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 Wednesday, March 25 2020 12:06
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Artsakh Foreign Ministry makes a statement on the 100th anniversary  of the massacre of Armenians in Shushi

Artsakh Foreign Ministry makes a statement on the 100th anniversary  of the massacre of Armenians in Shushi

ArmInfo.Artsakh Foreign Ministry has made a statement on  the 100th anniversary of the massacre of Armenians in Shushi. As the press service of the ministry  informs, the statement reads as follows:

A hundred years ago, on March 23, 1920, the authorities of the newly  created Azerbaijani Democratic Republic massacred the Armenian  population of Shushi, the then administrative and cultural center of  Artsakh. As a result of this heinous crime, thousands of Armenians  were killed, tens of thousands were forced to flee their homes and  the Armenian part of the city was looted, burned and completely  destroyed. The surviving Armenian residents of Shushi, who made up  the majority of the city's population, were completely expelled. Most  of the once beautiful Armenian city was in ruins for many years. The  enormous cultural heritage of Shushi was destroyed.

The scale and cruelty of this crime struck the contemporaries who  visited Shushi immediately after the massacre and noted that the  wells were filled with the bodies of women and children. The tragedy  left such a deep mark on the city and its atmosphere that even after  10 years it caused gloomy impressions and heavy feelings, which one  of the prominent Russian writers of the twentieth century, Osip  Mandelstam, reflected in his poem 'Phaeton Driver'.  The Shushi  massacre became the apotheosis of the two-year-long attempts of the  Azerbaijani authorities to seize and subjugate Artsakh. These  irrepressible and unreasonable territorial claims to Artsakh by  Azerbaijan, which was created as a result of the Turkish invasion in  the South Caucasus, laid the foundation for the Azerbaijan-Karabakh  conflict in its modern sense. The Azerbaijani authorities tried to  achieve their goal through the direct support by the Turkish troops.  Subsequently, the Turkish officers and emissaries continued to assist  the Azerbaijani armed forces, including in organizing the Shushi  massacre of 1920, attempting to continue the Genocide of Armenians,  now in Eastern Armenia.

The forcible inclusion of Artsakh in the structure of Soviet  Azerbaijan, following the Sovietization of the Republics of the South  Caucasus, did not solve the issue, as the policy of the Azerbaijani  authorities towards the Armenian population of Artsakh changed only  in form, but not in content.

The beginning of the process of collapse of the Soviet Union in the  late 1980s and early 1990s once again actualized the issue of  physical security of the Armenian population of Artsakh. In response  to the peaceful demands of the people of Artsakh for reunification  with Armenia, a wave of mass killings and pogroms of Armenians swept  through?ut Azerbaijan. Thousands of Armenians were killed and maimed,  hundreds of thousands were deported. The Armenian pogroms of the  1988-1990s were the continuation of the Shushi massacre of 1920 and  clearly demonstrated that even after 70 years neither the goals nor  the methods of the Azerbaijani authorities had changed.

Only thanks to the self-organization of the people of Artsakh, which  created a capable state with all the necessary institutions,  including an efficient army, as well as the support of the Armenians  worldwide, it was possible to repel the armed aggression of  Azerbaijan in 1991-1994 and to prevent the repeating of the Shushi  scenario in Artsakh, but on a larger scale.

Today, the authorities and people of Artsakh are exerting every  effort to revive Shushi and to restore, the cultural heritage of the  city destroyed by the Azerbaijani authorities. 


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