POGROMS IN BAKU. The pogroms of Armenians in Baku took place on January 13-19, 1990, organized by the Azerbaijani Popular Front Party with the support of the authorities. On January 3, the first secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan A.Vezirov at a meeting with activists of the Popular Front (APF) (broadcast on national television), said: "We must destroy the enemies, just as we cleared the Nagorno-Karabakh and the special committee of Nagorno-Karabakh."

Armenian refugees at the port of KrasnoyarskThis statement was followed by the dismissal of the Armenians from work, intimidation and massacre. 

The Anti-Armenian wave rose in late December 1988 and in early January 1989. On January 13, 1990 after the demonstration the crowd divided into groups and started to break into the houses of the Armenians, beat them, throw them out of  the windows, kill them with iron bars and knives, rape women, and burn many people alive. Then the representatives of the Popular Front appeared (with so-called official documents for the apartment) with an offer to go to the port in order to be saved. 

The Armenian population was deprived of money, valuable things, checkbooks and documents of the apartment. In port the deportees were searched, robbed and beaten and then sent  to Turkmenistan through the Caspian Sea. The same thing happened at the airport. Pogroms were carried out under the patronage of law enforcement officers, employees of  Housing and communal service (they provided the apartment addresses of the Armenians), ambulance (the cause of death of the Armenians was ascribe to cardiac disorders).

The pogroms lasted 6 days. Only on January 19 under the pretext of restoring orderRefugees from Baku and seeing that the Soviet government was under threat in Baku, Mikhail Gorbachev signed a decree on state of emergency in Baku. The decree was made commander of the Airborne Division, USSR A.N.Lebed. During the armed resistance more than a dozen stormtroopers were killed, and many were arrested. After the massacres of 13-19 January, 1990 there were no Armenians in Baku (about 250 thousand Armenians), they were killed and thousands of Armenians were missing. To avoid liability and to mislead international public opinion Azerbaijani authorities accused so-called criminal elements of pogroms as if those tragic events were the result of their atrocities and outrages.

In all civilized countries media wrote about pogroms in Baku with indignation. US and Europe  television reported about violence against Armenians in Baku. On January 17, 1990 the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Council of Europe to protect the Armenians from the illegal actions of the Soviet government and demanding immediate assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. On January 18 a group of US senators sent a joint letter to M. Gorbachev, in which they expressed concern about the Armenian pogroms in Baku and called on uniting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.

On March 29, 1990 a closed session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR was held in Baku. The Azerbaijani delegation demanded to form a commission to investigate the issue of the introduction of troops in the Baku. In response to that leadership of the USSR provided such details of pogroms that were not covered in media. Meanwhile the commission was established by mutual agreement, and pogroms were forgotten.


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