13 January 2017 in Astana in the building of the museum of the Library of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan was held the opening of the photo-exhibition “Black January” – way to Independence, dedicated to the events on 20 January 1990 in Baku.
“Black January” is called the suppression of political opposition by the subdivisions of the Soviet Army in the night on 20 January 1990 in the capital of Azerbaijan SSR – the city of Baku. Tragic events brought to the death of more than hundreds of civilians. “Black January” became the turning point in the movement of Azerbaijan to independence.
Photo-exhibition was organized by the Embassy of Azerbaijan Republic in the Republic of Kazakhstan along with the Museum of the Library of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Leader of Nation within the international project of the Museum “Dialogue through culture”. The exhibition presents to the attention of publicity the photo illustrations of the consequences on 20 January 1990. The tragic element of the situation of the appliance of army against armless people was imprinted. At the same time these shots – live evidence of the spirit power of Azerbaijan people who proved at the expense of multiple victims that the notions of honor and dignity, freedom and Motherland are not empty phrases.
At the opening of the exhibition took part the social and political activists, representatives of the NGO and activists of the Diaspora. The Executive Director of the Library of the First President RK – Leader of Nation Beisembay Zhumabekov noted that this event testifies the memory of victims of the tragedy of “Black January” is not forgotten.
At this exhibition once more found the confirmation of the fact that the happened in Kazakhstan events of Zheltoksan and tragedy of 20 January serve the obvious expression of the heroism of the dead in the fight for independence of fraternal people, restoration of their statehood, civil pride and our memory of blood. December events in Almaty in 1986 became one of the first ones in the USSR among mass meetings against the dictate of the center – Moscow, later the analogous events happened in other national republics of the Soviet Union.
“January events in Azerbaijan correlate with December events in Kazakhstan. And the tragedy of your people is close and understandable for Kazakhstani people”, - said Beisembay Kuanyshevich. The Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Kazakhstan Rashad Mammadov, telling about history of these bloody events, underlined that 29 January is one of the noblest pages in the history of the fight of Azerbaijan people.
That’s why the esteem of the memory of patriots, who gave their life in the fight for freedom of the Motherland. Is the duty of each Azerbaijanian. Today, commemorating the victims of this tragedy in Kazakhstan, we strengthen the solidarity and friendship of our people. “Pain of January tragedy is not only our grief. The tragedy of “Black January” 1990 in Baku is the continuation of Almata events 1986. Let’s commemorate the dead in these events by moment of silence”, said Azerbaijan diplomat.
Later, guests familiarized with the exhibition. As it is seen from the presented photo shots, Azerbaijan people fearlessly survived through difficult days and left their track in history. The awful terrorist act, performed against Azerbaijan people by military officers of the former Soviet Union being one of the most enormous offences against humanity found its reflection in each photo shot, as the black page in the history of humanity.
Outrage over civilians, who fought for freedom, territory integrity of their country, murder and wounding of the hundreds of innocent people as a result of the mass terror on the eve of the fall of totalitarian Soviet regime, one more time demonstrates to the whole world its criminal nature.
“Third year at a run we along with children visit the photo exhibition. In my opinion, similar events are very important, as they vividly show the importance of friendship of people. It is great and serious conquest and while this friendship exists people of our country will be free and invincible. In the works is reflected the power of the spirit of Azerbaijan people and our duty is to respect the memory of heroes, remember about their fates, tell about them to children”, shared the visitor Dinara Yesenbayeva. Annually 20 January is celebrated in Azerbaijan as the mourning date. 27 years ago, at night from 19 to 20 January 1990 by order of the administration of the USSR in Baku were sent in troops and opened fire on citizenry.
Before sending in troops to Baku there were the meetings in the sign of protest against inactivity of the Republican and Central Soviet governance concerning the illegal military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, riotous behavior of Armenian illegal armed formations on Azerbaijan land – in Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region.
In the evening of 19 January by the special department of the KGB USSR “Alfa” was blasted power generation on Azerbaijan television, and population was deprived of the possibility to get the topical information. The population knew about the introduction of extraordinary condition only in the morning 20 January after capture of the city by the units of the Soviet army from the leaflets, speared from military helicopters.
As a result were killed 134 civilians, wounded over 700 people. The military technique went through the “live barricades” of Baku residents, who supposed that military people will not dare to attack the armless people. After the introduction of troops started the repressions against active members of the opposition.
However, in spite of that, 22 January about 1 million people participated in the farewell with the victims of military campaign. The bodies of the dead were delivered to Nagorny park which started to be called the Alley of heroes. These events made it into history of Azerbaijan people as “Black January”.
In those hard days, 21 January 1990 notwithstanding the danger for life, the national leader of Azerbaijan people Geidar Aliev visited the representation of Azerbaijan in Moscow and organized the press-conference, at which expressed the decisive protest to the administration of the USSR for performed crimes regarding Azerbaijan people.
Besides those bloody events passed many years, Azerbaijan people always remembers that terrible night. 20 January eternized in the calendar as National Day of mourning. The photo exhibition will last till 20 January 2017.
Translated by Malika MURSALIM
Use of materials for publication, commercial use, or distribution requires written or oral permission from the Board of Editors or the author. Hyperlink to National Digital History portal is necessary. All rights reserved by the Law RK “On author’s rights and related rights”. To request authorization email to email@example.com or call to (7172) 79 82 06 (ext.111).