Rally in memory of 'Black January' victims, Baku, January 20, 2015. Photo by Aziz Karimov for the 'Caucasian Knot'.

20 January 2017, 15:29

Experts express claims to Russia and Gorbachev on "Black January" anniversary

Today, Azerbaijani residents are marking the 27th anniversary of the events of the so-called "Black January". On the mourning day for the victims of the invasion of Soviet troops in Baku on January 20, 1990, tens of thousands people came to the Alley of Martyrs (Shekhids) to pay tribute to the victims. Experts and eyewitnesses of the tragic events told about the situation of those days and accused the then Soviet leadership of the bloodshed.

At night on January 20, 1990, on the order of the Soviet leadership, a 35,000-strong army corps invaded Baku. The operation resulted in 137 killed civilians, and over 744 persons were wounded. These events were recorded in the history of Azerbaijan as the "Black January".

Enver Aliev, one of the then activists of the National-Democratic Movement of Azerbaijan, now a member of the Civil Solidarity Party, believes that "the troops were brought in with the aim to save the communist regime in the republic."

Mr Aliev is sure that the then Soviet leadership and personally Mikhail Gorbachev were guilty of the January tragedy.

"In Baku – a large city – an armed operation against the civilian population was carried out. On the eve of the operation, officials from the Soviet leadership kept convincing everybody that there would be no deployment of troops. The power unit was blown up at the night before; and the population was not notified about the introduction of the state of emergency. People learnt about it by the morning from the programmes of Western radio stations and the flyers, scattered from military helicopters," said Enver Aliev.

Today, Rustam Usubov, First Deputy of the Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan, said in his conversation with journalists also about the illegality of the Gorbachev's decree on the introduction of the state of emergency in Baku.

"By flagrantly violating Article 119 of the USSR's Constitution and Article 71 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan, the former head of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev took an illegal decision to deploy the troops and declare the state of emergency in Baku," the "Interfax-Azerbaijan" quotes Usubov as saying.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Faik Medzhid Source: CK correspondent

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