Farhad Badalbeyli: ‘’An armada of tanks was sent to Baku as if it was an enemy city’’
January 20 1990 is a tragic page in the history of Azerbaijan. A deployment of the Soviet army units in Baku to suppress the protests against the aggressive actions of Armenia and its territorial claims, against the leadership of the former Soviet Union patronizing it - these events are in the memory of those, who witnessed them. One of those people, the rector of the The Hajibeyov Baku Music Academy and people's artist of the USSR Farkhad Badalbeyli told to Vestnik Kavkaza about those terrible days.
- Do you remember what happened those days in Baku?
- On January 17 we had a meeting with Evgeniy Maximovich Primakov in the presidential administration (At that time, Primakov was a member of the Presidential Council of the USSR and member of Gorbachev’s circle) I was present at that meeting along with [a writer, director and screenwriter and a public figure] Anar and a few more people. Primakov assured us, that any invasion is impossible. We believed and calmed down. However, on January 20, a horde of the armed men invaded the unaware city. Those men were not the soldiers of the Soviet Army. There were some strange people with long hair. Have you ever seen soldiers with the long hair like those that the Beatles had? They were some rollicking guys in uniform. Still, none can understand where they came from. The tragedy was terrible. They were ‘’throwing down’’ everybody: a girl in a bus, a man on the balcony of his house, and a professor who with his assistant went to Sumgayit (tank crushed their car). People do not believe, when they are told about those events now. Well, there is a documentary footage. Those photos are horrible, but they are necessary for people to remember.
-In your opinion, was it possible to avoid these events?
- Of course, it would have been possible to avoid those events, if the country's leadership had taken some other measures. Someone could be isolated, for example, but it was wrong to send an armada of tanks to Baku, as if it was an enemy city. Now looking at Aleppo and other Syrian cities, I think with horror, that we could face the same fate. We must remember these events, tell about them to our youth. Once we had forgotten about the 1918 genocide, and it came at a cost to us.