March 1918 genocide against Azerbaijanis committed on ethnic, religious grounds – historian
The main purpose of the genocide committed by Armenian Bolsheviks against the Azerbaijani people in March 1918 was to destroy the social base of the then-Musavat party and seize the Azerbaijani lands, historian Vasif Gafarov told News.Az.
The historian noted that in 1918, Bolsheviks and Armenian nationalists united against the Azerbaijani people who were striving for their autonomy and independence.
“As a result, in March 1918, they committed an act of genocide against the Azerbaijani people in Baku, killing more than 12,000 Azerbaijanis on racial, ethnic, and religious grounds. These crimes, which were first committed in Baku, were perpetrated throughout Baku Governorate in April. Such crimes were also committed in Yelizavetpol (Ganja) and Iravan governorates,” he said.
Gafarov stressed that over 50,000 Azerbaijanis became victims of the genocide in Baku Governorate alone.
From 1917 to March 1918, as many as 198 Azerbaijani villages on the territory of Iravan Governorate were razed to the ground, as a result of which more than 130,000 Azerbaijanis lost their lives, the historian said.
He underlined that during its entire existence from 1918-to 1920, the Republic of Armenia did not give up the policy of ethnic cleansing, discrimination, and genocide against Azerbaijan.
The historian noted that after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Armenian government continued its policy of genocide against Azerbaijan.
“Over the past 30 years, numerous crimes have been perpetrated against Azerbaijani civilians in the previously occupied Azerbaijani territories. In 1992, an act of genocide was committed in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly in front of the eyes of the world, which was a continuation of the genocide that began in 1918. Both acts of genocide pursued the same goal. If in 1918 the goal was to prevent Azerbaijan from gaining independence and to take possession of Azerbaijani lands, the Khojaly genocide committed in the early 1990s was intended to intimidate the Azerbaijani people and force them to reconcile with the occupation of their lands,” he added.
The historian also commented on allegations of the so-called “Armenian genocide”.
“The so-called “Armenian genocide” is not based on any historical document, it is abstract. However, the genocide committed against Azerbaijanis in 1918 was recognized by the then-Extraordinary Investigation Commission as an act of genocide,” Gafarov said.
The historian also slammed international organizations and the European Parliament for demonstrating a double-standard attitude towards Azerbaijan.
“The European Parliament still keeps ignoring the realities about the Khojaly genocide, which is a clear manifestation of biased policy. There are documents with specific investigative materials related to the 1918 genocide. The Azerbaijani side will do everything possible to achieve a political and legal assessment of this genocide on a global scale,” Gafarov concluded.