The tragic developments that unfolded in the city of Sumgayit of the Azerbaijan SSR in February 1988 were perhaps the most significant event of the final years of the USSR. Sparked off by Soviet secret services in an international and ethnically diverse major industrial city of Sumgayit, the ethnic clashes became a catalyst for the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. This web-site provides a collection of materials and a brief analysis of the impact the Sumgayit developments and the Karabakh conflict had on the subsequent fate of the entire Soviet Union.
In the early 1980s, the Soviet Union was undergoing a difficult period characterized by foreign political failures, deteriorating international standing, economic difficulties and leadership crisis. The election of Mikhail Gorbachev as secretary general of the CPSU in March 1985 was part of the attempts to drastically reform the USSR – the so-called “perestroika” which climaxed in a collapse of the world’s socialist system and break-up of the USSR.
M. Gorbachev’s incompetent ethnic policies brought about unseen domestic political factors that eventually led to a collapse of the USSR. Particularly negative was the role M. Gorbachev and his ruling team played in inciting the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict which exposed the depth of the Soviet system’s crisis.
This web-site provides numerous facts exposing the false nature of reasons behind the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict that are provided by Armenian and certain foreign sources. It is beyond doubt that the conflict was not provoked by the Sumgayit developments of 1988, but by the deportation of the Azerbaijani population from the Armenian SSR that had started in 1987. Inlate February 1988, when tragic developments were unfolding in Sumgayit, there were already 4,000 refugees from Armenia in Sumgayit proper and in other Azerbaijani cities. The forceful deportation of the Azerbaijani population from Armenia was carried out directly by party leaders and law-enforcement bodies of the Armenian SSR.
Back in the mid-1980s, different Armenian terrorist and nationalist organizations had significantly stepped up their activities. With support from the Armenian church and the Armenian lobby, they embarked on the implementation of what in essence was a fascist plan on forceful deportation of Azerbaijanis from Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region (NKAR) of the Azerbaijan SSR. Back in the Soviet times, a number of Armenian nationalist, terrorist and armed groups unleashed violence and terror against Azerbaijanis as part of a plan on the establishment of a mythical “Great Armenia”.
The forceful deportation of Azerbaijanis and the subsequent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of 1980-1990 were part of a 200-year policy on squeezing out the Azerbaijani population from its historical lands that had started after the Russian Empire resettled Armenians from Ottoman Turkey, Persia and Middle East to the region.
Azerbaijanhas become subject to terror and a military campaign in this conflict. As a result of the first Karabakh war, Armenia has occupied around 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories over 1 million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and IDPs, while more than 20,000 people have been killed.