By Sabina Mammadli
Every Azerbaijani knows, either through personal experience or through the stories of loved ones, how cruel and inhumane Armenian crimes can be. History has taught us about numerous bloody massacres, genocides and crimes against humanity. For decades Armenia has deliberately targeted peaceful civilians and civilian infrastructure in Azerbaijan, forcefully displacing thousands of people.
The Khojaly genocide committed by Armenian troops during the first Karabakh war in the early 1990s was one of the darkest chapters in our history. At least 613 people were killed as a result of the massacre. This heinous crime was preceded by a series of others. Armenia used the same terror tactics it used in 1992, deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure in Azerbaijani cities such as Ganja, Barda, and Tartar, which were located far from the conflict zone.
All these acts were committed by the Armenian military with extreme ruthlessness and inconceivable barbarism.
Armenia committed war crimes and brutal aggression during the second Karabakh war in 2020.
Despite the proven facts, Armenia has never been brought to justice or admitted to any of its heinous crimes. As a result, hearing an ethnic Armenian speak out about the atrocities committed during the First Karabakh War comes as a breath of fresh air.
Los Angeles-based Armenian artist Kardash Onnig spent six months in Shusha in 2001 when the Azerbaijani city was under Armenia's barbaric occupation. He wrote a book titled 'Savage Chic: A Fool's Chronicle of the Caucasus', talking about the brutalities he witnessed upon his visit and the terrifying stories he was told by the so-called“heroes”.
Since then the book has been translated into Russian by an Armenian-Jewish blogger, Albert Isakov. On his Youtube channel, Isakov said that the significance of this book lies in the fact that the author does not hide his negative attitude towards the facts that he encountered in Karabakh; that he is not afraid, like many, to speak the truth; that in this way he earned himself many enemies and became not allowed to enter Armenia after the publication of this diary. The book is full of these creepy stories.
“He probably knew what he was getting into. The fact that his opinion differs from the opinion of many in this society, infected with hatred, fanaticism, and xenophobia. You can agree with this opinion or not. It is peculiar, often incomprehensible. The book is written concisely, capaciously, with undisguised irony. It is necessary to read it, first of all, between the lines,” Isakov said in his Youtube video .
He also noted that the artist had purposefully changed his surname to Kardash, which means“brother” in Turkish.
In an interview with Isakov, Kardash shared that during the meetings with diaspora members, he would hear them tell each other stories about murders of Azerbaijanis while drinking.
'I met many militants in Shusha, and my driver and bodyguard were from that city. My driver said that he had killed 80 Azerbaijanis and crushed their heads with stones. His son asked his father to tell him how he crushed Azerbaijanis. He talked about the atrocities he committed while eating kebabs,' the artist said .
Kardash said that Armenian children were brought up with stories dedicated to the murder of Turks.
He noted that Armenians have built staircases to their houses using slabs from desecrated and destroyed Azerbaijani graves in Karabakh during the occupation. A staircase, made of around 40-50 human gravestones.
While visiting a monastery, the artist overheard a guard say proudly that he would be honored to shake hands with the hero who blew up a bus full of Azerbaijanis and schoolchildren right in front of the monastery.
All of these revolting stories allow a new look at the situation from the inside of the Armenian community of the times. Their hatred and violence were so nonchalant, that they would tell these ugly stories without a second thought, during a family dinner.
It is worth noting that U.S. State Department has recognized the facts of the destruction of dozens of Azerbaijani cemeteries in Fuzuli, Aghdam, Zangilan, Kalbajar and Jabrayil regions by Armenian separatists.
The report was published in the annual report 'Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Armenia'.
The facts of the destroyed Azerbaijani cemeteries are confirmed by thousands of photographs taken by foreign photojournalists, the document stressed.
It noted that the Azerbaijani graves were desecrated by Armenian separatists. In some cases, evidence of looting these graves was found, including traces of their destruction by construction equipment.
'Foreign observers visiting Aghdam photographed empty graves excavated at the cemetery. The pictures show a broken tombstone, some mutilated portraits on other tombstones, gravestones broken with hammers or other similar objects,' the report stated.
The document added that the graves were dug up in search of gold teeth, and the remains were scattered throughout the cemeteries.
Along with this, the report emphasized that Armenian cemeteries remained untouched.
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