Karabakh conflict: Chronicle of events
Conflict around Nagorny Karabakh has its deep historical roots. Ideological basis were founded in XIX century by Armenian historians, who have raised the sick idea of existence in ancient years of “Great Armenia, which covered the territory from Mediterranean Sea to Caspian”. These ideas were greatly heated by Armenian Church.
In 1905 and 1918 Armenians have succeeded in burning the war on the territory of Karabakh, via occupation of historic Azerbaijani lands. On March 31, 1918 Armenian military detachments have performed the genocides of tens of thousands of Azeris in Baku, Shamakha and Kuba.
Establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918 temporarily has stopped the claims of Armenians for Karabakh.
Soviet period resulted in transition of historical Azeri lands to Armenia, and on Azeri lands first independent state of Armenia was founded. On the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic was artificially established Nagorny Karabakh Autonomy Region. Deportation of Azeris from Armenia, at Stalin’s time continued until 1953. Politics performed by Anastas Mikoyan, nationalist and dashnak, in the government of the USSR was directed at re-subordination of Nagorny Karabakh Autonomy Region to Armenia, change of the ethnic contents of the region, changes to administrative borders with Azerbaijan to the favor of Armenia.
Year 1985 became the new stage of Armenian expansion against Azerbaijan.
Coming to power in USSR of M.S. Gorbachev, political and economic reforms initiated in the middle of 80s of XX century in USSR, names as “perestroika”, have resulted in catastrophic consequences, the worst of which were national conflicts in the USSR.
Pro-Armenian politics of USSR leader M.S. Gorbachev and his administration has resulted in expansion of fire around Karabakh, and it resulted in transition of conflict to other republics of USSR, and resulted in disintegration of what sometime was a powerful state.
Using the favorable political structure, Armenia, with the support of its strategic satellite and direct military and political support of Russia, was able to perform ethnic clearings in Armenia, by banishing all Azeri nationals. Banishing of original azeri population was associated with mass murders, pogroms and tortures of civil unarmed population. Ethnic cleaning in Armenia was completed in 1989 by banishment of 220000 Azeris. As a result of this barbarian act more than thousand people have been killed, mostly ages people, women and children. Property of citizens was stolen, robbed and destroyed.
When there was no Azeri was left in Armenia, there was a turn for Karabakh, where, from 70s, almost legally performed national organizations Krunk, Karabakh, which have the purpose for separation of historical Azeri lands to Armenia.
Protests and strikes inspired by Moscow and Yerevan in Khankendi (Stepanakert) with requirements for political and economic reforms have rapidly transformed into organized political movements, struggling under slogans of the provision of independence to “people of Karabakh” from Azerbaijan and “reunion with a lot suffered historic Armenian motherland”. Adoption of decision by parliament members of Nagorny Karabakh Autonomy Region on separation of the regions from Azerbaijan has resulted in banishing of the Azeri population on the eyes of Moscow and world.
On December 1, 1989 the Supreme Soviet of Armenia has adopted the illegal resolution on annexation of NKAR to Armenia.
Conflict has resulted in interruption of railway and motor road communications with Karabakh and Armenia. Azeri settlements became blockaded, with only communication maintained by helicopters. In 1989 due to permanent firing, railway communications with Nakhichevan was seized and this has resulted in the blockade of autonomy republic, which is continued up to date.
Azerbaijan government of that time appointed by Moscow was not trusted by the populations, and blindly followed all instructions of central government, ignoring country’s national interests. Criminal negligence of Azerbaijan state officials has resulted in deportation of hundreds of Azeris from NKAR, who have became refugees in their own country in addition to refugees from Armenia. Population remained in Karabakh was blocked by Armenian armed detachments.
Difficult situation was formed along entire Armenian and Azeri border. Armenian armed forced continuously fired civil Azeri settlements, and have burned to ashes tens of boundary settlements.
Such conditions have resulted in wide protest movements in Azerbaijan. Multi-million actions of civil population have started in Baku, demanding the ending of Armenian separatism, and re-establishment of territorial integrity and constitutional order of the country using all possible means. Republic’s state officials, scared of national movement, together with Moscow official have developed the plan for military depression of national independence movement in Azerbaijan. On January 20, 1990 the armored military forces have entered Baku without warning or announcement of state of emergency. As a result of army operations were killed 150 civilians, and among those old aged citizens, children, ambulance service doctors. More than 700 people were wounded and hundreds were reported missing.
National freedom movement of Azerbaijan has suffered strong impact. Scared of national anger and retribution, republic officials have escaped to Moscow. Azeris have lost their faith in fair regulation and resolution of Karabakh’s problem by Moscow, which have demonstrated clearly whose side it takes.
On February 25-26, 1992 Armenian armed forces together with military forces of 366th regiment of Russian Army, based in Khankendi, have started attacks on town of Khojaly. Civilians, who returned from Armenian captivity have told to work community about brutality of Armenian occupants, comparing the conditions of imprisonment with conditions at fascist concentration camps.
On March 2, 1992 Azerbaijan became the member of United States Organization.
On March 11, 1992 the Cabinet of Ministers of Council of Europe has made the statement, in which it denounced acts of violence against the civilian azeri population of Nagorny Karabakh of the Azerbaijan Republic.
During all 1992 continuous military actions have been performed. Azerbaijan could hardly fight the Armenian aggression. Armenia received openly military aid from Russia, and regular military forces, aviation and armored forces participated in military actions against Azerbaijan.
On May 8, 1992 Armenian military forces have occupied the historic town of Shusha. One week after the Armenians occupied Lachin. As a result of this the Armenia has obtained the direct access to Karabakh via so-called “Lachin corridor”.
At the end of 1992 Armenians have occupied 8 villages of Zangilan region.
On April 3, 1993 Armenian military forces have occupied the Kelbadjar region of Azerbaijan. On April 6, Chairman of the UN Security Council has made the statement, denouncing the occupation of Kelbadjar region of Azerbaijan by Armenian military forces and requirement for immediate release of these territories and exit of their forces.
On July 23, Armenians have occupied the Agdam region, on August 23-26- Fizuli and Jabrayil, August 31- Gubadly region of Azerbaijan, and between November 28 and December 1, Armenian military forces have occupied the Goradiz settlement and town of Zangilan.
UN Security Council has adopted Resolutions 822 (30.04.1993), 853 (29.07.1993), 874 (14.10.1993) and 884 (11.11.1993), in which it calls Armenia to follow the orders and unconditionally extract its military forces from occupied territories of Azerbaijan. However, regardless of all these resolutions of the UN Security Council, Armenia continues the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and performs the policy of active settlement of occupied lands, ignoring the will of international community.
OSCE Council of Ministers in Helsinki in March 1992 has agreed to establish the Minsk group as a format for negotiations on peaceful regulation of the conflict. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, former Czech and Slovak Federative Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Russian Federation, Sweden, Turkey and United States of America have agreed to participate in this Conference.
With Heydar Aliyev’s coming to power in Azerbaijan the social and political situation in the country has stabilized, new military forces have been formed, military construction became the priority of state policy. Within very short time were performed successful military operations, as a result of which some settlements of Fizuli and Agdam Regions were released, and Armenian military forces have suffered great losses.
Tireless work of the president Heydar Aliyev elected by nation on exit of Azerbaijan from political dead end and military collapse has resulted positively. New political thinking, new and dynamic oil strategy, enforcement of national army, strong propaganda campaign have resulted to change of international opinion to the favor of Azerbaijan, and have impacted strongly the lying Armenian propaganda.
All these factors, as well as efforts of UN and International European Organizations have resulted in signing in May 10, 1994 of Bishkek Protocol, after which the seize fire regime was established since May 12.
In January 1997, OSCE Minsk Group has established new format for negotiations, comprised of three co-chairmen- USA, France, Russia. Minsk Group was supposed to develop proposals on peaceful resolution of the conflict.
As a result o Armenian aggression Azerbaijan has lost 20% of its territories. As a result of aggression about 20000 people were killed, 50000 thousand were wounded and injured, more than million people lost their homes and became refugees, 5000 people are reported missing. Also as a result of war and occupation of its territory Azerbaijan has suffered great socio-economic losses. Total amount of direct and indirect losses was at 56 billion dollars USA.
As a result of occupation of the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic, Armenian military forces has destroyed 1421 clubs and cultural centers, 8 regional, 32 town, 10 child and 683 village libraries, 6 cultural and leisure parks, 47 children musical schools, 3 theaters, 3 galleries, 464 historical monuments, about 40 thousand historical items and 4.6 million books.
From 22 robbed museums Armenian aggressors have took 40 thousand museum items. Among robbed and destroyed museums- Kelbadjar regional history museum, with unique historical items, gold and silver items, rare and precious stones, carpets and other art items, history museum of Shusha and bread museum in Agdam, as well as the museum of stone monuments in Zangilan region. In Agdam, Lachin, Fizuli, Shusha, Gubadli, Jabrayil and other regions were destroyed 20 modern cultural centers.
This data is provided in order to let the world community to know the scale of destruction and vandalism by Armenian aggression.
Today, President Ilham Aliyev performs the policy directed at release of Azeri lands, on the basis of principles established by national leader of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev and his wise and efficient domestic and international policy. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan has an obligation before Council of Europe from January 2001, to use only peaceful methods for settlement of conflict around Nagorny Karabakh, however Azerbaijan reserves its right to release occupied territories by military operations, if negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group will not provide any results.
Successful international policy performed by President Ilham Aliyev, has resulted in the report on the winter session of 2005 of the PACE in Strasburg of the British parliamentary representative Mr. David Atkinson on the issue of Nagorny Karabakh, under which the resolution is adopted, which outlined: “Nagorny Karabakh conflict will remain unresolved for more than ten years upon start of military operations. Hundreds of thousands of people leave in unacceptable conditions. Most of the territories of Azerbaijan remain occupied by Armenian military. Separatist forces continue to control Nagorny Karabakh region.
Parliamentary Assembly repeats that occupation of foreign country by EC member country is the serious violence of obligations of this country, as member of the European Council, and verifies the right of displaced persons from the conflict zone to return to their homes. Assembly also support the Minsk process within OSCE efforts on peaceful settlement of conflict and calls Armenia and Azerbaijan continue with path of agreements”.
People of Azerbaijan did not accept the loss of their lands. Azerbaijanis are more than ever rallying around their young and energetic President Ilham Aliyev. Oil contracts, commissioning of the Azeri sector of international Baku- Tbilisi- Jeykhan oil pipeline, development of country’s economy, growth of the prosperity of population, support and care to national army, its strengthening, democratic reforms, development of civil society, improvement of living conditions for refugees– all these helps to strengthen the state independence of young Azerbaijan state, growth of its positive image internationally. Azerbaijan Army is ready by the first order of its President Ilham Aliyev, Supreme Commander-in-Chief to fulfill its obligation for release of occupied lands from Armenian aggressors and reinstate the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.