FATULLAEV'S KARABAKH DIARY (FRAGMENT)
KHOJALY: The chronicle of unseen forgery and falsification
"THEY MANAGED TO EVACUATE THE CATTLE, BUT NOT THE PEOPLE"
Seeing Khojaly I couldn't conceal my consternation. Having been
destroyed to the ground, this Azerbaijani settlement is completely
restored, and transformed into a town Ivanovka in honor of Armenian
general having taken an active part in the occupation of Khojaly.
The Khojaly tragedy, the deep wounds in our souls inflicted by
Armenian *expansionism on this long-suffering Azerbaijani land,
run all through my meetings in Askeran.
How is that? Isn't *there anything humane left in these people?
However, for the sake of justice I admit that several years ago I
met some Khojaly refugees who temporarily lived in Nafatalan and
who openly confessed that the day before the large scale attack of
Russian-Armenian contingent army on Khojaly, the town was encircled.
And several days before the attack, Armenians gave the inhabitants
warnings by loudspeakers about the planned operation and suggested
that the population abandon the settlement and break out the
encirclement by the humanitarian corridor, along the bank of the
river Kar-Kar. According to Khojaly inhabitants, they made use of that
corridor, and the Armenian soldiers being at this corridor, in fact,
didn't open fire at them. Several soldiers from the NFA battalion,
for some reason, helped part of the Khojaly inhabitants out to the
village Nakhijevanik which at that time was under control of Askeran
battalion of Armenians. The rest of the population was straddled by
artillery fire at the foot of Aghdam region.
Being in Askeran, I listened to the assistant chief of the Askeran
local authorities Slavik Arushanyan and compared his recollections
with the words of Khojali inhabitants who were under fire from the
I asked S. Arushanyan to help me to show the corridor through which
the Khojaly inhabitants went out. Getting to know the geographical
surroundings, I can state with a full conviction that conjectures about
the absence of Armenian corridor are groundless. The corridor indeed
existed. Otherwise the Khojali inhabitants, completely surrounded and
isolated from the outer world, could never have breached the rings
and get out of the encirclement. However, getting over the area at
the river Kar-Kar, the line of the refugees divided into groups and
nobody knows why one part of the Khojali people made their way to the
direction of Nakhijevanik. It seems that battalions of NFA strived
not for the liberation of Khojaly inhabitants, but longed for much
blood on the way of A. Mutalibov's overthrow.
As S. Arushanyan says: "Several days before the attack, your then
president A. Mutalibov gave a telephone call to Stepanakert and
made a request to Mkrtchyan, our former president. He requested to
provide conditions for the people to leave the blockade Khojaly. In
reply Mkrtchyan asked A. Mutalibov - why aren't you interested in
your people's destiny? The helicopters sent from Baku are loaded by
the cattle and not by people."
Yes, they managed to evacuate the cattle, but not the people. Such
are the sad recollections about the first Karabakh war.
I asked the Askeran inhabitants: "I was told in Karabakh that
Azerbaijani live here. Is it true?"
"We can visit them right now", answered S. Arushanyan to my surprise.
Indeed, in the very centre of Askeran, lives an Azerbaijani by name
Tofik Aliev. And the most interesting thing is that learning that I
am from Baku, he wasn't embarrassed at all.
- I have lived here since 1960. We moved here from Ujar region. After
the beginning of the mass disturbances I moved to Azerbaijan and
again returned to Ujar. I couldn't survive there.
- When did you return to Askeran?
- In 1991. True, at some moment they wanted to kill me.
Here S. Arushanyan interrupted our conversation: "I told the guys then-
why to kill him? What is he guilty of? Today there is no difference
for us what nationality Tofik is".
Well, this story shocked me so much that, returning to Karabakh, I was
eager to share my impressions with readers. And how astonished I was
when the so-called minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mamedyarov disproved
my impressions and estimated them by a beloved word "provocation".
Eynulla Fatulaev (Baku) Lachin-Shusha-Aghdam-Khankendi-Baku Source:
newspaper "Realniy Azerbaijan".