Tragedy of 20 January is a heroic page of our history

31 years have passed since the bloody event of 20th January, 1990. Every year the tragedy of 20th January is widely memorized in Azerbaijan as the National Mourning day, which has entered the struggle for independence history of Azerbaijan  as a heroic page. That day embodies the struggle of the Azerbaijani people for its freedom.

The longstanding recession in the Soviet Union was gradually replaced by an economic crisis. As a result of the government's failure to take practical measures for improve the social situation of citizens and other negative steps have increased justified discontent of people. On the other hand, the territorial claims of Armenia against Azerbaijan and the rise of tendencies of separatism in Nagorno-Karabakh is aggravated already complicated social and political situation to worst. On the background of above factors, the ground was laying for the realization of the dream of the Azerbaijani people for independence.

Thus, on one side the revival of the national-freedom movement of the Azerbaijani people and on the other side deterioration of socio-political situation in the country gave a pretext for the leadership of the Soviet Union take the rough measures against Azerbaijan. On the night of January 19-20, 1990, Soviet troops entered Baku and opened fire on civilians protesting in the streets with heavy equipment and various weapons. That night 121 people in various districts of Baku were killed and more than 700 wounded by Soviet soldiers. In totals 147 people were martyred during that period, 25 women and 20 children were among the wounded.

During those days, National Leader Heydar Aliyev putting his own life and the life of his family members in danger, came to the Permanent Representation of Azerbaijan to Moscow, strongly condemned the bloody action perpetrated in Azerbaijan by the Communist regime, protested against killing of innocent people, demanded the punishment of those responsible for the committed crime and shared the sorrow of the people of Azerbaijan. The first true political assessment on bloody events of January was given by the National Leader Heydar Aliyev.

In order to perpetuate the memory of the martyrs of January 20, on the initiative of National Leader Heydar Aliyev, who later returned to political power for the second time on the initiative of people, the "Eternal Flame" Monument Complex was erected in the Alley of Martyrs which is dedicated to those who died in fighting for the freedom. Also victims of the tragedy was awarded the honrary title of the "Martyr of 20 January" by the Decree of the President of Azerbaijan dated January 17, 2000.

This policy is successfully pursued today by President Ilham Aliyev, a worthy successor of the National Leader's political course. The President Ilham Aliyev pays attention to the care of the victims of the 20th January and their families. According to the President's decrees, the increase in pensions for people with disabilities and the families of martyrs of the 20th January and the improvement of their living conditions are highly appreciated by the public as another clear example of this attention and care.

The tragedy of the Bloody January, when the Soviet troops slaughtered civilians who raised their voices against injustice, was the crime not only against the Azerbaijani people, but also against to universal values and humanity.

No matter how tragic the January 1990 massacre was, it did not break the will of the Azerbaijani people, their determination to fight for national liberation. On the contrary, the people became stronger and looked the enemy in the eye. The sons and daughters of the Motherland, who perished on that terrible night, wrote a bright page in the history of Azerbaijan, paved the way for the national freedom and independence of the people. That is why the tragedy of 20th January is a symbol of the freedom struggle of our people.

On the eve of the 31st anniversary of the bloody events of 20th January, as a result of the of thoughtful and purposeful policy of our Victorious Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, the unity of our people and the bravery of our Armed Forces, our lands, which were under occupation for almost 30 years was liberated. During the 44-day war, the territorial integrity of our country was restored at the expense of the blood of our heroic soldiers and officers who destroyed the enemy in all directions of the front. The above-mentioned demonstrated our commitment to the heroic traditions of our people, as well as proved our readiness to sacrifice our lives for the independence and territorial integrity of our Motherland.

Every year the Azerbaijani people commemorate the tragedy of 20th January which leaved an indelible mark on his bloody memory, remembers with deep respect the memory of his heroic sons and will never forget this tragedy. 

May Allah have mercy on all the Martyrs!

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