Khojaly through the eyes of eyewitnesses: "Two of my children and my wife died from frostbite, heart of one of my daughters stopped from fear"

Khojaly through the eyes of eyewitnesses: "Two of my children and my wife died from frostbite, heart of one of my daughters stopped from fear"

The Khojaly genocide, perpetrated by Armenian nationalists at the end of the 20th century, became one of the gravest crimes against humanity. The Khojaly residents became victims of nationalist illegal armed groups who fought against the Republic of Azerbaijan and hired, in particular, the second battalion of the former Soviet motorized rifle 366th regiment under the command of Seyran Ohanyan. External forces were also involved in unleashing and prolonging the Karabakh conflict. At the same time, there are many people in Armenia and among the Armenians of the Diaspora who condemn the genocide of Azerbaijanis in Khojaly. 

Unfortunately, this is not the only example in world history when people, under the influence of absurd nationalistic ideas, putting one nation above another / others, turn into nonhumans. Perhaps the dissemination of documentary evidence of illegal acts will help prevent new atrocities. The Vestnik Kavkaza invites you to familiarize yourself with the chapters from the book Khojaly through the Eyes of Eyewitnesses, which has become a valuable resource for studying the genocide and bringing the truth about it to the world community. Each of the surviving Khojaly residents has its own story.

Garyagdy Guliyev: "Of the seven children who died four days from the cold and hunger in the forest, the sister-in-law only managed to save my daughter"

The frosty February season was about to cede its rights to spring. At that time, the city was shrouded in anticipation of the coming spring - the time of love, dreams and hopes. But fate decreed otherwise. No one could have imagined that on a cold February night, he would fall prey to sinister plans hatched by cunning, vile and treacherous invaders. The sun was setting, and time seemed to freeze, dreams were destroyed ... Khojaly became the land where humanity was drowned in blood ...

Conscience tormenting me for being alive

In February of each year, Khojaly's pain torments the heart as if it were yesterday. Witness of the monstrous act of genocide - almost 80-year-old Garyagdy Guliyev is tormented by the fact that he survived that night. Now he lives in a settlement for internally displaced persons in Goranboy. In his declining years, a man cannot find peace, thinking about that fateful night, he says that the wound in the heart does not heal even in the grave ...

- I had a big, happy family, I was the father of two sons and three daughters. He worked at the state farm. On February 25, I went out on a night shift when suddenly there was a roar of military equipment in the upper part of Khojaly. It was thought that these are exercises. There were posts everywhere. Our house was near the airport. Suddenly a city of bullets and shells rained down on the city. The houses of the Meskhetian Turks collapsed, people rushed in all directions.

Realizing that the situation was getting worse, I rushed home. The guys were waiting for me. My wife's sister, Sadagyat, was with us with three children. Having dressed, we left the house. The invaders already blocked the road to Askeran, so we headed to the nearest mountain. Crossing the river, we reached the forest. They took the direction to Kyatik. There were about 500 people. We were told that the invaders had ambushed upstairs, so we had to change direction. On the way to the village of Dehraz, they fired at us. Many of ours died. We took refuge in the forest. Children were freezing from the cold. Someone knew the way to the Agdam village of Gyulably. Following him, we continued on.

I could not leave my wounded brother in the forest

My brother Tahir (born 1956) served in the army. He was injured and barely reached us in the middle of the night, bleeding. We continued the journey together. Tair lost a lot of blood and could not go, he prayed to leave him and go. But I couldn’t do this, how could I leave my wounded brother to certain death ?! I told my relatives that they should go with the others, and we will slowly catch up with them. We had to stay with my brother in the forest. Taking a notebook out of my pocket, collecting the hazel branches, I somehow made a fire. Tahir felt a little better. But he repeated again and again - leave me here, save the children from the hands of these savages. Of course, I did not agree. Having picked it up, I set off on a journey, but did not find mine, apparently, they went in a different direction. We spent 3 days in the forest.

February 28, we went to the village of Dehraz. Glancing from above, I noticed the traces of the wheels, passing through which we reached Gulabla. My younger brother Garsalan lived in Agdam. He also came to Gyulably. I asked about my own, but he replied that they had not reached. Having entrusted him with Tahir, I decided to return and find the family. My brother asked me not to do this, they say, you will perish. I replied that if my family is captive, then I should be there. It turns out that my family at that time was not in captivity, but in God's abode ...

Six fell asleep forever, turning into monuments of ice

All who had got out of the forest were not and were not. I cried like a baby. At the sight of my daughter Shakhla and her aunt Sadyagat in Gyulably, hope flickered in my heart. “My are alive,” flashed through my head. When my daughter, with tears in her eyes, spoke of four-day wanderings in the forest and the horrors that fell to their lot, despair gripped me. I was shocked, my mind, as if clouded ...

It turns out that having parted with me, my family, the sister-in-law and her three children were ambushed. Many women from their group were killed. The screams of the unfortunate people, the blood flowing through the snow in the river, scared my 14-year-old daughter Ravana to death, the girl’s heart was broken with fear and horror. The wife buried her in the snow. People rushed in all directions.

The wife and sister-in-law with the children took refuge in the forest. With them were my relatives from a neighboring village. Uncle Rashid, seeing women and children dying in the cold, told his youngest son to give up, telling them to pick up people who were dying in the forest. He hoped that the captives would then be exchanged. The son did not disobey his father, surrendered. He was so beaten that he was unable to utter a word. When he woke up, he realized that he was on a farm with the rest of the captives. He told about all the invaders, but those who promised to pick people up from the forest did not go there ...

The unfortunate travelers, abandoned in a snowy forest to their fate, fought desperately for life. My wife Sarah pressed 11-year-old Nurana and 7-year-old Shukur to her chest to somehow warm them, but soon they all died in the cold, turning into monuments from ice. Three children of my sister-in-law (girls 12, 7 and 4 years old) could not bear the torment. The death of children is an inescapable maternal grief, what could be worse?

My 16-year-old daughter, Shakhla, managed to survive this nightmare. Together with the sister-in-law they wandered through the forest with all their might in the hope of escape. Having decided that there were no more alive, the invaders removed the cordon. So, Sadagat and Shakhla got out of the forest, safely reaching Gulabla. The grief of loss to this day is given in pain in the heart. I saved my brother by losing three children and a wife. Tahir was cured, but when he found out about my family tragedy, he considered himself the culprit. He died of mental torment three months later, in May ...

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