Khojali “Genocide” Baku Fabrication

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  Keghart.com Editorial Board, 1 March 2012

People following the Armenian/Azerbaijan conflict in the past few months couldn’t have missed the Azerbaijani campaign to convince the world that the three-and-a-half hour midnight attack on Feb. 25, 1992 by Artsakh Self-Defense Forces on Azeri-held village of Khojali was genocide. The charge is so ridiculous that a well-informed person would be tempted to dismiss it out of hand. But in these days of true lies, blatant invasions depicted as peace-making humanitarian missions, and the tiresome deception that “in 1915 Armenians were transported to Syria for their protection,” we are forced to assert the truth again and again. It’s a Sisyphean task, but there’s no alternative.
 


 

  Keghart.com Editorial Board, 1 March 2012

People following the Armenian/Azerbaijan conflict in the past few months couldn’t have missed the Azerbaijani campaign to convince the world that the three-and-a-half hour midnight attack on Feb. 25, 1992 by Artsakh Self-Defense Forces on Azeri-held village of Khojali was genocide. The charge is so ridiculous that a well-informed person would be tempted to dismiss it out of hand. But in these days of true lies, blatant invasions depicted as peace-making humanitarian missions, and the tiresome deception that “in 1915 Armenians were transported to Syria for their protection,” we are forced to assert the truth again and again. It’s a Sisyphean task, but there’s no alternative.
 


 

This is what happened in Khojali. For most of 1991 and early 1992 the Azeri OMON (Special Purpose Militia Detachment) had systematically shelled Armenian civilian targets, using rockets. The Azeris had also blockaded the nearby airport. As a result of Azeri attacks, Armenians had suffered many civilian casualties, hundreds had been kidnapped and thousands of cattle had been driven away. The blockade had also resulted in lack of food, fuel and medical supplies, especially in Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh. Armenian forces had to neutralize Azeri fire in Khojali and terminate the blockade. It was also obvious to the Armenians that the Azeris were planning to attack the Armenian centre of Askeran before moving on to the capital.
 
Using loudspeakers, for ten days the Armenian forces announced to Khojali inhabitants (mostly Meskhetian Turks who had been settled in the village during Soviet times) and forces that an Armenian attack was imminent. The announcements also informed Azeris that Armenians had dedicated a corridor for the safe passage of civilians to Azeri-held areas. But the Azeri authorities did nothing to facilitate the evacuation of their people. On Feb. 25, at 11:30 p.m. the Armenian self-defense forces attacked Khojali. A number of Azeri civilians tried to flee through the corridor. However, Azeri forces fired at the column, killing an unknown number. Although the Armenians were successful in neutralizing the Azeri fire power, Khojali remained in Azeri hands for many months.
 
Soon after the attack, Azeri authorities claimed that Armenians had committed not only genocide by firing at the fleeing Azeris but had also mutilated the bodies of the dead. Although there was not a shred of evidence for their allegation, Azerbaijan repeated the charge. In recent months, Azeris decided to turn the Khojali operation into the focus of their full court anti-Armenian campaign. As a result, Baku has achieved a number of propaganda and political victories.
 
  • In late February the world witnessed the Khojali "Genocide" demonstrations in various parts of Turkey. The events were funded by Baku and orchestrated by the Turkish government. Turks and Azeris who live in Turkey or had traveled to Turkey took part in the "kill the Armenians" campaign.
  • A few weeks ago US Congressmen Bill Shuster and Dan Boren urged fellow politicians to honor the memory of the Khojali “genocide” victims.
  • A member of the Texas House of Representatives has proposed a resolution to commemorate the Khojali “massacre.” 
  • An Azeri woman has sent a highly-publicized open letter to the presidents of Armenia and of France, claiming–falsely–that Armenians had killed 613 civilians and taken 1,275 prisoners.
  • Azeri diplomats are seeking international recognition of the Khojali “genocide.”
  • Pakistan has recognized the Khojali “genocide” and Mexico might do also.
  • Azerbaijan may use its current seat at the UN to spotlight the “genocide” by Armenians.
  • Members of the Azeri Diaspora have been busy in Europe and in North America appealing for the recognition of the Armenian operation as genocide. Latvian Azeris are collecting signatures to protest the Khojali “genocide.” A petition will be sent to the French Senate, the Latvian Parliament and the European Parliament to demand recognition of the “genocide.”
  • Five Turkish universities and a technical college are commemorating the Khojali “genocide.”
  • A few days ago a Khojali “genocide” public commemoration was held at the central square of Bursa, Turkey.
  • Azeri embassies are holding commemorations and are inviting diplomats from various countries to join in the recognition of the “genocide.”
  • Photographs of Khojali casualties will be exhibited in Europe, and a submission will be made to the International Court.
  • Baku has launched an Internet war with daily updates on “genocide” recognition successes.
 
The above is by no means a comprehensive list of the Azeri propaganda campaign. While Baku is marketing its false genocide by deploying baseless “evidence,” Armenia/Artsakh, which have a ton of information discounting the Azeri allegation have remained silent in the face of this new Baku threat.

The Diaspora likewise.

Several weeks ago Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a letter to Armenians around the world requesting that they distribute an accompanying press release. While the press release made a convincing case against the veracity of the Khojali “genocide,” it is a failure as a communication tool: its language is pure bureaucratese and it’s an incredible 286 lines long! Why would Yerevan bureaucrats imagine that in these days of Tweets, people would plod through a densely-written “booklet” on the Internet? That informative news release could have been far more effective had it been packaged as ten sharply focused news releases, as an Internet clip, a YouTube expose.

There are so many facts which disprove Baku’s allegations that one doesn’t know where to begin. Space restrictions limit us from giving chapter and verse of the evidence against Baku’s allegations.

Even the most cursory research reveals that the Azeri charges are utterly baseless.

-Azeri photographer Chingiz Mustafaev photographed the Azeri corpses immediately after the fight and two days later. His latter photos show that the position of the casualties had been changed and their injuries had strikingly become more brutal. During both of his assignments, the territory was still controlled by the Azeris.

Shortly after, President Ayaz Mutalibov said to the photographer, “Chengiz, do not tell anybody about what you have noticed. Or, you’ll be killed.” Undeterred, Mustafaev began to investigate on his own. But after his findings were made public by the DR-Press Information Agency in Moscow that the Azeri forces had participated in crimes against Khojali inhabitants, the journalist was killed not far from Aghdam. His death remains a mystery.

–After visiting Khojali immediately after the fight, Czech journalist Dana Mazalova reported that he hadn’t seen any trace of barbarity on the corpses.

–Azeri human rights activist Arif Yunusof wrote in “Zercalo” Azerbaijani newspaper (July 1992), “The town and its citizens were deliberately sacrificed to the political goal.” He was referring to the quarrel between President Mutalubov and his enemies. The latter, who wanted to topple the president, ordered the killing of their own citizens to portray Mutalibov as incompetent.

–Tamerlan Karaev, chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan Republic, said in “Mukhalifat” Azeri newspaper (April 28, 1992): “The tragedy was committed by Azerbaijan authorities, specifically by a top official.”

–Vagif Guseynov, former Azeri minister of national security, said shortly before his arrest that the January 1990 Baku doings [the pogroms of Armenians] and the events of Khojali are the doing of the same people [Azeri authorities].

–A month after his resignation, Mutalibov told Mazalova in “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” that according to the “Khojali inhabitants who escaped, all this was organized to dismiss me. Some forces acted to discredit the president. I don’t think that the Armenians, strictly and professionally treating similar situation, could let the Azerbaijanis gain any documents” which would incriminate them. He also said that he couldn’t believe Armenians would provide a safe corridor and then shoot at the escaping civilians.

–Eynulla Fatullaev of “Monitoring” Azeri magazine wrote that Khojali refugees in Naftalan had told her that a few days before the attack, Armenians, with loudspeakers, kept warning the population of the scheduled operation, suggesting civilians to leave the settlement and break out of the encirclement via the humanitarian corridor. These refugees also told Fatullaev that they had taken advantage of the corridor and the Armenian forces had not fired at them. A few days after the report was published, the magazine’s editor [Elmar Guseyov] was shot (March 2, 2000) by a stranger at the entrance to his house in Baku.

–The former Khojali mayor told “Megapolis-Express” of Moscow that he had asked for helicopters to evacuate Khojali residents, but no assistance was provided.

–The number of Khojali victims Azeri claim increases from year to year. Immediately after the attack, Azeris reported their casualties as 100. A week later that was inflated to 1,234 [the population of the village was 2,000 to 2,500]. In 1992 Azeri journalists Ilya Balakhanov and Vugar Khaliov presented to the Memorial Human Rights Centre in Moscow a video cassette they had shot from a helicopter. It showed that Khojali civilian casualties did not exceed 60 people. Armenian forces reported 11 Azeri civilian casualties. Armenians handed over all civilians to Azeri authorities.

–According to the RoA (Republic of Armenia), barbaric mutilations of bodies took place near Aghdam (some seven miles from Khojali), on territory controlled by Azeri forces.

The above is just a sampling of evidence Armenian authorities in Armenia and in Artsakh have at their disposal. They also have audio, photographic and video evidence.

So despite the lame evidence of genocide, why does Baku invest so much effort to prove that Armenians committed genocide?
 

  • To distract the Azeri populace from the shortcomings of the corrupt and incompetent Aliev regime.
  • To prove the failings of their predecessor government.
  • To succeed in the information war when they have failed on the battlefield.
  • To distract world attention from the Genocide of Armenians. As junior partners in the Turkbeijan axis, Azeris have to support their Big Brother.
  • To pre-empt talk of Azeri pogroms of Armenians in Sumgait, Baku and Maragha, the ethnic purges in Nakhichevan, Kirovabad, and the indiscriminate killing of civilians in Stepanakert.
  • To cover up their pre-Feb. 25 crimes around Khojali: Azeri forces had killed Armenian civilians in the surrounding region through the use of highly-lethal weapons; they didn’t evacuate Khojali civilians despite numerous warnings from Armenians; they slew their civilians who had opted for the humanitarian corridor; to transform Armenians into ogres, Azeri authorities mutilated their own people. They doctored photos of casualties, using Photoshop and other technical means. Photos of the casualties in the Kosovo War and the Kurdish conflict have been depicted as Azeri casualties. There’s extensive forensic proof of this in Armenian hands.
  • The current Baku leadership had a hand in the Khojali killings. They did so to show to Azeris that Mutalibov is incompetent. Blaming Armenians is an effective way to silence the suspicions of Azeri citizens.
 
Although Azeris have stepped up their diplomatic efforts into intensive international initiatives, Armenians have done practically nothing to counter the Azeri propaganda onslaught. Armenia says that Azerbaijan is using Khojali as a speculative political capital against Armenia.

While Diaspora Armenians realize that an information war is a novelty to their brothers and sisters in Armenia, they themselves haven’t done anything to challenge the Azeri propaganda machine. A few days ago political scientist Alexander Manasyan of Yerevan said, “We are lions in the battlefield, whereas we are peaceful and indifferent when at peace…We must flood the Internet with documents…Armenians should sue Azerbaijan for disinformation…We thought the truth can win, but it cannot, unless true facts are protected.” While Armenians of Armenia are novices in the information war, the Diaspora doesn’t have that excuse. Why HAVE Armenian organizations and media in the Diaspora been silent about the Khojali “genocide” fabrications? Don’t they realize that the firefight can gain the same weight as the Genocide of Armenians in the minds of an uninformed non-Armenian public? Don’t they realize that Turkbeijan is using the false Khojali genocide to deflate the impact of the horrific crimes of Turkey in 1915?

We eagerly wait for a speedy Armenia and Diaspora joint campaign to refute the Turkbeijan mythinformation. Although it’s easier to “sell” the truth than to turn lies into truth, we still have to know how to disseminate that truth: it’s not a job for amateurs: Turkbeijan has hired international public relations firms to spread the Baku-Ankara lies. Let’s get our act together; let’s get communication-savvy Armenians to come up with a campaign which will send the liars back to Baku with their tails between their legs. Let’s show them that we can win the war on the battlefield and in the hearts and minds of people.

Click on the below images to view the enlarged falsified original photos
16 comments
  1. Internet Department

    The Armenian government should create a department that deals with Internet affairs.
    e.g. they should file a complaint with Google for posting the fake clips on YouTube and have them removed. Then they should file lawsuits against Azerbaijan and Turkey in International Courts for using the Internet to brainwash people and promote hatred and terrorism; plenty proof is available now on the Internet.

    Currently, Turkish youth who are seeing those videos on the Internet, are believing the lies and getting filled with hatred towards Armenians – just check their vulgar comments on YouTube!  They already have blood on their hands, so I will not be surprised to see Sumgait-type massacres in Ankara and Istanbul because of these false videos.  They must be removed.  

    The Internet is currently being used to promote hatred instead of halting it. The only way for a solution is by government interference.

    1. Muddying Waters

      Those Turkish/Azeri Talibans are supported by their goverments to muddy the waters with lies. It’s a full-time job for those idiots–with OVERTIME,

      The educated Turk has some knowledge of his history, but their numbers are few and  the fear of being outcast keeps them quiet.

      Armenia’s only hope of survival is its armed forces who are second to none. Our heroes did not live long enough to retire and tell their story, against all odds. We are still here to tell our story, but alas who listens? Not the savages around us.

  2. Azeri Journalist Exposes Baku’s Khojali Lies

     Azeri Journalist Exposes Baku’s Khojali Lies

    I would like to commend Keghart for the very informative editorial… the astute observations, the constructive criticism and suggestions.  

    After writing his courageous article “Karabakh Dairy” in which he exposed the Azeri fraud, journalist Eynulla Fatullayev was arrested and sentenced to two years and six months in jail because he “has, for a long period of time, insulted the honor and dignity of the victims of the Khojaly Tragedy, persons killed during those tragic events and their relatives, as well as veterans of the Karabakh War, soldiers of the Azerbaijani National Army and the entire Azerbaijani people," Ms T. Chaladze, the head of the Centre for Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons alleged.

    After his sentence, Fatullayev’s colleagues appealed to the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR).  Here is what the ECHR stated in its “Statement of Facts” portion of the case:

    “ The applicant [Eynulla Fatullayev] made certain statements which could be construed as differing from the commonly accepted version of the Khojaly events, according to which hundreds of Azerbaijani civilians had been killed by the Armenian armed forces during their assault on the town of Khojaly in the course of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Specifically, the article contained the following passages (translated from Russian): ‘On the eve of the large-scale offensive of the Russian and Armenian troops on Khojaly, the town had been encircled [by those troops]. And already several days prior to the attack, the Armenians had been continuously warning the population about the planned operation through loudspeakers and proposing that the civilians abandon the town and escape from the encirclement through a humanitarian corridor along the Kar-Kar River. According to the Khojaly refugees’ own words, they had used this corridor and, indeed, the Armenian soldiers positioned behind the corridor had not opened fire on them."

     “The corridor indeed existed, otherwise the Khojaly inhabitants, fully surrounded [by the enemy troops] and isolated from the outside world, would not have been able to force their way out and escape the encirclement. However, having crossed the area behind the Kar-Kar River, the row of refugees was separated and, for some reason, a part of [them] headed in the direction of Nakhichevanik. It appears that the NFA battalions strived not for the liberation of the Khojaly civilians but for more bloodshed on their way to overthrow A. Mutalibov [the first President of Azerbaijan] …”

    On April 22, 2010, the ECHR issued a decision stating that the journalist should be released immediately and the Azerbaijani government should pay 27,822 EUR to Fatullayev in compensation.

    To  circumvent the ECHR decision and to avoid compliance with the court decision, the Azeri authorities trumped up new charges of tax evasion, heroin possession, and terrorism and sentenced him to eight years and six months years of imprisonment.

    Reporters Without Boarder, Amnesty International, Human Rights House Foundation, Freedom of Expression, International Pen Article among many other human rights organizations defended Mr. Fatullayev.

    The Fatullayev’s case at the ECHR is the most interesting and damning evidence about the Azeri falsifications. As we have seen,  the ECHR, which is impartial and a respected institution, unmasked the Azeri big lie machine.

    I am perplexed that our lobbyists did not utilize this important institution’s judgment to defeat the Azeri government’s petro-dollar hired guns’ attempt to manufacture history.

    For additional information on this case, see the below links:

    European Court of Human Rights issues decision to release Eynulla Fatullayev.
    http://humanrightshouse.org/Articles/14062.html

    Azerbaijan urged to release journalist after court revokes charges
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/azerbaijan-urged-release-journalist-after-court-revokes-charges-2010-11-12

    IMPRISONED JOURNALIST WILL NOT BE FREED REGARDLESS OF OUTCOME OF AZERBAIJAN’S APPEAL
    http://en.rsf.org/azerbaidjan-journalist-s-additional-30-month-06-07-2010,37887.html

    Azerbaijan and the case of Eynulla Fatullayev
    http://ibamedialaw.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/azerbaijan-and-the-case-of-eynulla-fatullayev/

    EYNULLA FATULLAYEV: FURTHER APPEAL SUBMITTED TO EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/politzek-az-2/message/1670

    Azerbaijan: Comply with European Court decision on case of imprisoned journalist and drop new charges
    http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/1534/en/azerbaijan:-comply-with-european-court-decision-on-case-of-imprisoned-journalist-and-drop-new-charges

  3. Azeri Politicians, Journalist Unmask Azeri Lies

    Azeri Politicians, Journalist Unmask Azeri Lies

    The Azeri use of pictures of victims of killings around the world to claim that they are the pictures of Khojali victims are notorious.

    The Azeris used a picture of Kosovo casualties and claimed that they were Azeri victims of the so-called Armenian genocide in Khojali. Another infamous falsification of a photo took place with the picture of the 1988 Turkish earthquake where a mother is weeping over her five dead children.

    The Azeris claimed that the children are the victims of Armenian aggression. A third example of falsification in the Azeri propaganda war against the Armenians is the picture of two starving children which the Azeris claim are two Azeri victims of Armenian brutality. In reality the two children are Afghans.

    To view the falsified photos and their originals, visit the below link:
    http://www.keghart.com/images/Khojalu_AZE_propaganda.pps

    "It is clear that the execution of civilians in Khojalu was organized to legitimize a coup d’etat in Azerbaijan.” – Ayaz Mutalibov, then President of Azerbaijan – Novoie Vremia, 6 March 2001

    “We could have helped the inhabitants of Khojalu, we had the required strength and facilities. But the leaders of the Republic [of Azerbaijan] wanted to show the people that they were overwhelmed and that they needed the support of the CIS army (Community of Independent States) to crush the opposition.” — R. Hadjiev, member of the Aghdam section of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan – Moscow Izvestia, April 1992

    “I was unable to film the bodies merely because there are none.” – Cengiz Mustafaev, journalist; reports to DR-press (Moscow), 28 Feb. to 2 March 1992 (He was killed a few days after near Aghdam. His death remains unexplained.

    “This killing will benefit us. We must not interfere in the course of events.” – Heydar Aliev, President of Azerbajian –Bilik-Duniasy Agency, 1992

    "We have to admit that, if the Popular Front of Azerbaijan had ambitious goals, it probably achieved them: Mutalibov is compromised and dismissed. The worldwide public opinion is shocked and the Azeris and their Turkish brotherS believed the thesis of the genocide of the Khojalu Azeri people." – Megapolis Express, Azerbaijani Review, #17, 1992

    “The tragedy was committed by the authorities of Azerbaijan, in concrete terms by someone highly placed.” – Tamerlan Karayev, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan at this time – Moukhthalifat, 28 April 1992

    “The town and its inhabitants were deliberately sacrificed for a political purpose – to prevent the Popular Front of Azerbaijan from coming to power.” –Arif Yunusov, Journalist – Zerkalo, July 1992

    “A corridor was however opened by the Armenians. Then why should they have shot?” – Ayaz Mutalibov, then President of Azerbaijan – Nezavisimaia Gazeta, 02 April 1992

    “We knew that the corridor was dedicated to the evacuation of civilians.” – Elman Mamedov, Mayor of Khojalu – Russian Thought, 03 March 1992 reprinted from the Baku Worker

    “Khojalu was an important strategic position. Its loss meant the political fiasco of the Mutalibov regime. The Khojalu events which led to death of civilians were the exclusive result of political intrigues and struggles for power in Azerbaijan.” – M. Safaroghli, Journalist – Nezavisimaia Gazeta, February 1993.

  4. Khojali Incident

    Khojali Incident
    Here’s a document from Patrick Wilson Gore–a non-Armenian military expert regarding the so-called genocide in Khojali:
    [A former paratrooper and marine commando, Patrick Wilson Gore studied at Oxford University, and subsequently graduated from the National Defence College at Kingston, Ontario–one of NATO’s senior command colleges. Much of his career has been focused on strategic intelligence. He is an expert in military history and theory. He wrote the below statement in "Tis Some Poor Fellow’s Skull; Post-Soviet Warfare in the Southern Caucasus"]

    " …although neither Azeri nor Armenian, I have traveled widely in Nagorno-Karabagh and talked to many who participated in the conflict there while researching my history of the events: ‘Tis some poor fellow’s skull—Post-Soviet Warfare in the Southern Caucasus. One thing that struck me on my return was the attempt made by the Azeris to deflect criticism from the Maragha massacre by claiming that the Armenians were responsible for the deaths of civilians following the action at Khodjali, and that this somehow amounted to genocide. We have all seen the horrible photographs of children slain on the night of 25-26 February 1992 in the snow-covered hills between Khodjali and Aghdam.

    "The Azeris see them as prima facie evidence of genocide. The killing of non-combatants, particularly if they happen to be eight-year-old girls, can only be explained in terms of a calculated attempt to destroy a community. I was not at Khodjali in February 1992, although I have spoken with people who were, and have looked at evidence from both sides in an attempt to uncover the truth of what happened. During the winter of 1991-92, the airfield at Khodjali was one of a number of Azeri firebases surrounding the Karabagh capital of Stepanakert, from which the town was bombarded day and night. Conditions in the besieged town were unspeakably bad. Food and medical supplies were soon depleted, and the only link with the outside world was by helicopter from Yerevan. The occasional choppers landed in the town and quickly took off again under artillery and Grad missile fire. Municipal infrastructure was destroyed. The people drew water from wells on the outskirts of town. It was hard even to bury the dead in the frozen ground.

    The Armenians fought back, knowing that if they surrendered, few if any would survive, as the Azeris made no secret of their plans to pursue the ethnic cleansing, begun with Operation Koltso in April 1991, to eliminate the Christian Armenian community. (In June 1992, just in case any doubts remained, Azeri President Abulfaz Elchibey promised: “If there is a single Armenian left in Karabagh this October, Azeris will hang him in Baku’s Central Square.”) The ex-Soviet troops stationed in Stepanakert, for the most part, took no part in hostilities, until some Azeri missiles fell into their cantonment at the southern end of Stepanakert and inflicted casualties.

    The Khodjali firebase was a major threat to the town and blocked the only road from Stepanakert to the Armenian communities to the north. It had the only airstrip in Karabagh and, as long as it was in Azeri hands, cut off most contact with the outside world. Supplies could not be brought in to Stepanakert; the seriously wounded could not be evacuated. Toward the end of February 1992, a mixed force of ex-Soviet soldiers and Armenian volunteers launched a night attack on Khodjali, where, in addition to Azeri army and interior ministry troops, a colony of Meskhetian Turks had been located in the context of the “Azerification” of Karabagh. (The Turks and Azeris speak mutually intelligible Turkic languages.) These were ethnic Turks, originally from southern Georgia, whom Stalin had resettled in Uzbekistan, fearing that Turkey might join the Axis powers during the Great Patriotic War, leaving a Meskhetian fifth column behind Soviet lines. They had languished for decades in Uzbekistan, hoping some day to return to their homes in the Caucasus, until the break-up of the Soviet Empire left them stateless in Central Asia. The Azeris offered them a home in Karabagh. Probably knowing that they were being used as pawns in a dangerous game, the Meskhetians accepted. And found themselves caught up in the Khodjali fight. Reports of the battle are confused.

    The Azeris say that their garrison fought heroically to the last man. The Armenians say they ran faster than the Meskhetians they were using as human shields. Because they were few in numbers and had limited supplies of ammunition, the Armenians left the road to Aghdam open. It was their standard operating procedure, and was used later during the attacks on Shoushi and Aghdam. Always the escape route was left open so that a fight to the death could be avoided. For reasons unknown, some Meskhetian civilians crossed the River Karkar which runs beside the road north and trekked into the hills to the east before turning north toward the Azeri railhead base at Aghdam. When daylight came, some of these people were found dead, with gunshot wounds. Azeri cameramen collected graphic evidence of what they immediately labeled an Armenian atrocity. This was to be expected. Even before conditions in Stepankert became frightful, there were many refugees there from the Azeri pogroms in Sumgait in February 1988, and elsewhere; and some Azeri refugees from Armenian retaliation in the Kapan region, had enlisted in the Baku interior ministry OMON special forces who formed part of the Khodjali garrison. So both sides had old scores to settle, and the Armenians claimed, moreover, that the Azeri OMON had murdered Armenian prisoners at Khodjali in the hours before the attack. In this atmosphere of accusation and counter accusation, truth is elusive, but setting recrimination aside as far as possible, we can look for a plausible explanation for what happened.

    Many of the men who attacked Khodjali were regular soldiers of the 366th Motor Rifle Regiment. The USSR had been formally dissolved two months earlier, but the army still took orders from Moscow, and Russian remained the language of command and control. Soviet tactical doctrine demanded that after a successful attack, the attackers prepare to resist a counter-attack. This is an absolute priority and takes precedence over everything else, even taking care of one’s own wounded.

    It seems unlikely that even the most vindictive and blood-crazed attacker would have defied orders and crossed the River Karkar to pursued a possible enemy through the night into snow-covered hills. The danger of ambush would be deterrent enough. The civilians fleeing across the river were clearly disoriented, but would soon have seen the lights of Aghdam, the Azeri railhead a few miles north of Khodjali, and headed toward them. Let us now look at the situation in Aghdam, whose defenders belonged to a disparate group of militias as well as regular troops and OMON. They would have been alerted by heavy firing from the south, and retreating Azeri troops would have passed through their positions on the road from Khodjali. Then, through the night they saw figures coming through the snow to the east of the road. They opened fire until the figures stopped coming. When daylight came, dead civilians, including children, were found in front of the Azeri positions.

    In the absence of unbiased witnesses, or indeed of any witnesses, perhaps the best evidence as to what happened after the Khodjali battle is to be found by looking at Soviet military doctrine, reinforced by soldierly common sense. It is very unlikely that any Armenians pursued fleeing Azeris or Meskhetians across the River Karkar. The dead civilians found in the snow south of Aghdam, almost certainly died as a result of “friendly fire” from the Azeri positions."

    Patrick Wilson Gore, M.A.(Oxon), ndc, "Tis some poor fellow’s skull—Post Soviet Warfare in the Southern Caucasus", New York, 2008.

  5. More on Khojali

    What is pathetic is that even Turkish  journalists and human rights activists, etc., who defend  the Armenian cause, write "Khojali genocide" in their  articles.

    Yes to Armenian rights, human rights and to Armenian Genocide. However, when it comes to Khojali, it is genocide. Most of these people, who one assumes are educated, maybe know a foreign language, still perpetuate this Azeri fabrication. Don’t they have access to the Internet? Don’t they question Azeri propaganda and fabrications?

    I follow Hye-Tert blog of Istanbul. There are many Turks who are sympathetic to our cause, but when it comes to Khojali…..well…you guessed. It becomes Khojali genocide. This is unsettling. If they can support our rights openly, how come Azeri propaganda becomes Khojali genocide? Why are they swayed by this fabrication?

  6. Useful Khojalu reference links

    For the many truth-tellers and truth-seekers reading Keghart, below are some links — about Azeri pogroms against indigenous Armenians, the independent republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and the Khojalu incident — that can elucidate the non-Armenian public. Please distribute them widely.

    Office of the Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) Republic in Washington, DC (http://nkrusa.org/ ) and their fact sheets about Khojalu:
    http://www.nkrusa.org/nk_conflict/khojaly.shtml

    Khojalu Documentation Site:
    http://xocali.net/

    About the deliberate Azerbaijani destruction of historic Armenian Monuments in Djulfa, Nakhichevan:
    http://www.djulfa.com/

    About the "Artsakh: From Liberation to Statehood" (and the Azeri Misinformation Campaign) Conference held March 3, 2012 in Glendale, CA): http://asbarez.com/101511/artsakh-from-liberation-to-statehood-conference-brings-together-over-400-community-members/

    Recommended books and pamphlets:

    "The Truth about Khojaly" by Tatul Hakobyan, excerpted from his book, "Green and Black: Artsakh Diary": http://www.truthaboutkhojaly.org/

    "Ethnic Cleansing in Progress," a report by Baroness Caroline Cox and John Aijbner with an introduction by Elena Bonner Sakharov, published by the Institute for Religious Minorities in the Islamic World:
    http://www.maragha.nk.am/documentseng4.html

    "The Invention of History: Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Showcasing of Imagination," by Rouben Galichian
    http://keghart.com/Chorbajian_Galichian

    The Making of Nagorno-Karabagh from Secession to Republic, Edited by
    Levon Chorbajian
    http://www.hayq.org/upload/files/The_Making_of_Nagorno-Karabagh_ed._Levon_Chorbajian.pdf

    "Kha-ra-bagh! The Emergence of the National Democratic Movement in Armenia," by Mark Malkhasian
    http://www.amazon.com/Gha-Ra-Bagh-Emergence-National-Democratic-Movement/dp/0814326048/ref=sr_1_sc_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330195507&sr=1-3-spell 

    1. To Nazarian

      Dear Mr. Nazarian,

      Though I do appreciate your efforts in searching the many links, as to the Khajalou myth, your efforts are a waste of time. I want you and countrymen of mine to get this straight: the Turco-azeri mindset is geared to falsify all it can. It's to smear anything that is good about Armenians, and steal/claim as their own areas that have been, for millenia, Armenia. It is their character and nature. And they are good at it. Unfortunately for us, odars believe what they hear from Turco-azeris. The best thing to do is to post such writings in foreign, as well as our websites. However, ours does not carry much force.

      Haigaganoren,

      Gaytzag

  7. I fully appreciate

    I fully appreciate your post. It offered me some amazing information that I was looking for to enhance my knowledge. It answered a few questions that I was looking for such a long time.

  8. New book debunking Azeri propaganda

    Clash of Histories in the South Caucasus
    Redrawing the Map of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Iran
    A new study by Rouben Galichian

    Now Published 2012-2013

    “Rewriting history and redrawing boundaries are ancient political strategies for shaping national identity, nation-building and establishing territorial claims. Ethnicity and cultural heritage are especially powerful symbols, and therefore targets, for territorial claims – a process exemplified by the Republic of Azerbaijan’s state-sponsored invention of its own national identity.”

    This richly illustrated study documents the complexity of territorial struggles within the South Caucasus over the past two millennia. As the only former Soviet republic not to be created from an established ethnic group, ever since its formation in 1918 Azerbaijan has used strategies adapted especially from the USSR and Pan-Turkism movement to create a nationalistic ethnos/mythos at odds with the historical and geographical reality.

    Rouben Galichian examines the motives and methodology employed by Azerbaijani historians and geographers in officially recreating the history, boundaries and even ethnicity of this historically volatile region. Particular focus is given to Azerbaijan’s  campaign for the geo-historical appropriation of neighbouring Armenia and Iranian Azerbaijan, a selective campaign that ignores Georgia and Russia’s North Caucasus. The evidence of the ancient and later cartographers along with the Graeco-Roman historians and the accounts of Islamic and European travellers confirm the international position that runs counter to Azerbaijan’s claims.

    Rouben Galichian was born in Tabriz, Iran, to a family of immigrant Armenians who fled Van to escape the Genocide, arriving in Iran via Armenia, Georgia and France. After attending school in Tehran, Rouben studied engineering in the UK. His books include Historic Maps of Armenia: The Cartographic Heritage, Countries South of the Caucasus in Medieval Maps: Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, and The Invention of History: Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the Showcasing of Imaginations, which documents the culture and history of Nagorno-Karabakh through the centuries. For his services to Armenian historical cartography, Rouben was awarded in 2008 an Honorary Doctorate by the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. In 2009 he was the recipient of Armenia’s Vazgen I Cultural Achievements Medal.

    232pp • ILLUSTRATED with 57 colour maps • £29.99 • HBK • ISBN 9781908755018

    For more information or interview requests please contact Bennett & Bloom Press: Anna Rundgren at: [email protected]

  9. Promoting Facts

    Is promoting the fact that 500,000 to 1 million people were forcefully expelled from their homes  spreading hatred against Armenian people? Of course not. It is you, Armenians, who are being racist. You expelled 20% to 25% of Nagorno-Karabagh's population.

    I see on various websites that you even want to expand your borders to grab Nakhichevan. Yet you cry about negative attitudes against your people. It is your fault that your neighbors have negative views about you, because you talk about territorial demands and expanding your borders to a point that you would be wiping your neighbors off the map.

    You claim Azerbaijan massacred its own people. Why would anyone want to kill his own people? Stop making excuses. The obvious fact is that 500,000 to 1 million people were expelled from Nagorno-Karabagh unfairly, unjustly and randomly because of one word: aggression. You don't want to let refugees return to Nagorno-Karapagh because you fear that the world would wake up to Armenia aggression. 

    What about how the building, by NKR Armenian authorities, of an airport in Khojaly? It proves that Armenians committed a crime. It's like building a mosque in front of the 9-11 memorial. It proves that Armenia committed aggression. 

    I believe NKR should be independent and should let all ethnic Azeri refugees be relocated to NKR. I believe NKR should not be reunited with Yerevan or Baku, but achieve a multi-ethnic solution similar to Switzerland.
     

    1. To Samir

      Dear Samir,

      Obviously, you are not very good at math. I understand that you have bitter feelings, but please try to use simple logic which will help you see clearly how the "truth" which you know is distorted and which disseminates ONLY hatred.

      Who is going to benefit from this hatred, you might ask? and since you are asking questions "why would anyone want to kill his own people?". 

      I have another question, but let's start from clarifying a simple one. You claim that NKR's 20-25% of population was expelled. You say "the obvious fact is that 500,000 to one-million people were expelled" and it's juxtaposed in such a way with the next sentence that it gives the impression of people expelled from Nagorno-Karabagh. If this 500,000 to one million people were 20-25% of the population then what was the total population of NKR before the war? I leave the answer to this question to you to find out from your sources. In the age of Internet it's not hard to find unbiased information, unless you have a hidden agenda.

      In all cases, I assure you that the numbers are not important for us. Each Azeri, Armenian, Turk, Kurd or Talish is a human being and equally valued. Each person killed on the basis of nationality is equally tragic for us. Please keep in mind that we are mourning for the loss of each life because each casualty is pushing us further apart from understanding one other.   

      At any rate the population of NKR, with its neighboring regions, did not exceed 200,000. More than 75% were Armenian.  

       

       

    2. Deportations, Territorial Demands

      That's fascinating, Samir. While we are on the subject of deportations, please tell me what you make of the number of Armenians, from Azerbaijan and its enclave in Nakhichevan, who had to flee Azerbaijan after the Sumgayit, Maragha, Kirovabad and Baku progroms?

      While we're on the subject, Samir, please tell me about the territorial demands of Azerbaijan, such as the desire to annex Iranian Azarbaijan, Iraq and other areas as postulated by the top members of the Azerbaijan government? Or perhaps the pan-Turkism spread by prominent parties in Azerbaijan.

      Please answer me. Is your criticism directed only at Armenians and your fairness selectively, favoring Turks? 
       

  10. Khojaly “Genocide” Baku Fabrication

    What surprises me is that some Armenians show little interest or concern here, in California, when I try to point out that Turkish and Azeri propaganda lies have flooded the Internet.

    1. Armenians hit on all sides

      Lawrence, the likely response you'd get would be "which fire would you like us to put out first?"  There is no shortage of injustices and persecutions against the Armenians — past or present. 

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