Three weeks ago, in the early hours of September 13, 2022, the Azerbaijani armed forces launched a large-scale unprovoked military attack against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, by targeting the peaceful borderline communities inside Armenia.
The attack left hundreds dead, including Armenian civilians. But I would like to draw your attention to several episodes that prove the presence of Armenophobia in Azerbaijan.
On this weekend a video was released, where Azerbaijani soldiers are executing 7 Armenian POWs.
Such footage can be seen only in movies. Armenians who are on their knees and neutralized are shot dead by a group of Azerbaijani servicemen with rounds of Kalashnikov machine guns.
Another case was the desecration and mutilation of the body of a dead female Armenian serviceperson. Azerbaijani servicemen stripped the Armenian serviceperson, cut off her legs and fingers, placed a stone in her eye socket, and one of her severed fingers in her mouth and spray painted over her naked body.
Another case is that of a video circulated by Azerbajani authorities, in which an Armenian POW can be seen lightly injured in the arm and receiving first aid by Azerbaijani soldiers. But several days later, the Azerbaijani side returned the dead body of the young man with signs of torture.
Unfortunately, these are not isolated cases, but the result of a decades-long state policy.
In 2012, Ilham Aliyev pardoned and rewarded Ramil Safarov, who had axed a sleeping Armenian soldier in Budapest. In 2016, Ilham Aliyev rewarded an Azerbajani servicemen who had decapitated the body of an Armenian soldier. Most recently, on September 17 of this year, Ilham Aliyev rewarded two servicemen, who had been previously charged with defiling bodies of Armenian servicemen back in 2020.
There is nothing surprising about that. In his nationwide address, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev stated: “We are driving them (Armenians) away like dogs! Azerbaijani soldiers drive them away like dogs.”
The Armenophobic state policy of Azerbaijan has been recorded by a number of prominent organizations.
We were all shocked by the atrocities in Bucha. But do you know why more Ukrainian civilians were killed in Bucha than Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020? Because the Ukrainians of Bucha did not expect that the Russian army would kill them, while the residents of Hadrut and Shushi in Nagorno Karabakh knew what was awaiting them in case of Azerbaijani occupation and almost all of them managed to escape before the Azerbaijani troops would get to their homes.