Script is written based on real facts and events happened in 1989-1991 in Nagorno-Karabakh. Events present the beginning of Karabakh movement. Filmmakers dedicated film to blessed memory of fallen fighters for self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh to let them be remembered forever. Also the film is dedicated to honour the memory of all innocent victims killed in Sumgait, Baku, and Nagorno-Karaback as well as hundreds thousands refugees fallen a pray to war.
With the emergence of Mikhail Gorbachev at the helm of failing empire, hopes of democratization were born both internally in the Soviet Union and in the West. Under those aspirations and the whims of “glasnost”, new political movements emerged in different parts of the Soviet Union. The Armenian Committee of the Karabakh movement started its activities in February 20, 1988, demanding equal treatment of minorities in the territory of the Azerbaijan SSR. In response, organized mobs started their pillage in Sumgait (Azerbaijan) on February 26, 1988. The chaos continued for three days without Moscow's involvement. The Sumgait Pogroms produced 32 deaths, over 200 injured and 18, 000 Armenian civilian refugees. Only then, Soviet Army showed up to restore order.
On August 27, 1989, first non-communist, Levon Ter-Petrosian was elected as deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR, gaining official platform for Karabach movement. Mobs answered from 13th through the 20th of January 1990, this time in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, by unleashing horror, killing over 200, injuring over 1000 and creating additional 210, 000 Armenian civilian refugees. On August 4, 1990 Levon Ter-Petrosian became Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Armenia. Polite-Burro's response was, to resort to force. Under the supervision of Soviet Military, on April 30 th of 1991, the Azeri forces started the operation “Koltzo.” The objective was cleansing Nagorno-Karabakh of its historical Armenian population.
Events launch in Afghanistan where Gor serves in the Soviet Army in 1985. Afghans trap soviet troop. Afghans commandos kill almost all Russian soldiers. Only Gor and his Russian friend called Eugenie survive. However, while Gor attempts to save Eugenie's life he jeopardizes his own life and is taken prisoner. By a fluke he escapes. After all these events Gor decides to resign army. He is going to devote himself to family. Years pass. This is the eve of Soviet Union collapse in 1989-1990. Gor lives in his native village in Karabakh. He creates family; he has one son and his wife is expecting second one. Nothing remains the hell, which has happened in Afghanistan. Gor is engaged in farming. Villagers concern about their future and apply to Gor for help. They believe that Gor as professional can prevent forced deportation. However, Gor refers to Soviet command as a guarantee of their inviolability and personal immunity. Moreover, Gor is sure that any unlawful attempts from Armenian side can provoke Azerbaijanis and conflict will be escalated.
However, Gor pays high price for such blind trust for Soviet authority. Gor is arrested in the framework of company by exposure of hidden Armenian “bandits”. In the framework of so-called “Koltzo” (“Ring”) operation carried out by Azerbaijanis under the Soviet Army shelter. Gor's village is seized and razed to the ground. Many Armenians including Gor's son are killed. This operation is led by Eugenie whose life Gor saved in Afghanistan. Gor is arrested and put behind bars. Gor escapes and then Gor and Eugenie launch war against cruel conqueror. That time professional journalist called Anastasia is sent to business trip to Karabakh. She is from Moscow and she is mass media representative in Karabakh. She presents influential TV State Company. She should carry out an editors' task: to draw up report about so-called Armenian extremists committed mass crimes in the region.
The order is made from Kremlin so this report is biased beforehand. However, Anastasia is not confused because it is widespread practice in Soviet mass media. Moreover, the methods employed for obtaining of any information are well known: montage and cutting of true, objective, namely useless information. Anastasia is nice woman; she is about 30, she is ambitious, self-confident, and aiming high. According to her estimations, it will take few days to obtain necessary information. She is in a hurry because in case of successful implementation of this task she will be sent in one of European countries. Under Soviet circumstances it means huge promotion. Collided with awful reality Anastasia decided to make true report about Karabakh conflict. She presents human tragedy in the face of Gor's private misfortune jeopardizing her own career.
Historical background Events develop in the eve of Soviet Union collapse. The movement of self-determination of Karabakh was launched in 1988 and aimed at equal treatment to all national minorities in Azerbaijani SSR and preservation of their rights and freedom. Armenians insisted on independence of Nagornî-Karaback right up to its withdrawn from Azerbaijani SSR (based on principle of self-determination as one of the major principle of international law) while Azerbaijani's side stuck on principle of state's indivisibility. The movement strengthened, became stronger although it was in the form of peaceful demonstrations both in Stepanakert (Karabakh's capital city) and Yerevan. However, Azerbaijan's answer was mass massacre of Armenians in Sumgait (1989) and Baku (1990). Barbarities committed by mob were unrestricted by officials neither local nor state's. The most shocking example is mass massacre in Sumgait.
Mass murder and pogroms of Armenians lasted three days without any intervention of local police and authorities while no response from Moscow had been heard. First disorders started in the region and first wave of refugees swept on Armenia whose economics has already destroyed by severe earthquake in 1988. Events snowballed. Azerbaijanis forced Armenians to leave Karabakh. Such barefaced threats gave rise to justified concern among Armenian population in Karabakh. After bloody events in Baku and Sumgait Karabakh movement turned into Armenian liberation movement. Former Soviet authority at the head of Politå-Burro and Michael Gorbachev delegated authority to Azerbaijanis' officials in order to suppress and crush Karabakh movement. Karabach Committee was arrested that stirred up mass protest actions both in Armenia and Nagorni Karaback. Moreover, Soviet mass media “got into gear” and took an active part in undeclared war against Armenian population of Nagorni Karaback.
A stream of barefaced and egregious lie fell from Soviet newspaper and State influential TV channels aimed at advisedly slur and discredit Armenians and Armenian movement in world community's opinion. Azerbaijani emergency forces and Russian troops supported them organized joint campaign called “Koltzo” (“Ring”) in Karabach villages. The matter was that Soviet troops surrounded target village and kept it while Azerbaijanis' forces were killing unarmed Armenian habitants. Moreover, Soviet officers were ordered not to intervene into Azerbaijanis' activity. Thus, under such lawless circumstances the core events develop.
Afterward 1991 the Berlin Wall came down striking the first blow to Soviet Empire. The flight from political occupation touched every capital in Eastern Europe and Soviet Republics. On December 25, 1991 Soviet Union was no more. However, not all the change of guard and struggle for self-determination was peaceful. From Sumgait to the cease-fire on May 15, 1994, Azeri aggression caused over 30, 000 dead and over 1, 000, 000 refugees. Lasting peace is still illusive.
Exclusive producer - Haig S. Bagerdjian Producer - Kolya (Nikolay) Khachaturov Producer - Gor Vardanyan Director - Vahe Khachatryan Script is written by Gor Vardanyan and Marine Sargsyan Key Roles Performers Gor Vardanyan, Yevgeni Karnash, Anri Vardanyan, Narine Sultanyan, Svetlana Zueva.