By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan’s city of Shusha, which was once called the Pearl of Karabakh, was captured by Armenians and practically wiped off the earth face 27 years ago.
Due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the early 1990s, Azerbaijan, came face to face with an aggressive policy of ethnic cleansing carried out by Armenia.
Despite the fact that the brave sons of Azerbaijan fought courageously and showed heroic resistance to the aggressor, the heavily armed Armenian forces occupied Shusha on May 8, 1992.
The Armenian armed forces seized Shusha with the aid of the 366th Soviet regiment, killing and disabling hundreds of innocent Azerbaijani civilians, expelling the entire population of the town, and destroying, burning down, and looting numerous cultural, religious and historical monuments.
As a result of Shusha occupation, as many as 23,156 Azerbaijanis were expelled from their permanent residence places, and thus ethnic cleansing was completed in Nagorno-Karabakh, where there was not a single Azerbaijani left.
Today Shusha, officially declared as a historical-architectural reserve in 1977, is almost completely ruined. The most valuable architectural monuments of the city were destroyed and their stones were used for construction works in Armenia. Ancient Azerbaijani monuments with 2000-year history are were destructed.
In addition, the Armenian invaders, seeing that there was nothing more to destroy, began to demolish the old Shusha fortress walls.
Azerbaijani cemeteries in Shusha were destroyed and defiled, temples were demolished, museums were plundered and burned.
Today Armenia turns the occupied territories of Azerbaijan into a dump of radioactive waste, about which there are specific reliable facts. This region, which is beyond the control of the civilized world, is used for narcotic drugs production and transit, and at the same time as one of the main international terrorist training centers.
Specialists estimatethat more than 876 settlements, about 7,000 industrial, agricultural and other enterprises in Shusha, more than 153,000 housing units with a total area of more than nine million square meters were looted, burned and destroyed. In addition, as many as 4,366 social and cultural facilities of Shusha, 616 secondary schools, 242 pre-school institutions, 397 hospitals, 10 clinics, 10 maternity hospitals, 76 pharmacies, four sanatoriums and 10 mosques were destroyed by Armenian aggressors.
During the defense of Shusha, there were many examples of heroism and self-sacrifice of Azerbaijani soldiers. Albert Agarunov, the tankman of Jewish origin, was posthumously awarded the title of National Hero of Azerbaijan. To the very end he was in the besieged city and destructed a lot of enemy tanks. A bullet hit Agarunov when he carried wounded Azerbaijani soldiers out of the battlefield.
Before the occupation, the Shusha city was known for its creative talented residents. Perhaps that is why so many great Azerbaijanis are from Shusha. This land gave birth to such Azerbaijani geniuses as Bulbul, Seyid Shushinsky, Khan Shushinsky, Rashid Behbudov, Uzeyir Hajibeyli, Niyazi, Fikrat Amirov, Khurshid-banu Natavan, Togrul Narimanbayov and others.
The Azerbaijani people will never forget the pain inflicted on them by the Armenia occupiers. This pain will subside only after the liberation of Karabakh - the heart of Azerbaijan, and its pearl - the city of Shusha.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz