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Caucasus Report

OSCE, EU Condemn Karabakh 'Armed Incident'

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The French, Russian, and U.S. co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group issued a toughly worded statement on June 21 condemning an exchange of fire late on June 18 between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces. Four Armenian conscripts and one Azerbaijani serviceman died in the incident near the village of Chaylu in the northeastern  Mardakert district of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic. Four more Armenian servicemen were injured.

According to the Karabakh Defense Ministry, the incident was triggered by a reconnaissance mission by some 20 Azerbaijani servicemen behind the Line Of Contact separating Azerbaijani and Armenian forces.

Armenia launched a retaliation attack during the night of June 20-21 on Azerbaijani positions in Fizuli, southeast of the disputed enclave, killing one Azerbaijani serviceman. Of the seven Azerbaijani districts contiguous to Nagorno-Karabakh currently occupied by Armenian forces, Fizuli is one of the two that Baku is reportedly demanding should be the first to be returned to Azerbaijani control.

The Minsk Group co-chairs termed the June 18 attack, which took place the day after they met in Moscow with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to discuss a peaceful solution to the conflict, as "an unacceptable violation of the 1994 Cease-Fire Agreement and...contrary to the stated commitment of the sides to refrain from the use of force or the threat of the use of force. The use of military force at this juncture "can only be seen as an attempt to damage the peace process," they said.

The EU's special representative for the South Caucasus, Ambassador Peter Semneby, for his part described the attack to RFE/RL's Armenian Service on June 21 as "a deplorable event" that "should not have taken place." He further expressed regret for the "unnecessary tragic loss of life."

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elhan Polukhov said the June 18 clash was the direct consequence of Armenia's failure to withdraw from occupied Azerbaijani territory. He said the way to avoid a reoccurrence is for Armenia "to sit down at the negotiating table and continue talks on the basis of the updated Madrid principles," which he implied Armenia is unwilling to do.

Richard Giragosian, director of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) in Yerevan, said that while the June 18 attack fits into "a consistent pattern of limited skirmishes and probes, especially Azerbaijani probing the defensive positions on the Armenian side," it was nonetheless the most serious cease-fire violation in the past two years.

Citing unidentified Armenian military sources, he said the attack must have been prepared over a period of several days. He described it as more professional and more deadly than previous such incursions. The attack began with an Azerbaijani sniper inflicting a fatal head wound on an Armenian soldier on the front line.

Giragosian said the Armenian military anticipates an intensification of Azerbaijani military activity in coming months.

*UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that I appear inadvertently to have misrepresented the statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs that condemned the violent incident, but did not blame Azerbaijan for starting it. The statement further called on the sides to "exercise restraint" and "prepare their population for peace." The blog post has been updated to reflect that.
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by: Zareh Sahakian from: Canada
June 22, 2010 13:00
"The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Bernard Fassier of France, Robert Bradtke of the United States of America, and Igor Popov of the Russian Federation strongly condemn the use of force and regret the senseless loss of life"

This is a spineless and cowardly politi-talk. The OSCE Co-Chairs are not condemning this viscous Azerbaijani provocation in fact, they are encouraging further Azeri attacks on Karabakh. Armenia should in turn evaluate OSCE's cowardly stance and do everything possible to "discourage" Azerbaijan from repeating such murderous acts. By such weak statement, Europe proves once again that it will remain Armenia's enemy, no matter what Armenia faces.
In Response

by: Steven from: DC
June 26, 2010 12:52
Talking about ancient lands and the "right" to lands that you guys think once belonged to you is just childish thinking, we are living in the XXI century and every nation can go back in history and point to lands that once may have belonged to them but are now a part of another country. I have also seen you "Great Armenia" maps and have heard about teh indoctrination in schools and in public life about this utopian idea of occupying lands that now belong to Turkey, Georgia and even Iran. You guys are now causing similar problems in Georgia where armenian communities are. Armenians need to grow up and understand the realities and live with what they have. For all I know, Karabakh was a so-called Khanate, which is the turkish word for kingdom, so your claims about it being your lands are not justified and for every book you point (most of which have been written by people with armenian surnames, armenians disguised under Western surnames or simply Christians who symphatize with you) I am sure there are 3 books that point to the opposite of what you say.
In Response

by: Eric from: Netherlands
July 01, 2010 05:54
Well, Steven from DC, maybe you could mention those "3 books that point to the opposite of what" Armenians say. Even if they do exist, three book are not too much. And are of course written by Azeris after they finally became a nation in 1918 and formed the state of Azerbaijan on the ancient ALBANIAN and ARMENIAN lands. You say it is either Armenian historians or their Christian sympathizers have created the idea about those lands being Armenian. Well, I don't know who do you really have in mind - the 5th century Armenian historian Moses of Khoren or his successors. How about the Behistun inscription carved by a Persian king long before Moses of Khoren? Was he also a Western Christian Sympathizing with Armenians? You will not see any historian supporting the claims of Azeris simply because there were no Azeris before 1918. There were only Tatars of Caucasus=turks. Those turks who invaded the region starting from the middle of the 11th century and expelled the indigenous population of Albanians out of there. Unlike Albanians Armenians stood firm on their lands and, if retreated leaving their homes behind, it was only after giving a fight against overwhelming Muslim aggression aiming to massacre Christian Armenians. How can Christian Armenians leave in peace with Muslims? Have you ever seen peaceful communities of intermingled Muslims and Christians? In most of the religious wars the other side is Muslim. Do you see any connection. If you don't, please allow me to explain it to you. Since the advent of Muslim religion in the 7th century the adherents of the religion are striving to expand the boundaries of the religion either by persuasion or most commonly by force, actually conquest and sword. No wonder starting from the 7th century the number of Armenian casualties jumps tenfold since the country was invaded by Muslims who were aiming either for Muslimisation or for annihilation, massacre. The history of recurring massacres reached its peak in 1915 when Muslim turks massacred 1.5 million Armenians. Subsequently the Azeris, actually the turks of the Caucasus joined the party and massacred Christian Armenians in Baku, Shushi, Gandzak and many other places. The massacres of Armenians in Azerbaijan after the 1918 and after the 1988 were the continuation of the policy of massacring those Christian Aremenians who would stubbornly refuse to accept Muslim religion.

Now about labeling those Armenian, who while continuing to live in their ancestral homes have found themselves on the territory of another country and oppressed, as troublemakers. How would you behave if your native DC was occupied by an antagonist, hostile power aiming to oppress, suppress, and force you to either change your religion or to massacre you?

Thank you

by: Zareh from: Canada
June 22, 2010 13:06
It is equally unacceptable by the editors of RFE/RL Caucasus Report to give a misleading headline to a report that does not justify such a title. Have the editors not read the of the OSCE's "condemnation" on this attack? There is not one word of condemnation of Azerbaijan in this garbage of a report. Why is RFE/RL sugar-coating OSCE's failings?

by: RD
June 22, 2010 17:54
A wise person once said; "it is easier to start a war, than to successfully finish one". Obviously, Ilham Aliev and his defense minister have never heard wise counsel. Armenia has nothing to gain from starting skirmishes. Azerbaijan does. There is no substance to anyone blaming the Armenian side for starting a skirmish.

by: Bob from: Nagorno Karabakh
June 22, 2010 18:51
Polukhov's words clearly indicate who is responsible to deadly clashes along the contact-line. I wonder when the OSCE, EU and other players will abandon their politically correct statements (God forbid, not to aggravate the situation...) and name the Azeri aggressors for what they are? I wonder if the statement-makers fully understand the obligations (including moral) they took when agreed to mediate the conflict. Absence of "first-hand information". What is this? One should go and sleep in trenches to be the first-hand source of information. If the words of Polukhov are not enough, then I feel very sorry for Europe and its values. This is not the Europe I would like my people to live in.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 23, 2010 03:54
I would clense CIS armies, specially in hot spots,
By Russian agencies-witches - remember it!
How they invaded Georgia, provoking fights.
www.WorldFreedomAndTruth.info - read!

Konstantin.

by: Zaur from: Azerbaijan
June 23, 2010 04:24
It’s unacceptable that the media entity funded by Congress misleads its reads by false wire/report. There is really no single word saying anything against Azerbaijan or pointing to Azerbaijan. I sure that pro Armenian reporters of RFE/RL purposefully mislead the readers on this sensitive subject.

by: James from: Newcastle
June 23, 2010 05:18
I understand that war is unacceptable, but do we, Westerners, suggest anything rationale to the Azeris to liberate their internationally recognized territories from Armenian occupation? Would any Western country tolerate occupation of 16 per cent of their territories?
In Response

by: Patricia from: United States
June 23, 2010 12:27
James, what you said might have had a point IF Armenia was indeed occupying 16% of Azerbaijan - but it's not. Nagorno Karabakh, an ancient Armenian land since Roman times has kept its Armenian population throughout history. The region, was literally handed to Azerbaijan by Stalin during the last days of the Soviet Union. So you see, Armenians are not occupying 16% of Azerbaijan.. but occupying what is rightfully theirs and taken away from them by an unrelated 3rd party and given to Azerbaijan. A land that has had Christian Armenians living in it since BC until today can never be a Muslim Azerbaijani territory, never. True, Armenia is occupying a few villages here and there outside of ancient Armenian Nagorno Karabakh - but at the same time, some parts of the Nagorno Karabakh region still lies in Azerbaijan.. so, once they give Armenians those parts back.. they can get their villages outside of Nagorno Karabakh.

Nagorno Karabakh was NEVER a part of Azerbaijan.. Stalin made a big big mistake giving it away on Armenians behalf.
In Response

by: James from: Newcastle
June 23, 2010 13:09
Thanks, Patricia, but you need to tell this to someone who is not aware of things...
In Response

by: Robert from: USA
June 23, 2010 13:50
Patricia,

It looks like your pathological hatred to everything which belongs to Azeris, is, unfortunately, shared between your Armenian folks.
First of all, Nagorno Karabakh and all adjacent territories are internationally recognized as an Azerbaijan proper. There is no change possible with respect wo this status, just forget about it.
All speculations about the past are remain in fact as speculations, since

A) there is no prove whatsoever that those territories were ever a part of Armenia, since no one knows for sure the boundaries of ancient states.
Such boundaries just have never existed in the past.

B) Azeri may equally can make the same claims about the entire Armenian Republic be a part of Azeri ancient states in the past: there are plenty of facts on that.

However, the main problem lies in realizing the way an international community should respond to the Armenian aggression and occupation. If to follow logic of the Yugoslavia-Kosovo conflict, Armenia should be bombed for its refusal to liberate all Azeri territories including Nagorno Karabakh. Inability to accept it reflects the double standards attitude that international community is dealing with.
In Response

by: Bob from: Nagorno Karabakh
June 23, 2010 15:01
To James and all on this forum who think like him.

Have you heard about Europe? Well, there's was a state called Yugoslavia, which was artificially made up to include absolutely different and incompatible peoples/nations, because one jerk wanted so. Where is it now?
Occupation, 20% of ancient Azerbaijan... Come on, stop this BS... Believe me, there are many books besides the 12-volume history of azerbaijan (it should be a very, very detailed overview of what happened on this land from 1918 to 2008). Nice record, guys..
And if you are such a big specialist in history and international law, open the UN Charter and read slowly and thoroughly (re-read if required) that if any country fails to deal with national minority, autonomy and other similar issues, it loses the right to govern the autonomous entity it comprises. EVEN IF we put aside the legal procedure we followed to proclaim independence, Soviet Azeris (with all the aliyevs, mutalibovs, elchibeys, aliyevs again and forever...) have shown to the whole world, and first of all to us, that azeris cannot and never will get to a civilized dialog, not to mention following the international obligations and a trustful partnership... Yet, if you want - you are welcome to go and live in ALiyev's sultanate.

All of you are free to discuss, but no one has the right to determine my fate. And be sure that I don't care about your opinion (very European, isn't it?).
In Response

by: Steve from: Australia
June 23, 2010 23:47
Well dear James from Newcastle, that is what Patricia just did just in case you mis understood the very basic detail of her information buddy. You were not aware, now you are, my trusty friend.
Cheers mate
In Response

by: Zoltan from: Hungary
June 24, 2010 19:38
Robert, you totally missed the point with the Kosovo-Serbia paralell...

You have written this:

" However, the main problem lies in realizing the way an international community should respond to the Armenian aggression and occupation. If to follow logic of the Yugoslavia-Kosovo conflict, Armenia should be bombed for its refusal to liberate all Azeri territories including Nagorno Karabakh. Inability to accept it reflects the double standards attitude that international community is dealing with. "

But the truth is just the opposite.

The Kosovo precedent tells us that self determination of people who inhabit a land can be more important than sovereignity. As Kosovo Albanians were given the right to secede the state of Serbia.

So if we want to find paralells than the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh should be given also the right to secede the state of Azerbaijan if they wish. And they do wish.

So the international community should not condemn the non-existing Armenian "agression" (which was in fact self defense during the war) but acknowledge the independence of Karabakh just like they acknowledged the independence of Kosovo.

If Kosovo can secede Serbia why Karabakh can not do the same? This is the real double standard Robert!
In Response

by: Bob from: Los Angeles
June 25, 2010 14:30
Zolta
I don't think Armenia supports Kosovo's separation from Serbia imposed by the EU, because the same scenario happened to Karabakh in the 1920s, where Stalin handed both Karabakh and Nakhichevan to Azerbaijan, now that's a parallel scenario.
In Response

by: Vartan from: San Antonio
June 23, 2010 12:53
Well, "James", unless you are totally oblivious to the actual essence of the conflict (most probably you are just another camouflaged "tofik" or "mahmed") - you should know that the conflict has nothing to do with "occupation" - and everything to do with fight for freedom and survival. It's clear to anybody even marginally familiar with the issue that Karabakh's Armenian historic majority would share the fate of Nachichevan's (and so many other regions) Armenian majority if they didn't fight the aggression and ethnic cleansing from the Azeri government. So, please, drop this "occupation" blubber - targeted at naive readers - they won't be visiting this page. Everybody else understands really well what's going on...
In Response

by: Eric from: Netherlands
June 24, 2010 08:16
James, first of all, Azerbaijan is not a Western country. Second, why do you think that we, Westerners have some obligation to suggest something. The conflict is not created by us, but rather was created by Joseph Stalin, who designed the borders of the Armenian SSR and Azerbaijan SSR, in 1922-23. He intentionally created Nagorno Karabakh enclave by drastically curtailing its boundaries, and by leaving large portions of Armenian populated areas out of it. It is those territories that were deprived of its Armenian population, during the Soviet era, and populated by Azeris. We did not know anything about this back then because it was going on behind the Iron Curtain. During the Gorbachev Perestroyka era in 1988 Nagorno Karabakh enclave declared of its self-determination by utilizing its constitutional right. Violent massacres followed. Azeris started killing the remaining Armenians outside Nagorno Karabakh (including women, children and elderly) in Sumgait, Baku and other areas. Soviet government did not protect Armenians, for some reason. After massacring the unprotected Armenians the Azeris attacked Armenian villages in Hagorno Karabakh itself and massacred peaceful populations including women children and elderly, of course. Soviet army was backing Azeris back then. Nagorno Karabakh Armenians had to protect themselves against both Azeri and Soviet armies. After the collapse of the USSR in 1991 Soviet armies left the region, and Nagorno Karabakh succeeded to stop the Azeris. In order to prevent further attacks from the side of Azeris followed by barbaric massacres, as usual, Nagorno Karabakh had to secure a buffer zone around Armenian villages and towns. So …

Is this somewhat informative or maybe you prefer to turn a blind eye on important underlying issues.

So, instead of recognizing the independent state of Nagorno Karabakh, we, Westerners are, for some reason, inclined to do the same what the Soviet government of the time was doing, i.e. backing Azeris by allowing them to massacre Armenians in order to suppress any separatist movements. Is there anything Western in this?
In Response

by: Alex from: Montreal
June 25, 2010 01:03
Eric from Netherlands,

If you do not know what happened during the Soviet rule in Karabakh and adjacent territories, including Armenia, then do not pretend that you know something about this area in general and the origin of the conflict in particular.
The truth is that in Soviet Union, Armenians in Karabakh were not deprived of anything that you can imagine.
Au contraire, that were mostly Azeris who used to suffer from the Soviet rule and Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh of Azerbaijan and in Armenian Republic.

First of all, Soviet communists had created Armenian Republic on ancient Azeri lands,
by expelling most of Azeris from their homes in current Armenia Republic and in Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
For example, after the World War II, close to 350,000 Azeris were expelled from Armenian Soviet
Republic and all those areas were re-populated by etnic Armenians, thus, re-writing the history.
These facts are all recorded in the history of the Soviet Union, the decisions of
its governing bodies. One cannot argue with that, all these are FACTS.
On the other hand, during Soviet rule, Azeris have never been accused to do anything bad with
respect of many minorities in Azerbaijan Republic, including Armenian minority.

In fact, it is Armenian Republic, who started to be as a state with Armenian ethnic minority,
then by expelling everyone non-Armenian, now it is a state with overwhelming Armenian majority.

Think about it, why all other minorities in Azerbaijan do live happily in there, except Armenians.
Why you would not ask yourself a simple question: perhaps, something wrong with Armenians ?
This is absolutely unfair to blame Azeris, who, in fact, the people who suffered most from brutal killing
by the hands of Armenian thugs.
Why not to mention that it is Azeris who were expelled from Zangezur region
(which currently separates Azerbaijani proper and its Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic)
by Stalin. Are you aware that Zangezur was predominantly Azeri populated before Armenians have got that territory and then drive out all Azeris from there during the Soviet rule.
Why not to say that Nagorno-Karabakh is just a small part of an historic and much bigger Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, which had been always Azeri dominated region, under communists and without them.

Why are you so ignorant about most recent history of this area. Why you have failed to mention that Sumgait events had happened AFTER the brutal killing of Azerbaijanis: elderly, women and children in Armenia ???
That is the double standards which Western countries prefer to use. I agree with Robert from USA: Armenia should be bombed out for the crimes committed to Azeri population within Armenia and beyond it.
Armenia is an aggressor and must be punished.
In Response

by: Eric from: Netherlands
June 25, 2010 07:30
Dear Alex, why do you think you can know more about the history of the region from Montreal, than I can from Netherlands? Whatever you have so passionately described in your response has absolutely no trace of truth in it. Firs of all I am an expert on Soviet Union, particularly of the Caucasus region. So I do know "what happened during the Soviet rule in Karabakh and adjacent territories, including Armenia." Why did you assume i did not?

You sstate "Soviet communists had created Armenian Republic on ancient Azeri lands, by expelling most of Azeris from their homes." First of all, it was the other way around. "Ancient Azeri" is an oxymoron. There is no ancient Azeri. Azeris appeared as a nation and acquired statehood only after the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1918 (Which is all right. At some point in their history peoples become a nations and get organized into a states). Whereas Armenians had statehood since Urartian times. Azeris are actually turkic nomads who appeared in Caucasus only a couple of hundred years ago, drove away the indigenous population of Albanians from their homes (Albanians are the people of Dagestan now) and established themselves on the ancient land of Albania. Second, both of those republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan were created in 1920. But forgetting to support your claim, for some reason, you immediately jump to an event for en example, which supposedly took place during WWII.

You ask "why all other minorities in Azerbaijan do live happily in there, except Armenians." Well, ask yourself first, why should Armenians be a minority in the neighboring soviet republic, while they had a republic of their own? Why would the communist leaders create an Armenian enclave - Nagorno Karabakh, in the territory of Azerbaijan if it was entirely populated by Azeris? Also, can you name some of those minorities? Although, I can tell you what is wrong with Armenians. It is that they are Christians. And you hate those Christians, don't you? You have massacred them whenever you had a chance.

And Nakhichevan was never yours. It was entirely populated by Armenians. You not only expelled all of them out of their homes during the Soviet Era, but also destroyed all the monuments of culture that would witness of any Armenian presence there.

"Sumgait events?" Why don't you call things by their names, like Simgait massacres of Armenians. Forgot about Baku massacres of Armenians? How about mass deportations of all Armenians from Gyanja (actually, Armenian Gandzak) and adjacent villages? And all this in response to a self-determination attempt of the Nagorno Karabakh Armenians. Why is it so difficult to allow a minority to determine its fate. Who is an aggressor then? I think you have more questions to ask yourself before attempting to come up with bogus statements like yours.

Actually, you and Robert must be held responsible for calling to bomb an entire nation. It looks like both of you are terrorists.
In Response

by: Zoltan from: Hungary
June 25, 2010 13:09
Alex, from Montreal!

If you talk about Azeris who were expelled from Zangezur why do not you mention the whole Eastern-Anatolia?

Do you claim that present Armenia lies on historic Azeri lands? The truth is that Eastern-Turkey is which lies on Armenian lands.

Kars, Trabzon, Erzurum and even as far western town as Sivas was populated by Armenians until Turks have exterminated them in 1915...

So if you talk about 'ethnic cleansing' committed by Armenians against Azeris do not forget about the genocide against Armenians committed by Turks in an uncomparably much larger scale!
In Response

by: Bob from: Los Angeles
June 25, 2010 14:34
Alex from Montreal
don't even open your mouth and talk about ancient lands, how ancient are you talking about? 100 years, 200 years, 500 years? go check your information and read some world history (not the one taught to you by your parents) written by historians. Don't come here and open your mouth, because people will know you're stupid when you provide unintelligent information!

by: ararat from: norway
June 23, 2010 10:42
The Artsakh republic includes all the theritories under it's controll, plus some that are currently occupied by azerbzxsjzan. Those are armenian lands, and no matter what, we rather face new war against mongolian tribes than surender an inch of our lands. Noone is talking about armenian province of Nachichevan, that was granted to azerbzxsjzan by terorist organization "Sovjet Union" and that time world N1 terorist of georgian origin Josef Stalin. This is what should be debated. What conserns Artsakh Republic, it's has been independent for 20 years and represents second largest force in caucasus today...
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
June 24, 2010 05:44
Well, thats interesting to hear an Armenian describe the Soviet Union as a terrorist state, considering that aside from Russians, the greatest beneficiaries of the USSR were the Armenians.

As I recall, did not the Armenians stab both independent Georgia and Azerbaijan in the back in 1921, by launching an assault on both which was coordinated with the Bolsheviks.

And don't forget that during the Soviet period, Armenians, with the help of their Russian friends, created an almost "ethnicly pure" state by deportation and in some cases mass murder.

This having been said, the province of Nagorno Karabakh was and is majority Armenian, however all apologists for the Armenians should remember that large areas around Nagorno Karabakh were majority Azeri, and these people have been killed or forced to flee from their homes.

Just like the Serbs, the Armenians and their friends the Apsu in Abkhazia, and the Ossetians need to be punished for their massive and overt crimes against humanity.
In Response

by: Zoltan from: Hungary
June 24, 2010 20:04
Andrew, you live so far that this explains why you are so underinformed about the situation...

You probably forget about the fact that in 1915. 1,5 million ethnic Armenians were exterminated by Turks of the Ottoman Empire. Without the arrival of the Christian Russian army probably the entire Armenian population of the region would have been massacred.

Similar what happened with the Jews of Europe during frenzy of German Nazis. Successfully Russian troops arrived even then in time and prevented the total annihilation of European Jews.

After such historical experience with Muslim Turkish neighbours it is understandable that no Armenian want to live under Azeri rule.

This is why Armanians of Karabakh - where they always represented a majority - expressed their desire for independence from Azerbaijan already in Soviet times.

After that Azeris begin to massacre Armenians just like during the pogroms in 1915.
Therefore the war in Karabakh was not an offensive conquest war against Azerbaijan but rather a defensive war of Karabakh Armenians against the agression of Azeris.

In Karabakh Armenians lived. They were attacked by Azeris. What do you think what should have they done? Should not they protect themselves against Azeri agression? Do you think they should let Azeris to kill them without any resistance?
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
June 25, 2010 07:57
Well Zoltan, as usual your understanding of the facts is somewhat limited.

The massacre (terrible as it was) by the Turks occurred AFTER the arrival of the Russian Army, and a revolt by the Armenian population, in which hundereds of thousands of Turkish civilians also died, mostly being massacred by Armenian fighters.

In response to what was seen as base treachery by what had previously been a pretty well favoured minority in the Ottoman Empire (Armenians had seats in the Turkish parliament, and a great deal of autonomy), the Turkish government decided to use the method of internal deportation from the border regions, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians.

However one should note that it was Turks who committed these atrocities., not Azeri's.

The racism of Armenians is well documented in their history, and you only have to see how Armenian volunteers in Abkhazia raped, murdered, and mutilated Georgian, Jewish, Greek, and Azeri Abkhazians to see why they should not be rewarded for their genocidal behavior in eradicating the Azeri populations from the lands bordering Nagorno Karabakh.
In Response

by: Artavazd from: Armenia
June 25, 2010 18:00
Dear Andrew from Auckland, whatever you just stated is total absurdity. It is the other way around. It is the Azeris who benefited from the USSR regime by receiving huge portions of Armenian territory, likw Nakhichevan and Nagorno Karabakh, which as you yourself admitted were majority Armenian, as a gift from Stalin. Subsequently Armenians were deported from those territories. By the way have you asked yourself a question as to why should majority Armenian territories be part of Azerbaijan SSR while there was Armenia SSR next to it.?

One even marginally familiar with the geography of the region would notice the absurdity of your claim that "the Armenians stab both independent Georgia and Azerbaijan in the back in 1921, by launching an assault on both which was coordinated with the Bolsheviks." How could Armenia stab its "independent" neighbors, moreover together with Bolshevics, while it was anti-Bolshevik itself and having no common borders with Bolshevik Russia, while its neighbors Azerbaijan ans Georgia did? How could Armenia stab Azerbaijan together with Bolsheviks while Azerbaijan was already occupied and had become a Bolshevic state a year earlier than Armenia. It was, actually, Bolshevik Azerbaijan who together with the 11th Red Army attacked independent Armenia in 1920. Remember that in 1921 both, Azerbaijan and Armenia were already under Russian Bolshevic control and there was no way Russians would allow any skirmishes between two Bolshevik states.

When speaking of deportations and mass murders you better remember your own atrocious deeds. It is you Azeris, who during the Heidar Aliev rule and with the help of criminal complicity of Soviet dictator Breznev deported all Armenians from most of the majority Armenian territories granted to you by Stalin, i.e. Nakhichevan and Nagorno karabakh. So, who benefited from the Soviet rule? Of course, you Azeris by performing ethnic cleansing on the territories you had illegally got from Stalin as a gift? Armenians suffered most of your ethnic cleansing. All Armenias were expelled from their homes in Nakhichevan. and surrounding areas of Nagorno Karabakh only because they were Christians. Other ethnic minorities, like Tats, Talishs and Kurds were dealt with differently . You either turned them into muslims like yourselves, or changed their surnames so that nobody could tell the difference between a them and Azeris. You basically Aserified all other muslim ethnic minorities. Those who you could not Azerify, you just expelled. You are criminals. And must be held responsible for that. The day will come. And it is approaching.

Also, like Armenians all other minorities like Abkhazians and Ossetians have their right of self-determination. It is a crime to suppress their right by terrorizing them with ethnic cleansing. Azeris like turks have commited crimes against humanity and therefore they are the ones who are to be punished, not the Armenians or Abkhazians or Ossetians, who have just utilized their right of self-determination.

by: Seymur from: Azerbaijan
June 23, 2010 11:30
RFE/RL's Caucasus Service is too much dominated by Ms. Liz Fuller, who is well-known in Azerbaijan for her extreme pro-Armenian bias. The language of this media report is yet another display of that bias. Ms. Fuller's activity damages RFE/RL's reputation in Azerbaijan and allows Azerbaijan's authoritarian government to use such biased reporting to discredit in public eyes the objective and democratic journalism of the RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service, one of the few remaining free media outlets in the country.
In Response

by: Bob from: Nagorno Karabakh
June 23, 2010 15:34
Seymur, it is wrong to push on Ms. Fuller and blame her for being pro-something. Because she and team are not. Your deputy FM indirectly acknowledged and today your FM reiterated that Azeris started this. Besides, how come the body of Azeri defender remained on our position? Of course, if you don't want to think that he decided to run after "Armenian attackers" alone... The fact that the initial headline was "OSCE, EU Condemn 'Unacceptable' Azerbaijani Attack" was reflecting the obvious truth. Let's be brave enough to admit this. Yet, the fact that the headline has been changed for what it is now shows that the whole idea of this article and future discussion is not to waste time/resources for hysteria for this and that. Congratulations! Azeris won the crucial battle for the headline...And don't blame Liz or others for what your sultan has done.

by: SD
June 23, 2010 13:00
After compaints that the headline was misleading and was not supported by the body text, RFE/RL changed the title from "OSCE, EU Condemn 'Unacceptable' Azerbaijani Attack" to "OSCE, EU condemn Karabakh 'armed incident' ". This change does not excuse you, and particularly Ms. Fuller who is in charge of this section, for allowing such a biased coverage. Furthermore, although the title has been changed, the language of the report remains heavily pro-Armenian.
In Response

by: Zareh from: Canada
June 23, 2010 14:04
RFE/RL original title was a morally correct one (after all Azerbaijan admitted committing this latest aggression) but wrong in not criticizing the shameful one-sided report of the OSCE, and unfortunately it did not reflect the cowardice shown by the authors of that report. Blaming both sides for an open and admitted attack by Azerbaijan this OSCE report becomes a useless and 100% pro-Azeri report which surly will invite more similar attacks. European policies towards the South Caucasus remain oil-driven, profit seeking and anti-Armenian. For so long as justice is scarified for profit in dealing with a nation's fate, the threat of war will always loom.
In Response

by: Zahir from: Baku
June 23, 2010 16:18
The article presents the conflict between the separatist regime in Karabakh and Azerbaijan by using the phrase "Karabakh conscripts" along the article. In reality, we all know that the war is between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which can be seen from the article in the following Armenian news agency, which says that one of the conscripts who was wounded was from Kapan (Kafan) district of Armenia. http://www.news.am/rus/news/23010.html

This clearly shows this article on radio liberty is biased...
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About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.