Moscow commemorates victims of 'Black January' 1990 massacre in Baku
The Azerbaijani Embassy in Russia held a mourning event today, dedicated to the memory of victims of the tragedy of January 20, 1990 in Baku, when 132 Baku people were killed. Opening the event, Ambassador Polad Bulbuloglu thanked all the participants for sharing the Azerbaijani people's grief, the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza reports.
"30 years ago, the leadership of the Soviet Union, losing control of the political situation in the country, unleashed unprecedented, ruthless carnage against the civilian population of the Azerbaijani capital," he recalled the events of a terrible night from January 19 to 20, 1990.
"The official numbers of human rights organizations - 132 were killed, more than 700 people were injured, 841 people were arrested without due process of law. On that terrible night, subjected to punitive measures, civilians of Azerbaijan gave their lives in the name of independence, in the name of freedom of the modern Azerbaijani state," the ambassador said.
"The day after the incident, on January 21, 1990, the outstanding son of the Azerbaijani people, national leader Heydar Aliyev came to the permanent mission of Azerbaijan together with his family members and made his famous speech, in which he called the decision of the Soviet leadership to send troops into Baku illegal. He made the first political assessment of what had happened, demanding that all those involved in the tragedy were punished. The Azerbaijani people will always remember his heroic deed," Polad Bulbuloglu noted.
"For many years, purposeful work was not conducted to investigate the causes of this grave crime, only after Heydar Aliyev returned to the leadership position, the political and legal assessment was given to the January 20 events. Since that time, this bloody January day was declared the day of sorrow. Azerbaijan people will never forget those terrible events and the decisions made by the former Soviet leadership that led to the numerous casualties among innocent civilians. Today, their family members are surrounded by the government's support, and those who lost their health in connection with the January 20 events are under the direct protection of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who pays great attention to the issues of their social protection and proper pension provision," the diplomat said.
"At the end of my speech, I would like to once again sincerely thank my colleagues, ambassadors, the State Duma MPs, famous people of Russia and emphasize that Azerbaijan in no way equates this crime with today's democratic Russia. I hope this will never happen again, in no country, with no people," Polad Bulbul oglu concluded.
Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky admitted that when arriving in Baku, he always visits the Alley of Honor and the Alley of Martyrs in the first place, noting that modern Baku cannot be imagined without them.
"I think that we should always remember these tragic events and do everything in our power, in power of politicians, cultural figures, civil society, ordinary people, to prevent such events from happening again. Once again, words of deepest condolences to all our brotherly Azerbaijan to the people, and, of course, to those who, like Polad Bulbulovich, survived these tragic days," the Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman added.
Director of the Center for Post-Soviet Studies at the Institute of International Studies of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations Stanislav Chernyavsky, in turn, said that everything will be done so that the Black January tragedy is never repeated. "This is a tragedy for all of our Soviet people, for our entire homeland," he said.
"Relations between Russia and Azerbaijan have strengthened. This year is marked by a special moment - the anniversary of the Great Victory, which we will celebrate together on May 9. In an interview on New Year's Eve to a Russian TV channel, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev noted how respected are those veterans who were protecting our homeland. Glory to the people who fell, innocent victims, let them rest in peace," Stanislav Chernyavsky concluded.