DAYS OF SORROW
Rare photos – taken three days after Khojaly tragedy
Baku, February 26, AZERTAC
The pictures we are going to tell you about were captured by a photo film in Khojaly just three days after the Khojaly tragedy 31 years ago. Armenians had already committed the tragedy of the century against Azerbaijanis with the help of their patrons, but that was not the end. After all, who would have thought that these bloodthirsty executioners also intended to wipe Khojaly off the face of the earth once and for all. Because Khojaly was a settlement that reflected the history and cultural traditions of Azerbaijani people from the ancient times to the modern era. This culture went down in history as the Khojaly-Gadabay culture. So Armenian executioners did not only kill innocent people in Khojaly, they also left no stone unturned in this land. This is confirmed by the photos taken 72 hours after the Khojaly genocide.
These rare photographs have been shared with AZERTAC by Fuad Hajizada, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Honored Engineer and Senior Researcher at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. He also gave extensive information about the photos.
This is how our interviewee, who was the director of the Institute of Ecology in 1991-2007, remembers those days: “The filming in Khojaly was done on the basis of an order of the Ministry of Defense. At that time, the Institute of Ecology operated under the umbrella of the National Aerospace Agency (MAKA). It is safe to say that almost all aerial photography in the republic was entrusted to us. We looked into this proposal and stated that it would be more useful, quick and efficient to take these pictures with a regular camera from a helicopter. Therefore, the Ministry of Defense allocated a helicopter to us. There were three of us in the military helicopter that day. The horrors we saw from the window of our helicopter left us completely speechless. It was impossible to give a name to that brutality...”.
Fuad Hajizada said they had taken pictures of the city from several angles. “Since it was dangerous to take pictures, we had to film the most important parts because the enemy could shoot down the helicopter at any moment. We took shots for an hour and a half, and after returning we printed those images in our lab. A part of those pictures was given to the Ministry of Defense, we kept the rest and these pictures have not been shown anywhere since then.”
The researcher noted that the main goal behind taking those photos was to expose the atrocities and destruction unleashed by Armenians in Khojaly, and to show them as evidence in the future.
Our interviewee said it was extremely difficult to express his feelings at that time, noting that the filming crew had witnessed great destruction in Khojaly. “On the one hand, the contemptible enemy subjected our citizens to genocide, but on the other, it destroyed our buildings, houses and schools. All this was carried out with unprecedented cruelty and mercilessness. In some places, the buildings were completely destroyed. The scale of destruction was unimaginable. To be honest, I always get flashbacks from those days. However, in 2020, after the historic Victory of our Army under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, President Ilham Aliyev, I finally found some comfort. After our historic Victory, I started thinking of sharing these photos. This thought led me to AZERTAC,” he said.
According to Fuad Hajizada, the fact that the Azerbaijanis could make such shooting in Khojaly was also a surprise to the Armenian military too. Otherwise, they would not have allowed it. “We entered the area unexpectedly, took the pictures and quickly left. The 10 pictures from Khojaly bear witness to the plans to erase the city from the face of the earth.”