"People believe Russia occupied Karabakh and will never admit it"

Upon the initiative of Russian historian Oleg Kuznetsov, an event was held in connection with theKhojaly genocide petition addressed to Russia’s State Duma and Federation Council of the Federal Assembly.

In his speech, Kuznetsov noted that the Armenian community of Russia is not as well-organized as the Azerbaijani community.

“When they have to do something, they get 40 people involved. However, they manage these personnel far more skillfully and they have a precise action plan. As many as 19,000 signatures were collected for the petition. Of them, 12,000 came from Azerbaijan. For a country of nearly 10 million people this figure is low,” he said.

The historian added that petitions usually come from foreign countries.

He also explained the low number of signatures.

“There is distrust among people. They don’t think the State Duma would show an attitude on this matter. People think that Russia occupied Karabakh and will never admit it. If so, what would we need this petition for? Sometimes people are unable to differentiate between signing a petition and approving of something. To sign this petition they need registration via e-mail. People’s access to electronic media resources is limited,” Kuznetsov added.

The historian outlined that most of the signatures came from Lankaran and said that he will go to Ganja and Mingachevir to meet with university students.

Kuznetsov initiated a petition on March 6 for the recognition by the Russian government of the Khojaly genocide against Azerbaijanis on February 25 to 26, 1992. The petition was addressed to the State Duma deputies and the Federation Council. The petition calls for the prosecution of the perpetuators and the recognition of the massacre as a crime against humanity and an act of genocide. The petition is highly important for the massacre to be recognized by the State Duma as genocide and the prosecution of the Armenian criminals responsible for the massacre.

On February 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed as a result of the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. A total of 487 civilians became disabled as a result of the onslaught. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown. APA