The official version says what he was killed by the wife because of jealousy (?! - Author). One of famous Karabakh field commanders, the chairman of Shaumyan district executive committee Shagen Megryan was also killed in a helicopter accident. Circumstances of his death have not been found out so far At the height of military operations a major military expert commanding the southeast front Avo (Монте) Melkonyan was killed. Some competent sources assert that he was in due time one of ardent representatives of the foreign Armenian combat organization ASALA the aim of which was the liberation of the Western (Turkish) Armenia, however subsequently left it. The only thing we know for sure is that Monte Melkonyan took active part in the organization of defence of the Armenian quarters of Beirut in the civil war in Lebanon. They say that he was shot by the Azerbaijan sniper but some have certain doubts."
Another "hero" separatist, Robert Kocharyan, proved to be of a higher class and went further than Samvel Babayan; he transferred Karabakh terrorism to Armenia, and this terrorism turned out to be much more severe than local.
At numerous meetings in Yerevan they explicitly say that one of the leaders of Karabakh separatists, nowadays the president of Armenia R. Kocharyan is behind the shooting in the parliament.
Soviet military servicemen in Armenia, and many of them had their families there, quickly understood what Moscow expected from them. Moscow expected from them not loyalty to the military oath and feats but as much promotion for the Armenian party as possible. If we recollect the history of Ancient Rome, these officers were centurions, the order closed on them and its execution begins with them.
But despite such stand of Moscow, many military servicemen executed their duty honestly.
K. Myalo writes, "So was killed one of the last true heroes of the Soviet Union (do not confuse with the three "heroes of August-91") Oleg Baybak from Poltava, Lieutenant of the 21st special mission brigade of the Russian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs, which had been performing combat tasks from June 1989 till July 1991 in Baku, Nagorno-Karabakh, in the area of the Armenian-Azerbaijan frontier. On 7 April, 1991, on Easter Sunday, Lieutenant Baybak, the head of the outpost in the tiny mountain village Yukhary Jibikli on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, was killed in the battle on the road Goris - Kafan, to all appearances, by Armenian militants. The Russian army was already not immune for them as well."
Very few people know that in 1991 Soviet officers by hook or by crook refused to go to Karabakh. It was not the case a year or two ago. Now it all even came to official reports on the retirement. For the first time in the USSR wives of officers and mother of soldiers, knowing that their relatives were to go to Karabakh, stood on check points like a living wall and did not let anybody out of the military unit. All this was being concealed from the Soviet public.
Looking ahead, we should say that the support Mutalibov had shown to the theatrical State Emergency Committee, during separatists's lawlessness in Nagorno-Karabakh, painfully affected the Karabakh problem; Baku was considered as supporter of the putsch, with all ensuring consequences.
In the USSR the president of Kirghizia Askar Akayev, the chairman of the Supreme Council of Moldova Mirca Snegur and the chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania Vitautas Landsbergis openly opposed the State Emergency Committee. Estonia and Latvia proclaimed themselves sovereign states. Heads of Armenia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine took up wait-and-see attitude and condemned the putschists only when it became clear that they ahd been defeated. The leaders of Georgia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan actually supported the State Emergency Committee.
Only three heads of states in the world recognized the State Emergency Committee: the head of Lebanese Jamahiriya Muammar Kaddafi, the president of Iraq Saddam Hussein and the president of Serbia Slobodan Milosevic. Kaddafi praised the coup calling it a "well done action", and Hussein expressed his hope that owing to the coup "we will restore balance of powers in the world."
Immediately after the failure of the August putsch the organization committee head by its chairman Polyanichko fled from Stepanakert. The military commandant's office did not recognize the authority of Azerbaijan, and any certain instructions did not arrive from Moscow. In these conditions, separatists completely seized power in NKAO.
From the end of August the internal troops of the USSR, by the order of Moscow command, actually stopped providing the state of emergency in NKAO, which had not actually concerned the separatists. Taking advantage of it, separatists went out of underground completely, legalized their bloody activity and on 2 September, 1991 proclaimed the establishment of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the territory of the autonomy. All armed groups, up to 15,000 militants, were united in the common forces of self-defence of NKR. For the first time in the territory of the USSR an army of separatists was formed that had modern equipment. Afterwards, the pattern would be followed in Transdniestria, Abkhazia, South Osetia.
Finally, the most important thing. The logic of Gorbachev's actions at the introduction of troops in Baku.
Why did Gorbachev, following the logic declared by him at the introduction of troops in Baku, cancelled his own order on the disarmament of illegal formations of Armenia after disarming not a single illegal formation?
If Gorbachev decided to use the army for the settlement of ethnic conflicts, then why didn't he bring troops both in Baku and Yerevan? If Gorbachev held human lives dearest of all, as he alleged, let us remind that 26 people were killed in Sumgayit, 56 in Baku, and 216 in Gukar and Masis regions of Armenia.
The whole USSR was ablaze. Then why did Ryzhkov tell the Western correspondent of the possible introduction of troops exactly in Baku?
There are so much of such "why"!
The answer is one for all. Because GORBACHEV, RYZHKOV, PRIMAKOV, VOLSKY ORGANIZED A GREEMASONIC LODGE that was dealing with the Armenian issues in this conflict. This LODGE was acting bypassing Soviet laws and left no traces of its activity.
O. PLatonov writes, "1990 becomes fatal in the history of Russia. In short period of time, the system of management of the country changes. Taking advantage of the transition period, Gorbachev and his accomplices from the former Politburo (Yakovlev, Shevardnazdze, Medvedevm Primaskov), where all important issues of home and foreign policy, actually usurp power in the country. Whereas a certain part, the so-called conservatives opposed them in Politburo earlier, no one restrain them in the new conditions. CONSCIOUS LIQUIDATION OF MANY STATE STRUCTURES, INSTEAD OF WHICH SHADOW BACKSTAGE AUTHORITY BODIERS AND FIRST OF ALL FREEMASONIC LODGES AND ORGANIZATIONS (highlighted by the order)."
One of those Freemasonic lodges was in Karabakh.
All politicians, including those in Baku spoke of the strong influence on the Karabakh events on the part of the Armenian lobby both abroad and inside the country. It was true but it occurred to no one that the realization of the plans of the Armenian lobby in the USSR required a CENTRE and a MECHANISM.
In case of lack of them it was difficult to realize the set task in the conditions of thousands of bureaucratic obstacles in practice they were solved immediately, because they were carried out by the LODGE.
Gorbachev loyally serves to Armenia TILL HIS LAST POLITICAL BREATH.
The USSR, like its President, was living his last days. On 25 December, at 7.00 p.m. Gorbachev publicly signed the decree (N UP-3162) on his resignation from the posts of President of the USSR and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.
Gorbachev's order on the introduction of troops in Baku on 20 January, 1990 struck a bloody blow on Azerbaijan and paved the way for Armenian aggression. By his virtually last decision, Gorbachev again and for the last time lays the blame on the Azerbaijan people. In almost two years, between these two documents, not a single document was signed by Gorbachev condemning the Armenian side!
THE MAIN CONCLUSION GIVEN THE ANALYSIS OF THE EVENTS AFTER 20 JANUARY, 1990 IN BAKU IS DEFINITE. ALL REASONS OF THE INTRODUCTION OF TROOPS IN BAKU STATED BY GORBACHEV AND HIS GANG WERE NOT CONFIRMED BY THE LOGIC OF HIS ACTIONS. MOREOVER, ALL HIS ACTIONS WERE DIRECTED AT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE USSR AND NOT AT ITS PRESERVATION. ALL HIS STATEMENTS AS WELL AS THE STATEMENTS OF HIS ACCOMPLICES CONCERNING THE INTRODUCTION OF TROOPS IN BAKU WERE A BID LIE. THE MAIN REASONS WERE DIFFERENT AND THEY WERE STATED ABOVE.