ArmInfo.The Sumgait massacre was just one of the episodes of the genocide committed against the Armenians of Azerbaijan. This was stated by Artsakh Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan during his speech in Askeran at an event dedicated to the 32nd anniversary of the pogroms in Sumgait.
"The Armenians in Sumgait suffered brutal reprisals, which was the response of the Azerbaijani authorities to the Artsakh movement. After Sumgait, mass pogroms continued in other settlements of Azerbaijan and Artsakh. For several years, thousands of Armenians were killed, hundreds of thousands were forced to leave their homes only because of their ethnicity.
To this day, the international community has not given a proper legal and political assessment of these acts, and the Republic of Artsakh continues to be consistent in the issue of receiving compensation from Azerbaijan for the Armenian Genocide, as well as holding the organizers of these acts accountable. We all understand that this danger remains in the region to this day, and the Armenian-phobic policy of Azerbaijan at the state level is vivid proof of this, and the strong Armenian statehood and the Armed Forces are a guarantee of the prevention of new crimes, "Artak Beglaryan emphasized. To recalll, ethnic cleansing occurred in the city of Sumgait, Azerbaijan SSR on February 27-29, 1988. It was accompanied by massive violence against the Armenian population, robberies, killings, arson and destruction. According to the British journalist Thomas de Waal, these events were "the first outbreak of mass violence in modern Soviet history." The Sumgait pogrom was a landmark event and a turning point in the exacerbation of the interethnic conflict in the Caucasus, which caused the first flows of Armenian refugees from Sumgait to Stepanakert and in Armenia. According to official data from the USSR Prosecutor General's Office, 26 citizens of Armenian nationality were killed in the riots, more than a hundred people were injured. According to unofficial estimates, hundreds of Armenians were killed. During the clean-up operation, injuries of varying severity were received by 276 servicemen. On February 29, 1988, at a meeting of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee in Moscow, it was officially recognized that the mass pogroms and killings in Sumgait were carried out on a national basis.
However, as indicated in the materials of the Memorial human rights center, the lack of a timely investigation into the circumstances of the pogroms, the establishment and punishment of those responsible led to a further escalation of the Karabakh conflict.