Khojaly Massacre In Azerbaijan: Commemorating 24th Anniversary – OpEd


As we take a look back in history, one of the greatest tragedies in the latest century is the Khojaly Massacre orchestrated by the Armenian Army that killed at least 613 ethnic Azerbaijani civilians from the town of Khojaly on February 25-26, 1992, during the War of Nagorno-Karabakh: 63 of them were children, 106 of them were women and 70 were old people. Eight families were completely destroyed, 25 children lost both of their parents, 130 children lost only one of their parents, 657 men became disabled, and 1275 were captivated and the fate of 150 captivated men is still unknown.

For Mr. Tale Hasanov, Editor in Chief of the European-Azerbaijan Information Center: “the current history has witnessed many bloody events. But to live horrors of Khojaly tragedy where women, old men and children were savagely killed and to bear this, is out of the human will. Only we, Azerbaijanis could live that tragedy. Because we are the nation who witnessed many tragedies throughout history…”

Such a conflict has become one of the longest conflicts in modern history and has been protracted for over two decades due to repeated military exercises, constant provocation maneuvers undertaken by the Armenian Army in the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, including its region of Nagorno-Karabakh and its surrounding territories that are occupied by Armenia; and propaganda warfare that Armenian government has led against Baku and its democratically elected government of President Ilham Aliyev.

Armenian military provocations have been more frequent in the border areas with Azerbaijan, and even worst, the bloody shadows of the Khojaly Massacre hunt until today the Azerbaijani civilians, farmers who live in their ancestral land, nearby Nagorno-Karabakh, where they continue to be attacked and killed by Armenian reconnaissance forces that intentionally violate the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan. According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry Officials in Baku, only on January 30th, 2016, the Armenian Armed Forces have broken the ceasefire over 128 times, attacked the defense positions of Azerbaijan Armed Forces in the line of contact.

These sporadic but consistent shootings have taken place on numerous positions on a border that is almost 100 miles long. Additionally, on November 22, 2015, the Armenian Armed Forces opened fire against the following neighboring villages: Gulustan of Goranboy district; Chilyaburt, Gizil Oba of Terter district; Shikhlar, Shuraabad, Bash Gervend, Kengerli, Yusifjanli, Merzili, Javakhirli, Garagashli of Aghdam district; Kuropatkino of Khojavend district; Horadiz, Garakhanbeyli, Gorgan, Ashagi Veyselli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli of Fizuli district and Mehdili of Jabrayil district. The positions of Azerbaijani Army were also hit by the Armenian heavy weapons located in the districts of Goranboy, Fizuli and Khojavend. In front of all these armed provocations, Azerbaijani military forces were obliged to respond by fire until the Armenian provocateurs would refrain from shooting. Moreover, Armenia has implemented a decade’s long blockade to the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, thereby causing economic hardships to this dynamic region of Azerbaijan. In front of such a belligerent attitude that continues to erupt out of Yerevan, the International Community has taken a passive role towards solving this armed conflict and to impose sanctions against Armenia for occupying the territory of one of its neighbors, Republic of Azerbaijan.

What kind of bilateral negotiations do we expect from the “political elite” that rules Armenia today? Which is the same government that defends and protects these monstrous acts of criminals who have committed the most horrific crimes against humanity and have barbarously killed hundreds of Azerbaijani civilians by using horrendous massacres; that even Adolf Hitler’s SS officers had not committed, against the civilian Jewish population of Germany during World War II.

The protracted and bloody war, which begun in the late 1980s due to Armenia’s territorial claims against its Southern Caucasus neighbor, left thousands of Azerbaijani civilians of Nagorno-Karabakh and the neighboring regions as internally displaced persons who are accommodated in more than 1600 refugee camps across 62 cities and regions of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani civilians in other regions bordering with Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh have the same fate of being expelled and relocated in Azerbaijan while living in very difficult conditions, refugee camps, tents and wagons.

As a result of the military aggression of Armenia, over 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, almost 100,000 were injured, and 50,000 were disabled. The UN Security Council has passed four resolutions demanding the urgent Armenian withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but unfortunately they have not been enforced to this day.

In February 2016, the international community will commemorate the 24th anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre, however it is unfortunate that Yerevan’s leadership continues to flex its muscles as well as its belligerent foreign and defense policies continue to be the same as in the late 1980s. To set the record straight, the Armenian president refuses to accept and regret these massive atrocities committed in Khojaly against the innocent civilians of the Republic of Azerbaijan. To conclude there is no other expression that describes the Armenian attitude better than what George Santayana, a XX century American philosopher, said in his first volume of “The Life of Reason”: “those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Peter Tase

Peter Tase is a freelance writer and journalist of International Relations, Latin American and Southern Caucasus current affairs. He is the author of America's first book published on the historical and archeological treasures of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan (Republic of Azerbaijan); has authored and published four books on the Foreign Policy and current economic – political events of the Government of Azerbaijan. Tase has written about International Relations for Eurasia Review Journal since June 2012.

5 thoughts on “Khojaly Massacre In Azerbaijan: Commemorating 24th Anniversary – OpEd

  • February 1, 2016 at 4:39 am


    A tribute to the tragic death of Khojaly citizens would have been more meaningful had this article not been a shameless piece of Azeri propaganda, thus, rendering the memory of the dead to “oily” pocket-filling exercise on the part of this author. I wonder why Peter Tase even bothers putting his signature under an article composed, edited by officials in Baku???

    Not one word about the brutal medieval-style brutality and killings of innocent Armenians by Azeris in Sumgait, Kirovabad, Ganja, Maragha in 1988, and Baku in 1990.

    Clowns such as Peter Tase can be purchased by the known dictator in Baku, Ilham Alyiev, by the kilo, as the saying goes….dime a dozen!

    What a circus!

  • February 1, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Official Baku posted the number of civilian dead in the overall fighting that day at ~160, provided by Namig Aliev, Chief of the Department on Questions of Law Enforcement and Defense of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Magically, another 500+ bodies simply came out of nowhere.

    For such a “clear tragedy”, the following are among many items that call into question Baku’s propaganda, which incorporates claims made in this article. They include:

    1) The classic 1992 Khojali photo of a mother grieving over her five dead children was actually from the 1983 Erzurum earthquake in Turkey published in the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper 30 Oct 1983. Fact! This is a fake photo.

    2) The majority of the photos taken of Azerbaijanis supposedly mutilated show no signs of blood around the wounds. This is not how human anatomy responds to wounds inflicted on a live body. Fact!

    3) Photos have been published of a bloodless scalped man and a photo of the same man not scalped. Azerbaijanis either had in their possession before or after photos or the body was mutilated after the fact. Logic dictates it was both.

    4) Czech journalist, Jana Mazalova and her team filmed the same dead bodies having been moved from place to place, counted multiple times, and others were shown to have been mutilated days after they were dead. A fact that is both ignored by Baku and never refuted.

    The Azerbaijanis shelled the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert, from Khojali for weeks straight before events unfolded in Khojali, not only killing Armenian civilians but many members of the Russian 366th Motor Rifle Regiment. It is no wonder that when that Russian squad abandoned Stepenakert they headed straight for Khojali. There were consequences associated with Azerbaijan waging war, and Khojali was one of them.

    The person who claims authorship of this article, “Peter Taze”, should have checked the references provided by the Baku-based authors of this anti-Armenian drivel before adding his name as its author. This article erroneously quotes from a book by Davud Kheyriyan (sic). This misspelling and multiple other misspellings have appeared in many Azerbaijani-based postings on the internet as early as 2003! There is no book with this author’s spelling yet Peter Taze claims a quote from it. Taze claims to be a historian, yet he used a fake name and quote clearly typed by somebody whose default language is Turkish or Azerbaijani. Google Davud Kheyriyan and see what shows up! Taze should not have assumed his readership would not verify Baku’s claims made in his name.

    The title of this web site includes the words “A Journal of Analysis and News” This article is neither!

    Yerevan, Armenia

  • February 1, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Of course, people without any morals are quick to flock the article with their denials, even having the audacity to claim the fakeness of the dead. Armenians as people who continue to falsify the number of dead and rewriting history, faking pictures of the killings in Anatolia are somehow experts on fakeness of pictures. You idiots, Khojaly Massacre did not take place in some distant beginning of the 20th century. It took place in 1992 when cameras and journalists in war zones are readily available. International journalists have recorded everything. Testimonies of your president Sargsyan and Markar Melkonian in his “My brother’s road” are good evidence you won’t be ready to deny, are you? So, stop your pathetic attempts to deny history.
    You happen to be the only nation in the region to lay claims to several states, including Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Not only that, being an Armenian equals to frauds and deceptions. Look at what Armenians did to medicare and medicaid by stealing over 40 million dollars in their scam projects. So, who’s the troublemaker?

    • February 2, 2016 at 4:29 pm


      In bothering to respond, you have not addressed a single contradiction presented above between Baku’s claims and facts on the ground about events in Khojali and characteristics of the article’s fake author. Your racist comments about Armenians is unfortunate.

      Yerevan, Armenia

  • February 5, 2016 at 9:25 am

    I find it disappointing that Eurasiareview published such a piece of Azeri propaganda which contains hate speech and presents a complete misinformation to the reader!

    Azerbaijan is well known already for bribing politicians and so-called experts like Peter Tase, whose style shows that either he has copy-pasted the text of Azeri government (‘democratically elected’ phrase points to that, and is just laughable after you read ECRI reports on Azeri elections) or that he is an Azeri propagandist himself, because this style is just so unmistakably theirs (he actually has Azeri flag on his personal website by the way…!). The very fact that he calls it genocide and compares with Hitler, says it all. How can you put such comparisons on your website? It is a mockery of Holocaust!
    Khojaly case is known as the peak of Azerbaijani propaganda (and caviar diplomacy) which unfortunately and very annoyingly they try to spread in Europe. It has long been exposed for being based on fabricated evidence and grossly exaggerated figures (British journalist Russel Pollard, among others, has written on this Baroness Caroline Cox also documents the background of the conflict and shows that the Azeris were the initiators and aggressors in this war, while this article is a completely twisted and misleading account.

    I expect to read proper analytic articles in Eurasiareview and it is very unfortunate to see such propagandistic stuff filled with hate speech here.


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