Participants of commemorative events in Stepanakert. Photo by Alvard Grigoryan for the Caucasian Knot

01 March 2021, 11:22

Victims of Sumgait pogroms commemorated in Yerevan and Stepanakert

On February 28, the "National Democratic Pole" movement held a torchlight march timed to the 33rd anniversary of pogroms in Sumgait. The action began with a minute of silence in memory of the victims, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent reports.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are holding annual actions dedicated to victims of Sumgait pogroms.

The Sumgait pogroms were ethnically-based riots in the city of Sumgait, Azerbaijan SSR, which lasted from the evening on February 26 to February 29, 1988. According to the USSR General Prosecutor's Office (GPO), 26 Armenians and six Azerbaijanis were killed in the riots, more than a hundred people were wounded. According to later sources, based on eyewitnesses' stories and analysis of death certificates, the death toll was in hundreds.

According to organizers, the torchlight march was about 300 people strong. They marched along the streets of Yerevan to the monument to Garegin Nzhde in the centre of the Armenian capital.

The pogroms were a response to the desire to gain independence, said Garegin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians. "The 2020 autumn war, unleashed by Azerbaijan with the support of Turkey, and the consequences thereof indicate that Nagorno-Karabakh cannot be part of Azerbaijan," says the message of the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

The Sumgait tragedy was followed by pogroms of the Armenian population in Gandzak, Baku and more than 320 cities and villages of Azerbaijan, Arman Tatoyan, the Armenia Ombudsperson, has stated. In particular, he recalled the operation "Ring" in April 1991 to expel Armenians from their residences, as well as the tragedy in Maraga in April 1992, where 57 people were killed.

Commemorative events were held in Stepanakert as well. On February 28, the leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh and residents of Stepanakert visited the Memorial Complex, where they laid flowers at the monument to the victims of Sumgait pogroms.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 28, 2021 at 11:07 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan, Alvard Grigoryan; Source: CK correspondents

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