The Jerusalem Post: Act of genocide in Khojaly - When will the moment of justice come?

The Jerusalem Post: Act of genocide in Khojaly - When will the moment of justice come?

The Jerusalem Post has published an article by political analyst Arye Gut headlined “Act of genocide in Khojaly - When will the moment of justice come?”

“There are place names that mean much more than just a point on the map. These are the names of villages and towns, which have become a symbol of cruelty and brutality: Babi Yar, Lidice, Oradour, Khatyn, My Lai. In the early 90-ies of the last century one more name was added to this list - the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly.

Khojaly genocide committed with an incredible brutality was one of the worst tragedies of the XX century. Such bloodshed has no analogue in the history. Azerbaijani will forever remember the scenes of such a cruel and merciless tragedy.I think the world community should also know more about the misfortunes and cruelties that Armenian nationalists have committed under the peaceful Azerbaijani population in the the occupied lands,” Gut says.

“What was the goal of the Armenians, choosing Khojaly as their targets? Besides the strategic objectives, they wanted to destroy Khojaly as a settlement that reflects the historical and cultural heritage of the city from ancient times to the modern period. This is a special culture now known as the Khojaly-Gadabay culture of the XVI century BC. Such funerary monuments as stone boxes, barrows and necropolis belonging to the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age, as well as such architectural monuments as round crypt (1356-1357 gg.) and mausoleum (XIV century) were discovered here. During the archaeological excavations there were found different decoration made of stone, bronze, bone, household items made of ceramics, and etc. There is the name of the Assyrian king Adadnerari inscribed on the one of the beads found in Khojaly (807-788 cc. BC). Armenian terrorists, through technology, destroyed all monuments of culture of the Khojaly cemetery, considered one of the ancient burial grounds.All of the monuments of the Khojali cemetery culture, which are considered to be one of the ancient tombs made using devices, have been destroyed during the Khojaly occupation. It is a vivd example of Armenian vandalism against world culture.”

“Khojaly, one of the ancient settlements of Azerbaijan, was ruined and burned down just in one night. This tragedy is a crime against humanity. This is a historical fact that the Armenian armed forces and mercenary units gave the quarter to no one in Khojaly, who had not managed to leave the city and its surroundings.

The storm of the city began with a two-hour artillery bombardment, which was conducted by tanks, armored vehicles and guns with the "Alazan" missiles, "Grad" and "Uragan" installations, military equipment of the 366th Motorized Rifle Regiment of the former Soviet Army. Khojaly was blocked from three sides; the fire broke out and burnt down almost the entire city. Many civilians were killed by shells in the first hours of the assault. After the start of the firing the Armenian fascists announced using the loudspeakers about the opening of the corridor for civilians to left the city.

The military personnel of the Russian Army's 366th regiment took an active part in the storming of Khojaly. At first the press center of the CIS Joint Armed Forces denied this fact emphatically though.However on March 11, 1992 the newspaper "Red Star" confirmed the participation of the 366th regiment in the fighting, despite the commander’s emphatic orders. The paratroopers checked a few soldiers before the evacuation of the regiment, and found large sums of money, including foreign currency,“ he says.

“Yuri Girenko, who served at the beginning of 1992 in the 97th separate engineering department, confirmed that the soldiers of the 366th regiment and mostly Armenians took part in the storming. The battalion commander, almost all officers and lieutenants were Armenians. The question arises: why did the namely Armenians appear to be in the Soviet battalion, which was located in the hot spot of confrontation between Armenians and Azerbaijanis? The answer is clear - it was planned and thought out in advance. And it must be taken into account that the battalion was well armed, and long before such attacks, from Azerbaijani villagers collected every weapon, including a hunting rifle. Let's return to the events, Armenians from this regiment, having gathered soldiers, as well as volunteers of other nations, began a bloody storming of Khojaly.

When Khojaly residents attempted to leave the city at 2am through the corridor which was from 100 to 300 meters in width, but they were raked with the submachine gun and machine-gun fire immediately. As a result of the Armenian armed forces’ atrocities, 613 people were killed, 487 people were crippled, 1275 old men, children and women were captured and subjected to unprecedented tortures, insults and humiliation. The reason for this massacre of Khojaly civilian population was just that fact that they were Azerbaijanis.150 people were killed at once by the eastern guard of the Khojaly city. The crowd panicked. The road turned into a snowy and bloody mess covered with bodies. One part of refugees managed to cross the river. They were soaked to the skin and the temperature was below zero. They tried to hide in the nearby mountains, but most of them died from hypothermia by the morning. It was impossible to calculate the total number of frozen to death that night. Most of them are still considered to be "missing” according to the statistics reports.

Once all the Khojaly citizens had been slaughtered, imprisoned, or had fled the town, Armenian soldiers quickly took control of the region with the partial objective of obscuring the scale of the massacre. Azerbaijani helicopters attempted to pick up the bodies, but continually came under fire. Most of the dead were carried in vehicles, being transported by the truckload. However, the whereabouts of a further 150 victims remain unknown. The massacre at Khojaly by Armenia contravened international law and violated Geneva conventions and articles 2, 3, 5, 9, and 17 of the Declaration of Human Rights (adopted by the UN Genera Assembly on 10 December 1948).”

"The battered cars with wheels but without tires, piled high with rugs, pots and pans, rattled" - the American journalist Thomas Goltz wrote, - "choking with exhaust gases and bending under the weight of the mattresses and the iron beds, people were trying to overtake a tractor with trailers for transportation of cotton, inside of which there were grubby kids and quacking ducks sitting among the dumped in a pile clothes. Usually there were the men at the end of the column, who either rode the donkeys, or led the pulling carts mules. Barefoot shepherds were driving frightened sheep, cows and calves, who strove to get under the wheels of a passing truck, to the edge of the road."

“The leaving of the Azerbaijani refugees of their land was one of the most mass in Europe since the World War II. The Land of Fire and its people were at the entryway of hell. They were betrayed, cheated and abandoned…

Khojaly was the next stage of the capture and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijani territories, creating panic and fear of shocking brutality. This barbaric cruelty towards innocent children, women and old people has no explanation. This is not the tragedy of one generation, but also one of the worst crimes in the history of mankind!

Together with the representatives of the Israeli media, I met some times with the Khojaly survivors, who have captured by the Armenian armed forces. Believe me, they told terrible things about Armenian savagery that it is even shameful to write about it. They showed us signs of torture. Then I had meetings with individuals and they told what they were ashamed to tell openly to all the people and the media.”

In the article, Gut also provides testimonies of eyewitnesses of Khojaly massacre

“Major Leonid Kravets, the helicopter pilot of Russian Air Forces: "I took the wounded people out from Stepanakert and returned them back through the Askeran gates*. My eyes caught some bright spots on the ground. I got lower and then my flight engineer shouted: "Look, there are women and children." I noticed about two hundred dead, scattered around the slope, and the people with arms wandered among them. Then we flew over that area to pick up the corpses. A local police captain was there with us. He saw a four-year old son with his skull crushed, and went mad. The other child, we managed to pick up before they began shooting at us, had his had cut off. Everywhere I saw the mutilated bodies of women, children and the old people. Many of them were killed at close range while trying to flee, some had there faces mutilated.”

“Elman Mamadov, the fromer Khojali mayor: “Khojaly was a small town of Nagorno-Karabakh until the mid-80's. By the early 90's population began to grow because of the Azerbaijani refugees from Armenia and Meskhetian Turks refugees from Uzbekistan. When the number of residents has reached 10 thousand, Khojaly became the second-largest city in Nagorno-Karabakh by the number of Azerbaijani citizens after Shusha.”

Isai Svirsky, Honored Builder of Azerbaijan, citizen of Israel: “I am one of the builders of Khojaly. Peaceful and happy people lived here. They were very welcoming and they didn’t have any national enmity. They raised their children, dreamt of a bright future, built houses, roads, schools, kindergartens and nurseries. I had never thought that something like that can ever happen there.”

Ramin Hasanov, a refugee from Khojaly: “I’ve spent my childhood there, in Khankendi. We were going to the kindergarten together with the Russian and Armenian children, then to the school, we were friends with many children, playing different games together. I would have never thought that in a few years the Armenians would cut and kill us. It was so good to be together. Such a pity…”

Airan Aliyev, a refugee from Khojaly: “After the capture of our city Armenians set up a concentration camp in swine farm in the village Darzhaz. It was a camp of death. Captured people did not get food... sometimes in a few days we were given 50 grams of stale bread. They spit on the bread just in front of our eyes, and then they forced us to eat just like dogs.”

Asiya Abdullayeva, a refugee from Armenia: “One part of the population of Khojaly are Azerbaijanis who have been banished from their native lands in Armenia. They fled from Armenia, from where they were brutally expelled. And what about poor Meskhetian Turks, how many lands had they changed? Are they guilty of finding a new homeland? Are they guilty of being born in another faith and becoming a part of Azerbaijan?”

Dourdane Agayeva, cockpit communicator Khojaly: “I have no right to remain silent. I survived the captivity. What I’ve experienced, passed those who had fled from Khojaly through the forest and managed to escape. They saw the war, but did not see the Armenians. When the war started and Khojaly was blocked, when my brother fought in the trenches, I fought in the cockpit communicator. The whole our family fought. The shooting continued every night, and we had become accustomed to it, but this time it was particularly intense. Even the houses shook. At about eleventh thirty our neighbor, aunt Shargiya, with her daughter Irada said, that had shooting calmed down and we could go home. However, it turned out to be Armenians tactical trick to calm people down. They suddenly launched an offensive to capture the airfield. The door opened, and frightened neighbor Uncle Abdullah, whose family also was with us, appeared. "What are you going here? People are escaping through the forest!". When we came out of the basement, everything around was painted in bloody red: that was red tracer line. It was scary. We crawled to the forest.

While crawling through the forest I popped in a bag all the ammunition that I found, so that not to be empty-handed if we get to our people... We leaped when we could, and if the shooting was intensive, we crawled through the snow. At that moment a bullet hit me in the ankle. Now I could not run any more, crawling became difficult too. And what happened then… I do not remember. When awake, there was the blood all around the bushes and trees, bloodied shreds of clothes: people must have been stripping themselves on the run to make it easier to move... There was an uncountable number of corpses of the children and men all around me... I lost my conscious at night and woke up in the morning. We crawled to the place from where the Aghdam village Shelley was about ten minutes away walking on foot. I looked around.

There was fellow villager Valeh walking with his wife Saadet. They got married recently and Saadat was pregnant. I saw the bullet entering directly into her stomach, then a few bullets in different parts of the body. Valeh, punching himself in the head under the shooting, yelled, "Saadet! Saadet !!! " like a mad... Saadet was a year younger than me. She was 19 and Valeh was about three years elder. I crept closer and said, "Valeh, do not worry, she will recover," but he did not hear, and only repeated: "Saadat was killed, she’s gone!" - and hit himself in the head in despair...

I began to look into different directions, but there was no mother, no brothers or grandmother. The bullets flew thick and fast. I crawled to the side into a pothole, which was dug up by trying to escape from death refugees. I began to look around, and at this moment I noticed my brother hidden in a small hole. He leaned against the slope. He was covered with blood and his face was smeared with dirt. The bullet hit him in the right side. Valeh was already unable to protect the body of his wife and crawled after me into the same rut. There was also Gamboi, a refugee from Khankendi. He was crawling in our direction with his 5-year old son. We located in the potholes in a row: my brother, I, Valeh, and then Gamboi and his son. Thus, we were captured by Armenians.”

Malahat Huseynova, a resident of Khojaly: “By the victims' testimony the Armenian soldiers, there were enormous Syrians among them, took hostage my seven-year old daughter. She started going to studying at school only a week ago. They killed her just before my. Her mother’s, eyes. In Karabakhh women were not afraid of death. They scared of becoming hostages, as those wild thugs abused girls and young women in a wicked cruel way, without fearing God. My other three children were lost. I was wounded and helpless. I was lying in bushes all night., till the Azeri guardsmen picked me up.”

Suleyman Abbasov, a resident of Khojaly: “Nearly all of the men, who can hold a weapon, took the first hit of the enemy. But we were powerless against the armored vehicles. The most of the city's defenders were killed. The rest, including me, were retreating fighting back, but the forces were unequal. I still can not forget that terrible bloody scene. The bodies of women, children, old people were lying on the streets. The houses were burning all around. The wounded were moaning. We stopped to look around if there was anyone still alive. And we saw how the Armenians coming just behind us were shooting down wounded people, and APCs moved along the streets, crushing the bodies of dead and wounded.”

The refugee Almas Khasiyeva: “I remember that humanitarian corridor. About thousand of my fellow countrymen, women and children were the object of looting of Armenian soldiers. The only thing we had was our lives and they deprived us of it in that "free corridor". They killed our children, grandchildren, shoot at us near the Nakhchivanik village. Everything was taken away from us, and even our motherland!”

The refugee Rimma Hatileva: “When I see my father, mother and relatives’ slaughtered bodies in the newsreels of those years, my hatred has no limits. What are they guilty of? Where is the world justice??? So many years have passed, and nevertheless the murderers and perpetrators of the Khojaly massacre are not punished!!!

Today the people installed in the administrative management of Armenia like Serj Sarkissyan (the current president, Seyran Ohanian (former defense minister), Robert Kocharian (former president) and dozens these types of government men attended directly in the extermination and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis in the Mountainous Karabagh, occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The emergence of a new international legal doctrine, "crimes against humanity," intended as a vaccine against the recurrence of similar genocides by replacing impunity with institutionalized redistributive justice.

The successors of Armenian fascists Dro and Nzhdeh are incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan and Minister Seyran Ohanyan, both of whom committed a bloody massacre in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly in late 20th century. There are a lot of materials and video documents as well as testimonies provided by witnesses of the tragedy, which confirm the participation of the above-mentioned high-ranking officials of the Republic of Armenia in Khojaly massacre. Unlike the Nazis who tried to hide their crimes, some of these individuals gave interviews to foreign media. In these interviews, they justified and boasted their barbarous criminal acts against Azerbaijanis in Khojaly. Serzh Sargsyan’s words say it all: “Before Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We were able to break that stereotype.

The bloody act of genocide, which was committed with incredible brutality and barbarism in Khojaly, is one of the most horrible tragedies of the late 20th century. Cruel and merciless scenes of that massacre will always remain a never-healing scar in the hearts of Azerbaijanis.

This is a sorrow for innocent Azerbaijanis, who had their own stories, families, childhood, dreams and future, which was cut short as a result of this bloody massacre perpetrated by the Armenian armed forces. The relatives of the victims have one common pain: those who had committed this terrible crime against humanity have not been prosecuted by international court and have remained unpunished. Unlike the consequences of World War II, when the majority of the Nazis faced the international court at the Nuremberg trial, ideologists and executors of the mass slaughter of peaceful Azerbaijani citizens in Khojaly live freely in the modern Republic of Armenia.”

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