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Kirovabad pogrom

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The Kirovabad pogrom was an Azeri-led pogrom that targeted the Armenian population living in the Azerbaijani town of Kirovabad (today Ganja) in November 1988.[1][2][3] According to Soviet human rights activist Andrei Sakharov, more than 130 Armenians were killed in the violence.[4] Three Soviet soldiers were also killed and 126 people were injured.[5] However later Sakharov admitted in his memoirs that the information about the numbers of Armenian causalities provided by him was false and he received it from his wife Yelena Bonner, who in turn received it from an “irresponsible person”. According to Sakharov, dissemination of this information was a serious mistake on his part.[6]

The commander of the Soviet troops has the Interior Ministry in Moscow for permission to evacuate the city's Armenian population of 100,000.[5] However, attempts by Soviet troops to defend Armenians during the pogrom were to no avail.[7] The conflict intensified in the fall of 1988, as the Armenians of Kirovabad and the surrounding countryside were driven from their homes and forced to seek haven in Armenia, while the frightened Azerbaijani minority in Armenia fled eastward into Azerbaijan. [8]

We went to see what was happening. We saw these guys in the streets. I don't know who they were drug addicts, maybe. They had sticks and clubs, and lists of Armenians and where they lived. They wanted to break down the doors of Armenian apartments and chase them out. The police didn't do anything. They just stood and watched. Same with the soldiers, who had weapons. We asked them to help. There were about a dozen soldiers and ten of us, and there were about twenty in the gang, but the soldiers wouldn't help. They said: 'You can do it yourself, Blackie. We're not getting involved.[9]


  1. Ethnic Fears and Ethnic War in Karabagh Article - Scholar - SJ Kaufman
  2. Armenia in Crisis: The 1988 Earthquake By Verluise
  3. Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia 2004 - Page 131 by Imogen Gladman, Taylor & Francis Group
  4. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}
  5. 5.0 5.1 {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}
  6. (Russian) Memoirs of Andrei Sakharov
  7. Modern Hatreds: The Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War By Stuart J. Kaufman - Page 77
  8. From Richard G. Hovannisian, “Etiology and Sequelae of the Armenian Genocide,” In George J. Andreopoulos1 (ed.), Genocide: Conceptual and Historical Dimensions, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994, pp. 111-140.
  9. Cullen, p. 70

See also

External links

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