January 20 tragedy laid foundation for Azerbaijanis' struggle to restore their statehood and independence

Politics 20 January 2022 19:05 (UTC +04:00)
January 20 tragedy laid foundation for Azerbaijanis' struggle to restore their statehood and independence

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 20

By Jani Babayeva – Trend:

Today Azerbaijan commemorated the 32nd anniversary of the January 20 tragedy, Trend reports.

The entry of Soviet troops in Baku on January 20, 1990 to suppress the masses protesting the USSS-supported Armenian aggression based on territorial claims against Azerbaijan resulted in an unprecedented tragedy for the country.

As Doctor of Historical Sciences and Professor in the Department of International Relations in the Post-Soviet Space of St. Petersburg State University Niyazi Niyazov told Trend, the perpetrators of the January 20 tragedy were undoubtedly Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the USSR political leadership of that time and Soviet Minister of Defence Marshal Dmitry Yazov.

“These facts have been already known and established for a long time. Azerbaijani political leadership at the time, which blindly followed Moscow’s instructions in all, also provided a great “support” to these people, as well as the unprofessional forces that considered themselves opposition, democratic, etc. In the end, their incompetence, the desire to promote their own ideas at all costs, and on the other hand, the desire of the forces in Moscow to stop the Azerbaijan’s independence movement by all means have contributed to the fact that valiant sons and daughters of Azerbaijan sacrificed their lives in the struggle against the Soviet army," he said.

"But at the same time, we can claim that these tragic events ultimately laid the foundation for the struggle of Azerbaijanis for their rights, the restoration of their statehood and independence. Therefore, the feat of the unarmed people who stood against the Soviet military formations and became martyrs will remain forever in the history of the Azerbaijani people," he said.

"Today, Azerbaijan has restored its territorial integrity, it pursues a very successful foreign policy, and starts to implement serious changes in the country's domestic policy. From this point of view, I hope that all the achievements of Azerbaijan will become a kind of monument to all those heroes who then went unarmed against Soviet tanks and laid the foundation of Azerbaijani statehood at the cost of their lives," Niyazov stated.

Grigory Trofimchuk, Chairman of the Russia-based Expert Council of the Eurasian Foundation for Support of Scientific Research, stressed that the events in Baku were not the first and last in a series of tragic events that affected Tbilisi, Vilnius, and many other places on the map of the decaying USSR.

“The authorities did not know what to do under such circumstances over the years. Gorbachev distanced himself from all these tragedies. The incompetent leadership, both in Moscow and in Baku, which led to the fall, could no longer do anything," Trofimchuk said.

As the Russian political scientist noted, today official Baku is carefully weighing all its actions.

"Azerbaijanis do have extensive experience in order not to act quickly, thoughtlessly, and recklessly in the conditions of today's complex world. Probably, for the same reason, it is Azerbaijan which has one of the strongest armies in the post-Soviet space," Trofimchuk said.