For nine years after the events in Khojaly official Baku has been obstinately fanning anti-Armenian hysteria with the aim of falsifying real events and discrediting the Armenian people in the eyes of the international community.
The events in Khojaly, which led to the death of civilians, were the results solely of political intrigues and a struggle for power in Azerbaijan.
The real reasons are most convincingly reflected in the accounts of Azerbaijanis themselves – as participants in and eyewitnesses of what happened – as well as of those who know the whole inside story of the events in Baku.
According to Azerbaijani journalist M. Safarogly, “Khojaly occupied an important strategic position. The loss of Khojaly was a political fiasco for Mutalibov”. 1
Khojaly, along with Shushi and Agdam, was one of the main strongholds from which Stepanakert, the capital of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, was shelled continuously and mercilessly for three winter months using artillery and missiles and launchers for targeting cities.
Knocking out the weapon emplacements in Khojaly and freeing the airport were the only way for the inhabitants of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to ensure the physical survival of a population condemned by Azerbaijan to complete annihilation. The daily shelling of Stepanakert from nearby Khojaly took the lives of peaceful inhabitants – women, children and old people.
Former President of Azerbaijan, Ayaz Mutalibov, has emphasized that “… the assault on Khojaly was not a surprise attack”2. In a “Nezavisimaya gazeta” newspaper interview he stated that “a corridor was kept open by the Armenians for people to leave”3. However, a column of civilians was fired on by armed units of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan on the approaches to the Agdam district border, a fact later confirmed by Ayaz Mutalibov, who linked this criminal act to attempts by the opposition to remove him from power, and blamed it entirely for what happened.
In his recent interview with the “Novoye vremya” magazine, Mutalibov confirms his statement of nine year ago: “The shooting of the Khojaly residents was obviously organized by someone to take control in Azerbaijan”4.
Similar comments and views concerning the events in Khojaly are known to have been made by several other highly-placed Azerbaijani officials and journalists.