Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: on the Frontlines of the Information War, or the Last


By Alexander Manasyan
Professor of Philosophy, President of NGO "Academy of Political Research"



The reflection of the conflict in our psychology, our mentality and political consciousness, i.e. the perception of our existence in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict (including our geopolitical existence), is a very unique issue. There is, however, a no less interesting topic: how we are perceived from outside - both by our enemies and friends, by our adversaries and our allies, and particularly those, who are usually called neutral or independent observers.


The status of a truly independent observer or mediator is not given by the "higher authorities". It is obtained. Of course, by fair means. This kind of status must be earned. It is not easy at all to be a truly neutral mediator. It is exactly them, who according to their calling, must be the closest to the truth about the conflict. And exactly from them people hope to hear undistorted facts and formulas of reconciliation of the parties. Of course, being a truly neutral mediator is a very gratifying vocation, even a sacred and clearly a difficult one as well.


Knowing this, many not at all neutral representatives of media, NGOs, analytical centers (and even governments, but this is a unique topic) do not mind appearing in the gown of an independent observer or neutral mediator. It is not difficult to picture what will be the handwriting of the observer or mediator, who is pretending to be a neutral expert, but in all reality is fulfilling a task (of course, for a certain payment!) of a far not neutral customer. These people and organizations have a particular behavior, particular way of speaking, particular style of reasoning. They have to constantly look impartial! They have to be armed with a full arsenal of modes of presenting lie as digestible truth or at least as semi-truth. The history of diplomacy witnessed uncountable number of ways and modes of concealing the true intentions, evasive answers, substituting the topics of the dialogue, deception, fraud and other doubling. This arsenal indeed is still awaiting its systematic research in the framework of the rapidly developing theory of argumentation, which, perhaps, will help to identify neutral mediator from pseudo-mediator, expert from pseudo-expert more quickly.

Recently we were widely discussing the issues related to the report of the International Crisis Group, whose list of sponsors includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey. The Group offered its expert services in the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict. According to the Group's report Turkish troops landed in the zone of Nagorno Karabakh conflict, headed by Madam Sabina Fraser. This can be proven through the analysis of the report, which was presented to the European structures. But this is a topic of a separate discussion. In this instance the case in point is not the Crisis Group.


Relatively recently an international non-governmental organization Conciliation Resources which is based in London, turned its attention to Nagorno Karabakh. Offering its services in bridging the dialogue between the conflicting parties, the organization of course presented itself to the parties as a neutral and independent entity. The product of their work was presented in the last issue /N17, 2005/ of the special edition, titled Leaders' Limited Opportunities: Elites and Societies in the Nagorno Karabakh Peace Process. The general name of this edition is Accord.

The analytical article of Laurence Broers, the editor of Accord (where the article was published), attests to the great level of professionalism and long term experience of the project's authors. The usage of highly theoretical language, chosen for the analysis of the intriguing aspects of the problem, shows the determination of the Conciliation Resources in presenting a high quality work. But unfortunately, on one hand the high level of professionalism and on the other hand the impartiality and objectivity "are two qualities, which do not necessarily presuppose each other. Any similar project can be done on a highly professional level, but". unfair.

I have to state from the beginning that I decided to take on this topic being deeply assured that the project's authors from Conciliation Resources are indeed neutral and are free from any partiality in presenting the essence of the problem in favor of Baku. I was guided by the "presumption of objectivity" of the experts of this well-known international organization and I was ready to consider possible errors in presenting the essence of the problem, in describing the essential facts and conditions of the conflict, as a result of implementing the project in a hurry.


From the first impression, Accord was accurately following parity in selecting authors. "Based on their origin" they are divided into three groups: Armenian, Azerbaijanis and independent experts. It seems that the principle of equality in the dialogue is adhered. A reader, who is learning about the conflict from the pages of Accord, cannot help but be impressed by the tactfulness of the project's authors. Looks like everything is good and honest. But under this elusive parity every good specialist will immediately notice that there is something not right in that very selection of the authors. The Azerbaijani side is represented by the politicians and experts who live and work in their own country. They are given the opportunity to state all the known arguments of the Azerbaijani side. And who is representing Armenia? Let us read their "business cards" as they appear in this very Accord.

First author: Jirayr Libaridyan - Caucasus specialist, employee of the history department of University of Michigan. From 1991 to 1997 worked as an adviser and then senior adviser to the first president of Armenia, took part in the direct negotiations on Karabakh.

Author's note 1. From this "business card" a small note was missed out - it was due to the failure in the Nagorno Karabakh negotiations, which took place during those years that the first president of Armenia resigned. And the senior adviser Jirayr Libaridyan had to resign as well and return to the US.

Second author: Armine Ishkhanyan teaches at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

No comments.

Third author: Mark Grigoryan was one of the founders of Caucasus media-institute in Yerevan. He moved to London after he was wounded in a murder attempt against him. Today he is working as a producer in the BBC World.

Author's note 2. In Armenia Mark Grigoryan was known to be incompetent in Karabakh issue. The author of these lines invited this "specialist" for public dialogue on defending his "thesis statements", and was accusing him of obvious incompetence in the questions, related to Karabakh problem; to these accusations Mark Grigoryan responded with silence. In Armenia nobody paid attention to him. He was not, if one may say so, a figure worthy of assassination attempt. As for the wounding accident, the media widely discussed the version about the imitation of the assassination attempt in order to become a political immigrant. That's how Mark found himself in London.

Fourth author: Hratch Tchilingirian is the director of scientific research program Eurasia at the Judge Business School, Cambridge University. He defended his PhD thesis at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

No comments.

The only author in the Armenian group, who lives in Armenia and represented Armenian community was Laura Bagdasaryan. All other participants were from either UK or US. One gets an impression that Conciliation Resources not having found the appropriate cadres from Armenia, organized a dialogue between the Azerbaijani society and Armenian Diaspora! Yet the goal of the project was to present the positions of the conflicting societies! With this selection of authors it is highly unlikely to have adequate representation of the characteristic to the Armenian society approaches and views at the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Meanwhile, in case of Azerbaijan, because of the appropriate selection of the authors, the views of the Azerbaijani society were adequately represented.


In the process of selecting authors Conciliation Resources, perhaps having found themselves in the Baku trap (I strongly refused to see any premediation in all that), have done another blunder, and once again in favor of Azerbaijani side. Accord decided to invite, as one may call them, the immediate participants of the conflict from the former Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic to take part in the dialogue. From the first view, in this case as well Accord adhered to the principle of parity by giving word to two Karabakhis - Gegham Baghdasaryan, the director of Stepanakert Press-Club, and the chief editor of the independent newspaper Demo, and Tabib Huseynov, graduate of Central European University, employee of International Republican Institute in Baku, who has kindly given the opportunity to express "the views of Kharabakhi Azeri" on the pages of Accord.

And now, attention! This very issue of Accord is dedicated not to the Karabakhi problem, but to Nagorno Karabakhi problem. Nagorno Karabakh in geographical terms is different from the Valley Karabakh region, and the conflict in the beginning of the 20th century started over the Nagorno Karabakh, not the Karabakh at large. In the Middle Ages, when, as a result of regular invasions of nomadic tribes, the Armenians were displaced from Valley Karabakh, the geographical border of Nagorno (Upper) and Valley (Lower) Karabakh became the border of ethnic, economic and cultural (in the wider meaning of the word) demarcation. Within the borders of Azerbaijan's Soviet Socialist Republic it also became the border of Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region - the state-national formation of the Armenians of Eastern Transcaucasus. Otherwise, the geographical border between the Nagorno and Valley Karabakh, besides the historically formed ethnic and cultural border, gained the status of political border as well. Tabib comes from Valley (or Lower) Karabakh and does not have any direct relation to Nagorno Karabakh, just like the rest of the population living in the Lower Karabakh. However, there is one "but". The population of Lower Karabakh, both at the beginning and at the end of the previous century they, took part in the blockade and the war against the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh. It is not excluded, that amongst the rageful masses of people, who blocked the highways leading to NKAR, there was Tabib as well.

However, let us return to the strange parity in the selection of "two Karabakhis". Conciliation Resources invited for the dialogue Gegham Baghdasaryan, who lives in Nagorno Karabakh. He had suffered all the difficulties of the blockade, lived in basements, protecting himself from artillery fires and bombardment, and from Tabib Huseynov, who, perhaps, had a direct participation in the pogroms of Armenians, in the blockade of Nagorno Karabakh and in the Baku-led war against the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. And invited them as equal partners in dialogue! Of course, Tabib does not say a word about the blockade and the war, about the pogroms of Armenians across the whole of Azerbaijan. Instead, he is theorizing on the impossibility of dividing "single Karabakh" into Valley and Nagorno, since Azerbaijanis perceive the region as a "single geographic, economic and cultural area, where they always dominated both demographically and politically". This is a simple "killer" against the logic, sober mind and history. Since even the names of Nagorno and Valley Karabakh are proving the absence of geographical unity in the region, which before the emergence of the nomadic tribes of Seljuk-Turks, was not single in geographical terms (which indeed is geographically impossible!) but was single in demographic, cultural and political sense being the province of Eastern Armenia. With history Tabib is done having stated with impressive ease that in Karabakh Azerbaijanis "always dominated both geographically and demographically". How could they dominate (and particularly "always"), if on the ethnic map of the Transcaucasus the name "Azerbaijanis" appeared only in the 1930s? How could they dominate if, up until 1918 there was no nation, and no state with that name in the whole Transcaucasus, and if until today the heated debates continue in Baku over the identity of the Azeri nation? Just to add, the search for the identity of that nation continues.

In carrying out the idea of "single Karabakh" particularly interesting was Tabib's argument that Azerbaijanis perceive the region in that way. >Having difficulty is supporting his argument in legal terms, Tabib sends his reader to the psychological aspect - frame of mind of his people, who perceive Nagorno and Valley Karabakh as a single region which belongs to them. Right away emerges contiguity, related to Aliev-Senior, the late president of Azerbaijan, who at the time perceived the sovereign Armenia as Western Azerbaijan. Many times he publicly stated this, gradually inserting this idea into the consciousness of its people and achieving the Azeri perception of seeing Armenia as "the Western Region of Azerbaijan". They were successful in having many international organizations adopt in their documents the word combination "Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, despite the fact that unlike Nagorno Karabakh geographically "Azerbaijan" does not exist on the map of Eastern Transcaucasus. In 1918 "Azerbaijan" came about as the name for a new state formation - it remains "a state formation" until today.

Tabib's argument about the "single Karabakh" is not new. Back in 1920s this argument was proposed by the Azeri communists. When on 4th of July, 1921 upon the official request of Baku the question of Nagorno Karabakh was included in the agenda meeting of Caucasus Bureau of the Russian Communist Party (CBRCP), Nariman Narimanov, the leader of Azeri National-Communists, substituting the question, raised the following proposal for voting: "To leave Karabakh within the borders of Azerbaijan's Soviet Socialist Republic", whilst according to the agenda of the meeting the question to be discussed was not about Karabakh but Nagorno Karabakh. At the time, this substitution of the subject of the question did not pass. In the course of the meeting and during the open voting the proposal did not pass, i.e. it was rejected. Nevertheless, the next day during the repeated discussion of the issue Stalin took the word "to leave" from Narimanov's proposal and included it into the decision of CBRCP, which, under Stalin's pressure, "adopted" the decision without any discussion or voting. The decision states: "to leave Nagorno Karabakh within the borders of Azerbaijan's Soviet Socialist Republic", despite the fact that Nagorno Karabakh never before was a part of AzSSR, and moreover, at the time was already declared as an integral part of Soviet Armenia.

Politicians in Baku these days often speculate over the word "to leave" from the undiscussed and in fact not adopted by the CBRCP decision (one could "leave" something that already was there), but on the question "When was it?" they respond with silence. Because they have nothing to answer. In fact, an attentive reader cannot leave unnoticed that in the sadly infamous decision of CBRCP (the text is shown below) the geographical differences between "Karabakh", "Nagorno (Upper) Karabakh" and "Valley (Lower) Karabakh" are well documented stating the differences between each region and from "Azerbaijan", and of course from the politico-administrative concept of Azerbaijan's SSR.

Authors note 3: Indeed it is worth providing the text of the decision of CBRCP (the experts of Accord did not include the text of the decision in the list of key documents: perhaps because this sole "basis" proving the belongingness of Nagorno Karabakh to Armenia does not leave any doubts that Nagorno Karabakh in all reality was annexed). Considering the style and laconic formulations, it, undoubtedly belongs to Stalin's "handwriting". Here it is: "Coming from the necessity of national peace between the Muslims and the Armenians and for economic ties of Upper and Lower Karabakh, and its constant connection with Azerbaijan, it is decided to leave Nagorno Karabakh within the border of Azerbaijan's SSR, ensuring wide regional autonomy with administrative centre in Shoushi, which forms the part of the region". It is clearly stated: "to give Nagorno Karabakh (i.e. to the whole of Nagorno Karabakh) wide regional autonomy". For a long time Baku resisted to the provision of this wider autonomy to Nagorno Karabakh (of all Nagorno Karabakh, including the areas which are today controlled by the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh). Only in 1923 they issued a Decree, which was against the decision of CBRCP, stipulating that vast territories of Nagorno Karabakh were to be left out from its territory (Karvachar-Kelbadjar, Kashatakh-Lachin, Shaumian, Karkhat-Dashkesan, etc), parts of which today are considered to be occupied by Armenians (in all reality, if one is guided by the decision of CBRCP (in fact, there are no other official and legal documents!), then the central and northern parts of Nagorno Karabakh are occupied by Azerbaijan). Armenians of the Nagorno Karabakh did not cross the borders of what was to be formed as a region, based on the decision from 5th July 1921 by CBRCP; i.e. they did not cross the borders of Nagorno Karabakh. Meanwhile, Azeri diplomats inserted in a wide circulation the idea that Armenians have occupied the regions "around Nagorno Karabakh". Sadly, some Armenian politicians - bad students in geography - do not oppose these statements.

Silencing about the legal grounds of the problem, the politicians of Baku usually state without adducing any proof about their rights on Nagorno Karabakh, like it is something that should be obviously supposed, at the same time not providing a single legal argument to support their statements. And the provision of these legal arguments is not there, simply because there are none! And even if there are any, then they "unanimously" prove that Baku has no legal right to claim Nagorno Karabakh!

However, let us return to the purpose of Tabib's presence in the list of Accord authors. This purpose does not come down to simple theoretical exercises around the fact that Nagorno Karabakh does not differ geographically from Valley Karabakh. He has a different mission. It turns out that he is the representative of the interests of the so called Internationally Displaced People (IDPs) as victims of Karabakh war.

Author's note 4: This is a comparatively new concept. In the 1990s all the Azerbaijanis - "victims" of the Karabakh conflict - whether they were displaced from Armenia or from Nagorno Karabakh, were qualified under a general term: refugees. Only later, under the pressure of the facts presented by the Armenians of Baku, they had to accept the fact that there are no Azerbaijani-refugees neither from Armenia, nor from Nagorno Karabakh. It was discovered, that Azerbaijanis living on the territory of Soviet Armenia have either exchanged on very beneficial terms their apartments with the victims of Armenian pogroms, which took place on the territory of Soviet Azerbaijan, or after the earthquake, which took place in Spitak received reimbursements for the destroyed houses and used that financial help at their own discretion. As for the Azerbaijanis, who today live on the territories under the NKR control, according to the international law they are not considered as "legal refugees" . This is due to two reasons: first, Azerbaijani population of neighboring districts, which took a massive part in the blockade of Nagorno Karabakh and in unleashing and waging the war, cannot be considered civilian population, hence nor can it be considered a refugee population. And secondly, the country, where they reside today, is not considered by them to be the country of their citizenship. Therefore, there was a need to inject new terminology. At the beginning - forcedly displaced people, and then corrected in the general context of Baku's policies a new term - internally displaced people. Neither the first, nor the second term correspond to the behavior of those, who took part in the war against NKR and in the most cruel blockade of the region. Nevertheless, "Accord" having introduced the so called displaced Azerbaijanis through Tabib Huseynov portrayed them as the major victims of "Armenian aggression".

This, is practically how the reader of "Accord" is inclined to think (here my preconceived notion about the neutrality of "Accord" had finally left me). Meanwhile, the main victims of the conflict, which broke out on the territory of former Soviet Azerbaijan are not the Azerbaijanis who fought against Nagorno Karabakh. The name of the main victim of the conflict in the 1988-1990s, starting from the pogroms in Sumgait, was on the fist pages of the world media, but was thrown into the dustbin of history, once the collapse of the USSR took place. That victim were the Armenian people who having been the "nation-cofounder" in the creation of former Soviet Azerbaijan and having lived there for centuries, creating the political, economic and cultural history of that land, which was their homeland, were exposed to massacres and exiled from there with no material, moral or political compensation.

In the result of the last bloody acts of the 1988-1990s almost half a million Armenians were drawn out of the lands which they historically inhabited, finding themselves primarily in the countries of Europe and United States. Those Armenians who were rescued during the pogroms are the refugees from the former Soviet Azerbaijan. Only these are to be considered refugees in the context of Karabakh conflict. But "Accord" was unable to find any of them, in order to introduce their point of view as well. Instead of them the refugee icon on the pages of "Accord" is granted to those who participated in carrying out the Armenian pogroms in Sumgait and Baku, in the shoot outs of the towns and villages of Nagorno Karabakh, who tried to stifle the new republic with the imposed blockade. Well, if "Accord" was unable to find experts in Armenia (and there are a lot of them), it is unlikely that they would be able to find a refugee.
I am a former Bakuvian, and cannot understand at all how this kind of independent and neutral organization could miss a genuine victim of the conflict - "Accord" should have given me the floor!

But even the mentioned above arguments do not exhaust the unacceptable for Karabakhi Armenians political undertone of inviting for the dialogue "two Karabakhis". Both Yerevan and Baku are represented on the pages of "Accord" by the officials - the Ministers of Foreign Affairs. Whilst Nagorno Karabakh is represented by a single journalist, the editor of "Demo" newspaper, who was viewed in pair as "the partner" of Azeri Tabib Huseynov. Nagorno Karabakh being a recognized entity in the conflict was not represented by a single official, expert or refugee. And this all was done in full accordance with the Baku's strategic concept of the conflict - the concept of ignorance of all the rights of the people of Nagorno Karabakh, including the right of being an entity in a public dialogue. There could be one from the two possible scenarios - either the Conciliation Resources were armed with this strategic concept before the commencement of this undertaking, or they conceded to the will of Baku's politicians, and together with them deprived the people of Nagorno Karabakh from the equal right of word, right of having their say about the conflict "on the neutral field".

In the end it turned out that except Azerbaijan, neither Armenia nor Nagorno Karabakh were represented by their experts on the pages of "Accord".


It is not a secret that the selection of documents directly related to the subject of the conflict has a fundamental significance in presenting its essence. Nor a single mission can go without the necessary collection of facts, neither mediation. There are a lot of methods of collecting the most important documents. The most tested method is suggesting the parties to put together a package of politico-legal documents. I am not aware of what kind of methodology was adopted by the experts from Conciliation Resources, however even a quick glance over the list of the documents prepared by "Accord" in the section "Key Text and Agreements", is enough to be convinced in evident and unfair shuffling: the list of the key documents does not include those very documents, which shed light on the illegality of territorial claims of Baku. First of all, it is the Declaration on Reinstatement of the Independent Statehood of the Republic of Azerbaijan, adopted on 30th of August 1991, Constitutional Act on the Independent Statehood of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted on the 18th of October, 1991 (these two government-legal acts were adopted by the Republic of Azerbaijan in the process of the exit from the USSR) and the Agreement of Kars, which was signed between the governments of two Socialist Republics of Transcaucasus on one side and the government of the Higher National Assembly of Turkey on the other. There are other documents which directly relate to the international legal status of Nagorno Karabakh and Nakhijevan. Yet only these documents already leave no doubts that it is not the Armenian but the Azerbaijani side, who withholds the territories, to which it has lost its legal rights in the course of the collapse of the USSR.

The fact is that in the course of the collapse of USSR the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan refused from the succession of the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan, that very republic, which included Nakhichevan and Nagorno Karabakh, based on certain conditions which were stipulated in the corresponding agreements.

According to the mentioned above Agreement of Kars, Nakhijevan was put under the patronage of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan, and Nagorno Karabakh, based on the decision of CBRCP, was included in to the borders of the Soviet Socialist Azerbaijan with a status of autonomous nation-state formation. At the time, when the Agreement of Kars was signed, Nakhichevan was recognized as an inaliable part of Soviet Armenia. It was also recognized by Azerbaijan SSR. As for Nagorno Karabakh, it was declared an inaliable part of Soviet Armenia in 1921.

Rejecting the legacy of Azerbaijan SSR in 1991 Baku restored the statehood of Azerbaijani Democratic Republic, which existed in the period between 1918-1920 and which left the historical arena, not gaining any recognized or legitimate borders. One does not have to be an expert in international law to have certain conclusion: in the period between August-October of 1991 under the acts of rejecting the succession of Azerbaijan SSR, the Republic of Azerbaijan lost all legal relations both with Nakhichevan and Nagorno Karabakh - with the territories, which were included in the borders of Azerbaijan SSR (Nagorno Karabakh) or put under the protectorate (Nakhijevan). It is interesting to note, that from all of the former Soviet republics only Azerbaijan SSR/RA found itself in this international-legal situation. In fact, in the period of August-December of 1991 Azerbaijani Republic faced the necessity of gaining legitimate borders. The borders of Azerbaijan SSR could not and thus cannot be considered valid due to the multilateral agreements on Nakhichevan and Nagorno Karabakh, which limited Baku's sovereignty over these territories, even during the Soviet times, and also due to the refusal of Azerbaijani Republic from the AzSSR legacy.

Baku's act of rejection of the succession of Azerbaijan SSR brings to a legal consequence of fundamental character: in the period between September-December of 1991 (before the international recognition of Republic of Azerbaijan, it was recognized as such by the UN in March of 1992) Nagorno Karabakh Republic formed on the territories not belonging to the Republic of Azerbaijan. It controls these territories till today. The explanation is simple: in 1921 all these territories were seized from Soviet Armenia based on the CBRCP decision, and based on the very same decision all these territories had to be included into the borders of Autonomous Region (Oblast) of Nagorno Karabakh (ARNK), which later was renamed into NKAR (Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region) (we will discuss in more details the meaning of the renaming).

Thus, the legitimacy of the formation of NKR (Nagorno Karabakh Republic) is flawless based on all the agreements and decisions, signed by the parties or adopted by them on the status of Nagorno Karabakh. On the other side, this legitimacy is also flawless based on the laws of the former USSR. The April 3rd, 1990 USSR Law guaranteed the right of NKAR outside of USSR to independently define its nation-state status.

In 1992 Republic of Azerbaijan did not have the legitimate right to avoid the Agreement of Kars on Nakhichevan, and the decision of CBRCP on Nagorno Karabakh and to declare its sovereignty within the borders of former Azerbaijan SSR, the succession of which it refused (in fact, it did not have that right even in case of not rejecting the succession of Azerbaijan SSR!) It was not doing it! Not many know that in the course of the collapse of USSR the Republic of Azerbaijan did not declare its borders - a legal act which was required in order to reject the succession of Azerbaijan SSR and to establish statehood, which was thrown into non-existence not having gained legitimate or recognized borders.

Baku was aware of all of these facts and could not be unaware. However, one cannot say that crucial powers did not know about it, which in 1992 closed their eyes on the illegitimacy of recognizing Republic of Azerbaijan in the borders of Azerbaijan SSR. The borders of Azerbaijan SSR were ascribed to Republic of Azerbaijan from outside, contravening to the international law!

Having recognized the Republic of Azerbaijan within the borders of former Azerbaijan SSR, the big powers pushed it to start the Karabakh war. Yet, even a small hint from their part on the fact that the dispute is to be resolved also taking into consideration the legal side of the issue could become a deterrent. It was not done so, and Baku started the war in order to gain the territories, which do not belong to it neither historically nor juridically and factually.

Of course, the fact of recognition does not produce a legal act. This is a political act. Recognition of Republic of Azerbaijan in its borders is a political act. The recognition of Republic of Azerbaijan within the borders of Azerbaijan SSR did not abolish the multilateral international agreements on Nakhichevan and Nagorno Karabakh. But one can pretend that they do not exist and one can choose not to include them in the list of key documents, just like it was done by Accord.


Only 20 illustrated materials were used for this issue of Accord. They of course play not the last role in producing a general depiction of the conflict. But at the same time they carry different informational, political and emotional weight. Six of them are photographs of the leaders (presidents) of conflicting parties, including a photograph taken during the negotiation process in the presence of mediators: Key West (2001), Istanbul (1997), and OSCE summit (1999). If one may say so, these photographs have neutral character, perhaps with the exception of Arkadiy Ghukasyan's photograph, which was taken during a voting procedure on the 21st of August, 2001 at the time of presidential elections in NKR. Three illustrations are depicting the internal political development of Republic of Armenia and Republic of Azerbaijan (NKR was not included here), to be more exact the photographs depict the strikes and demonstrations for the support of democracy and human rights in both Baku and Yerevan. The correlation here is 2:1 "in favor" of Yerevan, where, according to Accord human rights are violated more often in Yerevan, than in Baku. These photographs also have no direct relation to the illustration of the essence of conflict.

The theme of the conflict was directly depicted only in five-six illustrated materials. One of them had the following description "Demonstration in Yerevan, 1988", not explaining that the demonstration was to voice their protest against the vandalism, which took place in Sumgait.

There is one illustration with the following commentary: "A wall in the room of Armenian IDPs from Baku, currently living in Shoushi". On the wall there are portraits of Stalin, national Armenian hero Andranik, of twenty-six Baku commissars, and of fidains. Noteworthy is not the unique gallery of the portraits, the faces of which the Armenian family favored, but the author's - Lawrence Browers' - explanation to the illustrated material. For the first time the rescued from pogroms Armenian refugee is given a new status of IDP - either forcedly, or internally displaced person (most probably internally displaced person, since this is the most beneficial for Baku decoding of the abbreviation), [it might appear confusing for an English reader here, but the trick is that in Russian language both words "internally" and "forcedly" start with the same letter, so the abbreviation in Russian for internally displaced persons or forcedly displaced persons looks the same, thus the questioning] . Until now the Armenians who were rescued from the massacres in Baku were called refugees. And in Accord-s chronology section one cannot hide the fact. Here, what one reads in the section describing the events of 1990: "13-15th of January, Armenian pogroms are taking place in Baku. More than 90 people are killed. Armenian population is fleeing the city, the state of emergency is declared in Karabakh and in bordering districts". It is clear that people fleeing from pogroms are the refugees. Yet Browers qualifies them under the category of internally displaced persons. The intention of "editing the status" is obvious. The ambiguous concept of an internally displaced person hides the character of the crime perpetrated against Armenians. Moreover, Armenian refugees are equated to the Azerbaijanis, who took a massive part in the blockade of NKAR and in the war against the NKR and against the people, who recently were assigned to the category of internally displaced persons (IDPs). But the equating does not end there. There is another, not less important underlying theme. There is a proposed idea that an Armenian-refugee from Baku who finds him/herself in the town of Shoushi still remains in the borders of Azerbaijan, that the town of Shoushi is not a town of self-proclaimed NKR, but one of towns of Azerbaijani Republic! Here you go, a political hidden motive of how a victim of pogroms and the participant of pogroms, the participant of the blockade of NKAR/NKAR is called with the same name - IDP.

To what conclusions one can come with a simple trick of renaming! After all this is not an inadvertently uttered word. It is a substitution of concepts, it is an adjustment of the problem into the conceptual format, which is beneficial to Baku!

Another photo material pictures the negotiations on the hostage exchange between the Armenian and Azerbaijani fighters in Nagorno Karabakh. It is the only one from seven illustrations, where the neutrality is maintained.

In all other illustrations the favoritism of "Conciliation Resources" is obvious. In the first one, which is placed on the cover of Accord the depiction of the ruins of chaikhana in Aghdam has a symbolic nature. Of course, chaikhana is not a historical monument but at the same time the theme of destruction of culture is connected with "Armenian aggression". Not the ruins of Shoushi of the 1920s (they were there in the Soviet times as well) or ruins of a residential building in Stepanakert after an air bombardment, but the ruins of chaikhana. All these requires some explanation.

It is well known that the war against a young and stifled with an encircling blockade republic of Nagorno Karabakh was commenced by the Republic of Azerbaijan. Air and land bombardments of 1992-1994, up until the signing of the Bishkek Agreement on ceasefire, occurred practically on a daily basis. Many administrative and residential buildings in the towns and villages of NKR were in ruins. Particularly badly damaged were Martakert and Stepanakert. Historical monuments of Armenian cultural heritage were being destroyed across the whole of Azerbaijan. In the course of the conflict, in 1990 Armenian church in Baku was burned down. The Ghazanchetsots Church in Shoushi, semi-ruined during the Soviet times, in the course of the conflict was turned into ammunition depot for "Grad" artillery mounts. All of this was brilliantly avoided by Accord. Instead, the Shoushi mosque was "regarded with honor" twice. In the first case, with the following commentary: "The mosque ruins in Shoushi" - source, Lawrence Browers. Mr. Browers in the course of preparing the Accord could not be unaware that the town was in ruins twice: once in March of 1920, when Shoushi and the neighboring Armenian village were burned down by Musawatists. It was accompanied with massacres of the local civilian population (in the Chronology section these events Accord describes in an offensively subdued way: "In return to Armenian mutiny (which mutiny is discussed here is known solely to the authors of Accord - A.M), in March of 1920 Azerbaijani army is vandalizing Shoushi. They avoided the fact, that Azerbaijani army and the "civilian" Azerbaijani population vandalized after perpetrating the massacres. This is left to the keen wits of the reader! The second time the town was in ruins was at the end of the century, in the course of liberation of the town by the Karabakhi Army of Self-Defense. The attack on the unassailable town of Shoushi, which at the time was the main base station of the Azerbaijani army, was followed by a massive artillery bombardment, which caused fires and destruction. Mr. Browers could not be unaware of the fact that the government of NKR is planning to conduct extensive renovation works in its historically-cultural capital, and the mosque is included in the list of the items, which are to be renovated, with the help of experts from Iran. And there is not a single line about this!

In short, Accord did everything possible to portray Armenians as the destructors of the cultural monuments. In particular of Aghdam chaikhana! Nevertheless Azerbaijanis played an evil trick on their patrons from "Conciliation Resources". And have let them down massively. In the days, when Accord was introducing itself in Yerevan, in the old Armenian town of Jugha, which is located in Nakhichevan, the Azerbaijanis in front of the whole world did what they usually do, destroyed medieval khachkars - monuments of Armenian culture. Against the background of this barbaric vandalism a repeated address of Accord on the topic of damaged in the course of military actions and included in the list of renovating items the mosque of Shoushi, is seen as a unique "neutrality" of the experts from "Conciliation Resources".

It might seem that the experts from "Conciliation Resources" tried too hard. Not being satisfied with the fact that the mosque of Shoushi was "presented to the reader" twice, they provided Phil Chapmagne's article The Price of the Standstill: Economic Aspect of the conflict around Nagorno Karabakh, with photo material, which did not have anything in common neither with the conflict nor with the article: "The Mosque of Bibi Kheibat and the oil towers on the shores of Caspian Sea in Baku". The "neutral wish" of the authors of Accord turned out to be too bare in order to give an impression to the reader that Azerbaijan is a country of (ruined) mosques. In fact, as authentic historical monuments there are more churches than mosques in Azerbaijan. There is another delicate aspect: the mosques in Azerbaijan are primarily built by Talish and Lezgin people, not the nomadic-Tatars (which are today the Azerbaijani-Turks). In any event, in the end mosques on the pages of Accord appear three times, and churches none. The semi-ruined and ruined churches were deprived from that right. They could at least for a formal parity place a photograph of Baku Conservatory with a commentary: "Azerbaijani State Conservatory named after Uz. Gadjibekov: Armenian Church which was turned into a conservatory after a numerous and failed attempts to blow it up. The cross-like plan of the construction was concealed with additional edifices". But apparently the authors of Accord considered that the topic of appropriation of another people's history and another people's cultural values does not have anything in common or directly related with the Karabakhi-Azerbaijani conflict.


The Chronology section is the most openly pro-Azeri section of this issue of Accord. Any expert who has a basic understanding of the conflict cannot but come to a conclusion that the Chronology was simply written based on Baku's order. It starts with the following statement: "In ancient times the territory, which includes today's Karabakh was a part of the Kingdom of Caucasian Albanians - an ethnicity, which faded away, which adopted Christianity in 4th century and was partly Armenized. In the 11th century the Seljuk raids resulted in Islamization of the valley regions, and this in its turn led to formation of a mixed population in the region: nomadic and settled tribes under the administration of Muslim Khans and Armenian Princes'. It turns out that the experts of "Conciliation Resources" decided to participate in the undertaking of Baku's scientists in creating a false history of Transcaucasia. They themselves do not come up with anything new but take on the role of propagandists of this false history. The experts of Accord do not make any references about the sources, since they would have to quote only the contemporary historians of Baku. Well, and if we turn to the globally renowned scholars of historiography then it will not be difficult to find their testimonies proving that the territory, which includes today's Karabakh constituted one-tenth of the province (ancient name - Artsakh) of Armenian kingdom, the North-East border of which was the river Kura. Here are just two of numerous testimonies of scholars, Strabo: "There are many mountains and plateaus is Armenia" There are many valleys. For example, the Valley of Araks'., where the river of Araks flows all the way till the Albanian border. Behind that valley lies Sakasena, also bordering Albania and the river Kira. And here what testifies Ptolemaeus Claudius: "Great Armenia borders in the north with Kolkhida, Iberia and Albania on abovementioned border, passing through the river Kir". Kir is today's river Kura. Both valley and mountainous Artsakh (today's Karabakh) was always a part of Armenia until the partition of the latter between Persia and Byzantine. The mountainous regions of the left bank of Kura river were inhabited by mountainous tribes, not a single (united) people. Albanians as a single ethnic group/people - are an invention of Baku's historians of 20th century. The right bank of the river was inhabited by Armenians and they had no need to Armenize. Karabakhi dialect of Armenian language is an invaluable depository of data about an Indo-European protolanguage. Mr. Lawrence Brower, Thomas de Waal and other Anglo-Saxons from Accord perhaps would be interested to know, that English language has deep connections with Karabakhi dialect of Armenian language, that the mystery of Stonehenge could be uncovered in that very part of Armenian plateau, that Karabakh dialect has derivative words and phrases from common Indeo-European roots which preserve striking similarity with English. Azerbaijani "historians" and "linguists" are not interested in all that. They invent a non-existent single ethnic group (the so called Albanians), discontinue their existence (so that no other grounds are required), declare them as the sole and true owners of the territories of today's Karabakh (so that at least in past to deprive Armenians from that land), at private meetings continually convince Karabakhis that they are not Armenians but Armenized Albanians. They talk nonsense and the experts from Accord repeat after them, without batting an eyelid and not carrying about their reputation. Everyone writes indiscriminately, including undisguised nonsense, to only please the "vandals of history" from Baku. Pay attention at the second sentence of the following quotation: "The Seljuk raids of 11th century brought Islamization of the valley regions at the beginning of medieval times, as a result of this a mixed population was formed in the region: nomadic and settled tribes under the administration of Muslim Khans and Armenian Princes". Early medieval times (or the beginning of the medieval centuries) - are the centuries, which followed after the collapse of the Roman Empire. I think that this information the authors of Chronology could retrieve from encyclopedias and manuals. Eleventh and particularly the following centuries are not regarded to the period of early medieval times and the Seljuk raids of 11th and 12th century can in no way result in Islamization of the population of East Transcaucasia at the beginning of medieval centuries, i.e. in 5th - 7th centuries. Most likely the experts from Accord rewrote (perhaps because of the trustfulness or perhaps due to other reasons) this data from their Azerbaijani colleagues, not really considering the damage that they are causing to the reputation of "Conciliation Resources".

The same way following the suggestion of experts from Baku the information is provided about the events of 1918: "Under the pressure of Bolshevik revolution the Russian Empire collapses; massacres of Azerbaijanis (in March) and of Armenians (in September) take place in Baku". Accord does not reveal as to who perpetrated the massacres. However, it verifies the "historical fact". The same way the details of the Armenian massacres in Baku in the September of that same year are not revealed. Yet, it is worth knowing the truth, because semi-truth is worse than a lie.

The events of March, 1918 are portrayed by the politicians from Baku as the genocide of Azerbaijani people perpetrated by Armenians! Meantime, these events are in detail described in literature. It is well know that by November of 1917 the Soviets took over Baku. It is also known that Armenian population of Baku and the province of Baku was supporting the Soviets. And not at all from ideological consideration, not because they did not live well at the times of capitalism. On the contrary! The economy of Eastern Transcaucasia (and particularly of the Baku province) was one of the leading in the region. But Armenians were well aware that an alternative to Russia in the region would be Turkey, they knew that if Russia leaves the region, Armenians will face the threat of being exterminated. In 1918 it already made progress in implementing these policies in the Western Armenia. Thus, the Armenians in Baku had to make a choice not between the socialism or capitalism, but between Soviet Russia and genocidal Turkey, and their choice was justified. Local Turks (the Tatars of Caucasus), on the contrary, got involved in the political axis of Turkey and in March of 1918 raised a mutiny. This mutiny was suppressed by the Soviet authorities in Baku (The Baku Commune), and this suppression of the mutiny was undertaken by the international in their composition armed forces of the Baku Commune, including the Caucasian Tatars, who favored the Soviet authorities. The situation was escalated by the Turkish agents in Baku, who took advantage of the funeral procession of a local industrialist Tagiev's son and started a mutiny. These events transformed into a civil war, because in the first place the subject of the mutiny had a political undertone, and secondly, not only Armenians were defending from the insurgents the authorities of The Baku Commune who legitimately came to power. On the occasion of these events Tagiev himself wired to the Government of Transcaucasia headquartered in Tiphlis, explaining the situation. The telegram was printed in the newspaper Znamya Truda, on 29th of March, 1918. Here is the text of the telegram: "The situation in Baku quieted down. For the sake of well-being of the region, I personally consider it to be my duty to publicly declare, that the events in Baku should not be characterized as Armenian-Tatar clashes. For the whole period the Tatars did not bother the Armenians, living in Tatar quarters. Whilst Armenian troops rescued and gave shelter to 14000 Muslims, who were brought through the Persian Consul. I am raising my voice for an immediate prevention of all sorts of violence and hostile actions. Considering that this is in the interest of many, I am strongly urging you to assist in all ways possible in sustaining peace and order among the population. Let everyone be engaged in their peaceful affairs".

Geydar Aliev decided to "edit" this very story and invent a genocide of Azerbaijanis, perpetrated by Armenians, which is commemorated every year since 2000 in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The political motive of this undertaking is very easily differentiated: to equate with the genocide, which was perpetrated against Armenians of Azerbaijan. Of course, there could be no massacres of Azerbaijanis in Baku in March of 1918. Even more so, there could be no genocide. The experts from "Conciliation Resources", nevertheless, decided to pin it down as "an undeniable historical fact", and respectively, the dates of the chronology of the conflict " "the massacres of Azerbaijanis (in March)" of 1918. Perhaps this is not "genocide parity", but nevertheless works as "parity of mutual massacres"!

Accord states, that in 1987: "Inter-communal clashes take place in the Ghapan region of Armenia". To say the least, this is also an invention of Azeri team of propagandists. There were no inter-communal clashes in Ghapan in November of 1987. If there would really be any sort of clashes the exodus of Azerbaijani population would start exactly in November. Nobody, including journalists and politicians of Azerbaijan, states that any event of that kind took place in November of 1987. Apparently, from November of 1987 to January of 1988 the Azerbaijanis who were involved in inter-communal clashes did not move out anywhere. For some reason, however, according to Accord, it did happen in January of 1988: "The escape of Azerbaijani population from Ghapan signifies the beginning of the forced displacement of the population as a result of the conflict escalation". It turns out then it indeed was an escape! Then what does the "forced displacement" have to do here? In short, another fiction. In all reality nothing of that kind took place. Nonetheless, the theme of Ghapan "refugees" is discussed in more detail below.

And meanwhile we will discuss how the years of 1989 and 1990 are portrayed in Accord's chronology. Already by the 20th of January, 1989 the decree of the Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR "On adopting a special form of government in the Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region of Azerbaijan SSR" was put into action. Accord's chronology states that already by January 1st "a new authoritative body was established - the Special Administrative Committee on Nagorno Karabakh". And further: "In August of that year the elected by the Karabakhi Armenians 79-member National Council states that it will cooperate with the Volsky's Special Committee on its own discretion. In September, the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopts a declaration of sovereignty over Karabakh and in November it officially returns Karabakh (one must assume that here they mean Nagorno Karabakh - note by A.M) under direct administration of Baku". What does it mean - the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan SSR "adopts a declaration of sovereignty over Karabakh'? It could mean only one thing: Azerbaijan SSR did not have that sovereignty before. Generally recognized, not a single Soviet Republic in the USSR possessed sovereignty over "its own" territories. As for Azerbaijan SSR, its sovereignty over the territories incorporated into its borders is limited not only according to the Constitution and the Laws of USSR but also according to international agreements. In case of Nakhichevan this sovereignty was limited based on the multilateral international Agreement of Kars, signed on October 13th, 1921; and in case of Nagorno Karabakh the mentioned above sovereignty is limited based on the decision of CBRCP adopted on July 5th, 1921. Thus, any sort of declaration proclaimed at the time of acting USSR Constitution and in contravention with mentioned above legal documents could only be a juridical nonsense. Accord's chronology does not comment on the "declaration of sovereignty of Nagorno Karabakh" proclaimed in September, leaving a not well-informed reader with an impression that this act is absolutely and impeccably lawful. But this all does not end there. Accord also states that in November Baku "officially returns Karabakh under its direct administration". Nothing of that sort happened! Until November 28th, 1989, when a status of special administration was introduced to Nagorno Karabakh, Baku's administration over all the enterprises, social and political organizations (including trade unions and parties) was brought to an end. All of these were re-subjugated to respective (and appropriate) structures in Armenia and RSFSR. According to correct account provided by Accord, in 1990 upon arrival into Stepanakert the second secretary of the Azerbaijani communist party Polyanichko "begins the launch of a new organizational committee", but forgets to note that this undertaking did not lead to anything. The Armenians of Karabakh did not contact them, whilst he at the eve of the fall of USSR ran away from Karabakh. Therefore, the status of special administration, when Nagorno Karabakh de facto was taken out of the Azerbaijan SSR, was chronologically the last status of Nagorno Karabakh in the period of USSR existence. And in the chronology section this fact had to be reflected upon properly. But how one can write about this fact if essentially all the chronology and its concept were designed to please Azerbaijan? This all gives an impression that this chronology was simply written in Baku! Here is a typical example.

As it is well known, Azerbaijani army perpetrated monstrous crimes against the local population of Maraga village in Mardakert region. Here, I want to present to the Accord's authors of chronology the interview of their compatriot, Caroline Cox, which was conducted by the journalists of Karabakh Courier (January, 2006): "The attack took place at 7 am in the morning of April 10th: at the beginning the village was attacked by artillery shooting, then it was attacked by tanks followed by soldiers. And the slaughter began. There were 45 brutally killed civilians..". International human rights organization "Helsinki Watch" confirmed that besides the killed civilians there were 49 victims who were kidnapped, including 9 children, 18 women, 3 aged, one of whom was blind. Nineteen people have disappeared. The inhuman actions of Azerbaijani army in Marag village did not have limits. And even when the people who were returning to their home village where burying the victims of the "operation" perpetrated by Azerbaijani army, the brutal acts by the latter continued well into the next two days, 22nd and 23rd of April. This barbaric act is for some strange reason missing from the Accord's chronology. As for the seizure of Mardakert by the same exact army in July of 1992, the chronology states the following: "The Azerbaijani forces liberate Mardakert region on July 4th". Just like that! Armenians occupy territories, which they inhabited for centuries, and apparently Azerbaijani forces liberate these territories from those, to whom these lands belong historically, factually and juridically!

A curious detail. Baroness Cox presented material on Mardakert massacres to English newspaper Daily Telegraph, which the day before that published materials on the tragedy which took place in Khojali (more details on this are presented below). The editor refused to publish these materials with the following argument: "I do not think that we should trade tragedies here in order to maintain the balance". But usually the result of this very trade is the silencing of truth and publishing of lie, just like did the experts from Conciliation Resources following the course of Daily Telegraph, one of whom (the experts) is discussed below.


I doubt whether there is any sense in analyzing articles of all the international experts who were mobilized by the Conciliation Resources for the last issue of Accord. It was necessary to make a selection of just one author. I wrote the names of all of them on separate envelopes (except Madame Sabine Frasier, of whom I have already expressed my opinion), shuffled them and randomly selected one. The destiny smiled to Thomas De Waal, the editor of the Caucasus program of the London based Institute of War and Peace Reporting, author of the book "Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan between War and Peace".

For those readers, who are not familiar with the book by Thomas De Waal, it is worth noting, that "Black Garden" is or means Nagorno Karabakh. This "transcript" of the name "Karabakh" Thomas De Waal found from the so called Azerbaijani national toponimic explanatory dictionary, where practically all the toponimy of the Transcaucasus (and not only of Transcaucasus) is either translated or changed (sometimes distorted) on their own, Azeri, way. There are other interpretations of this name, which was introduced in 13th-14th centuries to replace the ancient Armenian name of the province Artsakh (for example, "big garden"). But Thomas chose just that one. One might think that this is a matter of taste. But after reading the whole article you are left assured that it is not just about the taste, but also about orientation.

Author's note 5. The Vank village (in Armenian means "monastery"), which is in Nagorno Karabakh, has been renamed into Vanklu (by means of adding a Turcik ending "lu"), Karin-Tak (meaning "under a stone") was renamed into Dashtali (in this case the name was simply replicated), Karthat was renamed into Dashkesan (also replicated). Outside of Nagorno Karabakh, Nakhichevan was renamed-distorted into Nakhchavan, the lake Sevan into Goycha, etc. Thomas de Waal always looks at facts and the events from "the other side", and that is from the Azerbaijani point of view. Here is a typical reasoning of the author: "Demographically it [here the author is talking about Karabakh] had a mixed population" Armenians outnumbered in the mountainous territories, and Azerbaijanis primarily inhabited the valley regions and the town of Shusha (known among Armenians as Shoushi) [highlighted by A.M]".

The fortress and the inhabited locality of Shoushi in Nagorno Karabakh existed long before the Turks came into the region. The Turkish version of the name Shoushi came about relatively recently. And writing the way that does Thomas De Wall is the same as writing: "Lake Goycha (known amongst Armenians as Sevan)", or the same as "Town of Nakhchavan (known amongst Armenians as Nakhichevan)", and finally, the same as "Mount Agridag, known amongst Armenians as Ararat"!!!

"In Nagorno Karabakh Azerbaijanis indeed lived primarily in the town of Shoushi (known amongst Azerbaijanis as Shousha)", - this is the way Thomas de Waal was supposed to write if we wished to adhere to the authentic historical facts.

I can imagine his surprised reaction to my comment: "This is a cavil - a product of fretful sensitivity! One should not make an elephant from a fly!" Of course one should not if this is an accidental or unfortunate omission, and not a product of executing a fine and systematic approach. It turns out that these kind of "trivial details" like "Black Garden" and "Shousha" (known among Armenians as Shoushi) - are separate cases of implementing that very systematic approach. It is hard to believe that he was unaware that in 1918 the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan was proclaimed on the territories, which never before were called Azerbaijan, and that is why one cannot state that "the Agreement of Turkmenchai, signed in 1828 drew a line between the two Azerbaijans". At that time there was no Azerbaijan in the eastern part of Transcaucasus. Karabakh, Shaki-Shirvan, Talish, Kuba - all these were; yet there was no Azerbaijan in Transcaucasus in order to "draw a line between two Azerbaijans". And if Thomas De Waal knows about it and without any problem writes something different, that means that he looks at things "from the other side"!

Here is another example: "The misfortune of Karabakh was that it always found itself in the middle. Geographically it was located on the Azerbaijani side of the mountainous divide (watershed), which laid across the two countries". It is more than enough to take a single look at the map of the region in order to understand a rather obvious thing: Armenian-inhabited Nagorno Karabakh is geographically a part of Armenian Plateau, which, just like any other mountainous country, has numerous divides (watersheds), mountain ridges, and gorges. As it has already been mentioned, in the 1920s the geographic border between Nagorno and Valley Karabakh was also the ethnic border-divide between Armenians and Muslims within the Karabakh itself. But to confuse the reader, Thomas does not talk about Nagorno Karabakh but about Karabakh in general (once again the same trick of displacing the notions of "Karabakh" and "Nagorno Karabakh"), stating at the same time that he was on the "Azerbaijani side". The physical map visually refutes this nonsense, but then the words "on the Azerbaijani side" give away whose side takes the author.


Baku materials on Nagorno Karabakh are infested with contradictions, and they inevitably infest the material of the experts - the apologists of Azerbaijan.

Let us examine, for example, how Thomas De Waal in the role of an "independent expert" presents one of the key aspects of the problem: the aspect of the beginning of the conflict. "All conflicts have pre-history. But a rare conflict has such a clear-cut beginning, as the conflict around Nagorno Karabakh. The basic positions of the parties".formed in February of 1988, and that is when everything suddenly (?- here I just could not hold back my astonishment! - A.M.) started to rage, boil and boiled over into demonstrations, strikes, political factions, flows of refugees and pogroms". This is how Thomas De Waal's starts the article. At the end of the second paragraph the suddenness of the emergence of the conflict is repeatedly confirmed: "...yet because the problem was both so new and so profound, no mechanism was found - or has yet been found - to repair the damage".

Thus, it is asserted that the conflict broke out suddenly, and to be exact in February of 1988. But in the other part of the article (the last paragraph of the fragment "Security Dilemmas") something contradictory is asserted: "The frictions inside Nagorno Karabakh began a few decades before the Soviet economic stagnations". And before that, Thomas De Waal nevertheless asserts that already at the beginning of the 20th century "Karabakh, just like Alsace, Flanders and Kashmir... turned into a battlefield". Of course between Armenians and Turks (at that time the local Turks were called Tatars, and from the 1930s they were called Azerbaijanis - A.M.). And furthermore: "... Armenians did not recognized the decisions of 1921 (here he talks about the decision to include Nagorno Karabakh into the borders of Azerbaijan SSR which was adopted against the will of CBRCP and without the participation of the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh), and repeatedly stood against it in 1945, 1965 and 1977. On 20th of February, 1988 during one of the session of Regional Council of NKAR it voted on and agreed to send a petition (solicitation) to the Soviet Government requesting withdrawal from Azerbaijan SSR and re-union with Armenia SSR". The detailed list of the phases and dates of the Karabakhi statements against the illegal decision of CBRCP do not prove, that in the course of the century the people of Nagorno Karabakh led practically an incessant battle against the annexation of the region. Knowing this and disregarding the contradictory text, Thomas De Waal, nevertheless, begins his article claiming the suddenness of the conflict, which apparently (let's hear Thomas De Waal) "came really unexpected for Azerbaijanis, which was natural: the fact that Nagorno Karabakh is a part of their republic (highlighted by me for a special commentary - A.M.), was an obvious fact for them, which was confirmed by daily news releases and wide scientific literature, where the Azeri population of Karabakh (highlight by me - A.M.) was repeatedly emphasized".

It is impossible not to see that Thomas De Waal very understandingly shares the "surprise of Azerbaijanis". A question arises - why, in essence, the decision of the Regional Council came as a surprise to Azerbaijanis and to Thomas De Waal, if Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh defended their homeland from Turkey's and Turkish-Azeri pretensions in 1918, 1919 and in 1920, and at the times of Soviet empire dared to protest in 1945, 1965 and 1977! Just because in daily news "the Azeri population of Karabakh was repeatedly emphasized"?

Author's note 6. Yet two more remarks arise from the cited quotation. "...The fact that Nagorno Karabakh forms a part of their republic was an obvious fact for them", - once again very understandingly notes Thomas De Wall. But it was precisely in the 1920s when Azeri Bolsheviks addressed Moscow with a request to establish a "strong non-national (highlighted by me - A.M.) center and a source of class revolution of the East" (see: "On the history of the establishment of Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region of Azerbaijan SSR", Baku, 1989, page 56). The Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic was created precisely as a non-national, non-national republic of the various ethnic groups and small nations. It was not created as a republic of Caucasus Tatars, and it did not have a singled out titled nation (it was only in the 1930s when the Tatars of Caucasus, that was how the local Turks were called at the time, "started to be called" Azerbaijanis, thus by means of this technical detail becoming a titled nation. Azerbaijan SSR is an non-national,, international republic - was created as a common country for all the nations of Eastern Transcaucasus, and not as "their republic".

"The fact that Nagorno Karabakh forms a part of their republic was an obvious fact for them, which was confirmed by daily news releases and wide scientific literature, where the Azeri population of Karabakh was repeatedly emphasized": here again the manipulation of the terms "Karabakh" and "Nagorno Karabakh" is used: it is unclear what Thomas De Waal is talking about here, about Nagorno Karabakh, where according to him Armenians form the main population and around which the conflict developed, or he is speaking of Karabakh at large (or about Valley Karabakh), which is the subject of discussion. This writing style and this confusion could be done only by a subtle author with an "Azerbaijani thought-process". Of course, one might argue that an Azerbaijani point of view is presented in the text. But if it is done unreserved, particularly in the text written for a large public, which is unfamiliar with the particulars of the conflict, then we get author's position!

WHY, NONTHELESS, AZERI TURKS (today they are called Azerbaijanis) CONFLICT WITH ARMENIANS?

"So what... pushed the ordinary neighbors to start a conflict between each other?", - asks Thomas De Waal before examining the causes of conflict. It turns out, that here also his "view from the other side" did not allow him to avoid contradictions, which are internally peculiar to Azerbaijani position.

Usually Baku politicians quote a pilot argument stating that Armenians in Azerbaijan SSR lived as good as Azerbaijanis did. They bring various data on economic growth of the region during the Soviet years. Indeed, the official statistics proves that a small, in terms of territory and population, region produced more grapes, milk and meat than the autonomous republics of Nakhichevan, Abkhazia, Adzharia and autonomous region of South Ossetia put together! But the region itself did not have anything from it, with an exception of banners of the all-union socialist competitions. A special Moscow commission, which visited the region in 1988, together with Arkadiy Volskiy, who was sent to the region in January of 1989 in connection with the introduction of special administration of the region, both established the fact that across the whole of USSR they have not seen a region so neglected as was NKAR. They just revealed for themselves the fact of colonial exploitation of the region concealed under the slogans of "friendship between nations". This very region instead of the meat, milk and grapes was given a piece of "festive banner" perhaps with a portrait of the great chieftain Lenin.

The politicians of Baku quote other impressive statistical data. They remember that Nagorno Karabakh held almost the first place in life expectancy across the whole of USSR, however, not mentioning the fact that this mean value of life expectancy was due to exodus of young population from the region. They remember that there was more housing available per head of the region's populations, than on average across the whole of republic, here once again, not mentioning the fact that it was due to empty buildings and houses. But then the steady growth of Azerbaijani population (from 4.5% in 1920 to 21.5% in 1988) is accounted not to the policy of ethnic expansion, but to "the realization of Lenin's nationalist policy".

Thomas De Waal is not interested in these facts. He supports the point of view which is steered by the propaganda machine of Baku, and from his name confirms, that "...the region itself essentially was not poorer than other regions of USSR, with average indices in Azerbaijan...".

Then how, nevertheless, Thomas De Waal ought to explain the conflict? After all, some sort of explanation has to be given. Here is his explanation (and once again "from the other side"!): "In 1920-1921 the only solution to this conflict (Thomas here again forgets that in the first lines of the article he accounted the beginning of the "sudden conflict" to 1988! - A.M.) could be the military victory of either of the parties - what, in essence, did happen in Anatolia, Zangezur and Nakhichevan". It seemed, that the "independent expert" Thomas De Waal examines the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, where according to him the only solution could be a military victory of one of the parties. But pay attention at how he incidentally calls the genocide of Armenians in Anatolia a "military victory". What kind of war is he talking about if the civilian population was massacred there?! What kind of victory does Thomas De Wall talk about mentioning Nakhichevan, when at the time this region was recognized by Azerbaijan SSR as an integral part of Soviet Armenia, and was handed over to the patronage of Azerbaijan SSR already on peaceful terms?! It turns out that all this has a special intention motive: to divert the subject of the current conflict to the "bilateral inter-governmental conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan". Anatolia ("known among Armenians as Western Armenia", would mention Thomas De Waal - A.M), Zangezur and Nakhichevan are put together in order to present the events in Anatolia, i.e. the genocide of Armenians on their own homeland, as a consequence of intergovernmental military clashes, even though an inter-governmental war between the Turks and Armenians could not happen in 1915, because in 1915 there was no Armenian government! This also relates to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. A brief glance at the chronology is enough in order to be convinced in the latter. The conflict, which resumed in 1988 and all the events around Nagorno Karabakh in 1988-1991 do not fit in to the "format" of inter-governmental military clash, as Thomas De Waal wanted to portray it by means of shuffling the facts in favor of Baku. Here are some of the main facts. On the 20th of April, 1988 Stepanakert requests the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan SSR and of Armenia SSR to consider and positively decide on the issue of transferring the NKAR from the composition of Azerbaijan SSR into the composition of Armenia SSR. The follow up to this request were the massacres in Sumgait, subsequent to which were pogroms across the whole of Azerbaijan SSR. These events took place not in the zones of military operations of the two countries! Do these events fit into the framework of a bilateral inter-governmental conflict? This was a genocide policy. And it was implemented on the people, who lived on that land for centuries, creating the political, economic and cultural history of the Eastern Caucasus and in 1988 did not take any part in the Karabakh movement. These Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh started this liberational and democratic movement, which was solely about Nagorno Karabakh. Whilst Baku organized pogroms all across the republic. The Armenians of Sumgait, Baku, Shemakhin were killed not because of their participation in Karabakh movement. There were killed because they were Armenians.

  • It happened in September of 1918, when the Turkish army occupied Baku.
  • It happened in March of 1920, when the Musawattis set fire to Shoushi and the neighbouring villages.
  • It happened in February of 1988 in Sumgait.
  • It happened in January of 1990 in Baku.
  • It happened in 1991 in Getashen, Martunashen, Verinshen
  • It happened in April of 1992 in Marag.
  • It was planned to be perpetrated against the civilian population of the region which was encircled by a blockade, in case if they were able to enter the region by force.

The authorities in Baku did not hide this. And current furious propaganda of hatred against Armenians, heroization of Ramil Safarov, who violently murdered his colleague Gurgen Markaryan in his sleep, in the educational centre of NATO in Budapest - is a proof of this propaganda (Ramil Safarov was sent to the NATO educational centre for training). Thomas De Waal could not be unaware that the 20th century for the Armenians of Eastern Transcaucasus is a history of almost permanent acts of violence and pogroms. But he persistently looks at this "from the other side", and that is why from this "neutral" position has to substantiate the actions of Turks, including Azeri Turks. That is why he needed to add somewhere else (in the fifth paragraph of the article) a "parity thought": "from the beginning of 20th century Azerbaijanis endured much suffering - not rarely, from the hands of Armenians". When and where? There is no answer. There are no examples. But there is author's assertion, which puts a sing of equality between the two nations, one of which stood up to fight in order to protect its right to exist, and the other one tried to take away this right by means of massive participation in the blockade of Nagorno Karabakh, fierce attacks in the Armenian quarters of Sumgait, Baku, Gandzak (Gyandja), Shoushi"., the nationwide heroization of Ramil Safarov - the murderer of the sleeping Armenian" Here you are, an ordinary neighbour!

In order to "fit everything in the parity" Thomas De Waal needed a few in order to "re-do" also the Sumgait events. Here is what he writes about them: "According to official data (almost fully reliable, since they do match with the lists of victims) the pogroms caused 26 Armenian deaths and 6 Azerbaijani deaths. Sumgait, in essence, turned the debate around Karabakh into Karabakh conflict". Where did Thomas De Waal get this data? Where did he find the names of 6 Azerbaijani victims? Why does he not mention what is the "official source"? Or he decided to independently define the number of victims? Having read the paper by a "neutral" expert Thomas De Waal, one might think that blood-thirsty Azerbaijani masses killed whoever they came across, including the 6 Azerbaijanis! Now pay attention at the stylistic form of the text. Just in case, forestalling disclosure and accusations of giving false information, the author, nevertheless, does avert a possible accusation in the parenthesis by means of adding a conditional touch to the general thought, noting that this data "was almost fully reliable". Here you are - a language of a typical pseudo-expert!

And even this kind of "edition and processing" of the events in Sumgait and the addition of the post factum to the list of Azeri victims are not enough in order to push forward the main idea: "from the beginning of the 20th century the Azeri nation too lived through much suffering - not rarely caused by Armenians". However one would try to turn around or up-side-down the facts, the pogroms where against Armenians, and the whole world knows about it! And here he embarks on the topic of refugees.


At one time the topic of refugees was the major topic of discussion after the issue on the occupied territories (this will be discussed further below). At the beginning, with all their might they yelled about 1.5 million refugees. Then they decided to decrease this number. They mentioned 1.2 million figure. When the international organizations got involved they found out that the number of "refugees" and other victims in Azerbaijan were falsely augmented in order to receive international aid.

However, very soon a question was raised about the categories of victims of the conflict (in the strict sense of the word) and suddenly everyone realized that Azerbaijani-refugees (in the legal interpretation of the term "refugee") practically do not exist! As it has been mentioned above, there are no Azerbaijani refugees in the former Soviet Armenia, due to two main reasons (this is an additional explanation particularly for Thomas De Waal). More than half of Azerbaijanis who lived in the Soviet Armenia (approximately 80 thousand) exchanged their apartments on very good and beneficial terms with Armenians - the victims of pogroms in Azerbaijan SSR. Almost the same number of Azerbaijanis (145 000 families) received compensation for the destroyed houses after the Spitak earthquake and managed this financial help at their own discretion. Not only them, but also many Armenians did not return to the horrific zone of the disaster. Moreover, it was ascertained that Azerbaijanis, who lived on the territories which today are controlled by NKR also cannot be considered refugees, considering their almost criminal participation in the blockade of NKAR and in the war against it, and considering that the country where they live currently, is considered by them as the country of their citizenship.

But the politicians in Baku (and for some reason Thomas De Waal too) really want to have refugees, who suffered from the "Armenian hands". In Baku they took care of it in advance. The day after the political document with the request "to settle the question of transferring NKAR from the composition of Azerbaijan SSR into the composition of Armenia SSR" was adopted in Stepanakert, some groups of Azerbaijanis as though following a command, in a very organized manner left Armenia (primarily from the town of Ghapan). For a peaceful Ghapan, where nothing extraordinary ever happened, this was a big surprise. The authorities of the town went after and even returned part of the "refugees" to their houses. But they were not successful in persuading the organizers of this provocation, the activists and the instigators to return. They were fulfilling a task, continuing their way towards Sumgait!

There are numerous proofs in the court cases on Sumgait verifying that they were not refugees, but provocateurs. They came to Sumgait in order to inflame the passions with the invented stories about "violent murders of Azerbaijanis" which were spread in Armenian Ghapan. The absence of any reasons for organized exodus from Ghapan has been verified by the authorities of the 3rd department of KGB, Lucenko and Khmelev in the article "Ten Points on the Politburo Scale", which was reprinted by "Golos Armenii" on 8th February, 2001 from Moscow's "Obshaya Gazeta". Right after pogroms in Sumgait there were discussions in Baku about Ghapan refugees - that they emerged on the eve of the pogroms. When in April of 1991 the Commission on Human Rights of Supreme Soviet of Russia organized hearings, dedicated to human rights violations in the zone of conflict, the Azerbaijani experts insisted on considering the month of February. Being very well aware about the groundless attempts to present Azerbaijanis, who arrived from Ghapan just before the pogroms, as refugees, the Commission in the chronology section put the text in the following way: "February - according to the Azerbaijani side the first Azerbaijani refugees come from NKAR, Ghapan and Meghri regions of Armenia". Exactly: "according to the Azerbaijani side". Commission did not verify this "fact" from its side, since everyone was very well aware that neither Ghapan, nor Meghri "produced refugees".

Meanwhile, a "witness" of the events - Thomas De Waal, without any reservations misleads his reader in the part of the article, which is subtitled "From Conflict to Violence", and by way of reliable and incontestable information states: "At the beginning a big group of Azerbaijani refugees arrived from South Armenia, who were lamenting about cruel persecutions (a small group of their counterparts had left Armenia a few months earlier)". Thomas De Waal is very well aware that there was no Azerbaijani exodus from Armenia, as well as there were no "cruel persecutions" against them. If there were these kind of persecutions or these kind of refugees, the whole world would immediately be aware. It would be voiced in Baku. These were the times of "glasnost", and not just "cruel persecutions", but simple and insignificant events of that kind would certainly be covered by media. Whereas Baku propaganda talks about persecutions and mystic refugees, of whom no one knows anything! However, pay attention at the writing style of typical pseudo-expert: "At the beginning, - he writes, - a big group of Azerbaijani refugees arrived from South Armenia". When exactly arrived the Azerbaijani refugees? Thomas does not mention. This uncertainty is favorable to him. Later on it even "becomes clear" that the mythical exodus is actually not the beginning of the events (even though the "beginning" is mentioned!), since it "becomes clear" that a few months earlier a different, smaller group of offended Azerbaijanis left Armenia. When exactly did it happen? It is not known! "A few months earlier", - significantly asserts Thomas De Waal, missing out on the fact that the conflict around Nagorno Karabakh is chronologically documented with surgical precision mentioning exact months, days and even hours. And here, at the beginning a big group, but a few months earlier - a smaller group". Language of fiction and myth! Language of informational terror! Now pay attention as to how careful Thomas De Waal is, quoting the above excerpt and speaking of "cruel persecutions" which were perpetrated against Azerbaijanis in Armenia. Of this he does not speak as a fact, but refers to refugees "who were lamenting on cruel persecutions". The expert is very well aware about the measure of offering a lie! He masters the art of offering believable fiction and myth, when there are no established facts or proves at hand.

And at the same time, when speaking of pogroms in Sumgait on which volumes of irrefutable facts and proofs are compiled, Thomas De Waal does not forget to use the word "myth" for the purpose of stimulating corresponding associations with the reader: "Despite the fact, that around the events in Sumgait an entire mythology and numerous conspiracy theories were created, all the existing evidence point to the fact that it was a sudden mass outbreak of violence, which the Soviet authorities could not handle, but which also was not provoked neither was it planned by it". Not furnishing with any proof, to speak of "all the existing evidence", not mentioning a single one - this is a skill! If Thomas was an independent expert, he would not allow this kind of approach. This kind of manner is insulting to the dignity and honour of a professional. But Thomas De Waal by all means has to carry out the point of view of Baku on Sumgait massacres - it is a "sudden mass outbreak of violence". Let it be! However, it is enough to simply look at the abovementioned chronology (certainly known to Thomas De Waal) of these "sudden outbreaks", in order to realize that these mass and sudden outbreaks of violence from Azerbaijani Turks had a permanent character! And this could not have happened without a strategy, which was systematically carried out. Specialists usually call this Pan-Turkism.

Let us, however, return from Thomas De Waal to the Baku Politicians. Very soon they noticed that the proximity of the dates of exodus of Ghapan "refugees" and pogroms in Sumgait suggests that this was all very well organized. They, thus, decided to chronologically move backwards the exodus of "Ghapan refugees". They declared new dates of the emergence of first refugees from Armenia, moving these dates to November 1987! Speaking the truth though, the main conductor of Baku's propaganda orchestra, president H. Aliev, having lost himself in the labyrinth of false dates, on 18th May 2000 at an international conference in Baku, remembered that "the first resettlers-refugees from Armenia came to Azerbaijan in 1988". Pay attention: Aliev did not call them refugees; he called them resetllers-refugees. Perhaps he did not find a more appropriate word for resettled fugitive-provocateurs.

I do not think that Thomas De Waal was not aware of all of this. It is not difficult at all to disclose "the case of Ghapan refugees" and to show, that they indeed were the instigators and participants of pogroms in Sumgait. But this is subject to their wish. Thomas De Waal does not wish that at all. And in the Black Garden, when speaking of Ghapan "refugees", he does quote Arif Yunusov (see: Thomas De Wall, "Black Garden, New York-London 2003, page 19 (English version)), but on the pages of Accord he writes from his name. Perhaps for the purpose of making the information trustworthy! After all a reader expects that kind of information from an independent expert!


In reality, could the observer or expert be called independent if all the events and facts to which he turns are described or interpreted one-sidedly, or rather with partiality? It comes down to mere ignorance or silencing of practically all, including universally known but not favorable to Azerbaijan, facts and circumstances. "Azerbaijanis, - writes Thomas De Wall, - remember with horror the most savage massacre, which happened in the course of this war, when 485 people, mostly civilian population, were killed by Armenians during the assault of Khodjala in February of 1992. Moreover, they lived through an acute humanitarian crisis after the Armenian military occupation of seven regions neighboring Karabakh in 1992-1994, after which followed a mass expulsion of half a million residents of these regions (here Thomas placed the "occupied regions" not only beyond the borders of Nagorno Karabakh, but even beyond Karabakh itself! - A.M.). The consequences of widening the military actions so far beyond the borders of Nagorno Karabakh (if including in this also Karabakh territories, than today Armenians control 13.6% of internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan) remain a persistent wound in this unresolved conflict".

This quotation is cited from the part of the article which is subtitled as "Escalation and Open War". It is rather hard to comment on this quotation, since the statements which it contains are either false or by any means nonsensical.

For example, there is no sense in the last sentence of the quotation, where the author presents the percentage of occupied territories. It is enough to simply look at the physical map and check articles on Nagorno Karabakh from encyclopedias in order to be assured in something so evident: Armenians in the course of military actions did not go beyond the geographical borders of Nagorno Karabakh. Moreover, few regions of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) remain outside of non-recognized NKR's control. These are those very territories, which according to the decision of CBRCP from 5th July, 1921 had to be included into the Autonomous Region of Nagorno Karabakh (ARNK). CBRCP enacted with this decision to give wide regional autonomy to the whole of Nagorno Karabakh, and not only to the part of this geographical region (and thus the name ARNK). In 1923 Baku violated an already illegal decision, decreeing the autonomous region only on one part of Nagorno Karabakh (and that is why later on the ARNK - the Autonomous Region of Nagorno Karabakh, was renamed into NKAR - Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region). As a result of 1992-1994 war Karabakhi Armenians liberated only part of those territories, which according to the decision of CBRCP had to be part of Armenian autonomous region. But even if one is not familiar with these legal nuances then a physical map is well enough in order to understand the senseless statements about Armenians crossing the borders of Nagorno Karabakh or "widening the military actions so far beyond the borders of Nagorno Karabakh". Perhaps only Thomas De Waal comprehends the following nonsense: "if Karabakh itself is also included here, then Armenians". control 13.6% of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan". How one is supposed to include Karabakh, if Armenians remain within the borders of Nagorno Karabakh?

But before that, author states that Azerbaijanis lived through a horrifying humanitarian crisis after the occupation of seven regions neighboring NKAR in 1992-1994, "after which followed a mass expulsion of half a million residents of these regions". After all, Thomas De Waal could have looked into the statistical directories and make it clear for himself that not half a million but 340 thousand people lived on the so called occupied territories. But this is not only about numbers, which are constantly edited in favor of Baku. There is misinterpretation of facts related to "mass expulsion of residents" of the so called occupied regions. The point is that there was no expulsion of residents. Inside and around the sieged NKR all the towns and villages with Azerbaijani population were turned by Baku into base stations, from where the whole republic was exposed to artillery bombardment. Thus, they triggered a reciprocal fire on those populated areas, which was carried out by the NKR's Army of Defense. The major part of the residents of these populated areas, which prior to that took a massive part in the blockade of NKR, left the places of residence long before Armenians came there. When Armenians entered Shoushi or Aghdam, these towns were already deserted. If the population stayed in the towns after they were taken by Armenians, than hardly those who stayed could be referred to as civilians, since practically all of them took part in the blockade of NKR or in war, unleashed by Baku. Whatever happened there, civilians in these settlements were not found in order to massively expel them, as Thomas De Waal describes.

Finally, about the first sentence of the cited quotation, where he talks about Khodjalu. Thomas De Waal hands down a verdict, condemning Armenians in murdering "approximately 485 people, primarily civilian population" in the village of Khodjalu, not mentioning the fact, that Armenians and some Azerbaijanis insist (with quite some serious grounds) that Khodjalu slaughter was organized by certain Azerbaijani authorities, and particularly by NFA (National Front of Azerbaijan) for political purposes. The villagers of Khodjalu were shot down from close distance at the end of humanitarian corridor, which was left by the Armenians for the exit of civilian population. Right before the attack the Khodjalu villagers were informed about the route of their exit departure. A squall of fire met them at the approach to Aghdam, on the territory, controlled by NFA. The president of Azerbaijan at the time swiftly acting in response to the events in Khodjalu, stated that the author of this villainy was the NFA, since at the time he was struggling to oust them ("Nezavizimaya Gazeta" newspaper, issue of 2nd April, 1992). In 2001 the 6th issue of "Novoe Vremya" magazine he confirmed the same information. The same opinion is held by Azerbaijani expert Arif Yunusov, with whom Thomas De Waal is in contact. In fact, Yunusov considers that certain political powers in Baku sacrificed the lives of Kohdjalu villagers in order "not to allow the National Front of Azerbaijan" to come to power" ("Zerkalo" newspaper, July, 1992). Here we cited statements by people whom Thomas De Waal certainly must know. It is impossible for him not to know about the testimony of Czech journalist Mazalova, who has been in the tragic place and found on the territory, which was controlled by Azerbaijanis, the bodies of shot Khodjali villagers, which were savagely desecrated. This could be done only by the same power, which organized the confrontational slaughter of the people entering Aghdam.

The Khodjali tragedy uncovered new verges of political civilization of Azerbaijani Turks. It showed that this civilization is able to perpetrate not just "sumgait". For the political purposes they are able to slaughter their fellow countrymen. And to do so in the most inhuman forms.

The motives, behind the attempts of Baku propaganda of shifting and putting the blame of this barbaric act on Armenians, are clear both from political and psychological perspectives. They ought to by all possible means to wash off that shameful stain from the nation. Since it can demoralize the people, who can once again be mobilized for subsequent war against Armenians. In fact, at the very beginning of the Karabakhi movement in September of 1988, the Khodjali villagers, plunged into a wild bedlam, gave a good example of serving their nation by forcing out Armenians from the village. It was them who after the Azerbaijani residents of Shoushi became the instigators of ethnic cleansing within the ethnically Armenian region. But they definitely were not aware of how the National Front of Azerbaijan (according to the version of the ex-president of Azerbaijan Ayaz Mutalibov) or the appreciative political leadership of the republic will thank them (according to the version of Arif Yunusov).

Above we presented only a small part of all the evidence which proves the fact that Armenians had nothing to do with the slaughter of Khodjali villagers. There are many other testimonies by Azerbaijanis themselves. Thomas De Waal remains silent about them. The "independent" expert, editor of Caucasus Programme at the Institute of War and Peace Reporting in London turns out to be in the front lines of those "information fighters" who in the most masterful forms defend the most aggressive Turk-Azerbaijanis. Why?

There are only two possible explanations. First, being an editor of the Caucasus Programme at the abovementioned London institute Thomas De Waal was given a special task in return for a certain fee to illustrate the conflict. Thomas chose the easiest way. He decided that Azerbaijan, being the party which "suffered the defeat" in the Karabakh war, deserves sympathy and support, and non-deliberately took the side of the "victim".

But the analysis of his texts proves another thing. It shows how methodically and finely Thomas carries out Azerbaijani position by distorting the essence of the problem, masterfully going around all the unfavorable to Azerbaijani position facts and events, skillfully offering lie as believable truth. These are texts to which he put a lot of effort and time. Per se every sentence was "thought through in an Azerbaijani way". And this means that there is a definitive arrangement, particular interest. And if this interest does not come from the institute, where he works as editor, then there is only one explanation left: he was personally interested!

Admittedly, another, a more important question remains without an answer. Why this author was invited by the Conciliation Resources for the making of the last issue of Accord 2005? Why?

Many of us know the answer to this "why?" I too, am surmising certain things. But of this, next time"

I.e. as stipulated by the International Law

Translator's note.

Tea House in Central Asia (Translator's note)



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