THE HOLIDAY OF VICTORY OF PEACE OVER WAR the-holiday-of-victory-of-peace-over-war&catid=3:all&Itemid=4
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 15:04

It is already the 21st spring since gaining its state independence
that the Nagorno Karabakh Republic has celebrated May 9 as a triple
holiday. The traditional and popularly beloved Day of Victory over the
German fascism in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 was supplemented
by the Day of liberation of the ancient capital city of Karabakh -
Shushi and creation of the NKR Defense Army. Surely, the coincidence
in time of the victory in Shushi and the victory over fascism was the
result of a confluence of circumstances, but still, this has perhaps
a deep meaning. Both in the already far Soviet forties and in our
nineties, it was the matter of the existence of the state and the
people, and it were the victories in THAT and THIS war that saved,
respectively, the citizens of the USSR and the NKR from physical

These words are not a tribute to the journalistic metaphor. They
hold the truth, the brutal and terrible truth. Of course, we are not
going to put a sign of identity between these two wars, because their
scales are simply incommensurable. However, on its significance, the
victory of the Artsakh people in the war unleashed by Azerbaijan was
of crucial importance for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, since it
was the issue of Nagorno Karabakh's existence or non-existence. That
is why drawing historical parallels in this case is, in a sense,
justified. We should thoughtfully comprehend our history to be able
to avoid further tragic mistakes.

The military-political situation in the NKR was critical by the
spring of 1992. The young republic was in the grip of severe blockade;
the peaceful settlements, including the capital city of Stepanakert,
were subjected to heavy shelling, which took the lives of hundreds
and hundreds of people; the threat of famine was obvious. But most
importantly, the NKR independence itself was under threat. Shushi
was turned by Azerbaijan into a powerful military base daily spewing
deadly fire on Stepanakert. Imperative was the liberation of the town
and subsequent creation of a reliable land communication with Armenia.

To resolve these strategically important objectives, a regular and
efficient army was needed, which would be able to resist the aggression
of the enemy, significantly surpassing us in their military potential.

The NKR Defense Army, which truly became the brainchild of our people,
who bravely and courageously endured all the hardships of the heavy
times, was born in the crucible of war. Surely, the Karabakh armed
forces had already notable victories before the Shushi operation, but
it was Shushi that became the touchstone, where the Defense Army was
tested. And I must say that it passed this difficult exam on viability
brilliantly. The ancient capital of the Armenian region, which had
been in foreign captivity for decades, finally gained freedom, and
after a little more than a week the Karabakh forces broke through the
blockade and paved the way to Armenia, which was rightly called by
people the Road of Life. And the Defense Army, which guarantees the
inviolability of the borders of our Republic and the peaceful life
of its population, has legitimately and firmly earned the status of
the basic guarantor of the independence and security of the NKR.

I must say, military experts are still astonished by the phenomenon
of Shushi, because the town was considered an impregnable fortress,
which, according to the canons of military science, was impossible to
take by storm. However, the Karabakh warrior-liberator despised the
academic canons, demonstrating to the world the unparalleled feat and
strength of the Armenian weapon. And the secret of this feat was in
the love for freedom of the Karabakh people, who totally stood for the
defense of the native land of Artsakh, in the majesty of the national
spirit and unity of the Armenian people, which mobilized its moral,
intellectual and material potential for saving part of its historical
homeland, which was in a terrible trouble. The victory in Shushi taught
us the main lesson that we must always remember and especially today,
when the threat of a new war is not over yet - only thanks to the
consolidation of the entire Armenian people, we can solve the most
significant issues of national importance. That is why the liberation
of Shushi can be rightfully called the victory of the whole Armenian
people, the embodiment of its age-old dream.

The victory in the Great Patriotic War and the victory in Shushi
are distant from each other by nearly half a century. However, May
9 as if tossed a peculiar bridge over the river of time, invisibly
linking the two most important events in the life of the Artsakh
people. Thousands of our fellow citizens were involved in the war
against the German fascism, making a worthy contribution to the Great
Victory. Small Karabakh gave the then, our common Soviet Motherland,
its own heroes and prominent military leaders. The new generation of
citizens of the independent NKR, which underwent incredibly hard tests,
defended the honor and dignity of the homeland in an unequal struggle,
in fact, proving that it is worthy of the feat and glory of the older
generation and is the successor of its martial traditions.

May 9 is the holiday of victory of peace over war. But, it is not
only festivities. It is the day of national mourning and memory of our
compatriots who perished at that far and this war. A high price is paid
for our current ability to live freely on the land of our ancestors,
and therefore those living must sacredly preserve the fruits of the
victory, the main of which is the independence of the NKR. And they
must remember with gratitude all those who gave their lives for the
free future, must deeply respect the veterans of the Great Patriotic
and Artsakh Wars. For only effective memory can preserve the connection
between the past and the present, the present and the future. This
is the guarantee of the long life of the people.

Leonid MARTIROSSIAN Editor-in-Chief of Azat Artsakh newspaper

From: A. Papazian