New ceasefire discussed as Ganja is bombed by SCUD missiles

One of the people recovered from the Ganja blasts of October 16.

By | Rachel Brooks

October 17, 2020

After a brutal night of SCUD missile attacks launched against Azerbaijan’s second-largest city Ganja by the Armenian forces, Russia again moves to discuss a ceasefire. This was reported by Reuters, and shared by the Milli Chronicle, on the afternoon of October 17. This is the second time in the past week that Russia has mitigated an intended ceasefire, saying both sides must lay down arms. Yet, within the hours that followed the previous ceasefire talks, Armenia resumed its offensive against Azerbaijani civilian locations and residences. 

In the attacks of October 16, Ganja reported 20 structures collapsed, and 12 dead. Among the dead were children and infants. Families dug for their children from beneath the rubble as the onslaught continued deep into the night, with max-potential damage weaponry used to its full capacity. 

Terms of a new ceasefire have been spurred on by media outlets continuing to fan the propaganda flames around the conflict. The Armenian nationalistic mentality has taken advantaged of the open-window they have received in Western press to continue to battle with words and with hate speech the rights Azerbaijani have to sanctity of borders. The trial by public opinion continuously muddles the process of trial by international law that would ultimately lead to the safe grounds for a lasting ceasefire. Examples of this appear everywhere from mainstream media institution outlets, to local news sites such as Colorado Many of these sites allege that the Armenian genocide of the 19th century continues through the Nagorno-Karabakh, because the authors of these sites fail to recognize both the background of the Ottoman-era ethnic cleansing and race wars that took place between Turks and Armenians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis, in which Armenian nationlist forces came for Azerbaijani living on the border of Armenia at the same time as the Young Turk party slaughtered Armenians. 

The rhetoric of this propaganda holds a particular irony in the wake of so much pain. A recent broadcast by TGRT Haber news out of Turkey shows images of the scene of Ganja, as the debris was cleared away, and the dead were recalled from the rampage of the SCUDS. A man holds the small white body bag filled with the remains of his child. Beside him is another man, his hand on his arm, COVID-19 mask reminding the world of its shared pain, even in the moment of the unpronounceable tragedy that has befallen the city of Ganja. 

In the recent attacks, photographic evidence also shows children carried away on stretches, babies lying bloody and covered in debris in hospital beds, and people peering through the rubble. Reports from the scene, Azerbaijani local news stations as well as regional broadcast outlets, noted that parents sifted through the rubble in desperation, hoping to pluck their children free of what had once been their homes. 

Image publicly shared from TGRT Haber, fair use.

Agence France-Presse likewise captured photos of rescue workers leading people away from the decimation. In the AFP record of events, the debris hangs so heavily in the air, it appears a snow has fallen upon Ganja. 

Yet when the morning sun arose, and the official death count rose to 14 civilians, including 4 infants, TRT World captured the scene from the sky. Buildings were crushed like balls of paper, with clothes and personal belongings, along wil pools of blood, scattered throughout the scene of what had been home for many people. Rescue workers shoveled through the rubble, searching for the dead and dying. In addition to those who passed, 48 people are injured. 

Despite the inhumanity of a city block turned to matchsticks and dust, the international media continues to “white wash” the scene, favoring the Armenian rhetoric over the facts of the second Ganja destruction in less than a month. 

The irony of this continues as commenters on the conflict note that, when Armenia seizes a city, it a city it levels it to the ground, but when Azerbaijan has seized a city, it changes the flags out and waves them at the camera. This consistent fact shows that Azerbaijan’s defense of its cities only carry the intent of self-defense. This consistent fact positions Armenia as the aggressor of the conflict. This is itself a danger to Azerbaijan, but it also poses a threat to the many ethnic Armenians who live in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. 

Despite ceasefire talks, Armenian propaganda arms are not likely to budge, because the mythos of Greater Armenia has powerful roots of indoctrination. The rhetoric of Armenian nationalism is dogmatic, stretching beyond the confines of politicization. Armenian nationalistic values are an important fact of the conflict for the international community to address, or risk a resumed conflict hazard.