On February 26, a commemorative event was held on the 31st anniversary of the Khojaly genocide, traditionally at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, APA’s Moscow correspondent reports.
The event organized by the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Russia and the Russian representative office of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps and the Russian public, activists of the Azerbaijani Youth Union of Russia, members of the diaspora, and Azerbaijani students studying in Moscow.
Ambassador Polad Bulbuloglu, who delivered the event's opening speech, emphasized that today we honor the memories of hundreds of innocent civilians who died as a result of the Khojaly genocide.
The diplomat said that the political and legal assessment of this bloody crime against humanity was made only after the return to power of national leader Heydar Aliyev: “The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva are continuing the path begun by the national leader in order to convey the truth about the Khojaly tragedy to the international world and to acknowledge it as genocide on an international level. As well, the international information campaign "Justice for Khojaly," which was implemented at the initiative of the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Leyla Aliyeva, and was actively participated in by young both in Azerbaijan and abroad, played an important role in perpetuating the memory of the victims of the tragedy."
In his address to the event's young generation participants, he reminded them that it is their holy duty to convey accurate information about the Khojaly genocide to the future generation and the international community.
“As a result of the 44-day Patriotic War, the brave army and valiant sons of Azerbaijan liberated our historical territories from the occupation in 2020, under the leadership of a strong, resolute, and wise Supreme Commander-in-Chief. The whole world is convinced of our army's power and modernity, the combat spirit of our soldiers and officers, and the Azerbaijani people's strong resolve and faith in their President.
Notwithstanding the severe consequences of the occupation, Azerbaijan today reiterated its commitment to the peaceful resolution of the post-conflict period and the restoration of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations in order to stabilize the situation in the region.
A historic opportunity for long-term peace and stability has arisen, with the establishment of civil interstate relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”
Ultimately, the Azerbaijani Ambassador highlighted that the Khojaly tragedy, as a crime against civilians, is on par with the Holocaust, which is the deadliest chapter in the history of mankind. He further stated that he is proud that no anti-Semitic manifestations have occurred in Azerbaijan and that all peoples living here have equal rights to develop and preserve their national cultural heritage.
The event was also addressed by Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of "National Defense" magazine, public figure, diplomat, political scientist, and general director of the "Institute of Political Studies," Sergey Markov, chairman of the expert council of the "Eurasian Ideas Center" Scientific Research Support Fund, political scientist Grigory Trofimchuk, head of the "ALEF" Jewish movement Abram Ixiilov, and RAGB activists Fatima Kahramanli and Tarlan Hamzayev.
Igor Korotchenko stated that modern parliaments, including the Russian State Duma, must conduct a legal assessment of the events in Khojaly: "Today, the Russian people also share the Khojaly tragedy of the Azerbaijani people."
Sergey Markov, speaking on the tragedy, highlighted the significance of prosecuting the perpetrators.
Grigoriy Trofimchuk stated that despite the passage of time, the day of February 26 would never be forgotten and that the perpetrators must be punished.
In their addresses, the speakers stressed that February 26 is the most tragic page in the history of Azerbaijan, and emphasized the significance of conducting consistent objective work within the "Justice for Khojaly" campaign to draw the attention of the international community to this genocide. It was also underlined that the Khojaly genocide, as a mass massacre of people, left a deep mark on world history. The words of national leader Heydar Aliyev that the Khojaly genocide directed against the people of Azerbaijan is a historical crime against all humanity with its unimaginable cruelty and inhuman methods of torture, were voiced.
Today, a memorial stand for those who died in the Khojaly tragedy was also installed in front of the Embassy building. During the day, Ambassador Polad Bulbuloglu and Embassy employees, representatives of the Republic of Azerbaijan's state institutions in Russia, including our compatriots in Moscow, diaspora activists, and Azerbaijani students studying in Russia visited the diplomatic mission and laid flowers in front of the stand.