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THE KHOJALU CASE: A SPECIAL DOSSIER

by Hayk Demoyan, Levon Melik-Shakhnazaryan
translated by Ruzanna Amiraghyan


Contents | 1. Foreword | 2. Sources | 3. The political situation in Azerbaijan in 1991-1992
4. Reasons for the assault of Khojalu | 5. The Khojalu offensive
6. About the participation of CIS 366-th regiment | 7. Development of the events after February 26
8. The causes of casualtes among civilians in Khojalu | 9. The total number of casualties
10. Conclusions | 11. Summary | 12. Appendix


12. APPENDIX

“I am a humanist in my soul,” says about himself former president of Azerbaijan. The extract from the interview of President of Azerbaijan A. Mutalibov to Czech journalist Dana Mazalova.

D. Mazalova – What you think about the events in Khojalu, after which you resigned. The bodies of Khojalu people were found not far from Aghdam. Someone shot to the legs at first, in order not to allow fleeing. Then they were killed by ax. In February 29 my colleagues had taken pictures of them. During the new recording in March 2 these bodies were scalped. Very strange game, hmm…?

"As the survived Khojalu dwellers speak, all of that was organized to have a reason for my resignation. I do not think, that the Armenians, who have very precise and professional approach to similar situations, could allow Azerbaijanis to have documents denouncing them in fascist actions. It is possible to assume, that someone was interested in showing these shots later on the session of the Supreme Soviet and to blame me in all those things."

If I declare that that the culprits are from Azerbaijani opposition they will say that I discredit them. But the important thing is that the corridor, to enable people to flee, was left by Armenians. And why for to shoot then? Especially on the territory close to Aghdam, where at that moment enough forces were deployed to come and help people. Or simply made an agreement to withdraw people. We practiced this all the time.

They were saying me all the time that Khojalu people stay firmly and they need armament, men force and food. I ordered to do so helicopter pilots. But pilots, as I was explained, rejected to fly there, since they lacked sets to escape from stingers (At the time of interview Armenian forces of Self Defense had no any anti aircraft weapons, including Stingers, - H. D., L. M.-Sh.)

So a week had passed. There, Aghdam contingent was deployed near, which was obliged always to follow the developments. When military vehicles surrounded Khojalu, they should evacuate population. Before that the similar order I gave on Shushi: men staying, women and children to be evacuated. This is the rule of war too: they should be saved. My behavior was objective and clear: I gave such orders, but why they did not implement them, it is not clear for me.

By the way I have spoken several times with Mkrtchyan, Chairmen of Supreme Soviet of NKR: “You destroyed thousands of people, give an opportunity to take their bodies”. He replied me no bodies should be, and that our people stay there and they food them despite of lack of food, and they are ready to exchange hostages”.

When you were informed about casualties?

On the next day after it was informed that in Khojalu several people were killed. It was information of the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Who was responsible for such information?

Minister himself. At the moment Press service was formed at the Ministry of Defense. After the helicopter crash we agreed not to give unreliable information. (sic! - H. D., L. M.-Sh.)

Do you think that Prime Minister Hasan Hasanov is responsible?

The head of government, of course, he is responsible for all, but he would not take the responsibility for it, saying that such questions are not included in his responsibilities. But government is government.

Are you ready to take part in presidential elections, scheduled in July 7?

I want they leave me in calm. I don’t want all false to be addressed to me, making me a scapegoat, as it very common among us. If they will fail to keep their promise to guarantee my security and normal life for president, I will be forced to move in political struggle and mobilize people.

If NFA lose credit and people ask you to return, you should do so?

If people ask me, I will do so. I have a strong will, but sacrificing myself, I’d tried to demonstrate that the power is not the important thing. I am full with energy and I understand well in politics. I am normal, communicable and contactable man. I am humanist in my soul and never want blood or revenge. And people like me we need today.

Did your resigning bring some favor for you?

At first, this unpleasant fact did not change my human character. If it happens and I will be ruler, I am going to be more strict, taking into account that several representatives of the society are not the whole nation.
Thank you.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA, 02. 04. 2004.


Elman Mamedov, Mayor of Khojalu, "We are left to the mercy of fate. Several times I urged republican officials and pointed on more possible points for shooting. Unfortunately none reacted".

BAKINSKI RABOCHI, Baku, 29. 08. 1991.

 

Elman Mamedov, Mayor of Khojalu, We relied on the support of republic. Everyday we called to Aghdam, and every time they assured as: OK tomorrow we will carry out an operation to break the blockade. I asked to send helicopters to evacuate elder people, women and children. But the promised help did not come.

BAKINSKI RABOCHI, Baku, 29. 08. 1991.

 

Salman Abbasov – Several days before the tragedy Armenians periodically informed as via radiophone that there are going to seize the city and demanded to leave. For long time helicopter resumed their flights to Khojalu, and it was not clear, does someone think about our fate, and does it interest someone. No any assistance practically we got. Moreover, when it was possible to evacuate women, children and elders, they convinced us to stay. They promised that soon an operation would be undertaken to seize Askeran and break the blockade of Khojalu. It did not happen… why to deceive us, why for our children died, who is responsible for that?

BAKINSKI RABOCHI, Baku, 07. 03. 1992.

 

Armenian massacres in Sumgait
Chronology of Karabakh war