Israel, Jerusalem, 20 January / corr Trend R.Abdullayev / The victims of the 20th January tragedy were commemorated in Tel-Aviv in the central office of the Middle East Azerbaijanis' Congress on 20 January.
On 20 January 1990 at 12.20am the Soviet Army comprised of 20,000 soldiers was brought to Baku without announcement of emergency situation. As a result of cruel actions with respect to the civilians who went out to protest against the violation of the Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, unfair and biased policy by the USSR leadership with respect to the people of Azerbaijan, 131 people were killed.
The commemoration ceremony in Tel-Aviv was opened by the Peace Ambassador Alex Shapiro-Suliman, who is also the President of the Middle East Azerbaijanis' Congress. "The way to freedom and independence was not an easy one for the Azerbaijani nation. This difficult way with its bloodsheds and tragedies is engraved in their memory. Eighteen years passed since 20 January which went down in the history of the Azerbaijani nation as a bloody January tragedy. This tragedy is the largest pain in our history. The civilians who wanted to protect their national independence and territorial integrity of their country were slaughtered. Hundreds of innocent people were killed. And that again demonstrated the criminal nature of the Soviet regime," Shapiro-Suliman said.
"The 20 January 1990 is one of the most tragic pages in the history of Azerbaijan in the 20th century," Arie Gut, the Executive Director of the Middle East Azerbaijanis' Congress, who is also an expert in the field of international relations, said. "The punishment action held in Baku by the Soviet national security on 20 January 1990 surpassed in terms of scale, cruelty and the number of victims the same events which took place in Tbilisi in April 1989, in Vilnius in January 1991. That were final convulsions of the collapsing cruel centralized bureaucratic system," Gut said.
"Azerbaijani patriots, Jewish girl and Russian doctor, old Tatat and Azerbaijani child, buried in the fraternity cemetery are the tragedy of my city where I was born. Living in Israel now we will never forget this barbaric tragedy committed by the Kremlin leadership of the Soviet Empire," Are Gut said.
Bakhtiyar Yagubov, the Vice President of the Congress, Professor of the Kholon Technological University, said to the ceremony that it was so strange for Gorbachov's democratization to announce emergency situation, carry out the military operation with the application of arms in the city of the population of 2 million people, explaining it with the necessity of suppressing the national movement, ban the calls and demands for national sovereignty. "The engagement of military divisions to Baku was accompanied by shootings to unarmed civilians in the streets and squares, houses and hospitals. The tanks ran over ambulance cars and automobiles, short at medical employees rendering first aid. People were also killed near or in their hoses, buses and job places. We will never forget this tragedy," Yagubov said.
Rabay Khananayev, the Vice President of the Congress, said that as the Second Secretary of the Oguz region, he was in the center of events in Baku. "Horrible view introduced Baku in the distance on 20 January: street and squares covered with blood, remnants of ugly bodies, destroyed walls of houses, and fired automobiles. And know, after 18 years passed, the depth and scales of the all-national grieve and hatred again shocks the nation," Khananayev said.
According to Vice President of the Congress, it was a goal-directed military political action to threaten the nation, illegality done through gross violators of the Constitution of the Soviet Union and Azerbaijan, the procedures established by the law and terms for adopting decisions on issuing emergency situation in the territory of any republic of the Union.
Mikhael Klyner, a former MP, the chairman of Kherut Party, said that 18 years ago the people of Azerbaijan decided to choose its own way of development and civilians went out with the same demands. "On 20 January 1990 Baku was changed to an arena of armed actions. Tanks and armored troop carriers stepped on people, leaving hundreds of killed and disabled. They shot on people from tanks, mortars, and machine guns. After the 20th January tragic events many Azerbaijanis lost the faith on the Soviet Union. It was the beginning of the collapse of the Soviet Empire," the Israeli political expert said.
The commemoration ceremony dedicated to the 20th January tragedy was attended by representatives from the Israeli political and business elite, as well as Azerbaijani community, who witnessed the tragic events, and the members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Israel.