Azerbaijani people pay tribute to 20 January martyrs (PHOTOS)
Thirty-four years have passed since the tragic events of Bloody January. As is customary each year, the people of Azerbaijan pay profound respect to the martyrs of 20 January.
Large crowds have been heading towards the Alley of Martyrs since the early hours of 20 January, placing carnations at the graves of martyrs. The day is etched in the history of our nation not only as a tragedy but also as a page of heroism. Alongside the prevailing sadness, the faces of tens of thousands of people bowing in front of the martyrs' graves reflect a sense of pride.
People from all walks of life are gathering at the Alley of Martyrs – veterans of the Patriotic War, soldiers, representatives of public institutions, young people, and schoolchildren. This collective display is a manifestation of the people's respect and reverence for the heroic sons and daughters of the Motherland.
Today, commemorative events and ceremonies are taking place not only in Baku but also in regions and foreign countries, with prayers being offered for the souls of the martyrs.
We recall the events of 20 January 1990 when units of the Soviet army and special forces, along with internal troops, committed a military aggression against Azerbaijan. In an effort to suppress the demonstrations held as a sign of protest against the deportation of hundreds of thousands of our compatriots from Western Azerbaijan and Armenia's groundless territorial claims against Karabakh, the Soviet army rolled on Baku and the regions to stifle the national liberation movement and committed an unprecedented massacre against the civilian population. As a result, 150 civilians were killed and more than 700 people were seriously injured.
On the morning following the tragic events, National Leader Heydar Aliyev went to the permanent representative office of Azerbaijan in Moscow, vehemently condemned this heinous crime committed against the Azerbaijani people, and demanded punishment of the guilty.
The first political and legal assessment of the tragedy of 20 January at state level was given by great Heydar Aliyev. The martyrs were immortalized, 20 January was declared the Day of National Mourning, and social protection of the families of the martyrs and disabled persons was strengthened.
Continuing this policy, President Ilham Aliyev pays special attention to the disabled and families of martyrs of 20 January. Health centers have been established for the rehabilitation of the disabled, apartments and cars have been handed out to disabled people and families of the martyrs of 20 January. The presidential pension for the families of 20 January martyrs and wounded people has also been raised.
The martyrs’ blood did not remain unavenged. Our people have regained independence, and our lands, which have been under occupation for about 30 years, were liberated on the battlefield.
The troubled souls of the martyrs of 20 January finally found peace after the historic Victory won in the 44-day Patriotic War under the leadership of President of Azerbaijan and Victorious Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev.
Short time later, the Karabakh Victory followed with its expected continuation. On September 19, 2023, the presence of separatists in Karabakh was brought to an end through local anti-terrorist measures. The National Flag of Azerbaijan was raised in Khankendi, Khojaly, Asgaran and other liberated territories. Thus, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan have been fully restored.
Our dear martyrs, who paved the first path and sacrificed their lives for freedom and victories, will never be forgotten. Their bright memories will live on in our hearts forever.