CHAPTER 20 NATIONAL REVIVAL. THE COLLAPSE OF THE USSR THE EMERGENCE OF THE FIFTEEN INDEPENDENT REPUBLICS

On February 2 the Azerbaijani units attacked the Armenian villages of the district. Polianichko’s assistant Radaev arrived in the regional centre accompanied with an armed group and took the administrative building of the Regional Soviet. Radaev applied to the people and told about the abolishment of the local governing structures and the responsibilities of the newly established Bureau. When the crowd shouted “no”, guns were fired above their heads. The crowd scattered. In the same way regional bureaus were formed in Askeran, Martakert and Martuni. But on the whole this undertaking of the Azerbaijani authorities did not succeed, as the population reacted with civil disobedience. Besides the pressure aroused the indignation of international community, as a result of which 71 American congressmen addressed a protest to the President of the USSR M. Gorbachov. Once again the Armenians awoke to the traumatic experience of the 1915 massacres, carried out by the Turks. The deliberate and official nature of the Armenian genocide is beyond doubt, though in recent years the Turkish government is, through various official channels, strenuously denying that the former Young Turk regime undertook a genocide against Armenians, considering the mass-murder just a matter of “isolated incidents” a result of the treasonable revolt of Van or a civil war between various armed bands. It has spent vast sums in propaganda and public relations, various American offices have been hired for the purpose of trying to demonstrate that no genocide took place in 1915.

The Azerbaijani government and the intelligentsia conducted the same policy towards the “Armenian question”, considering it a made-up and invented problem. In the same way they tried to conceal the facts of January 1990 Armenian mass killings in Baku. The Kremlin politicians sided with the Baku leaders and the heads of Popular Front nationalists, selling the fates of the Baku Armenians to the idea of uniting “the two Azerbaijans” i.e. to seizing a part of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Popular Front platform referred to Azerbaijanis and Iranian Azeris as one people (the observers reject this theory) and pledged to broaden their mutual economic and cultural relations. They called the Iranian Azeris to have their own schools, civil libraries and to demand autonomy. The Baku authorities decided to arrest the military commanders of the Popular front E. Mamedov and R. Ghaziev to prevent them from publicizing the details of the plot against the Islamic Republic of Iran. It seemed to the “fathers” of Kremlin, that ignoring the Baku massacres of the Armenians and backing Azerbaijani extremists would enable them to realize their plan of gaining control over the part of Iranian territory.

The undermining of the basis of the USSR was already in process.

As Mustafa Ardabili mentioned in his Friday prayer in Tehran; “That palace turned out to be made of not iron but ice, which melt from the fire of faith”. The empire was dying. Where as 1988-89 had been marked by a few declarations of sovereinty and the establishment of official languages in the republics, 1990 witnessed a succession of declarations of both sovereinty and independence, beginning with Lithuania’s declaration of independence in March (The members of the “Saiudis” organization won an absolute victory over the communists in the elections) to which M. Gorbachov answered that in case the Lithuanian Republic had to pay the USSR its debt of 21 milliard roubles. But the “saiudis” was sure that the creditor would soon be no more.

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