22nd anniversary of occupation of the Agdam Region by Armenia
Agdam had become an arena for bloody fighting during the Karabakh war. On July 23rd 1993 the Armed Forces of Armenia occupied the majority of the territory of the Agdam Region. 128 thousand people, 17 thousand of whom were elderly, became refugees.
The city had been defending itself for more than a month. The Agdam military camp appeared to be in a difficult situation due to the lingering internal political crisis in Baku. Soldiers were exhausted by the long fighting; there were no reinforcements or supplies. The defenders lost about half of their soldiers during the fighting. By July 5th the city was almost surrounded by the Armenian Armed Forces, which were firing at it intensively with artillery and ‘Grad’ systems. After 42 days of ongoing fights, on July 23rd units of the Agdam brigade had to leave the city and withdraw to the north and the east. Agdam fell…
… Today Agdam is included on the list of dead cities of the planet. It used to be a place which was famous in the Soviet Union for its port wine. It was one of the most rapidly developing regional centers of Azerbaijan.
Ahead of the Karabakh war, there was a butter and cheese-producing factory; the Agdam Cognac Plant; canning and machinery plants; constructional ironworks; and a railway station.
Looking about today’s ruins, in which the city has remained for more than 20 years, few people can imagine that destroyed Agdam was a center of culture for Karabakh noblemen in the 18th century.
“Agdam” means “white house.” It was a cultural center of Karabakh. In the first half of the 18th century Panakhali, a Karabakh khan, ordered a housing complex to be built for him – of white stone. The imaret was called Agdam, and it was a landmark for residents of neighboring villages for a long time…
As a result of the occupation of the Agdam Region, Azerbaijan suffered material damage of $6.179 billion. The damage to agriculture was estimated at 992.8 million manats. Refugees from the Agdam Region live in 875 residential areas in 59 regions of Azerbaijan.
Today only 10 of 122 residential areas of the region are controlled by Azerbaijan. 24,500 houses, about 50 industrial and building enterprises, 160 schools, 374 cultural facilities, two museums and historic monuments were destroyed in the occupied territories.
One of the four resolutions of the UN Security Council touches on Agdam – the city is thought to be occupied by the Armenian Armed Forces, but the resolution, as well as other legal documents which are aimed at making Armenia withdraw from the Azerbaijani territories, is not being implemented.