CHAPTER 17 THE GORBACHOV REFORMS AND THE REVOLT OF KARABAKH

Promoting the wishes of the workers of the region request the Supreme Soviet of Armenia and the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan to express a deep understanding towards the desire of the population of the region for the incorporation of Karabakh into Armenia, at the same time interceding with the Supreme Soviet of the USSR for the positive decision concerning the transfer of Karabakh to Armenia.16

Stepanakert was like the epi-centre of a mighty earthquake. Tens of minority nationalities were carefully following the development of events in the small Armenian enclave within a Soviet Republic, which had adopted a resolution, which at last had given their claims a legal basis in the Soviet sense of the term, as out of total 140 deputies, 110 voted for the resolution.

The next day, on February 21 the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR, gave its reply, reading that the demanded changes “run counter to the interests of the workers of Armenian and Azerbaijani SSR “with the addition of threats against the “irresponsible extremists”.

The Soviet media continued to keep silent on the matter. The censorship was still mighty enough to forbid anything that was undesirable. The Gorbachov government faced a serious crises for which neither the Soviet Constitution, nor political precedent provided much guidance – the need to settle a violently contested territorial conflict between two union republics. The very next day thousands marched in Yerevan in support of Karabakh, then the movement grew and was turned a continuous demonstration. Azerbaijanis, reacting the Armenian demands, took the streets.

A telegram of the “National Self-Determination” party was sent to the USSR Foreign Minister A. Gromiko. It read; “Out of accord with Armenia, Moscow permitted and realized the annexation of Armenian territories to other republics. It’s time to correct its mistake. Our hopes of decades are ruined. Now the population of Nagorny Karabakh claims for its own land basing the unification with Armenia on democratic principles and notions of self-determination. If Moscow has given up Stalinist strategy, it must choose to confirm the decision made by the nation of Karabakh.”17 The Resolution of the Session had not been ratified with the round seal of the Regional Soviet, as it was stolen by the Chairman of the Regional Soviet V. Osipov.

The atmosphere grew tense in Stepanakert. All the ways to Karabakh were blocked up. The Armenian passengers were beaten up, tortured on the roads. On February 20 on the road of the Boyakhmedlu village of Aghdam region a bus was stopped by the Azerbaijani hooligans and the passengers were mercilessly beaten up. The materials of the incident were sent to the special investigation group of the USSR Prosecution Department.

A new blockade of the region was being organized. Everything reminded the years of 1917-1920. The age-old conflict was continued by a new generation after an interval of 70 years.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18