There are many who acknowledge that the claims made by the Armenian side are true. These are according to interviews with witnesses, journalists, and Azerbaijani officials.
Meskhetian Turks' Evidence
Interview with Khojaly CiviliansTranslations:
Q: Do you have four children. Your children are afraid when they shoot?
Answer: Of course fear!
Q: But from your village, the village where you lived. often fired on Armenian villages. By Noragyugh shot fired at the village Mehtishen. Fired from a gun on Stepanakert, from "Alazan" shot. Right?
Question: Was it?
Answer: They were shooting, yes.
Q: And you did not ask why there was shooting in the city? After all, you were shooting in the city, and then fired in your city. Just because?
Answer: It is impossible to say. Once said. We said - we live here, the Finnish house the most extreme. Be kind, do not shoot here. Will you shoot, there will be shooting in our direction, our children are afraid. Shoot the other side. They did not listen. They shouted naobrot - what are you doing?
Answer: We waited, waited, waited for the last six months, we believe, will not be able to live here.
A: We are neutral people, why are we here we go? This is not my land, why I'm here to be in conflict? I'd rather leave here. I wanted to get out of here, was not allowed.
Q: And were not allowed to leave?
A: Where? If you go - would be killed.
Q: The helicopter is also not allowed?
Answer: Believe it or at least do not believe it, but I'm 10 days in a row to the helicopter, wanted to leave, 10 days, walked up close and not admitted.
Q: And who would not let.
Answer: Our things were thrown .... There are those ... military (inaudible - milli ordu)
Q: The National Army?
A: Yes. They are suitable with machine guns. It seems to suggest the order. Stand back, they say, one walk, in the list. As a helicopter goes down, chaos begins, each of drags, this ... (Inaudible). So we all stayed. All Meskhetian with children were now, no one could leave. And if I'm not mistaken, 80% of the children there. If I'm not mistaken. They all uehlai.
Q: All gone?
A: And here we are, I believe, 24 families, all stayed. and almost all the children.
Q: You work in RONO. Why are all the children were taken otttuda, almost all children. And your children were Turkish. Why not?
Answer: Because it is not allowed.
Q: Why Azerbaijani children allowed?
Q: They ran away and left you?
Khojaly Civilians Going to AzerbaijanTranslations:
The woman in this video says, "Armenians fed us four times a day with full food, hot tea while they themselves didn't have food, they gave their food to us, our kids, brought duvet for us."
Interviews with Meshetkian Turks from Khojaly
Ayaz Mutalibov's InterviewThe first president of Azerbaijan recently gave an extremely interesting interview to one of the Russian TV channels in which it is narrated that the first president of Azerbaijan, who proclaimed the independence of the country, at present is living in the outskirts of Moscow in a state apartment, without a passport and livelihood.
An ordinary refugee with triumphal past and rather obscure future. This is how the Azerbaijani treat their leaders when the power passes to other hands.
According to the reportage: “The ruling class of the Alievs did everything so that the citizens should consider Heydar Aliev to be the founder of their country and
should forget that they had ever had a first president. It is already 15 years that Ayaz Mutalibov has been wanted by the police in his country. Heydar Aliev accused him of plotting coup d’etat.
Mutalibov denies the accusation but does not return to his homeland no to be taken to prison. He is considered as an enemy in his motherland and Ayaz Mutalibov is not admitted even by the Azerbaijani community in Moscow”.
“He ran to Moscow two months after his resignation and two days after the feeble attempt to return to the President’s palace. When the armed supporters of the opposition went out to the streets to demand the president’s resignation, Mutalibov went to the Russian military airport and, leaving his family in Baku, escaped from the country. Now he avoids speaking about this fact, but it is certain that Mutalibov preferred to save himself and only after several days his friends took his family in cars first to Daghestan and then to Moscow. He has been an exile since then: a guest to Russia, an enemy to Azerbaijan, an enemy to Armenia”.
“The whole negative after the Khojaly tragedy was focused on me. I had to take the whole responsibility upon myself though I was not guilty of anything”, - claimed Ayaz Mutalibov in the interview. Let us remind you that on the 2nd of April in 1992, in “Nezavisimaya gazeta” Ayaz Mutalibov gave an interview to an independent Czech journalist, Dana Mazalova, who afterwards became persecuted in her own country. The cause of all these trials was the excessive frankness of the first president which cost him his impeachment. During the interview it became quite clear that the Azerbaijani version of the Khojaly events is none other than a well-planned provocation of the Azerbaijani.
The clan of the Alievs did not forgive Mutalibov for such frankness.
From the interview of the former president of Azerbaijan Ayaz Mutalibov to the Czech journalist Dana Mazalova, “Njvaya Gazeta”, 2.04.92
Question: What is your opinion about the KHOJALY events after which you resigned? Dead bodies of the Khojaly inhabitants were found not far from Aghdam. Someone first shot at legs so that people could not go farther. Then he added the axe, on the 29th of February my colleagues took photos of all this. Then during new sequences these very corpses were scalped. A very strange game…
Answer: As the Khojali inhabitants, who narrowly escaped, say, it was all organized in order to have ground for my resignation. Some forces functioned for the effort to discredit the president. I don’t think that Armenians, who always have a distinct and competent attitude towards such situations, could have let the Azerbaijani get the documents unmasking them in fascist actions. It could be supposed that somebody is interested to show these sequences afterwards, at the BC session and to focus everything on my person.
If I claim the Azerbaijani opposition to be guilty in it, they might say that I am telling lies about them. However, the general background of arguments is, that a corridor by which the people could leave, was, nevertheless, left by Armenians. Why then would they begin to shoot? Especially in the territory nearby Aghdam, where by that time there had been enough forces to help the people. Or, just come to an agreement that the civil population will leave. Such practice has always been usual.
I have always been told that people in Khojaly hold themselves up and it is necessary to support them with armaments, people and food. I gave a commission to use helicopters for this purpose. However, the pilots refused to fly there as they do not have special devices to avoid stingers. Nearly a week passed. An Aghdam alignment was sttked nearby to watch the developments there. As soon as the military forces encircled Khojaly, it was necessary to evacuate the population. Earlier such a commission was given by me concerning Shushi: to leave men there and to take women and children off. These are also laws of the war: you must save their lives. My behavior was unbiased and fefinite: I gave such commissions but I have no idea why they were not fulfilled. By the way, I spoke to Mkrtchyan, the head of Military Forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, several times: “You laid several people on the ground. Give us an opportunity to take their bodies off here”. But he replied that there must be no bodies, that our people are with them and that they are fed there, though they are short of provisions, and they are ready to exchange them with their hostages.
Question: When were you informed about those lost lives?
Answer: The next day after I was informed that there are just a few killed people in Khojaly. The information came from the minister of Home Affairs.
Question: Who was responsible for that information?
Answer: The minister himself. By that time a press-centre had been established in the Ministry of Defense. After the story about the helicopters we had an agreement that nobody would spread doubtful information.
Question: Do you consider the Prime Minister Hasan Hasanov responsible, too?
Answer: The head of the government, of course, is responsible for everything, though he refuses to have anything to do with such questions. Well, the government is government.
Eynulla Fatullaev's Interview and Karabakh DiaryFatullaev's Karabakh Diary (fragment)
Seeing Khojaly I couldn’t conceal my consternation. Having been destroyed to the ground, this Azerbaijani settlement is completely restored, and transformed into a town Ivanovka in honor of Armenian general having taken an active part in the occupation of Khojaly.
The Khojaly tragedy, the deep wounds in our souls inflicted by Armenian expansionism on this long-suffering Azerbaijani land, run all through my meetings in Askeran.
How is that? Isn’t there anything humane left in these people?
However, for the sake of justice I admit that several years ago I met some Khojaly refugees who temporarily lived in Nafatalan and who openly confessed that the day before the large scale attack of Russian-Armenian contingent army on Khojaly, the town was encircled. And several days before the attack, Armenians gave the inhabitants warnings by loudspeakers about the planned operation and suggested that the population abandon the settlement and break out the encirclement by the humanitarian corridor, along the bank of the river Kar-Kar. According to Khojaly inhabitants, they made use of that corridor, and the Armenian soldiers being at this corridor, in fact, didn’t open fire at them. Several soldiers from the NFA battalion, for some reason, helped part of the Khojaly inhabitants out to the village Nakhijevanik which at that time was under control of Askeran battalion of Armenians. The rest of the population was straddled by artillery fire at the foot of Aghdam region.
Being in Askeran, I listened to the assistant chief of the Askeran local authorities Slavik Arushanyan and compared his recollections with the words of Khojali inhabitants who were under fire from the Azerbaijani side.
I asked S. Arushanyan to help me to show the corridor through which the Khojaly inhabitants went out. Getting to know the geographical surroundings, I can state with a full conviction that conjectures about the absence of Armenian corridor are groundless. The corridor indeed existed. Otherwise the Khojali inhabitants, completely surrounded and isolated from the outer world, could never have breached the rings and get out of the encirclement. However, getting over the area at the river Kar-Kar, the line of the refugees divided into groups and nobody knows why one part of the Khojali people made their way to the direction of Nakhijevanik. It seems that battalions of NFA strived not for the liberation of Khojaly inhabitants, but longed for much blood on the way of A. Mutalibov’s overthrow.
As S. Arushanyan says: “Several days before the attack, your then president A. Mutalibov gave a telephone call to Stepanakert and made a request to Mkrtchyan, our former president. He requested to provide conditions for the people to leave the blockade Khojaly. In reply Mkrtchyan asked A. Mutalibov - why aren’t you interested in your people’s destiny? The helicopters sent from Baku are loaded by the cattle and not by people.”
Yes, they managed to evacuate the cattle, but not the people. Such are the sad recollections about the first Karabakh war.
I asked the Askeran inhabitants: “I was told in Karabakh that Azerbaijani live here. Is it true?”
“We can visit them right now”, answered S. Arushanyan to my surprise. Indeed, in the very centre of Askeran, lives an Azerbaijani by name Tofik Aliev. And the most interesting thing is that learning that I am from Baku, he wasn’t embarrassed at all.
- I have lived here since 1960. We moved here from Ujar region. After the beginning of the mass disturbances I moved to Azerbaijan and again returned to Ujar. I couldn’t survive there.
- When did you return to Askeran?
- In 1991. True, at some moment they wanted to kill me.
Here S. Arushanyan interrupted our conversation: “I told the guys then- why to kill him? What is he guilty of? Today there is no difference for us what nationality Tofik is”.
Well, this story shocked me so much that, returning to Karabakh, I was eager to share my impressions with readers. And how astonished I was when the so-called minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mamedyarov disproved my impressions and estimated them by a beloved word “provocation”.
Eynulla Fatulaev (Baku) Lachin-Shusha-Aghdam-Khankendi-Baku Source: newspaper “Realniy Azerbaijan”
Dana Mazalova's InterviewThis guest we've been waiting a very long time - ever since the world began to spread lies and vile slander on the Armenians in connection with the events in Khojaly. Dana Mazalova - famous Czech journalist - was all the Karabakh war, worked in other hot spots, is the author of numerous films and publications. It was Mazalova in March 1992 to see the footage, filmed in late February, the operator and the Azeri TV journalist Ch.Mustafaevym far from Aghdam.
- Dana, how and when you came to our region of interest to Armenia?
- In 1982, a colleague offered me a ride in a car in the USSR and I, without hesitation, chose the route to Yerevan. It was not a random decision - a year before I was given the book "Monuments of Armenia." That's how I first came to Armenia, and my strongest impression was Goshavank: at various points in the church were young guys and old sang Armenian songs. It was unforgettable - amazing acoustics and stunning music.
Even then I was struck by the Armenian eyes. I think they froze a particular expression, which I call myself "a winning submission." I generally like to look into the eyes of people from very ancient nation. There is a theory according to which the barbarians forced out of a cultural nation with the low-lying areas in the mountains. So it was in the Caucasus, where, in my opinion, generally there is something magical and inexplicable. In Karabakh can find old men who read and some really do not know how, but they concealed this wisdom, to which may not reach people who studied in all universities of the world. Armenia for me at all - one of the centers of European and Christian culture.
So for me has been a natural to come here in the days of the earthquake, and during the war and report the news as a journalist. Constantly rushing from Yerevan to Stepanakert, Baku, Moscow and back. I tried to cover the war from both sides - and sat in the Armenian and Azerbaijani trenches.
- How did you first hear about what happened in Khojaly?
- In April 1995 I presented all that I know, in an article published in the Czech weekly "Reflex". It was the following. In mid-March 1992 Azerbaijani cameraman and journalist Chingiz Mustafayev, with whom we were friendly, showed me at his home in Baku raw footage, shot him in February on the outskirts of Aghdam. I want to emphasize that Genghis was the only operator who shot dead people there. But the footage shown me Mustafayev had nothing to do with the video and snapshots that the Azeri side is now the world as his subject.
Genghis flew there by helicopter and brought with him a part of the dead to bury. It was the body of the Meskhetian Turks, lying about 10 km from Aghdam, they were all dressed in one piece. The territory controlled by Azerbaijan, and among the corpses of Genghis replaced the man in uniform who is not afraid of the Azerbaijani helicopter. All this I saw on the frame, which he showed me. When a few days later he returned to Mustafayev other bodies, he was struck by the changes in their condition: the bodies were scalped.
- The Azerbaijani side shows the terrifying images of naked children, and raped, mutilated bodies of women. These shots were from Mustafayev?
- I repeat, nothing in the captured video frames Mustafayev and was not close: no nude children and women, or men scalped. But I very well remember that the victims had been shot through the knees. Mustafayev at first a physician, so he knew right away that these people were dying long and painful death, and bled. In addition, there was undoubtedly a shot from close range, and were aiming it at his knees. Someone deliberately killed these people, but who and for what purpose, I can not say. I'm talking only about what she saw.
- Mustafayev once commented on these shots?
- It is difficult to comment. He only said: "Do you understand? I am now afraid to travel to Baku without body armor." You know that a few months later Mustafayev was killed. By the way, Genghis, as a true professional who took his own death. He stood there with a camera in his hands, and getting hit in the back, immediately turned her lens to him.
- What do you think, where now may be the real footage Mustafayev?
- In all likelihood, they could be preserved in the archives of the TV, on which he worked. It should look.
- How did you get the very famous interview Mutalibov, which was published in "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" April 2, 1992, and in fact shed light on the events of late February, with the Aghdam?
- It is seen from Chingiz shots and made me question Mutalibov, which, as you know, it was dismissed after the events in Khojaly. In addition, for a journalist is quite logical to interview the deposed president.
- Subsequently denied Mutalibov own words about the presence of a humanitarian corridor for the civilians out.
- It's his job. I know that he is talking about. And it can be confirmed by the employee, "Nezavisimaya Gazeta", which made the transcript of the interview, and fellow journalists, who heard the recording. As far as I know, have been preserved and cassettes. I might add that I was in Azerbaijan, a journalist, accused for this interview. They think that I should not have to ask this question. That is my fault that the standards guided by the democratic journalism.
- You are then returned to the theme in their materials?
- For Czech readers it all interesting, and is updated only in case of attachment to the present day, as happened recently in the Czech town of Lidice. You know that the population of this small town was completely destroyed by the Nazis during the Second World War, and now there is the memorial to commemorate the victims. When he learned that on February 26 in Lidice preparing some action related to the Khojaly, I consulted with friends and decided to go there. Unfortunately, the Czech side has not verified the reliability of the Azerbaijanis of materials, but through the intervention of the Armenian embassy in Lidice did not attend invited to attend some of the officials of the Czech Republic, as, for example, the minister of culture.
I went to the head of the Azerbaijani organizations Nazarov and asked him: "Where are these pictures that you give for pictures of the Khojaly?" And talked with the staff of the museum, and the Mayor of Lidice, addressed the gathering and told all I know - with facts and references. And I said that this action - it is a mockery of the victims of the Nazis, is simply unacceptable. We do not want that our monuments and our memory of someone used for their own purposes, to a dirty public relations, and even with fakes.
- Let's finish with, where we began - the existence of a certain Armenian spirituality. You feel it now?
- I think you lose this spirituality, and the process started immediately after the earthquake. When people have nothing to eat, when there is cold and dark, and the country is locked, it is difficult to maintain a culture in itself and in relation to others. Plus, a war that never passes without a trace and is behind a lot of effects, especially noticeable in the former Soviet Union. Briefly, I would call it a decrease in sensitivity to what is permitted. This happens after the war in Chechnya and in Russia, where there Evsukova majors, and in Bosnia, it is typical for Armenia, and Azerbaijan. People get used to permissiveness, declining moral bar, there is a clear degradation - these are, unfortunately, the inevitable consequences of war.
P.S. During our meeting with Dana there was a curious scene. In the lobby of the hotel came Thomas de Waal - author of "Black Garden" - and asked who speaks for the camera. We explained that a Czech journalist, who says that she knows about the incident around Khojaly. The reaction de Waal, the researchers said the Karabakh issue and loving sagely advise everyone how to solve it, were unexpected: the reason he got nervous and hastily retreated, not showing any interest in what Mazalova said. Such is the "researcher" and "expert", who apparently knows everything about the realities of the war in Karabakh ...
Viktoria Ivlieva's InterviewI came to film in Stepanakert on 25 February. As it turned out to events. That night, Armenian troops stormed the village of Khojaly, where Azerbaijani forces shelling of Stepanakert and where the only airport in Karabakh.
Together with the doctors, I was in the second echelon attack. A few miles from Khojaly, we suddenly realized that something is moving towards us in the dark looked like a cloud. We have heard the groans, the cries of the Azerbaijani and Armenian, curses. "The Cloud" was a crowd. Half-dressed people, many children ....
"This is the Meskhetian Turks, we are of the captured" - explained their Armenian soldiers were escorting.
The latest in a crowd of Turks was a woman with three children. Barefoot in the snow. She barely moved, often fell. It was found that the youngest of her children for two days. Two days!
I took this child in her arms and walked together with the Turks. Smeared the tears we both - I and this woman. Overnight, a mess ... Although I have had signs on their clothing, which stormed the distinguished friend of a friend, a couple of times I hit the butt and scolded, potoraplivaya. I knew that I was not in danger, but in a minute felt like a captive. No one wished.
In the morning I was in Khojaly. The village was burning. The corpses in the streets. Myself, I counted seven dead, one in police uniform. Then we are hit by gun fire. Shot entrenched in one of the houses Azerbaijani OMON.
The fight continued outside the house until the evening and ended with the Armenian side of the two killed and several wounded. What happened to the riot police: they perished or were able to escape in the dark - I do not know.
A soldier of the 366th Motorized Rifle Regiment during the storming of Khojaly was not seen. But the army armor and artillery bombardment, predshestvovashy offensive, watched with my own eyes.
... Two days later, the Turks were released. Taken to the front line in the Askeran region, showed the way, and - let's walk. Released, though not all, the man left 10 men vzalozhnikah. Although, according to the Armenians, the use of them is not enough: these hostages to exchange even a canister of gasoline. They are not wanted, they draw. Guarding their soldiers belonged to the Turks as a human. Zhanna Galstyan, one of the leaders of the Karabakh resistance, brought things for the children. Perhaps, the Karabakh Armenians feel like the fate of Turks as their own position?
Turkish prisoners - the worst thing that I saw in those days in Khojaly. It was people who had fled three years ago from Uzbekistan and sent to the Azerbaijani authorities to live in Nagorno-Karabakh in a war zone. Among the Khojaly were expelled from the old woman, who must remember the deportation in 1944 from Georgia. Now is the expulsion of their third ... Last?
Interviews with Azerbaijani Authorities
By order of the authorities had to say that is not captured by the Armenians, Khojaly "
02/26/2010 11:10. Vest.Az
Agshin Zeynalov - Lieutenant Colonel, retired police, spokesman for the Interior Ministry Mutalibov "I was told to immediately write a report and go on vacation"
Exclusive interview with Colonel Vesti.Az-retired police lieutenant Agshin Zeynalov, February 26, 1992 first reported the capture of Khojaly Azerbaijan.
- How did you hear about the capture of Khojaly by Armenians?
- At the time I served as head of Interior Ministry's press service. On duty, I'm pretty close contact with the media. At the ill-fated morning of February 26, 1992 As usual, I arrived at work. You know, when the republic was an extremely difficult situation, no one knew who should represent the media information. I was commissioned to work with the press. To me very quickly received information not only about the crime situation in the country and situation report from the front lines. At about 10.00 am I was called a correspondent of the newspaper "Liberty" Amrahgyzy Elmira (now defunct - ed.). She asked me how things are in the country. I immediately contacted the duty part of the Interior Ministry, the staff informed me that the situation in the country. However, they noted that the duty of the town of Khojaly police are not contacted. Then the intercom, I joined with the political officer of the police Shusha Elkhan (last name, unfortunately, can not remember). At that time, Shusha was also in a state of siege. Elkhan told me that he sees through his binoculars as the Armenian armor is a city that literally burns. Resulting from Shusha information I gave the journalist of the newspaper "Liberty", which wrote about the capture of Khojaly.
- As events developed after the publication of information about the capture of Khojaly?
- Some time after that, I was summoned to the reception the Minister of Internal Affairs and stated that by order of the Office of the President should immediately prepare the information that the Khojaly is still not captured by the Armenians, during the fighting around the city killed two people and other misinformation. When I said that already passed in the "Liberty" information about the capture of Khojaly, then there began a distinguished race. I was told to immediately write a report and go on vacation from February 26.
- That is, someone did not want people to know about the capture of Khojaly?
- Naturally. Morning of February 27 I immediately phoned the assistant minister and ordered an immediate return to work. When approaching the Ministry of Interior building, I saw that gathered around him a huge crowd of people, who demanded an explanation, and even the government's resignation. It turned out that the day before, that is, February 26, in the "Gyunyun screens" reported with reference to the Interior Ministry, which in Khojaly all goes well, during the fighting killed only two people were wounded and two of them.
- Who spread this false information?
- February 26, at a meeting of the Security Council of the then spokesman for the Office of the President Rasim Agayev persuaded Interior Minister Tofig Karimov to speak with such information as the truth, in his opinion, could make some much noise and lead to unpredictable consequences. That is, deception, concealment terrible truth they tried to hide information about the fall of Khojaly and the deaths of hundreds of innocent people. Frankly, it was very sad and I feel sorry for it.
Late 1991 and early 1992 did not remember Mutalibov euphoria of newfound independence in fact, a dense cluster of concerns, at times seemed insurmountable.
The more the winter and spring to feed the population, if the grain bins Republic Gulkina nose, and Russia and Kazakhstan, referring to the harvest, completely disrupted the planned delivery?
Saved by support from Ankara - in reply to rosbu Mutalibov then Prime Minister of Turkey, Demirel S. promptly ordered the ship to Azerbaijan million tons of wheat by issuing one-half as humanitarian aid, and another - a long-term loan.
How at least a first approximation to regulate financial flows, as long as the emission center is located outside your country, and spins the spiral of inflation, and inter-republican commitment to continue to run on non-cash payments have lost their meaning? Completely switch to barter? And how, without being guilty, make excuses to those old men and women whose labor savings from day to day worthless because of the rapid fall of the ruble? Since all of the time anyway depended on the circulation of money, Mutalibov realized that in the ruble zone covered by the chaos does not hold, and, without delay, ordered new signs the national currency in France.
In short, Mutalibov had to mobilize the entire business executive acumen that Azerbaijan has not slipped into the abyss. When solving specific economic figures from the NFA did not prevent him because of his own incompetence. Instead, they act out with a vengeance on the political front, complicating the work of the president, and sometimes even forcing him into a corner. This happened at a time when the initiative of the opposition in Parliament addressed the issue of Azerbaijan's joining the collective security system of the CIS countries.
Why should we, the independent state, to give their military units subordinated to a stranger from a distant uncle of Moscow, which did not hit a finger to protect our half-brothers and sisters in Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia brazen attacks? - Tore up the throat hurray-patriotic orators of the Democratic faction. We must quickly turn out from the territory of the Republic of the 4th Army of the Transcaucasian Military District, and its equipment and weapons to hand self-defense battalions that will raise the morale of the volunteers, and be sure to create the material prerequisites for the final victory over the enemy!
Along with the heat of emotion, in their speeches present the logic, so none of the deputies did not dare to object, and a decree was approved by a majority vote.
At the same time the board NFA at a rally took a popular appeal, in which the republic's leadership accused of inadequacy and failure to ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, to overcome the enemy in the Nagorno-Karabakh, the country from economic and political crisis. Treatment took the form of an ultimatum, and ended with an ominous warning - or before February 28, the situation is stabilized, or the president is obliged to resign. And if Mutalibov not go good, then it toppled with a bayonet and grenade.
Such was the situation in Azerbaijan, Mutalibov when preparing for a meeting of heads of eleven states in Minsk, where the ceremony was planned to sign an agreement on collective defense and the establishment of Command of the unified armed forces of the CIS. How he should do - listen to the opinion of Parliament and defiantly refuse to Minsk Agreement, or in defiance of the opposition, still subordinate to just getting on its feet National Army Command of the CIS?
Strictly speaking, for the Mutalibov retained the right choice - under the Constitution of Azerbaijan was considered presidential rather than parliamentary republic, and the debate about the advisability of affiliation or non-aligned his country to a system of CIS collective security were not to turn up, and after the summit in Minsk, with the ratification signed by the President intergovernmental document. Do not leave it his signature under this agreement, it would be nothing to discuss. However, reflecting on the dilemma of the South, Mutalibov came not from the legal aspects, and above all common sense.
Russia imposed a viable system of collective defense of the CIS? It seems that there is unlikely it will last a long time. Yes, and from whom this system protects Azerbaijan? From the United States of America? We do not threaten the United States, as well as not inspire fear, and other world powers, because we need not so much in the nuclear umbrella as protection from the Armenian expansion, but this relied on Moscow for at least naively - real support not wait, and we are fed up with promises the throat, cold-blooded reasoning Mutalibov. There is a reason to create an overall strategic deterrence forces, but that Azerbaijan does not need Russia - not ballistic missiles, or nuclear bombs we do not and probably never will be. And anyway, why Russian republics to subordinate its military contingent? The answer is obvious - so as to preserve Moscow's influence in the former Soviet Union. And the move promises to Azerbaijan? Donut hole? We are extremely interested in mutually beneficial economic cooperation with Russia, but for this purpose does not need to put themselves under the control of the Kremlin and for no reason at all satisfied with the status of the satellite.
It would seem, all spoke in favor of signing to evade the Minsk agreement, but Mutalibov was in no hurry to conclusions. What alarmed him? First, the position of Yerevan, responded positively to the offer of Muscovites. Armenians always keep your nose to the wind and did not decide to kondachka. And the circle of Ter-Petrosian, is able to give a head start from the NFA clever, do not breathe a word about the derivation of the 7th Army ZakVO outside their country. On the contrary, there is a convergence of leadership command of the 7th Army. Consequently, they saw some benefit in the collective security system ... Secondly, the Kazakhs and Uzbeks also argue for integration of the armed forces of the CIS. So, for something that is covered - after all, no Nursultan Nazarbayev, Karimov may not refuse to insight, both are able to calculate the situation for a few steps ahead ... However, no less cunning and defied Kravchuk said in Minsk Ukraine oppose the Command of the CIS ... Finally, intuition Mutalibov that is hardly to be led by the opposition: it recommended steps were always to the detriment of the interests of Azerbaijan.
By February, the Armenian forces expeditionary force significantly tightened the blockade of Azerbaijani villages in Nagorno-Karabakh, forced residents to leave the village Kerkijahan and narrowed the circle around the town of Khojaly, which is located near the only airport in Karabakh. So, before you go to Minsk, Mutalibov ordered the transfer of Aghdam region the accumulated reserve of military equipment. There was hastily brought 11 tanks and 12 BMP-2, which in combination with the available in Aghdam 44 caterpillar armored vehicles on the BRDM-type, equipped with machine guns, caliber 12 mm, was a pretty impressive fist, able to quickly come to the rescue in Khojalu If the assault. In addition, Mutalibov instructed the new Minister of the Interior, and T. Kerimov, Deputy Minister of National Defence S. Musaev any price to bring down the runway and airport navigation equipment so that the enemy could not use them.
February 14 in Minsk during a break between meetings of Heads of State, to Mutalibov Burbulis approached with a request to endorse a draft resolution on the appointment of Air Marshal Shaposhnikov for the post of Chief of the Armed Forces of the CIS Collective. Mutalibov said: "Zaviziruyu under one condition - if the 366th motorized rifle regiment will be immediately removed from Stepanakert." Burbulis immediately agreed with this requirement. The ease with which Burbulis conceded, Mutalibov led to suspect a trick, and he asked Yeltsin to confirm the authorization to conclude the 366th Regiment. After listening to Mutalibov, Yeltsin ordered the imposing tone Shaposhnikov and Grachev study raised the question of Azerbaijan, that is, in other words, to put it on the back burner, and then hesitated before he joined the Mutalibov strongly Kravchuk, refusing to sign the Minsk Agreement.
Was this an act fatal to Mutalibov?
It is quite possible. Subsequently, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan A. Alizadeh said that discussing the issue with Shaposhnikov redeployment of the 366th Regiment of the boundaries of the republic, suddenly heard from Air Marshal enigmatic phrase: "Soon there will be no Mutalibov." Of course, not defined Shaposhnikov, or may not be Mutalibov president, he could only let out by accident, povgoriv the words of others. Whose? I think that either Yeltsin himself, or someone from the "mighty handful" is likely to Burbulis. There is no doubt that the Russian "fighters for the cause of the people," appealed to Baku only Azerbaijani Democrats regardless of who last were in reality. A Mutalibov in the eyes of the "Mighty Handful" looked like a relic of a collapsed empire, I mean the man from the hostile camp. What was needed was merely a convenient excuse to persuade Yeltsin to continue not to assist Mutalibov, and, perhaps, an excess in Minsk became the starting point, as is easily inspired by the Russian president then with giblets came under hypnosis Burbulis.
The first symptom of the approaching collapse served as a powerful 17 February bombardment of Khojaly. After squeezing out the tactics of the people of Azerbaijan villages was carried out on a pattern: first flared on the outskirts of several days shooting, and then a "well-wishers" from the number of Armenians who enjoyed the confidence of former neighbors, "a great secret," reported the impending storm, which is often enough for panic and flight . On the massive shelling of the village of Khojaly Mutalibov found in Iran, which, together with the heads of the republics of Central Asia went from Minsk to participate in the economic summit of the Organization of Islamic States, and he had to quickly return to Baku, to provide assistance to the besieged. However, his efforts failed - Aghdam torn between the machinations of the leaders of young and warlords. In addition, the NFA pushed back the self-styled, no one had approved the deputy-defense shistra Fahmina Hajiyev, who introduced additional confusion.
By the evening of February 25 in Baku rumor spread that Armenian gunmen seized Khojaly and severely punished the inhabitants of the village, not sparing neither women nor children. Mutalibov immediately summoned the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Minister of T. Kerimov security Guseinov, who confirmed rumors about the death of many people. Check one knows the source of the information they have on their own explanations were not able to - adjacent to the Khojaly territory controlled by the forces of the Armenian Expeditionary Force. Examine the place of slaughter can only be from the air, and the battle did not have a republic in aviation.
There remained one thing - to make inquiries of the enemy. Mutalibov immediately phoned to the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Nagorno-Karabakh Mkrtychyanom, and without greeting, he spoke in a raised voice:
"What is this war? Even the Nazis did not allow themselves to such atrocities against civilians! "And he called the number of victims - from 800 to 1,000. "What do you say - Mkrtychyan protested. - Residents were given corridor. They left Khojaly before the village was occupied. Some of your people came out to Stepanakert, they now have. We feed them, but by the lack of products. So understand, you have correctly informed. "
Objections Mkrtychyan Mutalibov cooled the ardor, but he did not take them for granted. When the assault one of the volunteers probably died, or could be, but rumors of mass extermination of civilians, probably inflated propagandists NFA - because every tragic news of the pain and anger in the hearts of Azerbaijanis inflame an already tense situation in the republic.
"Is not there beside you Isagulova?" - After a pause, he asked Mutalibov.
He knew Armen Isagulova to Baku, where he had worked in law enforcement and was known for his integrity.
"Isagulov here - Mkrtychyan said. - I send him up. " - "Armen, tell me what happened in Khojaly? - Excitedly said Mutalibov. - That told me badly. "
Isagulov denied rumors of killings of elderly people, women and children, repeating the arguments Mkrtychyan. The result of a telephone conversation was an agreement that the Armenian side will not obstruct objectively verifiable facts.
Now, the delay was only for the means of delivery, the benefit of a group of Azeri and foreign journalists was nearby, in Aghdam. Mutalibov Shaposhnikov called to Moscow to secure his consent, and after that contacted the commander Gen. Vladimir ZakVO Patrikeev, who, knowing what had happened, reporters identified two combat helicopters.
Later, when Mutalibov was already out of work, a well-known television journalist Chingiz Mustafayev told him in detail about the flight in Khojaly. To photograph corpses in Khojaly he could not, because slain there in general was not in sight, and dozens of volunteers from the dead Khojaly self-defense forces, journalists discovered near the village of Nakhchivanik, where they, apparently, when retreat were ambushed and were smitten with hail fire. Come out to meet them help from Aghdam, the tragedy would not have happened. But the commander did not disclose in advance of Khojaly in Aghdam on escape routes, and the intelligence services have worked very badly.
The strange part - it turned out that the journalists were killed by Nakhchivanik examined twice, and in the second position of the bodies on the ground and the degree of damage changed dramatically compared with the preliminary examination. As for the destruction of the order Mutalibov runway and airfield equipment, it has remained unfulfilled. C. Mustafayev not ignored the role and nasty Fahmina Hajiyev: he distinguished himself by an emissary of the APF, which is brazen bribe demanded for the delivery of the corpses Nakhchivanik to Aghdam - the widow of the dead took off their rings and earrings, to bring dignity to their husbands the ground ...
Mutalibov Mustafayev listened quietly and said to him:
"Chingiz, do not say a word about that noticed something was wrong. Otherwise, you will be killed. " Alas, not enough to keep the warning Mutalibov brave journalist - soon he was shot in the back. A similar fate overtook the field commander, and Ala Yaqub, for deeds surnamed people Gatyr Mamedov. One day he inadvertently dropped the presence of the informant that he could shed light on the massacre at Nakhchivanik and tell important details about the recent death in the skies over Karabakh helicopter with state officials on board, a power that has come the Popular Front of Azerbaijan in the summer of 1992 subjected him to arrest and brought to death in a prison cell under mysterious circumstances ... What followed in February for handing Khojaly? Videotape of Chingiz Mustafayev etched on the bodies of her fallen under Nakhchivanik fighters handed self-defense on Azerbaijani television, which, naturally, provoked a wave of public indignation. The audience demanded to name the culprit, and the leaders of the Popular Front decided that the best candidate, rather than Mutalibov purpose you can imagine. The term of the ultimatum came to an end, but the opposition has wisely decided not to force events, since the date of adoption of Azerbaijan to the United Nations postponed from February 28 to March 2. For these reasons, the National Council of the Republic announced the convening of an extraordinary session of parliament March 5, 1992.
And what in the session remained until the time he was engaged Mutalibov? Belatedly realized the mistake made in Minsk, he sent a coded message to the headquarters of the CIS to notify the firm intention of Azerbaijan to join the collective agreement on the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth. Marshal Shaposhnikov, expressed his satisfaction with a friendly gesture Mutalibov and immediately gave the order to disband the 366th motorized rifle regiment of the 4th Army, stationed in Stepanakert. Order immediately taken to the execution, resulting in armored regiment in early March has been fully displayed on the territory of Georgia and its officers are openly sided with the expeditionary force of Armenians.
At the same time has been carefully planned and prepared military operation to recover abandoned without a fight Khojaly, which is March 6 units were to begin a national army under the command of General J. Rzayev. However, the operation never took place, for the reasons set out in the next chapter.