Mourning In Azerbaijan (Video)

Azerbaijan is on a mourning day. In the morning thousands of people went to the Alley of Martyrs to commemorate the victims of January 19-20, 1990.The ceremony was attended by President Ilham Aliyev and other senior officials and diplomats, who traditionally expressed their condolences to the head of state.  Around 14.00 the Alley of Martyrs was visited by members of the opposition‘s Public Chamber. The mosques of the country hold the ceremony of commemoration of the victims of Black January.

On the TV channels there is no entertainment on this day. In the Baku Metro funeral melodies are sounded, and the stations and escalators are decorated with red carnations.

23 years ago, the invasion of Soviet Army units to Baku resulted in numerous civilian casualties. On the night of 19 to 20 January 1990 on the orders of the then leadership of the USSR, 35,000 military men were deployed in Baku. The action was to save the Communist regime in Azerbaijan and to suppress the national liberation movement.

This barbarous operation was developed and implemented by the Ministry of Defense, the Interior Ministry and the KGB and was code-named Strike. The key role in the operation group was assigned to the special force Alpha and subversive groups of the KGB.

One of the justifications for the invasion was pogroms against Armenians last January 13-15, but by the time the troops invaded they ceased. As a result of the occupation of Baku, 134 civilians were killed and more than 700 people were injured.

Note that this year's official propaganda calls the main culprits of the tragedy the leaders of the former USSR, and, in particular, President Mikhail Gorbachev. At the same time, they have markedly decreased criticism of the then government of the republic. Whereas in the previous years, as one of the culprits of the tragedy, they named Ayaz Mutalibov, the then Chairman of the Council of Ministers (and after the tragic events the first person in the country), now they do not say that. Perhaps this is due to the "rehabilitation" of Mutalibov. Last summer, he was able to come to Baku to attend the funeral of his son, and the entry into force of the law on ex-Presidents will let Mutalibov finally come back from years of exile.


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