Shhh… What Armenia keeps silent about?
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 26
By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:
Most people are used to seeing or hearing about mass murders in media reports, movies or documentaries. The tragedies feel like something distant, though they are actually much closer than we suppose.
In his book “I film a war… A school of survival”, famous Russian journalist Yuri Romanov talks about various hot spots across the ex-USSR territory. In the following excerpt from his book, we feel on our skin the chilling horrors of the massacre committed in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly by the invading Armenian troops.
“I look through the window of the helicopter and the unbelievably frightening sight that opens in front of my eyes literally traumatizes me. Bodies of dead people are lying on the yellow grass lawn at the shadowy foothills of a mountain, where pellets of snow and hoar-frosts deposited in winter are melting. The entire vast area is strewn with the corpses of women, elderly men and women, boys and girls of all ages, from infant to teenager. My eyes pick out two bodies in this mess – a grandmother and a little girl. The grandma, with grey hair uncovered, lying face down next to the tiny girl in a blue hooded jacket. Their feet for some reason are tied with barbed wire. The grandmother's hands are also tied up. Both shot in the head. In her last gesture, the small, four-year-old girl stretches her arms out to her dead grandmother. Stunned, I did not even think of the camera ...”
The Russian journalist arrived in Khojaly in a helicopter along with Azerbaijani reporter Chingiz Mustafayev two days later after the terrifying February 26, 1992 events. Romanov described in his memoir how he literally jumped back from an incredibly horrible view, because the scene was too gross for something that can or may happen during a war. It looked like a mass-murder from the Middle Ages, when occupying forces used to slaughter citizens of invaded settlements. Among the numerous corpses there was one of a six-year-old girl whose eyes had been burned out with cigarette stubs.
During his latest speech at the Munich Security Conference, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan talked about war victims as of something inevitable, because, as he claimed, “no one serves pilaf in a war”. Yes, wars may lead to casualties, but the death of the six-year-old Khojaly girl wasn’t caused by a stray bullet or a bomb fragment. She was killed violently and intentionally, just as the other residents of the city.
There is no doubt that the city population was subjected to carnage. It is obvious both from the disfigured corpses and statements of Armenians.
For instance, Markar Melkonian, brother of the infamous Armenian terrorist Monte Melkonian, in his book “My Brother's Road: An American's Fateful Journey to Armenia”, which describes the life of his thug brother, admits that the date of the Khojaly massacre had been chosen intentionally and it had been carried out as a retribution to the 1988 Sumgayit events.
“We prefer not to speak about that aloud… But the main point is quite different, I believe. Before Khojalu [Khojaly], the Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us, they thought that the Armenians were people who could not raise their hand against the civilian population. We needed to put a stop to all that. And that’s what happened. And we should also take into account that amongst those boys were people who had ﬂed from Baku and Sumgait,” Sargsyan, a field commander back then, said in his interview to British journalist Thomas de Waal.
Years later the Armenian side will claim that the quote was cut out of the context and Sargsyan wanted to say something different. They will even call Markar Melkonian’s book a fake produced by the Turkish and Azerbaijani special agencies. The tragedy itself is called in Armenia merely “Khojaly events”. Armenian media tends to write about anything on February 26, but the massacre. Their preference is articles defaming neighboring Turkey and Azerbaijan, and trying to prove that the truth is with Armenia.
But how can the truth side with those who justify killing of 613 civilians by a necessity to put a stop to a belief that Armenians could not raise their hand against civilians. The Armenian authorities can try to assert just anything, but one thing is obvious: on February 26, 1992, a crime was committed, the biggest massacre in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and one of the most terrifying tragedies of the modern history. Incumbent ruling circles of Armenia were personally involved in the atrocities.
Questions arise: how come that for the 26 years since the bloodbath none of the human rights organizations have thought about condemning Serzh Sargsyan and his criminal entourage for the atrocities? How come that such a person became a head of state and is allowed to speak on world tribunes in fruitless attempts to excuse the 30-year aggression? Are the international political circles really so blind and unprincipled to feel no difference who they are dealing with as long as he is obedient enough?
Former president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, was tried in Hague tribunal and declared an enemy to the whole humanity in spite of the numerous evidences he had brought to prove the unfortunate role the NATO played in developments on the Balkans. Nobody listened to him and his accomplices, because killing civilians has no excuse. The Balkan operation of the Western forces had been presented fair at the time and their efforts looked plausible.
But where had these champions of justice and defenders of the infringed been during the real ethnic cleansing in Karabakh? Where they are now and why their voices aren’t heard?
One of the founders of the unified German state Otto von Bismarck in a speech made on September 30, 1862, at the time when he was Minister President of Prussia, about the unification of the German territories said: “The position of Prussia in Germany will not be determined by its liberalism, but by its power [...] Prussia must concentrate its strength and hold it for the favorable moment, which has already come and gone several times. Since the treaties of Vienna, our frontiers have been ill-designed for a healthy body politic. Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided – that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849 – but by iron and blood”.
The speech doesn’t call for a war or bloodshed as one may think. It simply expresses the understanding of a mere political truth that hasn’t changed since then, it seems: a power decides.
The most powerful nations of our time decide who is right and who is wrong, whom to condemn and whom to have mercy on.
Two centuries ago power was shaped by the actual “iron and blood”, but the time passed and the power changed its form. Today, it resides in economic strength, human resources, role on international scene, and dominance in information war. Azerbaijan is confidently developing in all these directions from year to year.
The negotiations under the aegis of the OSCE around the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have been underway for more than two decades already. The negotiations are fruitless so far. But 613 lives, lost that cold and dark night 26 years ago, are not to be brought back neither by the OSCE Minsk Group, nor by the UN, which is unable to solve just anything for a long time considering the current developments in Syria.
Justice will prevail only when all the criminals answer at an international tribunal. That day is nigh, for Azerbaijanis are closer to return to their lands than ever. And murderers will pay for every life they took.