Budapest Case - the history of the murder of Gurgen Margaryan
Lt. Gurgen Margaryan
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Karabakh conflict chronology


Armenian citizen Gurgen Margaryan, 26 years old, was hacked to death while asleep by Ramil Safarov, a Lieutenant of the Azerbaijani Army. Both were participants of an English language training course within the framework of the NATO-sponsored “Partnership for Peace” program held in Budapest, Hungary.

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December 1–2
A protest by the inhabitants of the Armenian-populated village of Chardakhly against the firing of the head of the village is brutally supressed by the Azerbaijani police under the leadership of Asadov—the first secretary of the Communist party regional comitee of the Shamkhor district (Azerbaijan SSR). Many are beaten and arrested including women and senior citizens. Complaints are sent to the office of the Attorney General and to the Ministry of interior of the USSR.


February 13
A protest takes place in Stepanakert, the center of the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO), demanding the re-unification of NKAO with the Armenian SSR.

February 20
The extraordinary session of the NKAO Soviet of People's Deputies passes the resolution "On Petitioning the Supreme Soviets of the Azerbaijan SSR and Armenian SSR for NKAO's Transmission from the Azerbaijan SSR Structure to the one of the Armenian SSR."

February 22
The crowd of furious Azerbaijanis from the town of Aghdam advancing to Stepanakert is stopped by the police and Armenians near the Armenian-populated town of Askeran. Two Azerbaijanis are reported dead, at least one of them is shot by an Azerbaijani police officer.

February 26
One million people (500,000 according to a CIA report) rallied in Yerevan in support of NKAO's re-unification with the Armenian SSR.

February 27-29
Pogroms of Armenians in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait took place.

September 21
Following the hostilities between Armenians and Azerbaijanis Moscow declare martial law in NKAO.

December 7
A disasterous earthquake almost ruins the Armenian cities of Leninakan (now Gyumri) and Spitak. Right after that Armenian community of Kirovabad, Azerbaijan (now Ganja) is forced to seek refuge in Armenia.


Azerbaijan starts the economic blockade of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

December 1
The joint session of the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR and the National Soviet of NKAO unanimously adopt a resolution on re-unification of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.


January 13-20
Armenian pogroms begin in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

January 15
The Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet introduces a state of emergency in Nagorno Karabakh and some regions of Azerbaijan and Armenia.


January - June
So called "Operacia Kolco" ("The Ring Operation"): Azerbaijani militia, supported by the Soviet military deports Armenians from twenty-four villages in Shahumian (Northern Karabakh). Many Armenians killed, beaten, raped.

September 25
Stepanakert is for the first time bombarded with artillery from nearby Azerbaijani areas. Such incursions later become regular and are viewed as a declaration of war by Azerbaijan.

December 10
A referendum on the independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic takes place. As a result, 99.89% of those who vote do so for NKR independence.


January 6
The NKR Supreme Council adopts a declaration on the national independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

January 26
The first serious defeat of the regular Azerbaijani Army happens near the Armenian village of Karin-Tak in the Shoushi region. This victory becomes a moral booster for further successful military operations by the Karabakh volunteer troops against the enemy.

February 25-26
Armenians take the village of Khojalu from where Azerbaijanis were bombarding Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno Karabakh.

April 10
A sudden attack by Azerbaijani forces on the Armenian village of Maragha: 45 people are beheaded on the spot, 49 (including 9 children and 18 women) are taken hostages. 19 of them are still missing.

April 22-23
Armenians of Maragha who returned to burry the bodies of their compatriots are attacked again. More casualties are reported.

May 9
The town of Shoushi from where the Azerbaijani forces bombarded the capital of NKR Stepanakert is taken by NKR Self-Defense Forces.

May 18
The NKR Self-Defense Forces conduct a successful operation opening a humanitarian corridor through Lachin, finally opening the road to the outside world.

June 12
The Azerbaijani forces begin large-scale offensives resulting in occupation of the Shahoumian region, the northern part of the Martakert region, and the eastern part of the Askeran region.


June 17
An agreement on bilateral cessation of artillery bombardments of Agdam and Stepanakert is achieved between NKR and Azerbaijan with the help of Russia's mediation.

June 27
An agreement on a one-week cessation of offensive military operations, missile, and artillery bombardments in the Martakert and Agdam regions is achieved between NKR and Azerbaijan, again with the help of Russia.

July 24
An agreement on the termination of offensive operations and bombardments for a three-day term, beginning on 25 July 1993, is achieved under Russian mediation.

July 28
A meeting of governmental delegations from NKR and Azerbaijan occurs on the front line in the Martakert region. An agreement on the prolongation of the cease-fire for and additional seven days more is reached.

August 31
A new 10-day cease-fire agreement is realize through Russia's mediation.

October 6
An agreement on the prolongation of the cease-fire regime until November 5 is achieved under Russian guidance.

December 16
Azerbaijan violates the cease-fire terms and launches a large-scale offensive against NKR along the entire front line.


January 27
Russia proposes a three-week cease-fire beginning on February 1, 1994.

May 4-5
A meeting between the heads of Parliaments from Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh, and Armenia takes place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan under the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (IPA). Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh sign the "Bishkek Protocol." Azerbaijan later signs the protocol on May 8,1994. The "Bishkek Protocol" becomes the basis for a cease-fire agreement in the conflict zone.

May 9-11
The Russian mediation team draws up a comprehensive cease-fire agreement. The defense authorities of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Nagorno Karabakh sign the document. The agreement became effective on May 12, 1994.


  1. Web site of Nagorno Karabakh Republic office in Washington
  3. Chronology of the conflict prepared in August of 1990 by CIA
  4. Chronology prepared by the "Memorial" Society (Russia)
Declassified documents reveal long-standing CIA recognition that Nagorno Karabakh is part of Armenia
Chronology of the conflict from 1988 to 2003 from the office of Nagorno Karabakh Republic in Washington