On March 5, Azerbaijani parliament, at an extraordinary session, accepted the resignation of president of Azerbaijani Supreme Council Elmira Kafarova and on March 6, it accepted the resignation of president Ayaz Mutallibov. After the slaughter in Khojaly, which Baku calls “Azerbaijani genocide,” both leaders declared themselves unfit to their position. Mutallibov said that fighters of the 366th motorized infantry regiment located in Stepanakert were really responsible for the Khojaly tragedy, and, according to his information, they stormed Khojaly. Yagub Mammadov, so far only known as rector of Baku Medical University, became acting successor of Kafarova and then also of Mutallibov.
On February 26-27, Armenian self-defense forces took the penultimate Azerbaijani stronghold in Nagorno-Karabakh – the town of Khojaly. According to the Azerbaijani side’s information, the Armenians’ victory was secured thanks to the participation of fighters of Stepanakert’s 366th regiment. The press service of the CIS Armed Forces Headquarters refuted that information. About 1,000 civilians were killed (according to other sources, no more than 300, they were killed in a shootout when Azerbaijan’s national army was retreating along with civilians).
French TV correspondent Florence David, in Yerevan, called the information about one thousand dead in Khojaly a “real juggling.”
In her words, the now world-famous video of “Khojaly victims” was shot on March 1 during exchange of corpses of Armenians and Azerbaijanis through the mediation of Iranian Red Crescent Society.
Appearance of two children’s corpses from Khojaly in the square in front of the republic’s Supreme Council brought closer the resignation of the country’s leadership. A crowd of two hundred thousand that brought the corpses for subsequent burial in the alley of January 20 victims near the parliament chanted anti-government slogans. MPs from Azerbaijani Popular Front Party demanded Mutallibov’s resignation at the session hall. In his last statement, Mutallibov acknowledged that as leader of the country he failed to ensure the security of citizens mainly because he pinned too much hopes on unbiased position of the center in the Karabakh issue, which, however, turned out to be pro-Armenian. Mutallibov apologized to all those whom he had hurt unintentionally, finally moving the former opposition. Rahim Gaziyev, former leader of Popular Front, currently commandant of Shushi, at last acknowledged that Mutallibov was a “real he-man” and the parliament granted the ex-president immunity, with a cottage, personal guard, car and pension of 10,000 rubles. According to experts, the opposition that achieved Mutallibov’s resignation now sees no worthy successor to him as president, and will try to achieve the implementation of its favorite slogan – “The entire power to the National Council!”
Meanwhile, the 366th regiment was moved by helicopters from Stepanakert to Vaziani (Georgia) along with the equipment and was disbanded. According to latest information, the Azerbaijani side passed to the offensive – in Askeran and Mardakert regions of Nagorno-Karabakh.