They fled from their home on that most ominous night leaving behind all the gaining, taking only the children. On this night they had no right even to live.

Still in the evening on 25 February the military equipment of the former 366th soviet regiment held fihting position surrounding Khojaly on three sides. Then, they began storming the city following with 2-hours massed bombardment and heavy military machines. To 5 o`clock in the morning of the next day, the city practically has stopped the existence: fire devoured the abandoned houses and the population, more than 2500 people left the houses, trying to be rescued in Askaran direction, but near the Nakhichivanik village the Armenian militants opened fire on unarmed people. Later, the Armenian side will, surprisingly shrugging shoulders, and putting good face on things, declare, that the peaceful population was presented “free corridor”. This "corridor" determined by nobody in the given quality as it is necessary in such cases, appeared an ominous trap for the women, children and the old in the frost-bitten woods and mountain passes. The people, unfortunate, driven to despair with special cruelty, brutality, even savour, were slaughtered by the Armenian bands …

From materials of investigation on occupation of Khojaly, it is known, that in the attack on city, except the Armenian separatists and bands, participated also the 2nd battalion of the notorious 366th regiment under command of major Seyran Ohanyan, the 3rd battalion under command of Evgeny Nabokhin, the chief of staff of 1-st battalion Valery Chitchyan and over 50 Armenian officers and ensigns.

From the same materials it is known, that during attack to Khojaly, used were the forbidden bullets of 5, 45 calibres and chemical weapon. At the survived people they scoffed with special cruelty: scalped them, cut off heads and other parts of body, pricked out eyes of children, ripped up stomaches of pregnant women, burnt alive, having poured over gasoline. Are not these facts of violation by Armenia of protocols of the Geneva Convention, and isn`t it a genocide of the peaceful population?

The bloodiest tragedy of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began practically from illegal requirements of ethnic Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous region of Azerbaijan SSR in 1988 about anexation to Armenia SSR, provoked by open support of ruling circles of Armenia SSR with tacit consent of the central authorities of Soviet Union.

It has to be noted that the destiny of Khojaly has been predetermined. The city, population of which totaled about 7 thousand people, situated in 10 kms south-east of Khankendi. It was on the road of Agdam-Khankendi and had the only airport in Karabakh where military planes could land. And ofcourse, one of priorities of the Armenian bands was liquidation of Khojaly, being bridge-head, opening of the corridor connecting Askaran and Stepanakert, and capture of the only airport which was under the control of Azerbaijanis.

Involuntarily the question arises – didn`t A. Mutallibov, the then head of republic, know about it?

If he didn`t know, it means, he had no right to hold such high post.

The president and the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan is the highest official of republic and he has not provided protection of constitutional order, territorial integrity of republic, the rights and freedoms of citizens. Moreover, even after tragedy he was afraid to inform people the truth and hid the data on real scales of punishment, having made one more curtsey aside Armenians.

Trying to diminish his role in inability to protect city, A. Mutallibov put the blame for massacre in Khojaly on leaders of the Popular Front. His justificatory interview was widely advertised in Armenia. Thus, he once again betraid his people, having thrown to the enemy in quality of gift his version, and, more likely, a dull conclusion testifying to his own feebleness and incompetence. And the then opposition simply took advantage of tragedy that on the wave of national anger to come to power.

There was one more reason why the Armenian barbarians with brutal cruelty have massacred the innocent population.

Serzh Sarkisyan sitting nowadays in the armchair of the prime minister of Armenia and pretending to the post of the president of Armenia has rather cynically and rigidly expressed it: “Up to Khojaly, the Azerbaijanis thought, that it is possible to play with us, they thought, that Armenians are not capable to lift a hand on civilians. We could break this stereotype”. So, it seems massacre was planned as a deliberate act of intimidation.

But they have not reached their goals, and will never.

The Russian journalist Y. Romanov, who has visited places of massacre, began his book about Karabakh “I shoot war …” with such words: “Oh, my God, is it a “national-liberation struggle” as such?”

We present only one episode from this book, and you will make conclusions: “… the 37 seconds I have shot burn my hands. I go out of circle of people and raise the camera. In the view-finder is a road on which the machine with wounded rushes. There, the wounded are unloaded on a stretcher, and they are directly from the platform through open windows of cars taken to the operational car. A girl of years of six with the tied up head. The bandage is made so, that completely closes her both eyes.

Not switching off the camera, I bend over her:

- What is with you, lovely?

- My eyes burn … Eyes my …are burning…

My eyes burn!!!

The doctor touches me on shoulder:

- Blind she is. Her eyes were burnt by cigarette stubs … When she was brought here, the stubs sticked out of her eyes …

Let the reader forgive me. But what my eyes saw and was heard by my ears, cannot be transmitted in poor words. Such memoirs never pass, and, having written this chapter in the evening, in the morning I find out on temples a new gray hair … ».

Gradually the news about bloody massacre in Khojaly became property of the public simply stunned by atrocities of the "victim of this conflict”, how the Armenians and their henchmen represented themselves. The truth about genocide committed in Khojaly above the Azerbaijan population, became a subject of discussions by parliaments of the various countries.

Representative of the state of Indiana in the Congress of the USA, member of the Committee for international relations, Congressman Den Barton, speaking on February 21, 2005 in the House of Representatives, called the Congress to recognize the Khojaly tragedy as genocide. Having started his speech with the words “the mankind should know and remember”, he stated that in Khojaly, committed was cruel ethnic cleanse in relation to innocent women, children and old men, and the Armenians mocked even at corpses. “We became witnesses of the fact that Armenians have intentionally destroyed each village seized by them in territory of Azerbaijan. It is nothing but barbarism”, the Congressman concluded.

The US pro-Armenian Russian-language newspaper “V Novom Svete” published the article “Armenian Genocide – fact” of 19-25 October, 2007 by Armenian lobbyist Edward Pariyants. In support of this “fact”, he provided a photo depicting dead bodies of children, allegedly, Armenians killed by Turks in 1915. However, it is the photograph of Azerbaijani children killed by Armenian criminals during assault on Khojaly. “ How much insolent, shameless and cynical one should be to present Azerbaijani children - victims of Armenian terror of 1922 - as Armenian victims of 1915,”- Felix Tsertsvadze said with indignation in his letter, urging to repel the falsifiers. Provoker was not only repulsed but also the newspaper apologized for the blunder.

Khojaly massacre became possible because the Soviet center hampered the creation of Azerbaijan armed forces. They even took hunting rifles from Karabakh Azerbaijanis claiming Soviet troops stationed in the region will defend the population and territorial integrity of the Republic. The Azerbaijani population of Karabakh was left to the mercy of fate.

Khojaly genocide, which took place in late 20th century is the gravest crime targeting not only the people of Azerbaijan but also the whole humanity. The world must remember it! And it is not the Azerbaijani propaganda – it is a reality.

World Azerbaijanis mark the anniversary of this horrible tragedy with heavy heart on February 26. One of the priorities Heydar Aliyev Foundation headed by First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva is to raise the world community`s awareness about the truth on the Khojaly: the web portal on Azerbaijan was launched, collection of booklets “Karabakh realities” was prepared. In continuation of the special project implemented last year, a string of events dedicated to the Khojaly tragedy will be organized in the UK, Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, USA (Washington, New York), UAE (Dubai).

Those countries will also host exhibitions of photo documents in Russian and English unmasking Armenian fascists in the extermination of people, which runs counter to common sense. The exhibition will also feature the works by winners of the Foundation`s picture contest “Khojaly through the eyes of children”

In this context, heads of Muslim, Christian, and Judaic religions in Azerbaijan annually urge the international community to condemn the 26 February 1992 misdeeds, demand to bring the immediate perpetrators to trial for the crime committed.

A 13-minute film “Prayer” written by Yusif Sheikhov and directed by Ziya Shikhlinski will be demonstrated on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy. It was made by the government order and translated into a number of foreign languages. It will be shown in many countries with the support of the State Committee for Working with Azerbaijanis Living Abroad, in embassies and on all Azerbaijani channels.

The world should know and remember about Khojaly. There cannot be a crime without punishment. Those who are anyhow involved in this terrible crime are responsible to their conscience but the day will come – it will necessarily come, we believe in it – when they will be charged with their misdeeds in the court of history, before the humanity.

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