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Azerbaijanis Mark 30th Anniversary Of Bloody 'Black January' Crackdown

Azerbaijanis are set to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Black January, a bloody crackdown by Soviet troops that failed to stop Azerbaijan's independence movement.

On January 20, 1990, more than 200 people were killed after emergency rule was declared and Soviet soldiers fired into crowds of protesters in Baku.

It was part of an attempt by Moscow to prevent the disintegration of the Soviet Union. But the crackdown only strengthened the local independence movement, and the following year Azerbaijan became a sovereign state.

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Azerbaijanis surround a victim of the Soviet crackdown in Baku starting on January 20,1990. Over several days, more than 200 people were killed and at least 700 were wounded as Soviet troops fired without warning into crowds of protesters. Ordinary citizens were targeted. The dead included Azerbaijanis, Tatars, Armenians, Russians, Jews, and Lezgins, a northeast Caucasian ethnic group.
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Stuart Greer

Stuart Greer is a multimedia editor for RFE/RL. With 25 years of experience as a broadcast journalist, he has reported from more than 30 countries covering a wide range of topics, including the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Georgia, disasters in the Philippines and Hungary, international summits, and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Before joining RFE/RL in 2015, he was European bureau chief and foreign correspondent for Canada's Global News in London.

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Kateryna Oliynyk

Kateryna Oliynyk is a digital-media coordinator for RFE/RL.