The Khojaly tragedy, being one of the bloody pages in the Karabakh war, is one of its most tangled and mythologized episodes, fanned by forgery, inaccuracies and juggling, which became a banner of propaganda and formation of anti-Armenianism within Azerbaijani society and beyond it.
Over the years following the tragedy the Azerbaijani side actively propagandized, promoted and spread the thesis of the "Khojaly genocide," lavishly adding illustrations, statistical data and belated and contradictory survivor testimonies.
Baku's calculation was simple – the chief thing is more blood, suffering and emotions, while somehow or other, no one is interested in the facts and the real state of affairs.
The Azerbaijani propaganda machine received the first blow in 2010, when a group of enthusiasts drew experts' attention to the fact that the linkage to the Khojaly events on the web features a photo, taken in 1999, showing dead Bosnians in Račak, Kosovo. It must be noted that thousands of volumes of illustrated printed and online editions were published during these years.
It became obvious that the Azerbaijani side does not shun forgery and it means that the "Kosovo photo" is likely not the only one of the kind and there might be other similar photos.
Thus, all photos illustrating the "horrors of Khojaly" on the leading Azerbaijani websites were revised. The results of the investigation were published on the xocali.net website.
The name list of those who died on that terrible night, officially published and actively spread by the Azerbaijani side, was "inspected" a year later.
Whereas Western sources estimate the number of victims at 200-300 1, according to official propaganda, 613 people died during the assault on Khojaly on the night from February 25 to 26, 1992. The official statement is that " 613 residents of the town were killed. Out of them, 106 were women, 63 children and 79 elderlies2». The inspection of the lists revealed that according to numerous lists presented by Azerbaijan, which, by the way, contradict each other, besides forgeries and inaccuracies, the number of dead and sex and age correlation do not correspond to the propaganda. In reality, the table looks as follows:
|Kh. Mammadova||"Our Age"||Embassy||Propaganda|
|Old people (65 – <)||37||35||-||70|
|Men (18 - <)||304||358||295||374|
|Unknown(?)||100 (?)||11 (?)||-||-|
|Total||530 (630)||601 (612)||508||613|
|*Out of 7 unidentified victims, 3 were included in the general victim list, with their age indicated|
See a detailed examination of the list here.
The list of "Azerbaijani servicemen who became shahids during the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Karabakh and on the state border in 1991-1994"3 was published in January 2014. It is important to pay attention to two circumstances here: the notion "Karabakh War I" is put into circulation, with the aim, confidence or hope that there would be a second war, as well as the list includes names of servicemen who died in 1991-1994.
Thus, according to the official release, 11,557 Azerbaijani servicemen died during the hostilities, which, to put it mildly, causes some doubts4, however, for the present, it is the only official document with the help of which it is possible to resist the Azerbaijani propaganda.
>We must mention that the list abounds in inaccuracies. For instance, the list includes names of those who died after 1994, those who died outside the zone of military operations, as well as those who died from diseases. But it is a subject of a separate investigation.
So, the Armenian side has two official lists – the list of those who died in Khojaly and the list of servicemen who died during the war. Both of these lists were compared on the subject of coincidence and it was revealed that the 44 names mentioned as victims of Khojaly "genocide" are in the lists of servicemen who were called up for military service and took part in the military operations, including those who died at a different time and in a different place.
Thus, Safarov Shahverdi Bahlul died in Karintak (Dashatly), Aliyev Bakir Shiraslan in Martakert (Agder), Abbasov Elhan Kamran in Shushi, Guliyev Farhad Safar in Shahumyan (Goranboy), etc. Khudiyev Zahid was mobilized in 1993 and died in Fizuli and Rajabov Jabrail Mehdi died in Khojaly, but in 1991. Mehdiyev Fikret Burzu – 28.01.1992, "died on Aghdam – Shushi railroad” – this is mentioned as the reason of his death. It is noteworthy that there is no railroad there and it is unclear what railroad they are speaking about.
The table of "peaceful victims of Khojaly" is as follows5:
|Name (az)||Name (en)||Date of birth||Date of death||Place of death||Regoin|
|1||Haqverdiyev Davud Məşdi||Hagverdiyev Davud Məshdi||1951||Aghdam|
|2||Hüsenov Tofiq Mirsiyab||Husenov Tofig Mirsiyab||1954||Aghdam|
|3||Hüseynov Bakir Miseyid||Huseynov Bakir Miseyid||1956||Aghdam|
|4||Mustafayev Vidadi Şafa||Mustafayev Vidadi Shafa||1967||Aghdam|
|5||Rzayev Canpolad Yaqub||Rzayev Janpolad Yagub||1968||Aghdam|
|6||Əhmədov Eldar Nəsib||Ahmedov Eldar Nasib||1944||Aghdam|
|7||Əzizov Hüseyn Nəriman||Azizov Huseyn Nariman||1956||Aghdam|
|8||Ağayev Zahid Səttar||Aghayev Zahid Sattar||1963||Aghjabedi|
|9||Səfərov Şahverdi Bəhlul||Safarov Shahverdi Bahlul||1956||Dashatly||Aghjabedi|
|10||Əliyev Bəkir Şiraslan||Aliyev Bakir Shiraslan||1972||Agdere||Agsu|
|11||Nuriyev Hafiz Yusif||Nuriyev Hafiz Yusif||1962||1992||Khojaly||Hajikabul|
|12||Abbasov Elxan Kamran||Abbasov Elxan Kamran||1969||Shushi||Barda|
|13||Mehdiyev Fikrət Burzu||Mehdiyev Fikret Burzu||1968||28.01.1992||Aghdam-Shushi||Barda|
|14||İsmayılov Vidadi Lətif||İsmayılov Vidadi Lyatif||1966||26.02.1992||Khojaly||Barda|
|15||Orucov Elman Ənvər||Orujov Elman Anver||1960||Khojaly||Barda|
|16||Quliyev Fərhad Səfər||Guliyev Farhad Safar||1970||Goranboy||Barda|
|17||Səfiyev Elxan Nəsib||Safiyev Elxan Nasib||1961||Khojaly||Barda|
|18||Rəcəbov Cəbrayıl Mehdi||Rajabov Jabrayıl Mehdi||1961||18.12.1991||Khojaly||Binagadi|
|19||Xudiyev Zahid Bəhlul||Xudiyev Zahid Bahlul||1960||08.10.1993||Fizuli||Binagadi|
|20||Hüseynov Hüseyn Şükür||Huseynov Huseyn Shukur||1956||07.04.1993||Goranboy|
|21||Hümbətov Hətəm Qurban||Humbatov Hatam Gurban||1961||10.1991||Khojaly||Kyapaz|
|22||Hüseynov Şakir Mustafa||Huseynov Shakir Mustafa||1960||15.11.1991||Sabunchi|
|23||Əliyev Ayaz Elman||Aliyev Ayaz Elman||1970||Sumgayit|
|24||Cabbarov Azad Pirqulu||Jabbarov Azad Pirgulu||1968||26.02.1992||Khojaly|
|25||Məmmədov Vasif Salman||Memmedov Vasif Salman||1965||29.02.1992||Khojaly|
|26||Rüstəmov Fizuli Salah||Rustamov Fizuli Salah||1966||2.29.1992||Khojaly|
|27||Rzayev İldırım Barat||Rzayev İldirim Barat||1970||08.05.1992||Khojaly|
|28||Çobanov Tapdıq Əhməd||Çhobanov Tapdig Ahmad||1949||2.29.1992||Khojaly|
|29||Ələkbərov Təvəkkül Ələkbər||Alekperov Tavakkyul Alekper||1956||29.02.1992||Khojaly|
|30||Hüseynov Çinkiz Usub||Huseynov Chinkiz Usub||1955||26.02.1992||Khojaly|
|31||Məmmədov Razmik Suren||Memmedov Razmik Suren||1965||2.29.1992||Khojaly|
|32||Zeynalov Eldar Aslan||Zeynalov Eldar Aslan||1963||29.02.1992||Khojaly|
|33||Abışov Elşad Qiyas||Abıshov Elshad Giyas||1967||2.29.1992||Khojaly|
|34||Allahverdiyev Novruz Salah||Allahverdiyev Novruz Salah||1947||26.02.1992||Khojaly|
|35||Allahverdiyev Ziyatxan Salah||Allahverdiyev Ziyatkhan Salah||1957||2.29.1992||Khojaly|
|36||Əzizov Hüseyn Nəriman||Azizov Huseyn Nariman||1956||2.29.1992||Khojaly|
|37||Həşimov Səlim Kərim||Hashimov Salim Kerim||1963||2.26.1992||Khojaly|
|38||Məhərrəmov Vaqif Cəmil||Maherramov Vagif Jamil||1951||29.02.1992||Khojaly|
|39||Məmmədov Kamil Əmir||Memmedov Kamil Amir||1905||2.26.1992||Khojaly|
|40||Məmmədov Rasif Salman||Memmedov Rasif Salman||1967||2.29.1992||Khojaly|
|41||Qarayev Usubəli Süleyman||Garayev Usubali Suleyman||1961||29.02.1992||Khojaly|
|42||Quluyev Taleh Zəkərya||Guluyev Taleh Zakarya||1965||2.26.1992||Khojaly|
|43||Usubov Siyavuş Ramiz||Usubov Siyavush Ramiz||1971||29.02.1992||Khojaly|
|44||Xəlilov Tahir Qaçay||Khalilov Tahir Gachay||26.02.1992||Khojaly|
It would be reasonable to suppose that the Azerbaijani side that conducted a detailed investigation back in 1992-1994 had time and possibility, during 20 years, to verify and match the lists, bringing to conformity the number of dead and the name list. This, however, was not done.
Taking into account the whole set of facts – forgery of photos and videos, oluntary interpretation of facts and distortion of cause-and-effect relation, contradiction between official propaganda and its own sources and disregard of them, are evidence that Azerbaijan uses the "Khojaly card" not for justice and restoration of historical reality. The real goal is to demonize and dehumanize the Armenians' image to demonize and dehumanize the Armenians' image in order to maintain the spirit of hatred among their own population and justify the further aggression and cruelty towards the Armenians in the eyes of the international community.
…When (or if) "Karabakh War II" is at last unleashed.
1 Human Right Watch, Azerbaijan: Seven years of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, London, Brussels, 1994, стр. 7
2 Official press release of Azerbaijani Embassy in Kazakhstan, February 21, 2011 (electronic document) http://www.azembassy.kz/news/images/press-ARIhY.pdf / note: the front page of the press release features a photo of the victims of Račak massacre (Kosovo)
5 All screenshots are maintained.