BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 20
For the people of Azerbaijan, Black January means a symbol of the struggle for independence, Dmitri Panin, Charged ’Affairs of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Ethiopia said, Trend reports citing the New Business Ethiopia news agency which quotes Panin.
In an article published by the agency, the author notes that Azerbaijanis Wednesday commemorates the 31st anniversary of Black January, a brutal crackdown by the Soviet army against the people of Azerbaijan.
The report said that the mass massacre resulted in dozens of people were murdered as Soviet soldiers opened fire into crowds of peaceful unarmed protesters in Baku.
“The violent crackdown intended to cripple an independence movement by Azerbaijanis. Moscow’s military operation move however failed to avert Azerbaijan’s will. It rather strengthened the local independence movement, and a year later Azerbaijan became a sovereign state,” the report said.
The day after the tragedy happened, the National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev came to permanent representation of Azerbaijan in Moscow and held there a press conference condemning the Soviet leadership’s actions.
For the people of Azerbaijan, Black January (Qara Yanvar) is a symbolic day that paved a way for Azerbaijani’s divorce from the Soviet Union. “It means a symbol of the struggle for independence” the agency quotes as saying Dmitri Panin, Charged ’Affairs of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Ethiopia.
“It is a day we made sure we won’t any longer be part of the Soviet Union.” “Despite the mass massacre of innocent civilians the crackdowns however served as a spirit for the people to further aggressively push quest for independence” the diplomat added.
For survivors, the horrors of “Black January” are unforgettable, the agency emphasized.