The Voice of Russia
April 2 2013

The 25th anniversary of the genocide of the Armenians was marked
in Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, the world community still has not
given a proper political and legal assessment of this crime of the
Azerbaijan authorities, and thus has not secured itself against the
future recurrence of genocide in other regions of the world.

The genocide of the Armenians in Sumgait organized by the authorities
of Azerbaijan became the answer to the peaceful constitutional decision
of February 20, 1988, of the session of the Nagorno-Karabakh Regional
Council of People's Deputies on Nagorny Karabakh's unification with
Armenia, which integral part it was during the millennia-old history
prior to the Soviet period.

On February 27-29, 1988, in the city of Sumgait, located hundreds
of kilometers away from Nagorno-Karabakh, there occured mass pogroms
and killings of Armenians, crimes against humanity that stunned the
world public by its savagery and brutality. During the three days
of massacres and pogroms, dozens of Armenians were killed, hundreds
were wounded, a huge amount was subjected to violence, torture and
harassment, 18 thousand people became refugees. The genocide in Sumgait
became the embodiment of hatred for Armenians that was inherent for
the policy of the leadership of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan pogrom-makers armed with metal rods made at factories
and other thrust weapons commenced to the implementation of their
planned criminal actions. Piles of stones were stockpiled in the
centre of the city in order to throw them at motor transport and
forces of law and order. In the days of the pogroms, telephones of
the Armenian residents of Sumgait were turned off, and, as a rule,
they were turned off after people called the militia or the City
Committee of the Communist party with the request to help. The phones
of many Russian residents were also turned off.

The pogrom-makers knew their tasks very well; they had on hand lists
of Armenians and their addresses. Groups of 50-80 bandits broke into
the houses of Armenians, killing people, not only in their homes,
but they often took them out in the street or courtyard for public
humiliation. After severe tortures, the victims were doused with
gasoline and burned alive. Thus they destroyed entire families.

The genocide in Sumgait gave the "green light" to new unprecedented
crimes against the civilian population in Nagorno-Karabakh, and
ultimately led to the beginning of an open military aggression of
Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh in 1991-94.

After the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was proclaimed in accordance with
the norms of the international law and the legislation of the USSR,
Azerbaijan undertook a large-scale terrorist aggression. The Baku
administration had committed crimes against peace and humanity, such as
planning, preparation, unleashing and waging an aggressive war, murder
and extermination of civilian population, killing and ill-treatment
of prisoners of war, and intentional destruction of towns and villages.

In February 1992, the Azerbaijan leadership committed the murder
of their own peoplein the territory of Khojali controlled by the
Azerbaijan army, or more precisely in the outskirts of Agdam, whence
the continuous bombardment of the NKR territory and attacks on the
cities and villageswere carried out.

The Azerbaijan authorities systematically falsify the events in
Khojali. The Azerbaijan still library represents computer-edited
photos and display other historical events in other geographical
locations. Photos that allegedly represent the Khojaly tragedy,
in fact, are the photos of the earthquake in Turkey in 1983, Afghan
children-refugees, the pogroms of the Alawis in 1978 in the Turkish
city of Marash, photos of Albanianskilled in Kosovo, the pogroms in
the Balkans in 1999, and picturesof Hamas militants destroyed by the
Israeli army.

Regularly playing the card of "Khojali", the official Baku tries
to distract the attention of the international community from the
genocide of the Armenians in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad, Khanlar and
otherAzerbaijan settlements, as well as in the border settlements
of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In the course of the large-scale aggression of Azerbaijan against
the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in 1991-94, in the Karabakh village of
Maraga occupied by the Azerbaijan army for several hours on April 10,
1992, 81 peoplewere brutally killed, 67 people were taken hostage,
and the fate of many of them is still not known. People, who had
not managed to leave the village, were dismembered with axes,
doused with gasoline and burned alive. Unfortunately, to this day,
all these crimes committed by Azerbaijan against humanity, have not
been adequately assessed by the world community.

Today, in Azerbaijan, instead of repentance for endless atrocities
and murderous acts, instead of legal procedures against the criminals,
weonly see and hear sabre-rattling and threats of revanchism, terrorist
calls for shooting down civilian aircrafts, falsification of the facts
of history and persistent racist misanthropic insults of the Armenian
people. The shameful release and glorification of the murderer with
an axe Safarov has once again demonstrated to the world community that
in Azerbaijan murder owing to national reasons had been raised to the
rank of state policy, and systematic and deliberate lies and breakdowns
of international agreements lie in the basis of theBaku policy.

Ruben Zargaryan, candidate of historical sciences, Advisor of the
1st class of the NKR MFA