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The History of Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict


The Historical background , causes and essential elements of the present day Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict 

1. The resettlement of Armenians in the territory of Azerbaijan


The Russian Empire regarded the Armenian Christian population living in the Ottoman Empire and Iran as a key element in the achievement of its far-reaching Eastern policy, which was designed to secure for Russia access to the shores of the Persian Gulf. The Russian authorities began to exploit the Armenian factor as early as the eighteenth century.

Taking advantage of the weakened condition of the Safavid State, on 10 November 1724 Peter I issued a decree allowing the Armenians . who were being assigned the role of a "fifth column" in implementing the Russian Empire's plans to seize vast territories to the south of the Caucasus, as far as the Persian Gulf - to settle in a strip of Azerbaijani land located along the Caspian Sea and containing the cities of Derbent and Baki as well as the regions of Gilyan, Mazandaran and Gorgan. As part of this scheme, the Russian generals were instructed to "displace" the local Azerbaijani population in any way they could. However, Russia's subsequent military reversals in the Caucasus blocked this planned resettlement of the Armenians.

Under the terms of the Turkmanchai Treaty, 40,000 Armenians were resettled in Azerbaijan. Following the conclusion in 1829 of the Peace Agreement in Edirne, 90,000 Armenians who had been living in the Ottoman Empire were also resettled in Azerbaijan. The Russian authorities resettled the Armenians primarily on the territory of the Nakhchivan, Iravan and Garabagh khanates.

As the well-known Russian diplomat and writer, A.S.Griboyedov, has written, "the Armenians have for the most part been settled on the lands of Muslim landowners... The settlers... are forcing out the Muslims... We also discussed at some length the work of persuasion to be done with the Muslims in order to reconcile them to their present hardships, which would not continue for a long time, and to rid them of the fear that the Armenians would maintain permanent possession of the lands to which they had once been allowed to move" [9].

In pursuing their colonial policy in the Southern Caucasus, the leaders of the Russian Empire banked heavily on the Armenians resettled in (page 14) Azerbaijan. In the work of the American scholar, Justin McCarthy, the following data are given on the colonization of the Southern Caucasus or, more accurately, of Azerbaijan by the Armenians. Between 1828 and 1920, when a policy was being implemented to alter the demographic structure of the population of Azerbaijan in favour of the Armenians and. to the detriment of the Azerbaijanis, "over two million Muslims were forcibly exiled and an unknown number of them were killed... On two occasions, in 1828 and 1854, the Russians invaded Eastern Anatolia... and on both occasions they were forced to retreat, taking 100,000 Armenians with them to the Caucasus, where they were resettled in place of the Turks (Azerbaijanis) who had emigrated or perished.

In the war of 1877-1878, Russia seized the Kars-Ardagan district, forced out the Muslims and settled 70,000 Armenians there... During the events of 1895-1896, approximately 60,000 Armenians were resettled in the Caucasus... Migration during the First World War was fairly balanced . 400,000 Armenians from Eastern Anatolia were exchanged for 400,000 Muslims from the Caucasus" [10].

According to the figures given by this American academic, 560,000 Armenians were resettled in Azerbaijan between 1828 and 1920. In this way, it was precisely after the conquest of the Southern Caucasus by Russia that the Armenian population on the territory of Azerbaijan north of the River Araks began to increase rapidly. Quite noteworthy in this same connection is also the admission of Z.Balaian: "Its (Yerevan's) residents are people who have come from other places. There are practically no true Yerevanites" [11]. Academician A.I.Ionisian writes that "one-fourth of the population of the city of Erivan were Armenians, with the Azerbaijanis constituting a majority" [12].

In accordance with a decree of the Russian Emperor Nicholas I of 21 March 1828, the Nakhchivan and Iravan khanates in Azerbaijan were abolished and replaced by a new administrative unit known as the "Armenian Oblast [Region]", governed by Russian officials. In 1849 this region was renamed the Erivan Guberniya [Province].

In pursuit of their far-reaching goals, the Armenians succeeded in bringing about the abolition by the Russian authorities in 1836 of the Albanian Christian Patriarchate, which had been operating in Azerbaijan, and the transfer of its property to the Armenian Church. Somewhat later, in a situation where the population in the western districts of the former Albania . namely the Garabagh region, which Armenian elements were continuing to penetrate in the nineteenth century - had lost both statehood (page 15) and ecclesiastical independence, there began a process of the Gregorianization (i.e., Armenianization) of the local Albanian population.

The truth of this situation was already well known in the nineteenth century. The famous Russian historian, V.L.Velichko, wrote: "An exception were the inhabitants of Karabakh, incorrectly called Armenians ..., who professed the Armenian-Gregorian faith...and who had gone through the process of Armenianization only three to four centuries earlier." This was also known by the Armenian author, B. Ishkhanian, who wrote: "The Armenians residing in Nagorno-Karabakh are partly aborigines and descendants of the ancient Albanians ..., and partly refugees from Turkey and Iran, for whom Azerbaijani lands offered a refuge from persecution. and oppression." [13]

The ideological justification for the territorial claims of the Armenians in the Southern Caucasus were linked to the formation of the nationalist parties "Armenakan" in 1885 in France, "Gnchak" (Bell) in 1887 in Geneva, and "Dashnakzutyun" (Union) in 1890 in Tiflis. These parties set themselves the task of using armed uprisings and terrorist actions to unite the territories on which Armenians who had been resettled from Iran and the Ottoman Empire were living.

The "Gnchak" programme contains, in particular, the following call: "To kill Turks and Kurds under any conditions, never to spare Armenians who have betrayed their cause, and to take revenge upon them" [14].

"Dashnakzutyun" was an authentic Nazi-style party, which anticipated by 30 years the ideology of the National Socialist Party of Germany and whose programme contained the words: "The objective of the Dashnakzutyun Party is to form an anarchist, democratic republic. The means of achieving this objective are the following: 1) armed insurrection; 2) intensive work to develop a revolutionary mentality among not only the Armenians; 3) the arming and organization of the Armenians; 4) terror and the destruction of government persons and institutions" [15]. "To achieve this objective, everything is permitted: propaganda, terror, merciless guerrilla warfare." [16]

Recounting the consequences of the activities of the Dashnakzutyun, the Georgian writer, Karibi, wrote with bitterness in 1919: "The Dashnaks arrived, bringing with them national hatred. And on such a soil, need it be said, nothing but Armenian-Muslim carnage and war between Armenia and Georgia was able to grow." [17]

(page 16) It was organizations of this kind, together with the authorities of the Russian Empire, who were intent on curbing the revolutionary and nationalist liberation movement in the Caucasus, that provoked the first confrontations between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in 1905. Between 1907 and 1912 approximately half a million Armenians from the Ottoman Empire and Iran moved to the Kars, Erivan and Elizavetpol regions, where a vast majority of the population was made up of Azerbaijanis. This movement of population took place with the connivance of the Russian administration, whose aim was to push the situation in the area of inter-ethnic relations to the limit and so strengthen Russia's dominion over the region [18].

2. The transfer of Azerbaijani territories to Armenia

The migration of Armenians to the Southern Caucasus in the first half of the nineteenth century and their settlement mainly in Azerbaijan was accompanied by the separation of territory from Azerbaijan and its incorporation in the "Armenian Oblast" that had ' been created within the Russian Empire. The expansion of the territory of Armenia continued into the present century. As recently as 29 May 1918, the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic ceded part of the Erivan district (the former Iravan Khanate) to the Republic of Armenia. This also, however, proved to be too little for the Armenian Government, and between 1918 and 1920 part of Garabagh, Zangazur and the Lake Geija (now Sevan) district . a total area of 9,000 square kilometres . was seized by force of arms.

After the formation of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, its leaders at the time did not demand the return of the Azerbaijani territories. On the contrary, there then ensued the next "peaceful" stage of land seizure, realized with assistance from the Communist leadership of Russia and the Soviet Union. In 1921, Armenia's "acquisition" of the Zangazur district and a significant part of the Gazakh district, totalling approximately 9,000 square kilometres and populated to a large extent by Azerbaijanis, was legalized [19]. As a result of the transfer of Zangazur to Armenia, the Nakhchivan area was cut off from Azerbaijan.

In 1922 the Bolsheviks dealt in similar fashion with the Azerbaijani lands of Dilijan and Geija. In 1929 a number of villages were taken from Nakhchivan and annexed to the Armenian SSR. In 1969 the Armenian SSR again expanded its territory at the expense of Azerbaijan by taking land as far east as the Gadabay district. Under pressure from the central (page 17) authorities, Azerbaijan "transferred" a number of villages in the Gazakh district to Armenia.

3. The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region of the Azerbaijan SSR

The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region (NKAO) occupied the south-eastern part of the Lesser Caucasus and covered an area of 4,388 square kilometres. The territory of the region stretched for 120 kilometres from north to south and for 35-60 kilometres from east to west. It included five administrative areas . Askaran, Gadrut, Mardakert, Martuni and Shusha. The chief town is Khankandi (Stepanakert). The population of the NKAO, according to estimates for the beginning of 1989, was 187,000, consisting of: 137,200 Armenians, or 73.4 per cent; 47,400 Azerbaijanis, or 25.3 per cent; 2,400 representatives of other nationalities, or 1.3 per cent [20].

Contrary to the assertions of Armenian nationalist leaders concerning violations of the rights of the Armenian minority in Azerbaijan, the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region possessed all the fundamental attributes of self-government and achieved a high rate of development in the social, economic and cultural fields. The well-known historian and specialist in Turkic affairs, Audrey Alstadt, says that "...Armenian villages were incorporated within the territorial borders [of the former NKAO when it was artificially established by the Bolsheviks], whereas Azerbaijani villages were excluded in order to ensure an Armenian majority" [21].

Audrey Alstadt further notes that in the former NKAO "the Armenian language was designated as an official language for administrative purposes and in everyday life" and that "the staffs of territorial, legislative and party organs, as well as the senior staff members and employees of cultural and educational establishments, were, in the overwhelming majority, Armenians from the moment of the creation [of the former NKAO] [22]. From the facts in question, the writer concludes that "the cultural and administrative character of the region favoured Azerbaijani emigration ... and, as regards the problems and abuses that existed [in the former NKAO], they should be laid at the door of the local Armenians who ... were administering Nagorno-Karabakh, and not of Baku [23].

The legal status of the NKAO, under the Constitution of the Azerbaijan SSR, was defined by the Law on the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region adopted on the recommendation of the Soviet of People's Deputies of the NKAO by the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan. The Nagorno- (page18) Karabakh Autonomous Region, as a national-territorial entity, enjoyed administrative autonomy and, accordingly, possessed a number of rights that, in practice, allowed the specific requirements of its population to be met. Under the Constitution of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the NKAO was guaranteed representation by five deputies in the Soviet of Nationalities (one of the two equal chambers of the parliament) of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Twelve deputies from the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region sat in the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR.

The Soviet of People's Deputies of the NKAO . the organ of State authority in the Region . was vested with a broad spectrum of powers. It took decisions on all local matters, on the basis of the interests of citizens living in the territory covered by the Soviet, bearing in mind national and other particularities of the Autonomous Region. The Council of People's Deputies of the NKAO participated in the consideration of issues affecting the whole Republic and made its proposals concerning them. All organs of State authority and government administration, the judiciary and the Office of the Public Prosecutor, the managements of production enterprises, and the educational and cultural institutions conducted their work in the Armenian language, in line with the linguistic needs of the population.

During the rule of the Soviet Union, the Nagorno-Karabakh region developed faster than Azerbaijan as a whole. Thus, while the industrial output of the Republic as a whole rose by a factor of 3 in the period from 1970 to 1986, the figure for the NKAO was 3.3 (annual growth rates here were above 8.3 per cent). Capital investment rose by a factor of 3.1 in the period from 1970 to 1986 in the Region, and by a factor of 2.5 in the Republic. The basic indices for social development (living standards) in the NKAO exceeded the average indices for the Azerbaijan SSR and the Armenian SSR. Particularly noteworthy was the higher level, in comparison with the Republic, of the provision of housing, goods and services to the population. The housing space available to each inhabitant of the NKAO was nearly one-third greater than the average for the Republic. Per inhabitant of the Region, there were more intermediate-level medical personnel (by a factor of 1.3) and more hospital beds (by 3 per cent).

Possessing an advantage over practically all the other regions of Azerbaijan in terms of coverage by cultural and educational institutions (schools providing general education, specialized secondary educational establishments, general libraries, museums, clubs, and arts and crafts (page 19) centres) geared to the linguistic needs of the local population, the Autonomous Region enjoyed the most favourable conditions for the preservation of the identity of the Garabagh Armenians and, in general, of the ethnic and cultural particularities of the area. Not only was there a network of music and drama clubs, but a professional company performed in the regional capital at the Drama Theatre, where most of the plays staged were by Armenian playwrights.

Persons passing the university qualification examination who wished to receive a higher education without leaving the country had the possibility of entering the Pedagogical Institute in Khankandi (Stepanakert). Scientific personnel were concentrated in two scientific institutions, in the Leninavan community and the main town of the NKAO. Five periodical publications in Armenian appeared in the Region. Unlike other administrative-territorial units of Azerbaijan located at a distance from the capital of the Republic in mountainous areas, the Region had its own infrastructure for the reception of television and radio programs.

The whole history of the development of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region within Azerbaijan, which became a kind of promised land for several generations of descendants of the Armenians who had earlier settled there, shows that not only was this development in conformity with the interests of the Armenian population of Upper Garabagh, and the economic, social and demographic features of this area, but that . more than this . the Region enjoyed, in accordance with the principle of "positive discrimination" that is widely applied in the civilized world, a privileged place in relation to the rest of Azerbaijan.

The Armenians, who were first resettled during the nineteenth century by the Tsarist authorities in the Azerbaijani lands of Nakhchivan, Iravan and Garabagh, and who in the 1920s, with the support of the Bolsheviks, created the Armenian SSR on the territory of the former Iravan Khanate and an autonomous district in the Nagorno-Garabagh region of Azerbaijan, have now waxed insolent to the point where they are demanding independence for the Armenians of Nagorno-Garabagh, with a view to uniting them, at a later stage, with Armenia itself. Will there ever be an end to this expansion?
The Armenia Azerbaijan conflict      
The conflict is rooted in expansionism and a policy of aggression aimed at expanding the territory of Armenia by force at the expense of the territory of another sovereign state.
armenianagression_06_5_b.jpgSeparatists in the local council of the Mountainous (Nagorno) Karabakh Autonomous Region (MKAR) of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic adopted a unilateral decision to secede from Azerbaijan in February 1988. (According to the population census of 1989, the population of the MKAR was 186,100, of which 138,600 were Armenians (73.5%) and 47,500 Azerbaijanis (25,3%). In December 1989 the Parliament of Armenia decided to annex Mountainous Karabakh, an integral part of neighboring Azerbaijan, in a move grossly violating international laws and norms of conduct. By doing so, Armenia has clearly followed an example set by Nazi Germany in annexing German-populated areas of the neighboring countries on the eve of the World War II.

Armenia started to establish unconstitutional structures in the Mountainous Karabakh (MK) region of Azerbaijan. The military formations as well as a huge amount of weapons and ammunition were shipped on the territory of Azerbaijan. A military bridgehead was set up to conduct an armed aggression against Azerbaijan.

Full-scale hostilities in the zone of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict escalated at the end of 1991-early 1992. Ethnic cleansing, conducted by the Armenian armed forces on the territory of the Mountainous Karabakh region, reached its climax during the massacre of Khojaly, an Azerbaijani town in the region, in February l992. More than 800 peaceful residents, including women and children, were slaughtered in what Human Rights Watch called «the largest massacre of the conflict.» The Armenian aggression spread far beyond the administrative boundaries of the region to the rest of Azerbaijan. Between May 1992 and May 1994, six districts of Azerbaijan outside MKAR were occupied.


Thus, as a result of aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan, more than 17.000 km2 (approximately 20% of the territory) were occupied, more than 18.000 persons were killed, over 50.000 left wounded or maimed, and almost 900 settlements, 100 thousand dwellings, more than 600 schools, and 250 medical institutions were looted or ruined. The number of internally displaced persons (IDP) from the occupied Azerbaijani lands and refugees from Armenia reached about 1 million people. In a country of 8 million people, this represents the highest per capita number of IDP in the world.

With 20% of its territory seized, Azerbaijan is facing a humanitarian disaster. Limited humanitarian aid coming to Azerbaijan falls short of the basic needs of the people affected by the conflict.

Aghdere and Aghdam districts of Azerbaijan were seized by Armenian armed forces following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 822 (1993) of 30 April 1993,which condemned occupation of the Kelbajar district; the Fizuli district was seized after the adoption of Security Council Resolution 853 (1993) of 29 July 1993, condemning the seizure of the Aghdam district; and the Djebrail and Kubatly districts were seized after the adoption of Security Council Resolution 874 (1993) of 14 October 1993. In its resolution 884(1993) of 11 November 1993, the Security Council condemned the occupation of the Zangelan district and the town of Horadiz, attacks on civilians, and bombardments of the territory of Azerbaijan.

In its resolutions, the UNSC underscored respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of Azerbaijan, and the inadmissibility of using force to annex territories. It also demanded the immediate cessation of armed hostilities and hostile acts, and the immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces from the occupied areas of Azerbaijan. Despite the unequivocal demands of the Security Council, the Republic of Armenia still occupies Azerbaijani territory and increases its military presence there.

Illegal supplies of the Russian arms and equipment to Armenia from 1994 to 1996 greatly facilitated the Armenian aggression. A military cooperation agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia, signed on August 29, 1997, finalized the military alliance between the two states. By signing the agreement, the Russian Federation compromised its position as a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Process, which mediates the conflict.

Azerbaijan considers that this agreement aggravates the situation in the region, and undermines efforts to reach a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and to strengthen security in the region.

Despite the above, the cease-fire regime, negotiated on May 12, 1994, has been generally observed. Efforts aimed at releasing POWs and hostages are continuing under the aegis ICRC. From 1993 to 1998, 357 persons were released. However, there are reports about Azerbaijanis still detained in Armenia and on the occupied territories.

The negotiation process - International mediation on settlement of the conflict started in February 1992, within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk process. The Minsk group was established to negotiate political settlement of the conflict.

After occupation of the Azerbaijani territories, the UN Security Council adopted Resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884 that demand immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan and return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes.

In accordance with decisions of the OSCE Budapest Summit (1994) the institute of Co-Chairs, of the Minsk conference was established «to conduct speedy negotiations for the conclusion of a political agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict («Political Agreement»), the implementation of which would have eliminated major consequences of the conflict for all parties and permit the convening of the Minsk Conference.»
Thereby, the Budapest Summit adopted a legal two-stage framework of the conflict settlement process:

1) First stage - elimination of consequences of the armed conflict by implementation of the agreement, i.e., full liberation of all occupied territories and ensuring return or IDP's to their homes:
2) Second stage - elaboration and adoption of a comprehensive peace settlement at the Minsk conference.

The Budapest Summit also adopted a decision to establish an OSCE peacekeeping operation after the conclusion of the political agreement.

Later three main principles of the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict were formulated in the Statement of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office at Lisbon Summit, 1996.

They are the following:
- Territorial integrity of Armenia and Azerbaijan;
- Legal status of Mountainous Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination, which confers on Mountainous Karabakh the highest degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan;
- Guaranteed security for Mountainous Karabakh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to ensure compliance by all the Parties with the provisions of the settlement.
These principles were supported by all 53 OSCE state-participants except Armenia. Since November 1996, Armenia has unilaterally ceased direct consultations between the two countries and only recently consultations were restored.

After the Lisbon Summit and establishment of an institute of the triple Co-Chairmanship (Russia-France-USA), only one round of negotiations has taken place, in April 1997.

Further, the process of settlement was developing as follows:

June-September, 1997, the Co-Chairs elaborated and submitted a new document for consideration of the Parties, envisaging a two-staged conflict settlement according to the following scheme:

First stage
- Liberation of 6 occupied districts, outside MKAR (except Lachin district),
- Return of civilians and restoration of communication links.

Second stage
- Reaching solution on Lachin and Shusha districts and adoption of the main principles of the status of the Mountainous Karabakh region.

October 1, 1997, Azerbaijan officially informed Co-Chairs on its consent to the document at the basis for the upcoming negotiations.

October 1997, in Strasbourg the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia made a joint statement on readiness to resume negotiations on the basis of Co-Chairmen's proposals.

December 1997, in Copenhagen, a report of the Co-Chairs, emphasizing the need to continue efforts on settlement of the conflict on the basis of Lisbon principles and proposals of Co-Chairs, was distributed at the OSCE Ministerial Council's meeting.

May 13-17, 1998, during a visit of the Co-Chair's to the region, Armenia, under new president Robert Kocharyan officially recalled the early consent of former President of Armenia (L. Ter-Petrosyan) to stage-by-stage proposals.

November 9, 1998, the Co-Chairs introduced new proposal based on a Russian-designed concept of «common state». Azerbaijan from the very beginning refused to accept this proposal, and on November 19 officially informed the mediators of the unacceptability of this proposals. Azerbaijan confirmed its readiness to resume negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group on the basis of the Co-Chairs' proposals of September 19, 1997.

November 20, 1998, the delegation of the Azeri community of MK officially rejected proposals of November 9, and on November 25, Armenia and the Armenian community of MK stated the agreement with these proposals.

December 2-3, 1998, during the OSCE ministerial meeting in Oslo, the Chairman-in-Office appealed to the parties to the conflict to resume negotiations immediately in the framework of the Minsk Group and to Co-Chairs to continue their efforts.

Currently the Co-Chairs are pursuing their objective to present a compromise settlement plan to the conflict based on the principles of international law.
The beginning of the conflict      
The Armenia's claims on Azerbaijani lands, as well as the Upper Karabakh formed pars of its strategy of the establishment of the Great Armenia.

Therefore, Armenia always tried to make use of favorable conditions to achieve their goals. When pro-Armenian M.S.Gorbachyov was elected the head of USSR in 1985, Armenians intensified their activity again.

The support and protection of the Soviet government to armed Armenian separatists was coming to light during that period. In order to implement his mean plans connected with the autonomous province of Nagorno Karabakh, Mikhail Gorbachev distanced the most important obstacle - Heydar Aliyev - from the political bureau. After that Armenian academician A.Aganbekyan of Gorbachov's grouping, reported that he had made a proposal to the Soviet leadership concerning the Upper Karabakh and expressed hope that the problem will find its solution in the conditions of democracy and reconstruction.

Once underground Armenian Committee for Karabakh and its terrorist organization Krunk (Crane) in the Autonomous District of Upper Karabakh started operating openly and the movement Miatsum movement was formed at that time. This movement was backed by Armenia, Autonomous District of Upper Karabakh, Moscow leadership and the potential of USSR and world Armenians. The events acquired more aggressive form in 1988. The wave of meetings of separatists and Armenian nationalists captured Yerevan and Stepanakert in February.

The session of the council of Autonomous Upper Karabakh District appealed to the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan SSR for consideration of the status of the district February 20.

This fact testified that Armenians had changed their tactics from that of November 1945.

They managed to create an incorrect view of the world community on Upper Karabakh through intensive propaganda and strong Armenian Diaspora in foreign countries. Therefore, they started to hold propaganda openly.

The leadership of Azerbaijan and its community was unprepared for the new tactics of Armenian separatists and their supporters. The murder of two young Azerbaijanis, wounding of 19 people by Armenian separatists in Askeran February 20, resulted in the preparation of policy against the plans of Armenians. In late February the special service bodies and organs of State Security of SSSR committed a tragedy in the big industrial city of Azerbaijan-Sumgayit.

The causes of Sumgayit tragedy soon came to light. That step targeted Azerbaijanis living in Armenian and was used to part Upper Karabakh from the Soviet Azerbaijan. "4 residents of Mehmandar village of Azerbaijan south to Yerevan were killed on March 10. Over 100 houses were destroyed and residents were evicted from the Azerbaijani villages of Ararat region on March 25. In mid March Armenians again attacked Azerbaijani villages near Yerevan….". The barbarism of Armenians against Azerbaijanis rose again.

In period of excavation of Armenian separatists' barbarism the indifference of the Communist party of Soviet Union to the real assessment of the state of the Central Committee and Soviet leadership also became evident. The resolution "On measures for intensification of socioeconomic development of the Autonomous Province of Upper Karabakh of the Azerbaijan SSR in 1988-1995" was a bid to cover up the separatist nature of the issue. This step inspirited Armenian separatists and even increased their aggression.

The leadership of Azerbaijan, beginning with A.Vezirov, submissive to Moscow, stood on the position of compromises to betrayers and aggressors of its people. Finally, Moscow undertook one more step to part the Autonomous Province of Upper Karabakh from the Azerbaijan SSR: the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Council approved a resolution "On special form of government in the Autonomous Province of Upper Karabakh" on January 12, 1989.

The aim was obvious: The Special Governing Committee, established in the Autonomous Upper Karabakh Province was to provide for the delivery of Upper Karabakh to Armenia. However, as a result of a democratic struggle of Azerbaijani people aware of that, the Special Governing Committee was abolished on November 28. Yet the structure was replaced by a new one-the Organizational Committee. Armenia, making use of it, carried out an anti-constitutional decision on annexation of Upper Karabakh to Armenia on December 1.

That was the open violation of the territorial integrity of the Soviet Azerbaijan. As expected, Moscow shut its eyes to the fact of this violent intervention, thus deteriorating the situation. The leadership of USSR, led by Gorbachov, undertook one more cruel step against Azerbaijan. Baku was chosen the main target. The Soviet Union violating the constitutional responsibilities before the people, bringing large troops, armed with up-date techniques and guns, committed bloodshed in Baku on the night of January 20, 1990.

Armenian soldiers and militants also took an active part in committing the Baku tragedy. However, the tragedy of January 20 could not undermine the control of Azerbaijan it even strengthened the struggle of the people for the independence and territorial integrity. The next day Heydar Aliyev came to the Azerbaijan's representation in Moscow, exposed the criminal actions of Soviet leadership and expressed his support for the justice Salvation struggle of Azerbaijani people. The Supreme Council of the Soviet Azerbaijan declared the restoration of the state independence on August 30, 1991 and approved the Constitutional act on the national independence on October 18.

Armenian separatists of Upper Karabakh took advantage of the situation and continued creating political structures. They declared the establishment of a puppet body named The Upper Karabakh Republic in September of 1991. The Azerbaijan Republic did not accept this structure and the status of the Autonomous Province of Upper Karabakh was abolished on November 26.

The collapse of USSR in late 1991 was followed by the change in the geopolitical situation on post-Soviet area. Armenian in fact declared an open and unfair war against Azerbaijan. Armenian military troops, violating the borders of Azerbaijan, entered Karabakh and conjointly with Armenian separatists of Upper Karabakh occupied Azeri lands.


Undeclared war against Azerbaijan      
Following the events of February 1988, separatist groups of the Autonomous Nagorny Karabakh Province and Armenian militants launched hostilities for invasion of the Nagorny Karabakh.

Following the events of February 1988, separatist groups of the Autonomous Nagorny Karabakh Province and Armenian militants launched hostilities for invasion of the Nagorny Karabakh. They were soon joined by the USSR troops stationed in Armenia and Nagorny Karabakh. Thus, the events similar to those after the Tsarist regime break-up in February 1917 occurred following the collapse of USSR. Armenian militants, serving within Soviet Army united against Azerbaijanis and launched military actions from a common front.

They began with the occupation of Azeri settlements in Nagorny Karabakh. The Kerkidjahan village was occupied on January 15, 1992, Malybeyli, Gushchular on February 10, the defenseless inhabitants were killed and injured, while the ring surrounding Khodjaly and Shusha was tightened. Hurriedly, the assembled troops of Azeri volunteers hold an unsuccessful ballet at Dashalty. The united Armenian and Soviet troops occupied the Garadaghly village in mid-April. The most tragic event in the whole modern history occurred on the 26th February night, 1992 when Armenian troops committed a horrible genocide against Azerbaijanis in Hodjaly village.

That was the most terrible mass genocide committed by Armenian separatists and Armenian military troops. It can be compared with the fascist bloodsheds during the World War II. The leadership of Azerbaijan which at that time was supporting Moscow instead of defending its own people in the war against the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, was losing its power. As the national liberation movement was gaining its strength, Ayaz Mutalibov's government resigned and this further weakened the defensive capacity of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

As a result Armenian troops occupied Shusha in May 1992, thus invading almost the entire territory of the Nagorny Karabakh. The next step was the occupation of Lachyn, which served as a corridor between Nagorny Karabakh and Armenia. Armenians made use of political instability in Baku and occupied Lachyn as well. The fights for power under the Popular Front regime from May 1992 to June 1993, significantly weakened the defensive capacity of Azerbaijan. In 1993 Armenians captured Kelbedjar. Azerbaijan experienced a deep political crisis in June and in these conditions by demand of the population Heydar Aliyev came to power. Armenia continuing its war with Azerbaijan invaded Aghdam, Fuzuli, Djebrayil and Zengilan between July and October of 1993.

  Armenians devastated the occupied lands. 20 thousand Azerbaijanis fell victims of the war, 100 thousand people were wounded, 50 thousand people became invalids. The number of refugees and IDPs exceeds 1 million. According to official sources, 4,852 Azerbaijanis, including 323 women, 54 children and 410 elderly persons were taken hostages. Armenians concealed the real number of hostages from international humanitarian organizations, treated them violently and cruelly, made them work, humiliated and insulted them.

  UNO confirmed the fact of occupation of Azeri lands by Armenians and conduction and unfair war against Azerbaijan and its territorial integrity. The UN Security Council ratified four resolutions (No 822, 853, 874, 884) on the Armenia's withdrawal from Azeri lands. Yet Armenians did not follow the resolutions.

Azerbaijan was in need of mobilizing its military-economic and human power in the war against Armenian invaders. For this purpose Heydar Aliyev appealed to the population on radio and TV channels November 2 and serious measures were undertaken. That enabled to radically change the events in Azerbaijani people's struggle against Armenian separatism. The attacks of Armenian troops in direction to Beylagan were rebutted in mid November. As a result of successful operations of Azerbaijan army the strategically important Horadiz district and 22 villages of Fuzuli were released from enemy on January 5, 1994.

After that Azeri troops released part of Djebrayil district, Bozlu, Tekeqaya, Babashlar, Qanlykend, Chepli, Qasymbinesi, Yanshaqbine, Yanshaq, Baghirsaq, Qamyshly settlements. Chichekli mountain and other strategic peaks were returned, Kelbadjar-Lachyn road's section till the tunnel was taken under control. The enemy lost 4 thousand soldiers and militants, 50 armored techniques and 15 artilleries, etc. The achievements of Azerbaijan in making turn in the war and releasing its occupied lands excited nor only in Armenia but also its supporter-countries.

The policy of Armenia's protectors for reinforcement of its military potential, providing it with up-date guns and for turning it to the reactionary force in the region, significantly strengthened. In these conditions Azerbaijan signed the Bishkek protocol on May 8, 1994.

Due to Azerbaijan's progress in fighting its enemy the ceasefire was reached on May 12.


During the occupation war against Azerbaijan Armenia moving forward to 360 kilometers from the border captured 20% of Azeri lands, and took control over the areas from Horadiz district of Fuzuli till Zengilan and 198 kilometers border between Azerbaijan and Iran. As a result of invasions 2 cities, 1 district and 53 villages of Karabakh with the population of nearly 50 thousand people were captured. Beside Karabakh the military invasions resulted in occupation of 890 towns, villages and districts. The destructed establishments, occupied sawn areas and woodlands were as follows: residential buildings-150000, public establishments-7000, secondary schools-693, medical institutions-695, motor ways-800 km, bridges-160, water pipeline-2300 km, electric lines-150000 km, woodlands-280000 hectares, sawn areas-200000 hectares, historical museums and monuments-464. The damage caused to the Azerbaijan was initially estimated to USD 60 billion. Moreover, the occupied lands account for all reserves of mercury, obsidian and pearlite, 35% of building and facing materials, 23.8% of forests, 7.8% of water reserves and other riches. Besides, 2 reserves, 3 game reserves and 3 large water reservoirs locate in these lands

Armenia's illegal activity in the occupied regions      

Armenia and separatists develop their activity on occupied territories in the following directions:

I. Efforts to introduce a separatist-terrorist regime as an independent state

The separatist regime of Nagorny Karabakh took the advantage of the ceasefire regime and for the purpose of introducing themselves as an independent state, established a number of the "state institutions" ("Parliament", "ministries", "army", "committee" and "institutions") and opened its representative offices in a number of countries. In March of 2001 the people residing in this region were issued new passports, certifying their citizenship of Armenian Republic and false regime.

  II. State terrorism and aggressive separatism


From 1989 to 1994, Armenian separatists and terrorists committed 373 terrorist acts in the territory of Azerbaijan. These resulted in 1,568 people killed and 1,808 were injured. The courts of the Azerbaijan Republic and foreign countries proved in a processual order that 32 out of 373 terrorist acts were commited with direct involvement of Armenian intelligence, which used the occupied Azeri lands for damaging settlements 100 kilometers away from the front line.  

Armenian state bodies and separatist regime attempted to organize, finance and commit terrorist acts targeting Azerbaijani civilians, using the citizens of the third countries, representatives of national minorities of Azerbaijan and armed hostages and prisoners.

  As a result of the fruitful cooperation between the Ministry of Defense of the Azerbaijan Republic and Federal Defense Agency of Russia, a group of Armenian separatists operating in the territory of Russia and led by colonel Djan Ohanesyan, chief of department of the Head Bureau of Defense, his deputy major Ashor Qaloyan, Major Boris Simonyan, attorney of the Agency for combat with terrorism under the secret service of Russia, was brought to trial. This group, financed by the TIRR association, which operates in Moscow under the leadership of Valeri Petrosyan, made a number of explosions of the railway carriages in Russia and Azerbaijan. All these persons were sentenced to different terms of imprisonment by the courts of the Azerbaijan Republic and Russian Federation.  

An explosion committed at one of the Baku subway stations by members of a Russian terrorist organization Sadval operating in Daghestan on March 19th 1994 and resulting in 14 civilians killed and 42 injured was proven to be organized by the Armenian intelligence. The evidences of numerous witnesses and material evidences testified that those militants were trained at the military training bases of the special services, locating in Nairi and Arzni districts of Armenia and special camps, established in Meherremkend district of Daghestan.

The special services of Armenia financed and provided the criminals with necessary explosive materials and techniques for the commitment of the terrorist acts. The defense bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic ascertained 43 organizers and executors of the crimes, of them 30 were sentenced to imprisonment by the verdict of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan, while the tracing of those hiding beyond the bounds of the country is still going on.

  The singularity of the terrorist acts lies in the fact that special services of neighbor Armenia, supporting the separatist regime of Nagorny Karabakh, selected the terrorists for committing the acts among separatists of Russian Federation claiming for a number of northern regions of our country. This proves the fact that the interaction between separatists of different ethnic groups constitutes the international terrorism.  

Unfortunately, this is not a single case. Thus, a group, aiming to launch a separatist movement in the name of Avars, living on the north of our country, activized in the early 2000. The situation in Zaqatala and Belakan was deteriorated by repeated attacks on the posts of the state road police, police stations and military units, explosion of the Sheikh Shamil monument in June of 2001.  

The investigation revealed that the leader of the group Haji Magometov and later his imprisoned associate Shaban Bushdiyev had relations with representatives of Armenian special services.  

Both of them visited Yerevan and Khankendi in 1997 to discuss the delivery of 1,000 guns and USD 1 million to them for the establishment of the Avar state in the territory of Azerbaijan. Later they continued their talks in Makhachkala and as a result they agreed on delivery of 1,000 guns and USD 300,000.

Then H.Magometov returned to Yerevan to enlist the support to the idea of establishment of Djar-Belekan state by avar separatists and their activity in this direction in December, 2001. The visit aimed to get various kinds of arms, including thermal missiles for occupation of the residence of new executive authorities, taking hostages among officials for releasing the imprisoned brothers-in arm and other crimes against the government.

  The interrogation of persons, attempting to take the control over residents of Zaqatala district and to turn the area into an uncontroable one through different criminal actions, revealed that the "Minister of Defense", and other state officials of the false separatist regime of Nagorny Karabakh, supplying arms and financial aide to separatists involved them into separatist movements.  

A terrorist act, committed at the Baku underground stations 28th of May and Gendjlik on July 1994 and causing death to 13 people and wounding 42 civilians, was also organized by the special services of Armenia. For these purpose the mother of Azer Aslanov, captivated during military actions was deceived and called to Yerevan, then brought to the occupied Azeri areas and kept hostage there thus obliging A.Aslanov to commit the crime. (This fact was reflected in the book "Between Hell and Paradise" by Zori Balayan, one of the ideologists of nationalist-separatist extremism, currently wanted by Interpol).

The investigation and court trial proved that A.Aslanov's indeological training as a terrorist was participated by working president of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, then leader of Armenian separatists of Nagorny Karabakh and Zori Balayan.  

In the beginning of 1990th the Armenia leadership acting for rehabilitation of the terrorist groups' leaders launched a large-scale compaign for assembling the radical organizations of foreign Diasporas as Dashksutyun, ASALA, MAQ, Armenian Association, Armenian Front of Freedom and other terrorist organizations in Armenia and created conditions for their activity, granted asylums and provided them with money, arms, false passports and transport means.

At the same time a number of foreign countries supplied guns and money to regions of Azerbaijan mainly inhabited by Armenians and provided for the release of Asmenians, committing terrorist acts against representations of Turkeyand even supported Armenian's on the governmental level. Thus, the special service of Armenia conducted the campaign of signatures by the funds of Echmiadzin church for release of Varujan Karapetyan, native of Syria, member of ASALA, committing an explosion at Orli airport of France in June, 1983.  

Released Monte Melkonyan, US resident, imprisoned for committing terrorist acts in France and world-famed terrorist was sent from Armenia and Nagorny Karabakh and headed the terrorist groups, driving Azerbaijanis of their native lands in 1990. The funerals of M.Melkonyan, killed by Azerbaijani troops were attended by senior officials of Armenia, later this world famed terrorist was attached the title of the national hero of Armenia and one of the diversion centers of Armenia Defense Ministry bore his name.  

Vazgen Sislyan, sent to Khankendi in 1992, together with terrorists of Near East Abu Ali, Qilbert Minasanyan and others used the policy of violence to attact the attention of world community to the problems of Armenia.  

After R.Kocharyan came to power the rehabilitation of the leaders of Armenian terrorist groups intensified with a new energy. Qrant Markaryan, the famous terrorist, citizen of Iran and Dashnaksutyun party member was released from prison and deserved the hero of Karabakh war by R.Kocharyan for his active participation in terrorist acts against Azerbaijan along with Vazgen Sislyan, one of organizers of Turkish embassy occupation in Paris in 1981.

These facts once more prove the direct participation of Armenia leadership in terrorist acts against Azerbaijan. In fact, the current leaders of Armenia president R.Kocharyan, Minister of defense S.Sarkisyan and leader of separatist regime in Nagorny Karabakh A.Qukasyan do not conceal their close relations with terrorists.  

The frontier of occupied lands of Azerbaijan is guarded by military forces of Armenia and the conscripts of this country are sent to serve in the military bases of those areas. At the same time along with military troops and terrorist groups of Armenia a number of illegal military units also operate in occupied Azeri lands and this process is not controlled by the international convention for combact with terrorism.

III. Illegal drugraising and traffic

The occupied lands turned to a specific source of crime, not controlled by any international organization or state. Thus, the separatist regime created all necessary conditions for illegal cultivation, manufacture and sales of drugs in these areas. These facts were reflected in a report of March, 2000 on a control strategy of narcotic substances of the US Department of State. Drug dealers supported mean leaders of the false regime and used the profits from the drug sales for retaining control over the occupied lands and paying wages to employees.  

A report of the US Department of State March 2001 testifies the use of occupied Azeri lands for mass cultivation of narcotic substances and regards Armenia as a potential establishment in the international circulation of drugs.  

The fact of hamp bushes cultivation on the occupied Azeri lands is also reflected in the report of the US Department of State devoted to Nagorny Karabakh.  

Separatists use most part of funds received from drug sales for acquisition of guns for military units and terrorist groups and conduction of trainings. Illegal economic activity of Nagorny Karabakh and separatists famous for their activity in money-laundering became the object of interests of transnational criminal structures.  

The occupied lands are also suspected to use for intering nuclear and radioactive waste. Thus, the absence of warehouse for keeping nuclear waste under the Metsamow Atom Electric Station, producing 9 million KW-Hs of energy suggests that the occupied lands are utilized for this purpose.

  IV. Human Traffic  

As a result of Armenia's invasion to the Azerbaijan Republic, citizens of Azerbaijan taken hostages or imprisoned were kept in the occupied lands secretly from international humanitarian organizations and were subject to cruel methods of punishment and were used for uncivil purposes. 

Some incontrovertible evidences prove that the official organs of Armenia, trying to make use of consequences of aggression against Azerbaijan and existing status-quo, turning those Azerbaijanis, taken hostages and prisoners into the trading article, established cooperation with different criminal organizations.  

The relatives of 30 people, taken hostages and imprisoned in periods of war and ceasefire released them by giving great amounts of money, gold and valuable things. The parts of bodies of most citizens taken hostages were removed and sold.

The citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic, tkan hostages and imprisoned are kept on the occupied lands and are applied the violents punitive measures.

V. Illegal settlement of Armenians on the occupied lands

  - Information of official sources:

According to the report of the false government of Nagorny Karabakh and official information of Armenia, the population of Nagorny Karabakh equaled 143 thousand people in 2001. However, by the 1989's census enumeration a bit more than 90 thousand of Armenians lived in that region.

  A report on Armenia of the global review of 2002, on the state of refugees of the US committee for refugees stated that nearly 1000 families were driven out from Armenia to Nagorny Karabakh and Lachyn

To prevent people from leaving Nagorny Karabakh, definite rules were introduced, according to which those intending to move from the region forever would have to pay the sum of USD 15 thousand and military conscripts-USD 10 thousand beginning from 2001.  

The migration services officially operating in all cities and districts of Armenia from 2002 are directing their activity for the resettling the country population to the occupied lands. The year of 1994 is marked for cases of illegal resettling the Armenians residing abroad to Nagorny Karabakh and the occupied lands. The "parliament" of the false regime also carried out decisions stipulating for the children from Russian families, moved to Nagorny Karabakh to educate in Karabakh schools in Armenian and Russian languages beginning from 2005.  

According to the estimate of the Mission for Migration in the South Caucasus of the international Committee of the Red Cross of 25 October 2004, on average nearly 15 families are moved every year to Nagorny Karabakh and in 2004 the number of the families amounted to 200.  

Though official Yerevan consealed its direct participation in the migration projects, yet the large-scaled migration program " Return to Artszakh" involved Benik Bakhshivan, attorney of the Armenia government (headed by Andranik Margaryan), Serj Amirkhanyan, chief of "the statistical committee" of "the Republic of Nagorny Karabakh", Vaqram Baqdasaryan- "Minister of Agriculture", Major Danelyan-" chair of the commission for budget and financial issues of the National Assembly", Qaqik Eqalyan, head of Armenian department for refugees and migration and other officials, including the public organization Yerkir. From that time the department for refugees and emigration took a direct part in the implementation of the above mentioned program.  

In December of 2003 the Prime Minister of Armenia A.Margaryan officially announced that the resettlement of Armenians to the occupied lands of Azerbaijan is the priority issue for Armenian government.  

The illegal settlement on the occupied lands was lightened in a number of Mass Medias. According to the open announcements, within the first six months of 2004 120 Armenian families were settled on the occupied lands.  

The illegal resettlement and building operations were sponsored by the Fund of Armenian Education of West America, Hayastan Fund and the Council of Armenian Eparchy of Teheran. It's also known that foreign funds allotted USD 400 thousand for the implementation of the program "Return to Artsakh" and the construction of nearly 90 houses was completed in occupied Azeri lands in 2004.  

The information on the adoption of funds, stipulated for the program implementation by some authorized persons and the the return of 30% of resettled population to Yerevan and other UN member-states due to the lower living standards was reflected in a number of Armenian mass medias in 1999. One of these cases was the publishing of an article "State budget does not have funds for persons resettled to Nagorny Karabakh" by Vaqram Oqanesyan in 1999 in 10th nakhanq newspaper on the non-delivery of funds to the families residing and resettled to Nagorny Karabakh. The article caused the imprisonment of V.Oqacanyan for the term of a year in 2000 and promoted the institution of criminal proceeding by the presecutor's office of Nagorny Karabakh.

VI. Despoilment of natural, material and cultural reserves and their illegal utilization

Armenian separatists destruct the houses, graves, cultural monuments, and carry out equipments, building materials especially iron and other cargoes to other countries. 

A number of sources announce that Armenians transport valuable metals, including soil, containing gold, machines, produced at plants and factories, electric carriages and cut rails to other countries.

  Armenians introduce the national reserves, robbed from the occupied Azeri lands, including ancient historical works, carpets and minerals, to Europen as a national wealth of Armenian people. Armenians presented the mineral deposits of Kelbadjar and the pictures of nearly 3600 rock paintings as those locating at their own territory in Finland 2000.  

Armenians have recently introduced ancient musical instruments of Azerbaijan as their own in European, UN and North Americal countries and sell them, the cases when Armenians sold Karabakh carpets, introducing them as Armenian and Persian ones have also been registered. Numerous historical, cultural and religious monuments, robbed from the occupied Azeri lands, have been sold to foreign countries.

The unique exhibits of the museums, locating in the occupied Azeri lands were either destroyed or used as a basis of new museums, as if certifying their belonging to Armenians. Armenians attach a great importance to the adaptation of the monuments of ancient Caucasus Albania. The ancient Albanian scripts, wall designs and crosses were replaced by Armenian attributes. A number of mosques are used as store-houses.  

This campaign aimed to prove that the occupied lands are not the historical parts of Azerbaijan thus justifying Armenian's settlement on them. For this purpose the Azerbaijani names of the settlements were largely replaced by Armenian names. That aimed to provide for the further annexion of the territories to Armenia.  

Armenians attracted a number of foreign organizations and firms to the illegal economic activity on the occupied lands to widen the robbery of material riches of oul people. In January-July 2004 Armenians initiated the visit of 1610 foreign citizens to Nagorny Karabakh without permission of the authorized state bodies of the Azerbaijan Republic.  

Though in 1993 the UN Security Council approved resolutions No 822, 853, 874, 884, recognizing the territorial integrity of the Azerbaijan Republic and demanding Armmenians to withdraw from these areas, Armenia is currently continuing is occupation policy.

  The data, obtained by the Ministry of Defense on the illegal activity of separatist regime and Armenia on the occupied lands of the Azerbaijan Republic out of control of the international community.