Remembering the month of Black January, a memoir from 1993

Editorial | Republic Underground

January 24, 2021 

Image credit: “File:RedArmy Paratroops Baku 1990.jpg” by K. Martens is licensed under CC BY 3.0

In memory of Black January, Republic Underground obtain this news article, written by war journalist Nigar Hemidli, for Meydan news, on January 15, 1993.

This article describes officers and sympathizers of the Soviets, highlighting the depth of pain caused by the conflict in Azerbaijan, even years after the fact. It follows the imprisonment interrogation of one of the prisoners. 

After the January 20 massacres, the people of the region will never forget the indescribable cowardice of Shirinov, a KGB officer who branded members of the Popular Front as “nationalists,” extremists”, and “drug addicts.”

The people of Bilasuvar still remember their savagery, especially Mahmudov’s cruelty with hatred, with hatred and anger. Prosecutor Muavini Mahmudov, who even suspected Alimardan Huseynov’s death near the Salyan barracks on the night of January 20, asked his martyred father, Abil Amid, for an explanation for his son’s involvement in the anti-government riots and his own death.

The explanation can only be demanded by those who have lost the image of humanity and are deprived of national dignity. At a time when the temporary defeat of the Popular Front Party created conditions for the partocrats to open their arms, the cassettes written by Muhabbat from the fiery point about the events in Stepanakert were seized by KGB officers on February 3 and handed over to two Russian colonels. The next morning, Mohubbatkil’s house was surrounded by APCs with the participation of those officials who sold their people and their worthy sons with a double bow in front of the Russian military.

20-25 Russian soldiers suddenly broke into the house and demanded a weapon from Mohubbat, saying, “Turist pristriljajte kak sobaku, davayte oruyie.” One of those who cursed and insulted this brave son of the fatherland, who said, “I don’t have a weapon,” was our traitorous compatriot, who was wagging his tail around armed Russian soldiers. If our people had not betrayed, how did the Russian officer, who said, “Vasha nachalstvo skazal, chto iz Irana privezli submarati Israeli production, tri shtuk,(Russian. Translation: Your bosses said that they brought submarines from Iran, Israel production, three pieces,”) know Mohubbat, and how did he know these facts?

We were filled with hatred by the mischief of the foreign ministers, who could not even count the baby in the house, trampled on our sacred customs, went to the bride’s bedroom, shamelessly overturned her clothes, and were ready to auction off their honor and zeal for a fat “call” from above. During the search of the house, the thugs took 37,000 rubles and the bride’s gold earrings.

Fearing the brutality of Russian soldiers and members of the national Interior Ministry, the family’s son-in-law was silenced and is still stunned. The commander of the volunteer battalion in Bilasuvar, Nadir Bey, who is currently fighting on the frontline, had to move to the house he had just bought that day. “He is one of you, a communist. Don’t touch him, let him go.” At 5 o’clock at night, Khanishi, Khanverdi, Sabiri, and Mohubbati are brought to the Goytepe (former Prishib) regiment. After a week in the basement, they are taken by helicopter to Baku. They are beaten, insulted, and threatened with death by helicopter. February 18-19 Black City DI.

They brought the prisoner to Shuvalan and arrested him for 30 days. Our sons, who spent their days in prison in Shuvalan, are treated with great respect by the locals and sent to Mohubbati Buzovna Hospital, which was shaken by severe torture.

As the prisoner recalls those days, the KGB officers, loyal aides to the imperial predators, recalled a conversation he had with a Russian lieutenant colonel:

Answer: V. 1917 qodu V. I.Lenin toje ubekal Finlanyadiyu. 

In 1917, V. I. Lenin toye ran away from Finlanyadiyu.

Question:Çem vı ne dovolnı,u vas suverennaya respublika. 

Why are you not satisfied? You have a sovereign republic. 

Answer: Yesli u nas suverennaya respublika, toqda poçemu vı yedite sredstvami.

If we have a sovereign republic, then you will have the means to do so. (protest) 

Question: Who organized the band Kubadli?

Answer: Yego was organized by Polyanichko.

Question: Who are you working for?

Answer: Postuxom.

Thus, every day at about 4-5 o’clock in the morning, negotiations are held, giving the same question over and over again, even if they wanted to confuse it, they could not achieve it, they were even angrier.

After being brought to Buzovna hospital eight days before the end of the prison Day, thanks to the care of doctors and medical workers, the wounds are healed. After his release from prison, Shirinov again does not give up the prisoner, persecutes him, threatens him. But neither threats, nor persecutions, nor insults can turn our front-line brother away from the path of struggle. Bilasuvar fighters, who repeatedly went to Karabakh, repeatedly appealed to the leadership of the Republic, parliament for the disclosure of the Bloody January tragedies, but could not get a satisfactory answer. The victims of January 20 were sadly forgotten in the district. As for the prisoner, he is still on the path of struggle.