History of the Nagorno-Karabakh Region of the Republic of Azerbaijan
The history of Karabakh is rooted in antiquity, and it is one of the
historic provinces of Azerbaijan, an important political, cultural,
and spiritual center.
Territorial claims of the Armenians against the Azerbaijani people and
Azerbaijan are the main reasons for the so-called "Karabakh problem".
Karabakh (Arsakh) was inalienable part to all the state formations
that have existed on the territory of northern Azerbaijan.
From 4th century B.C. to 8th century A.D. the territory of the current
Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan was one of the provinces of
Caucasian Albania, the most ancient state of Northern Azerbaijan.
After the fall of the independent Albanian state, Arsakh being
inseparable from Azerbaijan both geographically and politically, was a
part to the Azerbaijani state of Sajids, in 10th century - to the
state of Salarids, and in 11-12th centuries - to the state of
Sheddadids. During 12-13th centuries Karabakh constituted part of the
Atabey-Ildenizids state, in the second half of 13th century -
beginning of 15th century, during the existence of the Mongolian
Khulagouid state - part of the Jalairids' state. In the 15th century
it existed within the states of Gharagouynlou and Aghgouynlou, and
during 16th and 17th centuries Karabakh, as a part of the Karabakh
beylerbeyyat (duchy), was within the Sefevi state. The latter
consisted of 4 beylerbeyyats: Shirvani, Karabakhi (also known as
Ganja), Chukhursaadi (or Erivan) and Azerbaijani (or Tebriz).
Karabakh, being a part of the Karabakhi beylerbeyyat, was ruled by the
representatives of the Turkic Zyiad-oglu tribe, subordinated to Kajars
from 16th till 19th century. In the second half of the 18th century
Karabakh belonged to the Karabakh khanate (principality) and along
with the latter was incorporated into Russia.
Thus, Karabakh has never been a part of the Armenian state, which was
established in Asia, far from South Caucasus.
In the antiquity the population of Karabakh consisted of Albans, and
in the early medieval period - of Albans and Turkic-speaking tribes of
Barsil, Savir, Hunn, Khazar, which lived on this territory. These
tribes were joined by other Turkic-speaking tribes, in particular,
Roumlou, Shoumlou, Bakharlou, Kangary and etc. Language of the Albans
belonged to northeastern-Caucasian family. As it has been established
as a result of most recent research, tribes of that family have
inhabited the territory, at least, since the mesolithic period, no
less than ten thousand years ago.
Arabic conquest of the lowlands of Albania, as well as valleys of Kura
and Araz in 7th century, resulted in islamization of the population of
the plains and it merging with the Turkic-speaking population of the
country. However, Albanian population, ruled by Albanian Mikhranid
princes, remained in the mountainous Arsakh along with the Turkic
tribes. Descendants of the Mikhranid clan restored the Albanian
kingdom in Arsakh in the 9th century. This kingdom was ruled by the
Jalalids, descendants of Hassan-Jalal, until 15th century.
General appearance of Gandzasar cloister, center of Alban church
After losing political and secular power in the 15th century,
representatives of the clan of Jalal became the spiritual leaders of
the country. They became Patriarch-Catolicos of the Albanian
autonomous church, until 1836, when independence of the Albanian
church was abolished and subordinated to the Armenian church as a
result of intrigues of the Armenian clergy.
In the 15th century the Jalalids were granted the title of Melik
(count) by Jahanshah. After that the clan broke up and five melikates
(smaller autonomous county) appeared in Karabakh: Goulistan, Jraberd,
Khachen, Varanda and Dizak. The title of Melik was conferred upon the
ruling families of the Melikates. Meliks of Karabakh in their letters
to the Russian czar call themselves "descendants of the Albanian
Arshakids". The Albanian princes had a title of melik, differing from
Armenian titles: ishkhan, tar etc. None of the Albanian Melik families
was of Armenian descent.
Thus, the historical Albanian province of Arsakh until 19th century
had been an important political, cultural, spiritual center of the
remaining Albanian Christian population which managed to preserve its
territorial, political, confessional unity and, importantly, - its
Appearance of the first ethnic Armenian on the territory of
Azerbaijan, in particular, in Karabakh, should be viewed through the
prism of the Armenian people's history.
As it is known, Armenians are not aboriginal neither in the territory
of Asia Minor (historical Turkey), nor in the Caucasus. According to
Armenologists, the Armenians, who belonged to the Frigian tribes,
originally inhabiting the Balkans, following the Cimmerian
resettlement appeared in Asia Minor in the 7th century B.C. They have
further spread to the east, reaching Euphrates. The latest edition of
"The history of the Armenian people" states that in the 12th century
B.C. groups of Hindo-European Armenian-speaking tribes penetrated
territories of the Khurrites and Louvian Khetts in the upper reaches
of the Euphrates. These tribes were called as "moushku" and "urumu" by
Assirian cuneiform texts, "arims" by the Greek sources, and later
The first Armenian state, established in Asia Minor in the 6th century
B.C., lasted until 428 and was only nominally a state being de-facto a
province of the Persian and Roman Empires. Attempts to restore the
Armenian kingdom were made in 9th-11th centuries and in 12th-14th
centuries. Thus, in 9th-11th centuries Armenian Bagratid state, with
the capital of Ani, was established in the vicinity of Kars and
Erzurum. Later, in 12th-14th centuries, an Armenian Kilikian kingdom
was founded in a totally different location on the northeastern shore
of the Mediterranean.
Since the 15th century the Armenian history is closely linked to the
Armenian church. Significance and influence of the church have
especially grown after the Catolicos' seat was moved in 1441 from
Kilikia to Echmiadzin, in the vicinity of Yerevan. Since that time
Echmiadzin assumed both political and general leadership in the life
of the Armenians. It became the consolidating and organizing force of
the Armenian people scattered across many countries.
Thus, Azerbaijani regions of Arsakh and Sounik, partly populated by
Christian Albans, had preserved confessional unity with Armenians
while maintaining territorial and political unity with Azerbaijan.
With the emergence of the Ottoman Empire Armenians lost hope to create
their state in Asia Minor. This is when the Armenians turned to the
Caucasus and historical Azerbaijan with the idea of forcing
Azerbaijanis out of the Caucasus. Authors of "The history of the
Armenian people" introduce into scientific circles the term "Eastern
Armenia", by which they from 16th to 20th century mean exclusively
Azerbaijani lands: Karabakh, Erevan, Ganja, Sounik-Zangezur. Thus,
"Eastern Armenia" shifts both in time and space from east of the
Euphrates to the Caucasus.
Beginning from the 18th century the Armenians penetrating Russia were
trying to gain favor of the Russian court, first - of the Emperor Paul
I, then - Empress Catherine II by all means. Attracting them by the
necessity of liberating the so-called "Eastern Armenia" from Turkish
and Persian "yoke", Armenians practically aimed at cleansing Karabakh
and the lands of Zangezur from Azerbaijanis, who co-existed with the
fragments of Albanian Christians. Another goal was the Russian
conquest of these territories. Undoubtedly, Armenian intended, by
separating these lands from Azerbaijan and joining them with Russia,
to continue presenting them as "Eastern Armenia", this time within
Russia. In 1805 by peace negotiations Azerbaijani khanates of Karabakh
(founded by Azerbaijani Panakh Ali-khan, fortress of Shusha which he
erected to make the capital of the khanate, was called Panakhabad),
Sheki and Shirvan were forced to accept the Russian rule. During the
period of 1806-1813 through embittered wars and campaigns by
Tsitsianov, Goudovich and general Kotlyarovsky the rest of the
Azerbaijani khanates - principalities of Talysh, Baki, Gouba, Ganja,
Derbent were conquered. Later, in 1826, Russia annexed the khanates of
Nakhchivan and Yerevan, populated mostly by Turkic Azerbaijanis.
According to official documents, Kharabakh khanate had 90,000
residents, one town and more than 600 villages, only 150 of them were
Armenian. There were 1048 Azerbaijani and 474 Armenian resident
families in Shusha. In villages: 12,902 and 4,331 accordingly.
However, already by the end of the 19th century Nagorny Karabakh had
Armenian majority of 58%, while Azerbaijanis constituted 42% of
population. Influx of Armenian population in Azerbaijan, especially
into Karabakh, was significant during and after World War 1.
Increase of Armenian population in the Caucasus and concentration of
predominantly pro-Russian Christian Armenians in the areas bordering
Turkey and Persia was dictated by interests of Russia. In addition,
this way Russia won sympathies of Armenians in Turkey and secured
support in Asia Minor.
Memorial "Maraga - 150" mounted in 1978 on the occasion of 150
anniversary of arrival of Armenians from Persian region Maraga to
Karabakh. In 1988 as the Armenians in Nagorny Karabakh began
"realisation of right of the nation for self-determination"
inscription on the memorial "Maraga - 150" immediately disappeared
Both Turkmanchay and Adrianopol treaties included special clauses
allowing for migration of Armenians into the Caucasus, into the lands
of Azerbaijan and Georgia. This is when first compact Armenian
settlements appeared in Zangezur and Karabakh. In the years 1828-1830
alone 130,000 Armenians migrated. Following signing of Turkmanchay
treaty in 1828 Tsarist government created new, previously non-existent
political entity the Armenian oblast (district). This district
consisted of Azerbaijani lands of Erivan, Nakhchivan and Ordubad
districts and was governed by Czarist bureaucrats. This was the first
attempt to create an Armenian political entity on the territory of
Azerbaijan. In 1849 the Armenian district was abolished and Erivan
governorship created instead.
In 1836, in order to secure support of Armenians in Turkey and trying
to subordinate them to pro-Russian oriented Armenian Patriarchy in
Echmiadzin, Tzarist government made a number of concessions to the
Armenian Echmiadzin Church. These concessions included abolition the
Albanian Patriarchy, the independent Albanian church, and
subordination of it to the Armenian Gregorian church. Later, in
1909-1910, the Armenian Gregorian church with permission of the
Russian Sinod destroyed archives of the Albanian church and eliminated
samples of the Albanian literature. Russian historian V.L.Velichko
wrote that the Armenian clergy had used similar approach to Albanian
Christian shrines, the same way the Georgian monuments were treated.
After abolition of the Albanian Church Albans of Karabakh became
Gregorianized and some of the Albans of Karabakh migrated to the left
bank of the Kura river, preserved their identity and still live in the
Azerbaijani village of Nij.
The issue of so-called "Western Armenia" is related to the situation
of Turkey's Armenian population and following 1878 talks held in
Berlin and San-Stefano became "the Armenian question", which implied
Turkey undertaking introduce reforms in the Armenian-populated
vilayets (regions). In reality, only Tzarist Russia was pushing for
realization "the Armenian question". Two political parties, "GNCHAK"
(1887) and "DASHNAKTSUTYUN" (1890) were created for that purpose.
These parties developed ideological justification for Armenian
territorial claims in the Caucasus. "DASHNAKTSUTYUN" used terrorism
and armed rebellion to achieve its goal of unifying territories with
Armenian migrant population from Iran and Turkey. "DASHNAKTSUTYUN"
party frequently changed its orientation from pro-Russian to
pro-European and then from supporting Turkish revolutionary movement
back to supporting Russia.
During the Balkan war of 1912-1914 Russia proposed creation of an
autonomous Armenian district in Turkey, so-called "Western Armenia"
from vilayets of Erzurum, Van, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Harput, Sivas. This
proposal was not supported by the European states. The Armenian
political parties mentioned above and authorities of the Russian
Empire in an attempt to contain national-liberation movement in the
Caucasus provoked first clashes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. As
a result, between 1907 and 1912 about 500,000 Armenians from Iran and
Turkey migrated into Kars, Erivan and Yelizavetpol districts, most of
population of which were Azerbaijanis. This took place with assistance
of Russian authorities in order to make inter-ethnic situation even
more tense and strengthen Russia's dominance in the region.
February and October Revolutions of 1917 marked a new stage in "the
Armenian question". In October 1917 Armenian Congress convened in
Tiflis and demanded Russian annexation of East Turkey's territory
occupied by the Russian Army during WW1. On December, 31 the Council
of Commissars adopted a decree signed by Lenin and Stalin on free
self-determination of "Turkish Armenia".
Following collapse of the Transcaucasus Parliament the Azerbaijan
Democratic Republic (ADR), the first democratic state in the Muslim
world, was established on May, 28 1918. One of the first steps of the
ADR's government was to yield on May, 29 1918 town of Erivan (Yerevan)
to Republic of Armenia, which had declared independence but had no
political center. Territory of Armenian Republic was limited to Erivan
and Echmiadzin districts with 400,000 residents. Later, all means were
employed to implement policies aimed at changing demography of Erivan
and Zangezur in favor of Armenians.
Azerbaijan's foreign policy objectives at that period included
developing friendly and neighborly relationship with Armenia.
Unfortunately, "DASHNAKTSUTYUN" government of Armenia had expansionist
plans and laid claims on Nakhichevan, Zangezur and Karabakh, all of
which were parts of Azerbaijan. This led to the war between Armenia
and Azerbaijan in 1918-1920. According to available data, during
summer of 1918 alone 115 Azerbaijani villages were destroyed, 7,000
people killed and 50,000 Azerbaijanis left Zangezur.
US President Wilson accepted instructions from the League of Nations,
which stated that Armenia "cannot exist without support" and that its
borders must be defined. However, the Senate decided that "the
Armenian question" is a European issue and rejected the "mandate on
The French Government acted similarly towards Armenians regarding
Kilikia, which had been occupied by France in 1919. In 1921 France
concluded peace treaty with Turkey, and gave up Kilikia.
Thus, the Armenian issue concentrated in the South Caucasus. In March
- July 1920 clashes with Dashnak forces took place in Karabakh,
especially in Shusha, Nakhchivan, Ordoubad. Hostilities took place in
Khankendy, Terter, Askeran, Zangezur, Jebrail, Nakhchivan, Ganja, and
dozens of Azerbaijani villages were destroyed.
Independence of Azerbaijan was crushed after the Bolshevik 11th Red
Army had invaded the country and the Soviet Socialist Republic of
Azerbaijan was proclaimed on April 28, 1920. Soviet Russia decided not
to allow turning Armenian Republic into anti-Russian bridgehead. It
became a mediator in settling the border disputes between Armenia and
Azerbaijan. In July 1920 Dashnak government in Erivan gave a secret
order to the Dashnak military forces to begin guerilla punitive
activities in Karabakh, Nakhchivan, and Zangezur. The same summer the
Bolsheviks have crushed the Dashnak troops that had invaded Karabakh,
and established Soviet rule here. Later, in November 1920, the Dashnak
regime was overthrown in Armenia.
The letter written in 1920 by chairman of the Revolutionary Committee
of Azerbaijan N.Narimanov, member of the Caucasus regional committee
of the Communist Party B.Mdivani, member the Central Committee of the
Communist Party (CCCP) of Azerbaijan A.Mikoyan and member of the CCCP
of Armenia A.Nourijanian, the people's commissary (minister) of
foreign affairs G.Chicherin and G.Orjonikidze stated: "As far as
supposedly disputed territories of Zangezur and Karabakh, that have
already joined Soviet Azerbaijan, are concerned, we categorically
state, that there can be no dispute about these places and they must
stay within Azerbaijan. The regions of Djulfa and Nakhchivan are
populated solely by Moslems... and must join with Azerbaijan".
G.Orjonikidze, who in his telegrams to V.Lenin, I.Stalin, G.Chicherin
has been underlining economic bent of Karabakh and Zangezur for Baku
and Azerbaijan, was of the same opinion. I.A.Mikoyan said that "agents
of the Armenian government, the Dashnaks, are striving for joining
Karabakh with Armenia, but for the population of Karabakh it would
mean to be deprived of their life-line, which is Baku, and to be
connected to Erivan, with which it hasn't ever been linked in any way.
Responding to the territorial claims of the Armenian SSR the Caucasus
bureau of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party at its
meeting dated July 5, 1921 decided: "Proceeding from the necessity to
maintain ethnic peace between Moslems and Armenians, economic ties
between Highland and Lowland Karabakh, its uninterrupted ties with
Azerbaijan, Nagorny Karabakh is to be left within (underlined by the
edit.) the Azerbaijan SSR and to be granted broad regional autonomy
with the administrative center in Shusha, which is a part of the
autonomous region." Establishment of the autonomous region was not
artificial, though it contradicted historic right of Azerbaijan for
its own lands. It was a result of complicated situation in Nagorny
Karabakh and around it.
In 1922 the Azerbaijan SSR was included into the USSR. Within the
latter the attributes of republics' independence were a formality. On
July 7, 1923 the Central Executive Committee of Azerbaijan issued a
decree "On the establishment of Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region".
Thus, the government of the Azerbaijan SSR by the act of law created
an autonomy on the territory of Azerbaijan in the interests of its
Armenian citizens. At the same time, three hundred thousands of
Azerbaijanis who have lived in compact settlements in Armenia were
refused even cultural autonomy by the governments of both the USSR and
the Armenian SSR. That violated their rights and had eventually led to
multiple deportations in 1948-1950 and to more than one dramatic
forced resettlement from Armenia, including more than 200, 000 in
It is necessary to emphasize that after the establishment of Soviet
rule all over the South Caucasus in 1921, the territories that had
been captured and separated from the Republic of Azerbaijan weren't
claimed by the government of the Azerbaijan SSR. On the contrary, the
next, "peaceful" stage of separation started with the assistance of
communist leadership of Russia and the Soviet Union. In 1921
"acquisition" of the province of Zangezur by Armenia was legalized,
which led to complete isolation of Nakhchivan from Azerbaijan. In 1922
the Bolsheviks dealt with Azerbaijani territories of Dilijan and
Geycha in a similar manner. In 1929 several villages were separated
from Nakhchivan and transferred to Armenian SSR. In 1969 the Armenian
SSR again extended its territory by acquiring Azerbaijani lands, this
time - in the Kedabey district. In 1984 under the pressure from
central authorities, as it had been in the previous years, Azerbaijan
handed a number of villages in the district of Gazakh to Armenia.
Taking into account the above, it's crucially important to underline
that as of January 1, 1920 the territory of the Democratic Republic of
Azerbaijan was 113,900 square km. Now the territory of the Republic of
Azerbaijan is 86,600 square km. According to the population census of
1989, the population of the Autonomous Region of Nagorny Karabakh
(ARNK) was 186,100. 138,600 of them were Armenians (73,5%) and 47,500
The new stage of the Armenian-Azerbaijan confrontation at the end of
the 1980s was caused not by the far-fetched suppositions about
"discrimination of the Armenian minority" in Azerbaijan and economic
hardships, but by the beginning of implementation of long-conceived
plans of expansion. The most favorable conditions for that were
created in the period of collapse. Beginning in February 1988,
Armenia, with the connivance of the leadership of the USSR, instigated
anti-constitutional activities by the administrative structures of the
ARNK. Those steps became the prologue of the wide-scale armed
aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan.
The process of the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict
Chronology of the conflict from 1988 up to present days.
History of the second Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict throughout the
20th century takes its beginning from February, 1988, when the session
of the Council of Oblast (local legislature) of the Nagorno-Karabakh
Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic
adopted decision to secede from Azerbaijan and to unite with Armenia.
Not a confessional and ethnic factors are the basis of the conflict
which started as local clashes and turned into one of the most
long-standing and bloody conflicts in post-war Europe. Its roots are
in the expansionism and policy of territorial aggression aimed at the
expansion of the territory of a state by means of the armed abruption
and forceful seizure of a part of the territory of another sovereign
state, which is a member of the UN, OSCE and other international
A prologue of a full-scale armed aggression against Azerbaijan became
anti-constitutional actions by separatist groups in the
Nagorno-Karabakh region, supported by and controlled from outside
completely contradicting International Law and the Soviet legislation
in vigour that time.
Having begun with organising of the illegal meetings, strikes and
actions of disobediences, the Republic of Armenia started to establish
the unconstitutional power institutions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region
of Azerbaijan. The military formations as well as a huge amount of
weapons and ammunitions were shipped on the territory of Azerbaijan. A
military bridgehead was set up to conduct an armed aggression against
Full-scale hostilities in the zone of the Armenian-Azerbaijani
conflict triggered at the end of 1991 - early 1992. Armenian armed
formations, using the most modern weapon systems, deployed combat
operations in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, culmination of which became
a seizure of the city of Khodjali in February, 1992 resulted in nearly
800 peaceful inhabitants, including the olds, women and children,
brutally killed, and occupation of the Shusha rayon in May, 1992.
Thereupon, armed actions were beyond the administrative boundaries of
the region and expanded to the rest of Azerbaijan and the
Armenia-Azerbaijani border, including its Nakhchivan zone. Pending the
period from May, 1992 until May, 1994 6 more rayons of Azerbaijan were
Thus, as a result of aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan,
more than 17.000 km2 were occupied that constitute about 20% of the
whole territory of the Azerbaijan Republic, more than 18 000 persons
were killed, over 50 000 are wounded or invalidated, more than 877
settlements, 100 thousand dwellings, more 1 thousand economic objects,
more than 600 schools, 250 medical institutions looted or ruined.
Internally displaced persons exceeded 800 000 persons and plus nearly
200 000 refugees from Armenia representing disastrous figures for the
country with 8 mln. population.
Humanitarian situation. As a result of ethnic cleansing, a dramatic
humanitarian situation in Azerbaijan produced. The most of refugees
and IDPs were accommodated in the tent camps, schools and student's
hostels. In spite of undertaking efforts, they constantly threaten to
perish with chill and epidemics due to the insufficient level of
shelter and sanitary living conditions. The problem is aggravated by
the presence of children and the olds. Although the total humanitarian
aid sent to Azerbaijan in 1997 has formed 60 mln. US dollars, for a
present day that falls short of a minimum need of the people affected
by the conflict.
Arms supply to Armenia. Illegal supplies of the Russian weapon to
Armenia from 1994 to 1996, including 84 tanks T-72, 50 ACVs, 32
operative-tactical missiles R-17 with range of up to 300 km, capable
to carry nuclear warheads, and other arms worth of 1 billion US
dollars, as well as the resent supply by Russia to Armenia of upgraded
aircrafts MiG-29 and anti-aircraft systems S-300 worth of 2 billion US
dollars, cause a particular concern of Azerbaijan. These supplies
violate norms of International Law, principles of the peaceful
settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, upset military
political balance in the region and threaten the security of all
states of the region. Such illegal actions are in the contradiction
with the UN Security Councils Resolution 853, Statement of Chairman of
Security Council as of August 18 1993, and decision of a OSCE
Committee of Senior Officials as of 28 February and March, 14 1992,
which require to cancel a military supplies to the states, involved to
the conflict, as promoting the escalation of the conflict and
continuation of the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories.
Illegal supplies are also in the direct contradiction with provisions
of CFE Agreement.
Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia
on the friendship, co-operation and mutual assistance. Signed on
August 29, 1997. Practically, it constitutes a military alliance
between two states. A signing of such Agreement testifies that, on the
one hand, the Republic of Armenia is not going to solve the
Armenian-Azerbaijani armed conflict by the political means, but sees a
further development of situation in the region as a continuation of
armed confrontations with the Azerbaijan Republic, and on the another
hand, Russian Federation falls short with its obligations as a state
of Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Conference.
Azerbaijan considers this Agreement as a factor that aggravates, in a
considerable extent, tense situation in the armed conflict, and
weakens hopes of region's peoples for the peaceful settlement of the
Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, normalisation of relations between the
Azerbaijan Republic and the Republic of Armenia and establishment of
peace and security in the region.
It is already 4,5 years as cease-fire regime, reached on May 12, 1994,
has been operating. However, recently, a provocative activity of the
Armenian armed units, deployed along the Line of Contact, gains more
impudent nature and pursues a purpose to compel Azerbaijan to drop
into the new turn of combat actions. It is worthwhile to note that an
Armenian party broke an Agreement on cease-fire regime 1271 times
since it was reached on May, 1994, up to May, 1998. Altogether, for
this period of time 188 persons were killed, 366 wounded.
The liberation of prisoners of war (POW). Activities with the
mediation ICRC on the liberation POWs and hostages are continuing.
From 1993 up to May, 1998, there were exchanges between parties, as a
result of which 357 persons were liberated - 102 Armenians and 255
Azerbaijanis. However, according to the Ministry of National Security
of the Republic of Azerbaijan, more than 800 Azerbaijanis are
remaining in Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
On November 23-26, 1998 during a visit of OSCE Chairman-in-Office
Bronislav Geremek to the region as action for strengthening of
confidence the agreement on exchange of all POWs was reached between
Chronology of the negotiation process. International mediation on the
settlement of the conflict takes its beginning from February, 1992,
within the framework of so called OSCE Minsk process, which is the
only forum on the elaboration of comprehensive model of settlement of
the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.
Minsk Group - a forum on preparation of Minsk conference- was
established aiming at political settlement of this issue, which
comprises Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, USA, France, Poland, Germany,
Turkey, Belarus, Finland, Sweden, Italy.
After the beginning of hostilities and seizure of Azerbaijani cities,
UN Security Council adopted Resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884, that
stipulate immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed
formations from the territory of Azerbaijan and returning of refugees
and internally displaced persons to their homes.
Main landmarks in the negotiating process have become the Helsinki
Additional meeting CSCE Council on March 24, 1992, the OSCE Budapest
and Lisbon Summits.
In accordance with decision of the OSCE Budapest Summit, 1994, the
institute of Co-Chairmen of the Minsk conference was created, which
were entrusted "to conduct speedy negotiations for the conclusion of a
political agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict ("Big
Political Agreement"), the implementation of which will eliminate
major consequences of the armed conflict for all parties and permit
the convening of the Minsk Conference".
Thereby, as a result of the Budapest Summit, the legal two-stage
framework of the settlement process was completely composed:
1) First stage - elimination of the consequences of the armed conflict
by the implementation of the Agreement, which means a full liberation
of all occupied territories and ensuring a return of IDPs to their
2) Second stage - elaboration and adoption of a comprehensive peace
settlement at the Minsk conference.
There was also a decision agreed upon at the Budapest Summit to
establish the OSCE peacekeeping operation after the conclusion of the
political Agreement. After Budapest, 17 rounds and many consultations
with participants of the conflict were organised and conducted by the
During that time, 75% of the Agreement's draft and its Annexes were
agreed upon. Yet, a consent on the principal issues such as full
liberation of all territories, including Shusha and Lachin rayons,
security of parties to the conflict and withdrawal of units of armed
forces of Armenia from the territory of Azerbaijan has not been
Three principles of the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani
conflict were formulated in the Statement of the OSCE
Chairman-in-Office at Lisbon Summit, 1996. They are following:
- territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan
- legal status of Nagorny Karabakh defined in an agreement based on
self-determination which confers on Nagorny Karabakh the highest
degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan;
- guaranteed security for Nagorny Karabakh and its whole population,
including mutual obligations to ensure kipping by all the Parties of
the provisions of the settlement.
These principles were supported by 53 the OSCE state-participants,
Since November, 1996, Armenia unilaterally has broken direct
consultations between Advisers of Presidents of Armenia and
After Lisbon Summit and establishing of an institute of the triple
Co-Chairmanship (Russia-France-USA), only one round of negotiations
(in April, 1997) was conducted, which ended without particular
On June-September, 1997, the Co-Chairmanship elaborated and submitted
a new document for consideration of the Parties envisaging two-staged
conflict settlement according to the following scheme:
On the first stage - a liberation of 6 rayons, occupied in the course
of the conflict that are outside of the former NKAO (except Lachin
rayon), return of civil population and restoration of the main
communications in the region of conflict.
On the second stage - a resolution of the situation around Lachin and
Shusha rayons and adoption of the main principles of the status of the
The final comprehensive settlement of the conflict, including an
Agreement on the status of self-rule of NK within Azerbaijan, will be
reached at the Minsk conference.
On October 1, 1997, Azerbaijan officially informed Co-Chairmanship on
its consent with the document as basis for the upcoming negotiations.
On October, 1997, in Strasbourg, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and
Armenia made a Joint Statement on readiness to resume negotiations on
the basis of Co-Chairmen's proposals.
On December, 1997, in Copenhagen, a Report of Co-Chairmen, emphasizing
a need to continue efforts on the settlement of conflict on the basis
of Lisbon principles and proposals of Co-Chairmanship, was distributed
at the OSCE Ministerial Council's meeting.
On May 13-17, 1998, during a visit of Co-Chairmen to the region,
Armenia officially stated about the recall of consent of former
President of Armenia with proposals on stage-by-stage settlement, and
spoke for a package settlement without preconditions.
On November 9, 1998, Co-Chairmen introduced new proposals on package
settlement of conflict based on a concept of "common state".
Azerbaijan from the very beginning during the consultations of
November 9 refused to accept these proposals, and on November 19 sent
written response to Co-Chairmen, officially informing the mediators on
unacceptability of proposals of November 9. Azerbaijan confirmed its
readiness to resume negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group on the
basis of Co-Chairmen's proposals of September 19, 1997.
On November 20, 1998, the Delegation of Azeri community of NK
officially rejected proposals of November 9, and on November, 25
Armenia and Armenians of NK have stated on acceptability for them of
the mentioned proposals.
On December 2-3, 1998, in the course of meeting of the OSCE Ministers
of Foreign Affairs in Oslo a special paragraph on the Minsk process
was included in to Chairman-in-Office's Summary, that consists an
appeal to the parties of the conflict to resume immediately the
negotiations in the framework of MG and to Co-Chairmen to continue
their efforts to promote negotiations and quest of resolution.
On April, 1999 during CIS summit in Moscow there was held meeting
between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, where arrangement
about holding of further meetings for discussions of peace settlement
of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict was reached. Opinion and positions
exchange between the parties was continued at the meetings between the
presidents in Washington on April, 24, in Geneva on August, 16 and 22
and in Yalta on September, 10. In the course of these meetings
arrangements for cease-fire strengthening and resumption of
negotiation process within the framework of OSCE Minsk Group were
CHRONOLOGY OF THE ARMENIAN -AZERBAIJANI CONFLICT (1988-1999)
- 1987 -
October - First meeting in Yerevan (Armenia) took place with
challenges to annex the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous region (NKAR) of
the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic to the Armenian Soviet
Socialist Republic (SSR).
- 1988 -
January 25 - Exodus of Azerbaijanis living in the Armenian SSR began.
February 22-23 - The first meetings in Baku and Sumgait took place
with a slogan: "NKAR is the integral part of Azerbaijan".
February 24 - For the first time, in the course of the
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict blood was shed: in NKAR two Azerbaijanis
February 27 - Strikes started in NKAR with the demand to be separated
February 28-29 - Pogroms and massive disorders in Sumgait took place.
There were people, among the organisers of pogroms, of Armenian
March 18 - Plenary Session of NKAR's regional Committee adopted a
decision on annexation of NKAR to Armenia.
March 24 - Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party and Council
of Ministers adopted a resolution "On measures for speeding up the
social-economic development of NKAR of the Azerbaijan SSR in
The first decade of May - More than one thousand Azerbaijani refugees,
deported from Armenia, came to Azerbaijan.
May 18 - Meetings took place in Baku as a sign of protest against
ejection of Azerbaijanis from Armenia.
The first decade of June - Discrimination acts against Azerbaijanis in
NKAR broke out. In a few days about 2.000 people were ejected.
June 14 - According to State Committee on Statistics of Azerbaijan
four more thousand refugees fled to the Republic.
The last decade of June - Ejection of Azerbaijanis from Armenia is
July 12 - The Session of People's Deputies of the Regional Soviet in
NKAR adopted an anti-constitutional decision on separation from the
July 13 - Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijani SSR
considered the decision of the session of the Regional Soviet from
July 12, 1988, as an illicit act.
July 18 - The enlarged meeting of the Presidium of the USSR's Supreme
Soviet endorsed NKAR as belonging to the Azerbaijani SSR.
September 3-21 - Series of terrorist acts against Azerbaijanis in
NKAR, setting out fire to houses and killing peaceful Azerbaijani
population in Stepanakert.
November 18 - December 5 - Meetings took place in Baku with the demand
to put an end to terrorist acts against Azerbaijanis in NKAR.
November 24 - The State of Emergency was announced in Baku,
November 27-29 - As a result of anti-Azerbaijani massacres 33
Azerbaijanis were killed in the cities of Gugark, Spitak and
Stepanavan of the Armenian SSR.
The second part of December - Exodus of Azerbaijanis from Armenia.
More than 105 thousand refugees fled to Azerbaijan from the Armenian
- 1989 -
January 12 - In the territory of NKAR of Azerbaijan SSR a form of
ruling was applied: Committee of special ruling was set up.
May-June - The First Congress of the People's Deputies decided to form
a Commission of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on Nagorny Karabakh
July 7 - The Azerbaijani village of Karkijahan in NKAR was fired.
July 11 - The escalation of the situation in NKAR. An armed assault on
Azerbaijanis in Stepanakert. People were killed.
July 29 - The traffic of trains from Azerbaijan to Armenia was cut
short because of the attacks to the trains in the territory of
Armenia. The beginning of the blockade of Nakhchivan Autonomous
Republic of Azerbaijan by Armenia.
August 16 - There was the congress of the authoritative
representatives of Armenian population of NKAR in Stepanakert, those
refused to recognise the status of NKAR, as an autonomous region of
August 27 - The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijani
Republic declared as illegal the decision of the congress of
authoritative representatives of the Armenian population of NKAR from
August 16, 1989.
The last decade of September - Strikes of the Azerbaijani railroaders
in connection with the attacks to the trains in the territory of
The second decade of October - The beginning of the blockade of Shusha
region of NKAR, majority of the population of which is Azerbaijanis
The second decade of November - Assaults on Azerbaijani trains in the
territory of the Armenian SSR, caused the stopping rail road traffic
between the Azerbaijani SSR and the Armenian SSR.
November 28 - The Supreme Soviet of the USSR passed a resolution "on
measures for normalising the situation in NKAR". It was decided to
form the republican organisational committee on NKAR and to restore
the activity of the regional council of the people's deputies, by
abolishing the Committee of special rule of NKAR.
December 1 - The Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR passed an
anti-constitutional resolution "On reunification of the Armenian SSR
and Nagorny Karabakh".
The first and second decades of December - Number of attacks from the
territory of Armenia to the border villages of Azerbaijan were
registered. The Infantry brigands from the territory of Armenia were
landed in the regions of Khanlar and Shaumyan of Azerbaijan.
December 7 - The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijani
SSR assessed this resolution of the Armenian Supreme Soviet from
December 1, 1989 as inadmissible interference in the affairs of the
Azerbaijani SSR, encroachment on its territorial integrity.
- 1990 -
January 9 - The session of the Armenian Supreme Soviet, considering
the issues of planning and budget for 1990, included in its sphere of
influence the plans of social-economic development of NKAR.
January 9 - Seizure of the Azerbaijani hostages by Armenians in the
region of Shaumyan of Azerbaijan SSR.
January 4-10 - An illegal supply of about 100 tanks, artillery and
anti-aircraft weapons by the Soviet Army to Armenia.
January 11 - The Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet condemned the decision of
the Armenian Supreme Soviet to include NKAR in its economic sphere and
assessed it as a grave violation of the sovereignty of the Azerbaijan
January 13 - As a result of the armed attacks Armenians occupied the
village of Karki in Nakhchivan AR.
January 15 - An armed Armenian infantry were landed in the village of
Gushchu of Khanlar region.
January 19 - Armenians assaulted on the settlement of Sadarak in
January 20 - The Soviet troops entered Baku, as a result 124 people
were killed, 737 people were wounded. The State of emergency was
declared in Baku and in other cities of Azerbaijan.
January 21 - The Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijani SSR demanded the
immediate withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Baku
February 13 - The Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR passed a
resolution "On admission as illegal the decision of the Caucasian
Bureau of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party of July
5, 1921", which left NKAR as part of the Azerbaijani SSR.
March 6 - The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijani SSR
passed a resolution "On inadmissibility of territorial claims by the
March 7 - The Supreme Soviet of the USSR passed a resolution "On the
situation in the Azerbaijani SSR and Armenian SSR and on the measures
for normalising the situation in this region".
March 24 - The attack of the armed thugs of the Armenian SSR to the
villages of the Gazakh region of the Azerbaijani SSR. All civilians of
these villages were killed.
May 22 - The attempts to organise elections of the people's deputies
of the Armenian SSR in the territory of the NKAR failed.
May 25 - The resolution of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR
"On anti-constitutional decision of the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian
SSR and its Presidium concerning NKAR of the Azerbaijani SSR."
June 25 - Decree of the President of the USSR "On prohibition to form
armed forces which are not envisaged in the legislation of the USSR
and confiscation of illegally kept weapons".
June 29 - The Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijani SSR passed a
resolution "On resumption of sovereign rights of the Azerbaijani SSR
in NKAR and measures for social economical development of the region".
September 23 - The People's deputies of the USSR from Azerbaijan
appealed the Supreme Soviet of the USSR "On forcible deportation of
the Azerbaijani population of Armenia".
- 1991 -
January-May - The Armenian thugs committed terrorist acts against the
leadership of the Committee of the special directorate of NKAR, the
armed attacks and firing of the Azerbaijani villages.
May 9 - The USSR Ministry of the Internal Affairs, KGB and Ministry of
Defence take measures for disarmament of the illegal Armenian armed
forces and confiscation of weapons in the districts near the border of
Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as in NKAR of the Azerbaijani SSR.
June 29 - The Session of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijani
Republic draws the attention of the USSR President and the Supreme
Soviet of the USSR to the new stage of escalation of Armenian thugs
groups attacks in NKAR, as well as passes a decision to mom up the
territory of NKAR from the thugs groups dispatched from Armenia and
finish the measures of the USSR presidential decree banning the
formation of armed forces.
September 2 - The Armenian separatists declared the establishment of
so called "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR)" in the territory of
Nagorny Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani Republic. All the armed
groups of about 15.000 were formed as "self-defence forces of NKR" and
subordinated to the Committee of Defence.
The middle of September - The Armenian armed forces began attacks the
western part of Goranboy district of Azerbaijan and occupied number of
September 23 - Meeting of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in
Zheleznovodsk (Russia) mediated by the Russian and Kazakhstan
Presidents. There was reached an agreement on peaceful settlement of
October-November - The Armenian armed forces launched hostilities to
drive the Azerbaijani population out from the territories of Martuni
and Hadrut districts of the NKAR. The USSR air forces took part in the
hostilities supporting the Armenian forces. The Armenian forces
occupied about 30 settlements.
November 20 - Near the village of Garakend of the Khojavand district
of the Azerbaijan Republic the helicopter "MI-8" was shot down, in
which there was the peacemaking group of the Russian, Kazakhstan
representatives and the senior leadership of Azerbaijan. The murder of
22 people, including the state figures of the 3 countries put an end
the first attempt for peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani
conflict, undertaken in Zheleznovodsk and gave an impetus to the
escalation of violence in the region.
The middle of December - The forces of the Ministry of Internal
Affairs of the USSR were withdrawn from the territory of Nagorny
Karabakh. Illegal transfer of weapons to Armenia by the Ministry of
Internal Affairs of the USSR.
December 30 - The leaders of CIS countries called on Azerbaijan and
Armenia to resume the negotiation process.
- 1992 -
January - The armed forces of Armenia relying on the support of rifle
regiment 366 of the Russian armed forces, launched the occupation of
the last Azerbaijani settlements of Karabakh which were in a complete
January 30-31 - The second meeting of the Council of CSCE (Prague).
Azerbaijan and Armenia got the membership of CSCE. It was decided to
send a mission of rapporteurs to the region of conflict.
The first half of February - Occupation of the suburb of Stepanakert
(Karkijahan), as well as the Azerbaijani settlements along the road of
Shusha-Khojaly and around Shusha.
February 12-18 - First visit of the CSCE mission of rapporteur to the
February 25-26 - Assault and seizure of the city of Khojaly
(Nagorno-Karabakh region, Azerbaijan) by military forces of Armenia
and with the participation of 366 Infantry regiment of the Russian
military forces, as a result 800 civilians were brutally killed.
The end of February - Evacuation of the staff of the 366 Infantry
regiment of the Russian military forces from Stepanakert and illegal
transfer of 25 tanks, 87 armoured infantry fighting vehicles, 28
armoured vehicles, 45 artillery mortar systems to Armenians.
March 24 - Additional Helsinki meeting of the CSCE Council, decision
to convene a conference on Nagorny Karabakh under the aegis of the
CSCE. Chairman-in-Office designated Mr. Rafaelli as a Chairman of the
April - Beginning of the activity of Russia as mediator.
May 7 - Meeting of the Heads of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Tehran
through the mediation of Iran (meeting was devoted to the
normalisation of the situation in Nagorny Karabakh and to the peaceful
settlement of the conflict).
May 8 - Military Forces of the Russian Army occupied azerbaijani city
Shusha and Shusha region (Nagorny Karabakh) that led to the breakdown
of agreements reached in Tehran. As the result of the occupation of
Shusha region 23156 Azerbaijanis were driven out from their permanent
residences. Thus, there was finished ethnic cleansing in Nagorny
May 18-19 - Military forces of the Republic of Armenia occupied Lachin
region, which was outside Nagorny Karabakh. As the result of this
occupation 63341 Azerbaijanis were banished from their homes. At the
same time military forces of the Russian Army attacked strategically
important part of the Azerbaijani-Turkish border in Sadarak region
May 18-19 - In connection with the occupation of Lachin district of
Azerbaijan decision making on an extraordinary preparing meeting of
the CSCE participating states at the Conference on Nagorny Karabakh
which was held under the aegis of CSCE was failed.
June-September - Rounds of negotiations were held within the framework
of the CSCE Minsk group on the cessation of the offensive operations,
de-escalation of the conflict and normalisation of the life of
September 19 - Agreements on cessation of all military actions in 2
months period reached by Defence Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan
with the participation of the Ministers of defence and Security of
September-November - Visits and consultations of the Russian mediator
mission in the region.
November 26-December 1 - Meeting of the CSCE Ad-hoc group with the
competence of advanced group of observes (Vienna).
December 7-9 - Unofficial meeting of the personal representatives of
the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, USA and Turkey
December 9-12 - Violation of the agreement reached between Defence
Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Sochi, Armenia occupied 8
villages of Zangelan district of Azerbaijan.
- 1993 -
February 5 - Beginning of the large-scale attacks of the military
forces of the Russian Army in the northern part of the front.
March 17-21 - Meeting of Personal Representatives of Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Russia, USA, Turkey and chairman of the CSCE Minsk group.
March 27-April 3 - Occupation of Kalbadjar district of Azerbaijan by
the armed forces of Armenia, which is situated outside of Nagorny
Karabakh, as a result of this 60698 Azerbaijanis were driven out from
their permanent residences.
March 31 - Resumption of the meeting in Geneva. Personal
Representative of the President of USA is breaking off the
negotiations because of the occupation of Kalbadjar district of
Azerbaijan by Armenia.
April 6 - The Statement of the Chairman of the UN Security Council,
condemning the occupation of the district of Kalbadjar.
April 30 - The adoption of the resolution 822 by UN Security Council,
demanding "the immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from the
district of Kalbadjar and other recently occupied districts of
June 3-4 - The Consultations of "the Minsk Nine". Adoption of
"Schedule of urgent measures on implementation of the resolution 822
of the UN Security Council".
June 17 - The arrangement through the mediation of Russia on ceasing
of bombardment of Aghdam and Stepanakert.
June 26-28 - The armed forces of the Republic of Armenia captured the
city of Aghdara of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
June 27 - The arrangement through mediation of Russia on ceasing
hostilities, shelling and air bombardment for one week in the
districts of Mardakert and Aghdam.
July 12 - The visit of Mr. Rafaelli to Baku, Yerevan and Stepanakert
aiming at adoption of the schedule of the Minsk Group.
July 18-20 - The visit of the mediator mission of Russia to Baku.
July 23-24 - The occupation of the district of Aghdam of Azerbaijan,
which is situated outside of Nagorny Karabakh, by the armed forces of
Armenia, as a result 158000 Azerbaijanis were driven out from their
July 29 - The adoption of the resolution 853 by the UN Security
Council, "demanding the immediate, complete and unconditional
withdrawal of occupation forces involved in the conflict from the
district of Aghdam and all other recently occupied districts of the
July 21-August 12 - Consultations of OSCE Minsk Group. It was adopted
"the schedule of urgent measures for implementing of the resolution
822 and 853 of the UN Security Council".
August 11 - Beginning of attacks of the Armenian armed forces to the
district centers of Fizuli and Jabrail of Azerbaijan.
August 18 - The statement of the UN Security Council's Chairman on
immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupation
forces from the districts of Fizuli, as well as Kalbadjar and Aghdam
and other recently occupied districts of the Azerbaijan Republic.
August 23 - The occupation of the district of Fizuli of Azerbaijan,
situated outside of Nagorny Karabakh by the Armenian armed forces, as
a result 152860 Azerbaijanis were driven out from their permanent
August 25-26 - The Armenian armed forces occupied the district of
Jabrail, situated outside of Nagorny Karabakh, as a result 57125
Azerbaijanis were driven out from their permanent residences.
August 31 - The Armenian armed forces occupied the district of Gubadly
of Azerbaijan, situated outside of Nagorny Karabakh, as a result 31364
Azerbaijanis were driven out from their permanent residences.
September 21-28 - Negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group were held
October 14 - The UN SC passed a resolution 874, calling on the parties
"to abstain from any hostile acts and any interference or invasion,
which could led to escalation of the conflict and undermine peace and
security in the region".
October 18-21 - Negotiations within the framework of the Minsk Group.
October 23 - Part of the military forces of the Armenian Republic
assaulted the settlement of Horadiz with tanks. Having occupied this
important transport unit, the Armenians cut off the district of
Zangelan and part of none-occupied territory of Jabrail and Gubadly
from the remaining part of the Republic.
October 28 - The military forces of the Armenian Republic occupied the
rail road station of Minjivan.
October 28-November 1 - The occupation of the district of Zangelan,
Azerbaijan, situated outside of Nagorny Karabakh, as a result, 34924
Azerbaijanis were driven out by the armed forces of Armenia from their
November 11 - The UN SC passed a resolution 884, demanding "immediate
cease fire and hostility, unilateral withdrawal of occupation forces
from the district of Zangelan and the city of Horadiz and withdrawal
of occupation forces from other districts of Azerbaijan, captured
November 20 - Firing of the mediator mission of Russia by the Armenian
side. The statement of the former Russian Foreign Minister A.Kozirev
on this matter.
December 10 -The Armenian military forces launched an assault in the
direction of district center of Beylagan.
- 1994 -
January-March - Series of negotiations and consultations to reach an
agreement on cease fire through the mediation of Russia and CSCE.
March 3 - Having broken off the next cease fire agreement, the
Armenian troops resumed the hostilities.
March 31-April 3 - Visit of the peacemaker group of the
Inter-parliamentary Assembly of CIS headed by Speaker of Kyrgizstan
Supreme Council, together with Russian President's representative, to
Baku, Yerevan, and Nagorny Karabakh.
April 9-10 - The command of the Armenian Military Forces launched
large scale assault in the direction of Terter during 33 days.
May 4-5 - The Bishkek meeting of the parliamentary leaders of
Azerbaijan and Armenia and the representatives of the both communities
from Nagorny Karabakh. The "Bishkek protocol" was adopted.
May 9 - The defence ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the
representatives of the Armenian separatist regime from Nagorny
Karabakh signed a cease fire agreement.
May 12 - In the zone of conflict the regime of cease fire started
functioning. Active hostilities on the line of the front came to an
May 19 - The CSCE Permanent Committee. It was passed a statement as a
support for the agreement to strengthening of the cease fire regime.
June 27 - An agreement was signed by the parties as confirmation of
their commitments on cease fire regime up to conclusion of the
political agreement. The joint statement for to support this agreement
was made by the leader of mediator mission of Russia and the chairman
of the Minsk Conference.
August 28 - Unilateral statement of all sides involved in the conflict
and confirmation of the commitments on observation of cease fire
regime until the political agreement to be concluded.
September-November - Continuation of the negotiations between the
competent representatives of the leaders of sides involved in the
conflict in Moscow.
December 5-6 - Meeting of Heads of CSCE member states and governments
in Budapest ("Budapest Decision"). In accordance with the decision of
the summit, it was established an institute of Co-Chairmen of the
Minsk Conference; two stage structuring of the settlement process was
completed; decision was taken on the OSCE peacekeeping operations
after achievement of the political agreement. - 1995 -
May-December - Series of negotiations within the framework of OSCE
Minsk Group on elaboration of agreement for cession of the military
- 1996 -
January-November - Series of negotiations within the framework of OSCE
Minsk Group on elaboration of agreement for cessation of the military
December 2-3 - Meeting of the Heads of OSCE States and governments in
Lisbon. In the statement of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office three
principles of the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict were
- territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of
- legal status of Nagorny Karabakh defined in the agreement based on
self-determination which confers on Nagorny Karabakh the highest
degree of self rule within Azerbaijan;
- guaranteed security for Nagorny Karabakh and its whole population,
including mutual commitments to ensure compliance by all parties with
the provisions of the settlement.
These principles were supported by 53 OSCE participating states,
- 1997 -
February 13 - A. Tuleyev, the Minister on cooperation with CIS states
made a statement on the facts of illegal supply of the Russian weapons
to Armenia worth of 270 billion of rubles
February 14- An institute of "triple" Co-Chairmanship of the OSCE
Minsk Conference (Russia, USA and France) was established.
March 4-7 - The Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation headed by Arif
Rahimzadeh, the first deputy chairman of the Azerbaijani Milli Majlis
(Parliament) stayed in Moscow in order to find out the circumstances
on the fact of supply of the Russian weapons to the Republic of
March 14 - Appeal of the Azerbaijani Milli Majlis to B.Yeltsin, the
President of Russia, E.Stroyev, the Chairman of the Council of
Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation,
G.Seleznyev, the Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of
the Russian Federation.
April 2 - The report of Lev Rokhlin, the Chairman of the Defence
Committee of the State Duma, on delivery of the Russian weapons to the
Republic of Armenia worth of one billion US dollars.
April 4 - Appeal of the Azerbaijani Milli Majlis to B.Yeltsin,
E.Stroyev and G.Seleznyev.
April 1-5 - The next round of the negotiations within the framework of
OSCE Minsk Group was held, after it the Armenian side refused to hold
further negotiations on the basis of proposals made by the
Co-Chairmen, worked out according to the principles of the OSCE Lisbon
April 4-8 - The Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation headed by Arif
Rahimzadeh, the first deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani Milli Majlis
(Parliament) stayed in Moscow in order to find out the circumstances
on the facts of supply of the Russian weapons to the Republic of
April 15 - The OSCE delegation headed by A.Kasprzyk, the Personal
Representative of the Chairman-in-Office of OSCE, was fired by the
April 24 - The statement of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in connection
with the fire of A.Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the
Chairman-in-Office in the zone of conflict.
June 23 - The Denver Statement of the Presidents of the US, Russia and
France, supporting the search of ways for the settlement on the basis
of the Lisbon principles.
September 1 - Illegal so-called "presidential elections" in Nagorny
Karabakh, which was condemned by the world Community.
September 23-24 - Visit of the delegation of Co-Chairmen of the OSCE
Minsk Group to Baku. Proposal on the stage-by-stage settlement.
October 10 - Strasbourg Joint Statement of the Presidents of
Azerbaijan and Armenia on supporting plan of the stage-by-stage
settlement of the conflict.
December 17-19 - The Meeting of the OSCE Ministers of Foreign Affairs
in Copenhagen. The Chairman-in-Office requested the Co-Chairmen of
Minsk Group "to continue their work and urged all sides to resume the
negotiations without delay on the basis of the proposal of the
- 1998 -
April - The refusal of Armenia from the early reached agreements on
the stage-by-stage settlement of the conflict.
May 13-17 - Visit of the Co-Chairmen to the region. Armenia officially
declared about the renunciation of the consent of the former President
of the Republic of Armenia with the proposal on the stage-by-stage
settlement and supported the package settlement without any
July 14-15 - Visit of I.Sergeyev, the Russian Defence Minister, to
Armenia, in the course of which an agreement on supply of
anti-aircraft weapons S-300 was reached.
November 8-10 - The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen offered a new plan of
settlement of the conflict, based on the principle of "common state".
The Azerbaijani side refused to accept this proposal as a basis of
resumption of negotiations. Azerbaijan confirmed its readiness to
resume negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group on
the basis of the proposals of the Co-Chairmen of September 19, 1997,
on the stage-by-stage settlement of the conflict.
December 2-3 - The meeting of the OSCE Ministers of Foreign Affairs in
Oslo, where the Chairman-in-Office called upon the sides involved in
the conflict to resume the negotiations within the framework of the
Minsk Group without delay.
December 16 - Deliver of 5 Russian MiG-29 fighter aircrafts to
- 1999 -
February 26 - Additional deliver of 5 MiG-29 fighter aircrafts and
surface-to-air missile systems S-300 to Armenia.
March 11 - It was adopted the resolution on "Support of peace process
in Caucasus" on the plenary meeting of the European Parliament for
supporting of the peace plan offered by Minsk Group and continuation
of the efforts for long-termed settlement of the conflict.
March 19 - Milli Majlis (Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan
appealed to the European Parliament, criticizing some provisions of
the resolution on "Support of peace process in Caucasus".
April, 2 - Meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia H.
Aliyev and R. Kocharian was held in Moscow. The arrangement about
intensification of contacts and opinion exchange for seeking of ways
for conflict settlement was reached between the presidents.
April, 24 - Meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia
H. Aliyev and R. Kocharian was held in Washington through mediation M.
Albright. There was put proposals for development of regional
cooperation and measures for strengthening of confidence. As a result,
Washington declaration was adopted.
May - Delivery 8 rockets "Tayfun" with range 60-80 km by China to
May, 25 - Hearings on Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict settlement at the
meeting of EC PA Commission on political issues. Speaker of Azerbaijan
parliament M. Aleskerov and leader of Azerbaijani population of
Nagorniy Karabakh N. Bakhmanov addressed the meeting, stating position
June, 3 - Statement of Foreign Ministry of the Azerbaijan Republic in
connection with delivery of "Tayfun" rockets by China to Armenia
June, 14 - Units of armed forces of Armenia violated cease-fire regime
and attacked positions of Azerbaijani troops along the Contact line in
Negorno-Karabakh region. In connection with this incident UN
Secretary-General, OSCE Chairman-in-Office, US State Department and
Foreign Ministry of Russian Federation issued statements.
June, 18 - Additional delivery of 4 fighters MiG-29 by Russia to
Armenia. Foreign Ministry of Georgia made a protest in connection with
violation of airspace of the country by these fighters.
June, 28 - July, 1 - There was adopted two statements at the XXVI
conference of foreign ministries of OIC member-states:
1. About aggression of Republic of Armenia against Republic of
2. About demolition and destruction of Islamic historic and cultural
monuments in the occupied territories of the Azerbaijan Republic as a
result of aggression of the Republic of Armenia against the Republic
July, 16 - Meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in
Geneva. Opinion exchange on conflict settlement.
August, 22 - Meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia
in Geneva. Consultations for seeking of ways for the conflict
settlement were contiued. As a result of negotiations, instructions on
providing the measures for strengthening of cease-fire regime and
resumption of negotiations within the frames of OSCE Minsk Group was
given to foreign and defense ministries of two countries.
September, 1-2 - Visit of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen representing
USA and Russian Federation K. Kavanaugh and N. Gribkov to Baku with
the aim to study the situation in the region.
September, 10 - During the international conference "Baltic-Black Sea
Cooperation: Towards an Integrated 21st Century Europe Without
Dividing Lines" in Yalta, meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan
and Armenia was held, and opinion exchange on issues of strengthening
of existing cease-fire regime and seeking of the ways of peace
settlement conflict was continued. The parties agreed to resume
negotiation process within the framework of OSCE Minsk Group.
Facts on the illegal transfer of arms, equipment and military property
by Russian Federation to the Republic of Armenia
1. The illegal transfer of weapons by Russian Federation to Armenia
from January 1993, to December 1996, i.e., after the completion of
military property parcelling belonged to the former USSR:
N Name Quantity Total cost (in US dollars)
1 R-17 missile systems
8 32 1.680.000 6.720.000
2 "Krug" surface-to-air systems
Missiles for them
27 349 8.100.000 104.700.000
3 Missiles for the "Osa"
4 T-72 tanks 84 100.800.000
5 BMP - 2 Armoured
6 122 mm D-30 howitzers 36 1.372.000
7 152 mm D-20 howitzers 18 720.000
8 152 mm D-1 howitzers 18 900000
9 "Grad" multiple missile systems 18 4.500.000
10 Mortars 26 312.000
11 Portable "Igla" anti-aircraft systems Missiles for them 40 200
12 Grenade launchers 20 50.000
13 Machine-guns 306 122.400
14 Assault rifles 7910 949.200
15 Pistols 1847 110.820
16 Shells for ACV (BMP-2) 478480 14.354.400
17 Shells (various) 489160 195.664.000
18 BM anti-tank self-targeting missiles
Anti-tank self-targeting missiles
4 945 1.320.000 7.938.000
19 Hand grenades 345800 10.374.000
20 Different types of bullets 227253000 227.253.000
21 Among other types of a arms, engineering and military property
belong: transporting and weapon-loading machines, various types of
movable on-wheels radio (including space communications stations),
sets of communications equipment, field communications cables, targets
detection stations, tanking equipment, fuel, accumulators of various
types (including battle tank ones), oil barrels, spare to tanks,
cannons and BMP's, tank engines etc. 720.039.000
TOTAL - 1.000.000.000
The indicated data are not complete and not final.
The whole process of weapon, engineering and military property
transfer was implemented without any bilateral agreement.
Parts of weapons and engineering were transferred according Directives
of General Staff, signed by the former Chief of General Staff of the
Armed Forces, General Army I.Kolesnikov:
- Directive of General Staff No.316/3/0182 of 29.09.94, on transfer
from 102nd military base located in Gumry 25 T-72 tanks with spares of
- According Directive No.316/3/0220 of August 18, 1995 and 8/824 of
September 25, 1995, 55 T-72 tanks were granted to Armenia;
- Directive of General Staff No.316/3/048 dated 26.02.1996, on
transfer of 4 T-72 tanks and 50 BMP-2.
Moreover, the Republic of Armenia has received missile-artillery
complex, air-defence systems, missiles, ammunition and other military
Particularly, according to the Directive No.561/16/831 of August 8,
1995, of Russian Federation GS of the Armed Forces 50 MP-38, 20 82 mm
AGS-17 grenade launchers, 300 PK machine-guns, 10000 submachine-guns
were transferred to Ministry of Defence of Armenia.
According Directive No.16/338 of November 23, 1995, the followings
were transferred from the Group of Russian troops in Transcaucasus
(GRVZ) to the Defence Ministry of Armenia: 12 D-30 howitzers, 4 BM-21,
50 (14,5 mm) KPVT machine-guns, 3 (12,7 mm) NSVT machine-guns, 40000
(14.5 mm) B-32 bullets, 64000 BZTA bullets, 110000 MDZ bullets, 10000
(12.7 mm) B-32 bullets as well as 7 fifth category howitzers.
On the basis of the encoded telegram No.2234 of November, 23 1995,
signed by Kolesnikov, the followings were transferred from GRVZ to
Armenia: 100 (14,5 mm) KPVT machine-guns, 20 (12,7 mm) NSVT
machine-guns, 20 (12,7 mm) DSK machine-guns, 30 (12,7 mm) NCV
machine-guns, 4 BM-21, 12 D-30 as well as third category of
ammunition: 50000 (12,7 mm) bullets, 260000 (14,5) bullets, 2420 (125
mm) shells for tank cannon D-81.
In accordance with Directive No. 561/16/457 of March 11, 1996, 4 mln.
bullets and 5000 MRV-U fuses were transferred from GRVZ to Armenia.
By the Directive of General Staff No.503/23-26 of July 20, 1996, 85
tons of spares were transported by 5 IL-76 planes from airport of
Azerbaijan has also reliable information that Armenia possess R-17
operative-tactical missile complexes able to carry nuclear warheads.
In order to prepare specialists, 20 officers and ensigns from Military
Unit No.51556 of the MoD of Armenia, names of whom are known, had a
training for practical learning to work with these complexes in the
Training Center "Kapoustin Yar" of Russian MoD. After the completing
the course one missile was launched.
Big amount of transfers were carried out even without relevant
Directives of Russian GS AF.
From August 1992 to January 1994 66 IL-76 flights and two AN-12
flights transported about 1300 tons of ammunition from airport of
Mozdok to Yerevan.
From November 8 to November 28, 1995, and from June 28 to August 6,
1996, 31 AN-124 flights and 13 IL-76 flights have transferred 50 T-72
tanks, property and spares to them, 36 D-CI howitzers, 18 D-20
howitzers, 18 D-1 howitzers, 18 "Grad" multiple missiles systems, 40
portable "Igla" anti-aircraft systems and 200 missiles for them, 12600
shells for the mentioned guns, including 1440 for "Grad" systems from
airport "Jasmine" (Akhtubinsk, Russia) to airport of Zvartnots
The property was shipped to Akhtubinsk by six troop-trains: tanks from
Omsk, ammunition from Volgograd, artillery from Irkutsk, Sverdlovsk,
Perm oblast (areas).
Delivered weapons were transferred further to Nagorny Karabakh where
the acceptance of the armoured vehicles, optic and electronic
equipment and other weapons was done by Colonel Slava Ucnunts, Deputy
MoD of so called "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" and Marat Garibian, Head
of antitank unit at the armament factories in Nijniy Tagil,
Sankt-Peterburg and other cities of Russia. During the indicated
period the most updated military engineering were delivered to
Armenia. In 1994 Armenians received surface-to-air system "Tunguska"
which was installed in Khankendi, Nagorny Karabakh. All these explains
the reason of appearance of magnificent amount of weapon and
engineering on the occupied by Armenia territories of Azerbaijan:
No. Military Units Location Battle tanks ACV AP
1. 538 Independent Infantry Regiment Aghdaban 13 15 15
2. 2 Independent Infantry Brigade Karakhanbeyli 29 23 36
3. 83 Independent Infantry Brigade Dashkesan 20 27 22
4. Mardakert Infantry Division Mardakert 76 79 74
5. Askeran Infantry Regiment Aghdam 32 43 42
6. Martuni Infantry Regiment Martuni 40 60 40
7. Gadrut Infantry Regiment Gadrut 20 32 22
8. Stepanakert Infantry Regiment Stepanakert 18 28 22
9. Khodjaly Training Unit Khodjaly 52 7 39
10. Shusha Infantry Regiment Shusha 16 10 10
Thus, there are:
Battle Tanks - 316
Armoured Combat vehicles - 324
Artillery Pieces - 322
on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan which exceed the envisaged
for Azerbaijan maximum level for CFE TLE.
At the end of 1993 and beginning of 1994 T-72 battle tanks and ACVs
transferred to Armenia by Russian Federation were captured in the
course of combat activities on the territory of Azerbaijan:
1. BATTLE TANKS T-72
ACV (BMP-1) ACV (BMP-2)
Arms supply by Russia to Armenia in 1998
On December 15-16, 1998, during a visit of Colonel-General A.Kornukov,
Russia's Air Force Comander-in-Chief, to Armenia there were agreements
reached in the field of Russian-Armenian Military Cooperation. In
particular, they agreed on:
- the concrete technical issues to strengthen Russian Military base
No.102. located in Armenia, and to establish within it a new
- further updating of air-defence system's work, including equipment
by using modern types of weapons, for example, S-300 surface-to-air
- permanent basing of Russian MiG-29 on the territory of Armenia.
Ten MiG-29 fighter aircrafts were delivered to Armenia in December
1998 and February 1999. At the same time, a anti-aircraft missile
systems S-300 were delivered to Armenia.
Approximate cost of MiG-29 in world weapon market is more than 10 mln.
This site is dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the
massacres commited by Armenians in Anatolia and Azerbaijan
The latest conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan started in February
of 1988 and lasts already for more than a decade. In a short time this
conflict was aggravated and turned a real war. Azerbaijani Republic
plunged into the war when it still was a constituency of the Soviet
Union and keeps struggling as an independent state now. From the
viewpoint of International Law the conflict is the result of
aggression of neighboring Armenian Republic, who made timely
preparations for the war in military, political, economic,
propagandist, ideological, psychological and other spheres. And the
command for aggression was the actions of Armenian separatist groups
in Karabakh, who declared separation of this region from Azerbaijan.
The tasks of Armenian agressors in the conflict, carried out by force,
are the following: alteration of existing borders, occupation and
subsequent annexation of Karabakh and adjacent Azeri territories.
The first clashes between Armenians and Azeris took place in February
of 1988, when Armenian separatists demanded eviction of Azeris from
just the very Azeri villages and when leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh
Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) attempted to separate this province from
Azerbaijan and join Armenia. In a number of regions these clashes
turned into large-scale civil disorders, resulting by death of many
innocent Azeris. In late November of 1988 military detachments of
Armenian Republic conducted the first in this conflict and the forth
in the 20th century large-scale ethnic cleansing deporting over
200,000 Azeris (including women, children, the old) from the places of
compact living of Azeris in Armenia.
Incompetent actions of Moscow and the general crisis of USSR persuaded
the leaders of separatist movement in NKAO and nationalistic
organizations of Armenia in possibility and necessity to carry out the
plan of forceful separation of Karabakh from Azerbaijan. And the
ultimate goal was ousting the Azeri population from Karabakh, forming
a new ethnic situation, and subsequent annexation of Karabakh by
Armenia. Since 1988 all political activities of Armenia in all
regional and international levels were aimed to realization of these
goals. After Armenia actually escaped the control of Moscow, they
managed to shift a number of industrial plants to production of
primitive models of weapons. These arms and ammunition were secretly
transferred to Karabakh; secret military formations of Armenian
Republic tried to occupy other territories of Azerbaijan.
The aggressive policy of Armenian Republic resulted by occupation of
over 20% of Azerbaijani territory. 120,000 people perished, over
250,000 wounded, 4,000 POWs or missing without trace. Over 1,100,000
Azeris left their homes and became refugees. The material damage, made
by Armenian forces, is estimated for $60 billions. During the
aggression 10 towns (Khankendi, Shusha, Lachin, Kelbejar, Agdam,
Fizuli, Gubadli, Zangilan, Jabrayil, Agdere), 876 villages, 113,000
houses, 191 hospitals, 693 schools, 700 public building, 160 bridges
were destroyed; 5,446 children became orphans. 800 km of roads, 2,300
km of water pipelines was destroyed. Nevertheless this is the JUST WAR
By Ismayil Abdulazimov
Massacre of Khojaly
One of the most heinous crimes against the Azerbaijani people was
the massacre of hundreds of defenseless inhabitants of the town of
Khojaly, in the Nagorno Karabakh region of the Azerbaijan, which was
taken by armenian troops on the night of February 25-26, 1992 in what
was described by the Human Rights Watch as "the largest massacre to
date in the conflict".
Khojaly is an Azerbaijani town strategically located on the Agdam
Shusha and Hankendi (Stepanakert) Askeran roads in
Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The town' population was over
The Armenian armed forces and mercenary units spared virtually none of
those who had been unable to flee Khojaly and the surrounding area. In
the words of the journalist Chingiz Mustafaev, among the dead were
"... dozens upon dozens of children between 2 and 15 years old, women
and old people, in most cases shot at point-blank range in the head.
The position of the bodies indicated that the people had been killed
in cold blood, calculatedly, without any sign of a struggle or of
having tried to escape.
Some had been taken aside and shot separately; many had been
killed as entire families at once. Some corpses displayed several
wounds, one of which was invariably in the head, suggesting that the
wounded were executed. Some children were found with severed ears; the
skin had been cut from the left side of an elderly woman's face; and
men had been scalped. There were corpses that had clearly been robbed.
The first time we arrived at the scene of the shootings of February
28, accompanied by two military helicopters, we saw from the air an
open area about one kilometer across which was full with corpses
An inhabitant of Khojaly, Djanan Orudjev, also provided
information on the many victims, mostly women and children. His
16-year-old son was shot, and his 23-year-old daughter with her twin
children and another 18-year-old daughter who was pregnant, were taken
hostage. Sana Talybova, who witnessed the tragedy as it unfolded,
watched as four Meskheti Turks, refugees from Central Asia, and three
Azerbaijanis were beheaded near the grave of an Armenian soldier;
children were tortured and killed in front of their parents; and two
Azerbaijanis had their eyes taken out with screwdrivers. The organized
nature of the extermination of the population of Khojaly was evident
from the killing, in previously prepared ambushes, of peaceful
inhabitants who fled the town in desperation to save their lives. For
example, Elman Mamedov, chief of administration in Khojaly, reported
that a large group of people who had left Khojaly came under intensive
fire from Armenian positions near the village of Nakhichevanik.
Another resident of Khojaly, Sanubar Alekperova, reported numbers of
corpses of women, children and old people near Nakhichevanik, where
they fell into an ambush. Her mother and her two daughters, Sevinzh
and Khidzhran, were killed and she herself was wounded. Faced with
this mass shooting, some of the group made for the village of
Gyulably, but there Armenians took some 200 people hostage. Among them
was Dzhamil Mamedov; the Armenians tore out his nails, beat him and
took away his grandson. His wife and daughter vanished without trace.
"I had heard a lot about wars, about the cruelly of the Fascists,
but the Armenians were worse, killing five and six-year-old children,
killing innocent civilians", said a French journalist, Jean-Yves
Junet, who visited the scene of this mass murder of women, old people,
children and defenders of Khojaly.
«Khojaly - The Last Day»,
Baku, Azrbaijan publishers, 1992.
The report of Memorial, a Moscow-based human rights group, on the
massive violations of human rights committed during the massacre of
Khojaly, says of the civilians flee in the town: "Efell into ambushes
set by the Armenians and came under fire. Some of them nonetheless
managed to gel into Agdam; others, mostly women and children, froze to
death while lost in the mountains; others still, according to
testimony from those who reached Agdam, were taken prisoner near the
villages of Pirdzhamal and Nakhichevanik. There is evidence from
inhabitants of Khojaly, who have already been exchanged, thai some of
the prisoners were shot ... Around 200 bodies were brought into Agdam
in this space of four days. Scores of the corpses bore traces of
profanation. Doctors on a hospital train in Agdam noted no less than
Four corpses that had been scalped and one that had been beheaded.
State forensic examinations were carried in Agdam on 181 corpses (130
male and 51 female, including 13 children); the findings were that 151
people had died from gunshot wounds. 20 from shrapnel wounds and 10
from blows inflicted with a blunt instrument... The records of the
hospital train in Agdam, through which almost all the injured
inhabitants or defenders of Khojaly passed, refer to 598 cases of
wounds or frostbite E and one case of live scalping." ("A tragedy
whose perpetrators cannot be vindicated. A report by Memorial, the
Moscow-based human rights group, on the massive violations of human
rights committed in the taking of Khojaly on the night of February
25-26, 1992 by armed units.)
June 12, 1992.
The massacre of Khojaly set a pattern of destruction and ethnic
cleansing methodically carried out by the Armenian armed forces. On
November 29, 1993, Newsweek quoted a senior US Government official as
saying: "What we see now is a systematic destruction of every
village in their way. It's vandalism."
Every year religious leaders of Azerbaijan; Christian, Jewish and
Muslim communities issue appeals on the eve of commemoration of the
massacre of Khojaly. This year four leaders of Ashkenazi and Sephardic
Jewish communities, the Orthodox Bishop of Baku and Caspian region,
and the Spiritual Leader of Caucasus Muslims urged the international
community to condemn the February 26, 1992 bloodshed and facilitate
liberation of the occupied territories.
Religious leaders of Azerbaijan diverse communities stated their
rejection of extremism and policy of ethnic cleansing conducted by
Armenia. They see the future of Azerbaijan as beine a democratic
secular society based on humanistic values.