Friday, February 28 2020 11:36
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Yerevan: Sumgait crime laid the foundation for Karabakh conflict

Yerevan: Sumgait crime laid the foundation for Karabakh conflict

ArmInfo. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia issued a statement on the occasion of the anniversary of the anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait.  So, the  statement of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, in particular, states:   "Today we honor the memory of the victims of the anti-Armenian  pogroms in Sumgait. At the end of February 1988, the Armenian  population of Sumgait was subjected to mass killings and atrocities  committed with indescribable cruelty.

The Sumgayit crime laid the foundation for the Nagorno-Karabakh  conflict when Azerbaijan responded to the peaceful appeal of the  people of Nagorno-Karabakh to self-determination by mass violence and  pogroms of Armenians. This actually formed the essence of the  Karabakh problem: ensuring the security of the people of Artsakh  through the exercise of the right to self-determination outside of  Azerbaijan.  The Sumgayit crime was the first mass crime committed on  the basis of identity on the European continent after the Second  World War, followed by new crimes planned and carried out on a large  scale by Azerbaijan in Baku, Kirovabad and the territories of the  Nagorno-Karabakh Republic-Shaumyan region occupied by Azerbaijan,  separate sections of Martakert and Martuni.

An assessment by the Azerbaijani authorities of the Sumgayit massacre  clearly illustrates the lack of readiness to resolve the  Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Over the past three decades, the tactics  of the Azerbaijani authorities have changed from the heroization of  criminals to the prosecution of victims for organizing pogroms. The  unwillingness of the Azerbaijani side to assume any responsibility  for the massive and most serious human rights violations on its  territory and the presence of genocidal intentions regarding the  Armenians remained unchanged.

Today, we honor the memory of the victims of the Sumgayit pogroms,  confirming our determination to prevent the recurrence of such  massacres against the Armenian people. "

Recall that ethnic unrest in the city of Sumgayit in the Azerbaijan  SSR occurred on February 27-29, 1988.  They were accompanied by  massive violence against the Armenian population, robberies,  killings, arson and destruction of property. According to the British  journalist Tom 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 aggravation of the ethnic conflict  in Transcaucasia, which caused the first flows of Armenian refugees  from Sumgait to Stepanakert and Armenia. According to the official  data of the USSR Prosecutor General's Office, 26 citizens of Armenian  ethnicity were killed and more than a hundred people were injured in  the riots, while unofficial estimates say that the number of  Armenians killed is hundreds During the clean-up operation, 276  military personnel received injuries of varying severity .. On  February 29, 1988 at a meeting of the Politburo of the CPSU Central  Committee in Moscow, it was officially recognized that the massacres  and killings in Sumgait were carried out on a national basis,  however, as indicated in the materials of the human rights activist  Memorial 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. 

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