More than a quarter of a century ago, Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel peace prize “in recognition of its leading role in the peace process which characterizes important part of the international community”. Still hard to say for sure what in all this was more of a calculating cynicism or hypocrisy.
But the disastrous consequences of a criminal “government” Gorbachev is a former Soviet republics still being felt.
Suffice it to recall the events in Kazakhstan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Lithuania and Latvia, where the fault of the “bloody General Secretary” in the 90-ies there were numerous local conflicts, record if not in terms of bitterness, cynicism, double standards. Not an exception and Azerbaijan.
More than a quarter of a century — every year on 20 January, all the world Azerbaijanis commemorate the victims of the tragic January events of 1990, which entered the history of Azerbaijan as “black” or “bloody” Jan. It should be emphasized that in the history of Azerbaijan this event was a national liberation uprising against the Communist totalitarian regime of the USSR for their freedom and independence.
A monstrous crime committed by the occupying totalitarian regime of the former Soviet Union against the civilian population of Azerbaijan, is one of the most serious crimes against humanity and humanism.
The last page of his biography, the Soviet Union turned serious crime against its own citizens. The bloody Soviet regime carried out a pre-planned act of the massacre of the Azerbaijani population expressing peaceful protest against the forced alienation of its lands — Nagorno-Karabakh. It was thoughtful and carefully planned the crime, because a few days before its Commission from Azerbaijan has been taken out of the families of Russian officers, was an artificially created problem of “Russian refugees”. At the same time, the media were promised that no military units will not be included in Baku and a state of emergency will not be introduced.
In the night from 19 to 20 January 1990 the Soviet government under the guidance of the chief ideologist and organizer headed by Gorbachev sorokiniana contingent of Soviet troops invaded Baku and the Central government had committed a terrible and cruel crime against Azerbaijan and its people. The entrance to Baku paramilitary units of the Soviet army was accompanied by unprecedented atrocities, the massacre of civilians was carried out with special cruelty and cynicism. 0.05 minutes January 20 in the city were put tanks, army units with heavy weapons that made a real massacre. Tanks and armoured personnel carriers went on living people, leaving hundreds of dead and maimed in its path. The army used the most modern means of combat, the men fired from tanks, mortars and machine guns. Several people were killed in their homes by bullets fired by soldiers in the Windows of houses. The army used the most modern weapons of war, including forbidden bullets with a displaced center, the men fired from tanks, mortars and machine guns. The massive deployment of troops began from different directions, the output of military units of Baku garrison and the arrival of parts from the temporary deployment, as well as a landing with ships of war. A few hours before it was blown up power unit of Azerbaijan television that stopped information communication both within the country and with the outside world. Was blocked all major highways, airports, railway stations and sea port.
As a result of this criminal operation was killed 134 civilians and injured 700 people went missing and 400 people. This military operation codenamed “Strike”, led by two of the Minister of defence — General of the army Yazov, who after the Baku massacre Marshal, and the Minister of internal Affairs Vadim Bakatin. At this time Baku was a candidate member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet of the USSR Yevgeny Primakov, Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee A. N. Girenko, and also heads of special services.
On the morning of January 20 was announced by the decree of Mikhail Gorbachev on the introduction from January 20 in Baku of emergency. Currently, it has been proved that the deployment of troops and Declaration of state of emergency in Baku is a flagrant violation of article 119 of the USSR Constitution and article 71 of the Constitution of the Azerbaijan SSR and the International Covenant “On civil and political rights”, thus, this is a violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is noteworthy that the announcement of a state of emergency and curfew followed the introduction of troops into the city and perpetrated the massacre.
In addition, the Decree was adopted with gross violation of the USSR Constitution, according to which a condition of emergency requires consideration of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union Republic. In his radio address on 20 January 1990, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan E. M. Gafarova said strong protest in connection with a gross violation of sovereignty of the Republic and state of emergency in Baku. E. M. Kafarova with all responsibility declared that the bodies of power and government of Azerbaijan did not take any decision on introduction of state of emergency and did not consent to such a decision. Of course, Gorbachev knew that there is a willful violation of the Constitution of the country.
Also undeniable is the fact that the introduction of state of emergency some soldiers acted inhumane, violating basic human rights. In accordance with the decree of the International Military Tribunal, the Geneva conventions on the protection of war victims of 1949, the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan they qualify as war criminals. In fact, soldiers were trampled upon all existing international conventions on human rights, including the Universal Declaration of human rights 1948, the international Covenant on civil and political rights, 1966, Declaration on the protection of women and children in emergency and armed conflicts of 1974, Convention on the rights of the child 1989
The roots of the Baku tragedy were continuing more than two years of aggression against Azerbaijan by Armenia. Analysis of the events of 1988 and 1990, clearly shows that Armenia, with the full support of the Central government, determined to Annex part of the territory of the neighboring Republic. What in fact were the intentions of the leaders of the former Soviet Union, mess his hands with the blood of hundreds of Baku residents? It is obvious that Gorbachev and his entourage wanted to meet the territorial claims of the Armenians at the cost of violation of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which conducted a biased policy that is based primarily on the religious factor. It is the confession of Islam by Azeris, and was one of the main reasons of M. Gorbachov’s support to Armenians in their territorial claims. Being in leadership positions of the state apparatus in Azerbaijan, I have repeatedly convinced that the use of the religious factor for provocative purposes was always a tool of the Soviet system, the policy of the center was based on the discrimination of the population professing Islam. In short, the unprecedented brutality in suppressing the people’s movement in Azerbaijan was primarily due to the religious affiliation of its citizens.
A few questions relentlessly, constantly stand in front of me, when I recall those tragic events. What can justify their actions by those who perpetrate this enormous and cruel carnage? Than justify the betrayal of his people by the then Communist leadership of Azerbaijan, agreed on the introduction of state of emergency in the country and implicitly carries out all the instructions of Moscow, instead of to protect and defend the interests of its citizens? The need to take measures to normalize and stabilize the situation in the country? But can the crime be justified by any necessity? You cannot protect the rule of law in the state and shed the blood of innocent citizens.
History remembers a similar event that occurred earlier in Alma-ATA (1986), Tbilisi (1989), and later in Dushanbe (1990), Vilnius and Riga (1991), where victims of the military aggression of the Communist regime also became civilians. However, the crime committed against the Azerbaijani people for their cruelty surpassed all previous crimes of the Communist dictatorship. Subsequently, the chief executioner of the bloody slaughterhouses in Georgia and Lithuania, Gorbachev apologized to the people of these countries, however, the Azerbaijani people, victims of the bloodiest crimes, he not pardon begged. In his book “Life and reforms”, expressing his attitude to the incident, he wrote: “In January 1990, ended the life of many Baku residents. Bitter, very bitter… I learned a lesson from this tragic story…”.
In view of the foregoing begs the question: why did the leaders of Nazi Germany came the dock at Nuremberg, and the last leaders of the USSR, the perpetrators of the introduction of troops in Baku on 20 January 1990 and the death of civilians did not suffer any punishment? And not only not punished, but also continue to this day occupy high public office. And the main culprit of the tragedy were rewarded for their crimes the Nobel prize. The worst in these people that none of them publicly repented and apologized to the Azerbaijani people, moreover, they continue to blame the people of Azerbaijan for this tragedy, thus insulting the memory of the innocent victims.
The crime of the Communist regime against the Azerbaijani people constitutes the law as genocide and state terrorism. The leadership of the Soviet Union had violated the basic provisions of the Covenant on human rights of 1966, the Helsinki final act of 1975, the Hague conferences of 1899 and 1907, Geneva conventions of 1949 and finally the 1948 Convention on the prohibition of genocide and punishment, which include bans on the use of armed forces against civilians with the use of punitive measures.
The first gave an assessment of the January events, were in those days of January in Moscow in the position of a disgraced political figure Heydar Aliyev, as Azerbaijan is a speech: “with regard to developments in Azerbaijan, I consider them lawless, alien to democracy, totally contradicting the principles of humanism and the construction of a legal state….If at the beginning of the complications in Nagorno-Karabakh would take the necessary measures, especially the higher the party political leadership of the country, today we would not have seen the escalation of tensions and losses that occur from both sides during these two years, and the military action that was taken in the night from 19 to 20 January 1990, which has led to human victims…. Believe that the reserves for a political settlement of the situation in Azerbaijan. The leaders of Azerbaijan and top political leadership of the country has not used these opportunities…”.
The Kremlin dismissed from the state administration, Heydar Aliyev did not stay aside from the tragedy of his people. His statement in the representative office of Azerbaijan in Moscow in those days was an unprecedented challenge to the authorities and could result in large trouble for him personally and his family members. Arriving in 1993 to power in Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev put much effort in restoring stability and democracy in the country, achieving in 1994 the cessation of hostilities in the zone of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This gave rise to the Azerbaijani people to call him my Savior, and June 15, 1993, when he by the will of the people has arrived in Baku and was headed by the Milli Mejlis, is celebrated as the Day of national salvation.
The lessons of the tragedy are obvious. Whatever the ideological differences, differences of position, conflict of interests and ambitions, they should not be resolved through violence. Can not be considered humane and lawful decision, the execution of which leads to the death of innocent people. Life, dignity and security of the individual — must be a priority in ensuring the security of humanity as a whole. It is more important than any policy and any ideas, as all of them without attention to human rights is absolutely worthless. Without the awareness of politicians in this society can not be insured against fatal consequences of intolerance, political ambition, the authorities neglecting the vital interests of the people.
I’m sure you can avoid the sea of blood and suffering, which plunged Azerbaijanis Mikhail Gorbachev and his entourage. Things could have been different, if not criminal, biased policy of the Kremlin “elite”, if not cowardly attitude of the then Azerbaijani leaders. Unfortunately, the perpetrators of the Baku tragedy of 90-year still not have incurred the deserved punishment. After all, nobody is responsible for the murder of innocent people.
The people of Azerbaijan, as a supporter of the settlement of the Karabakh conflict through peace talks and expresses its confidence that in the result of joint efforts of States, parliaments, international organizations will be ensured the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, one million refugees and internally displaced people return to their homes.
After the Baku tragedy of the Azerbaijani people who lost faith in Communist ideals, took the path of national self-determination. New the Republic of Azerbaijan rose from the ashes of the tragedy. The tragic events of the Azerbaijani people, only strengthened his desire to get rid of the totalitarian Communist regime and regain their independence.
The events of January 1990 showed that every people must fight for their freedom and independence and be able to defend what they won with blood. Post-Soviet Azerbaijan was able to prove that it is not a weak and dependent geopolitical substance, it plays a key role in the South Caucasus and the middle East. This is perhaps the only example in the CIS States with a successfully diversified foreign policy.
Acting on the principle “we have no friends, no enemies, only interests”, the official Baku was able to make the great States of the world to seek friendship in a small state.” Even now, after more than a quarter of a century, the world had actually forgotten about this tragedy, no clear estimates clear in public opinion and legislative response occurred in Baku, although much thanks to the new pop-up facts and accurate information, and gradually begins to dawn…
The lessons of the tragedy are obvious. Whatever the ideological differences, differences of position, conflict of interests and ambitions, they should not be resolved through violence. Can not be considered humane and lawful decision, the execution of which leads to the death of innocent people. Life, dignity and security of the individual — should be a priority in ensuring the security of humanity as a whole. It is more important than any policy and any ideas, as all of them without attention to human rights is absolutely worthless. Without the awareness of politicians in this society can not be insured against fatal consequences of intolerance, political ambition, the authorities neglecting the vital interests of the people.
Remembering this tragedy, all progressive humanity and policy of countries in conflict situations, needs to make definite conclusions. Whatever the ideological differences, differences of position, conflict of interests and ambitions, they should not be allowed at the cost of lives of innocent people. You can’t build a happy future, ignoring the rights of the individual. This is more important any ideas, no matter how beautiful they were not, as they are all, without attention to human rights is absolutely worthless. Without the awareness of politicians in this society can not be insured against fatal consequences of intolerance, hatred and political ambitions of the authorities, neglecting the life and rights of the people.
Arif Jamil oglu Guliyev, doctor of legal Sciences, Professor of the Department of international law National aviation University.