Many Armenian authors and media write about Azerbaijani television journalist Cingiz Mustafayev as a man of honor and conscience, who, they say, conducted his own investigation into the Aghdam tragedy and even came to the conclusion that Azerbaijan was behind that crime.
I am not inclined to share this optimism. Moreover, I think that Mustafayev is one of those who created the myth about Khojaly, so, he is an enemy propagandist and an occupant worthily liquidated on the Armenian land.
To make sure that Mustafayev is not a hero, as the Azerbaijanis present him, and not an honest journalist, as Armenian media, for some reason, try to present him, we will have to take a look at his short, yet rather interesting biography. (Note: further, the text will make references to materials which people with weak psyche are not recommended to view).
Former physician Mustafayev's first big appearance as television journalist is linked with the bringing of Soviet troops into Baku on the night of January 20. It is significant that savoring and describing vividly the "atrocities of Russian soldiers" in the "internationalist" town, Mustafayev never said a single word about brutal Armenian pogroms and sadistic murders of unarmed people that went on the entire week before the troops were brought into the town. Such selective television journalism eloquently demonstrates Mustafayev's civil and human position.
The television journalist's next big appearance that brought him fame dates to February 28, 1992. A helicopter carrying the television journalist departed from Azerbaijani-populated village Umudlu in the north of Nagorno-Karabakh and headed for the settlement of Khojaly, which on the night of February 26 was cleared from members of Azerbaijani OMON that had built a nest there and from other illegal armed groups acting on the territory of the young republic. Naturally, Mustafayev could not film any corpses in Khojaly because there were no corpses there. The corpses were found on the territory, which was adjacent to Azerbaijani regional center Aghdam, and was under full control of Azerbaijani servicemen until mid-summer of 1993. This is why video filming went on unhindered there. More exactly, at first the first video filming. There are few questions to it: dead fighters and refugees whom the Azerbaijani People's Front detachments did not let out of Khojaly, and who came under fire; servicemen load corpses on the helicopter. In short, terrible military scenes and a natural reaction of a normal person: "Poor little one…" and so on. The only moment is that there are no 613 dead here. But the most interesting begins later.
One day later, on March 2, Mustafayev, with a group of foreign correspondents, returns to the place where the people died and begins his second video filming. His tone changes absolutely, he commands the filming and does his job coolly. Mustafayev's two videos can be compared on the Azerbaijani website dedicated to his memory – here.
After watching the two videos, shot by Mustafayev with a one-day difference, a number of mismatches and obvious manipulations with corpses strike one’s eye, which cannot but be noticed, also by Mustafayev who was a professional journalist, if he himself was not aware of it.
We will explain on concrete examples, following the timing of the video (we repeat: this experiment aims to establish the truth and people with weak psyche are not recommended to view this).
1. Video 1 (1:08-1:11) – general background, bodies are lying in a row, there is high grass at their heads. Video 2 (0:07-0:10) – bodies are lying in a semicircle, in an absolutely different order, there is no high grass nearby.
2. Video 1 (0:23-0:24) – girl in a black headscarf, wrapped in a blanket, is lying at the feet of a woman in bright blue jogging trousers. The girl (0:50-0:53) is carried off into a helicopter. Video 2 (0:08-0:19) – the same girl is again in the field, but in another place. In addition, she is disfigured and half-dressed.
3. Video 1 (0:35-0:39) – bearded man on a blanket. Video 2 (0:21-0:34) – the same man, however, he is scalped.
4. Video 1 (0:25-0:27) – man with moustache, there is a cap near him. Video 2 (0:36-0:40) – the same man, but he is scalped. There is no cap near him.
5. Video 1 (1:01-1:06) – another child (in light-colored trousers) is lying ON a body. Video 2 (0:41-0:44) – the same child is UNDER the body and in another pose.
We repeat that this is only what strikes one's eye at first glance.
No "investigations of one's own" are needed to notice it. And, I repeat once again that Mustafayev could not but notice such obvious manipulations with bodies (some of which were in Aghdam a day and were returned for filming and demonstration to journalists!) and obvious jeering at them, as it did not exist during the first video filming. If … Yes, if he himself did not participate in the manipulations with the corpses of his congeners.
We believe that during the day spent in Aghdam, Mustafayev was explained understandably that the dead cannot be returned to life, that Mutallibov is a weak politician, while the country needs a strong and young leadership – People's Front, which is fighting the Armenians, that history will prove who was right and the Armenians are evildoers anyway, and so on. Plus, laurels of war hero and "conscience of the nation" and unrestrained discretion, selection of natural surroundings and characters for future video filmings.
This version is also supported by the subsequent show of these videos in Milli Majlis that led to the political death of President Mutallibov and People's Front's coming to power; by Mustafayev's video of questioning of three servicemen from Central Asia, from the 366th regiment, where he vainly tries to "push" soldiers, who don't know what it all was about, to confess to the "assault on Khojaly;" and by the television journalist's entire subsequent activities. For instance, you can watch the video shot by Mustafayev in Lachin before its "fall" (here). He speaks to soldiers not as an equal, but in a tone of a big boss and master of the situation.
Later, Mustafayev's regular reportages appeared in the new program Vesti on the second Russian TV channel. Mustafayev was in the ranks of Azerbaijani militarists, who launched a large-scale attack on the second Armenian state on June 12, 1992; and told Russian viewers, with excitement, about the occupants' progress on the Armenian land. The progress was that villages were burnt, Armenian civilians were deported from their homes and those who did not manage to escape the attacking horde were exterminated. All means were used for the seizure of Artsakh: military equipment and staff of Kirovabad's 23rd motorized infantry division of the 4th Army of CIS, caringly provided to the Azerbaijanis by mercenary colonel Budeykin; aerial bombs with toxic agents; assault aircraft; attack helicopters; tanks and heavy equipment. However, on June 20, viewers of Vesti program got evidence, with their own eyes, that the invaders, armed to the teeth, would fail to take an easy walk about Artsakh: during the "shooting on location" on June 15, "occupation singer" Mustafayev was killed on the spot by Armenian bullet. By the way, Vesti announced the mournful news four times (!) in a few days, putting on the scale, on the one hand, the death of a journalist who faithfully served the Azerbaijani occupation machine, and on the other hand, thousands of Armenian residents of Nagorno-Karabakh who were killed, wounded, taken captive, went missing, were deported from their homes. But let God be their judge…
What a coincidence! Mustafayev was killed in the vicinity of ancient Armenian village Nakhichevanik, in Askeran region – in the very places where four months ago he filmed the disfigured corpses of his congeners, caringly prepared by Azerbaijani and Turkic propagandists and sacrificed for the ambitions of politicians longing for power. Rumors persist, however, that the Armenians have nothing to do with the journalist's death and those who nurtured him as "conscience of the nation" have a hand in it. Mustafayev knew too much. However, this article's aim is not to investigate his death…
Xocali.net: According to Dana Mazalova's evidence, Cingiz Mustafayev was an exceptionally brave, clever and decent person.
Many Armenian journalists, military men and people who met him also indicate this. And the videos demonstrated by Azerbaijani propaganda cannot belong to Cingiz Mustafayev. Only this can explain the contradictions between the opinion of Cingiz as a person and a professional and the forgeries exposed by Pandukht and the staff of Xocali.net website.