By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Twenty-eight years ago, Armenian armed forces occupied Malibeyli and Gushchular villages of Azerbaijan’s Shusha region on 11 February 1992.
Armenian and Russian servicemen serving in Azerbaijan’s Khankendi region launched an offensive on Malibeyli and Gushchular villages on February 9 with the support of the 366th Motorized Rifle Regiment deployed in the region.
The unequal battle lasted for three days - on 11 February 1992 both villages were occupied. The villages were burnt, houses, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, administrative buildings, cultural monuments were destroyed.
About 30 civilians were killed, taken hostage, hundreds were wounded.
The rest of the village residents made it to Aghdam region with great difficulty.
On 8 May 1992, Armenian armed forces occupied Shusha entirely. As a result of the occupation, Shusha city and 30 villages of Shusha region were destroyed, 195 civilians were killed, 165 were wounded and 58 persons went missing. More than 24.000 inhabitants of Shusha were subjected to ethnic cleansing.
The occupation of Shusha was part of Armenia’s systematic policy of occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan. As an outcome of this policy, Armenian forces occupied Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, conducted ethnic cleansing against hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis in the seized territories and committed other serious war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Following the ethnic cleansing conducted in course of Shusha's occupation, the occupying forces destroyed the historical and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan and gradually changes the cultural image of the city.
The occupation of Shusha was particularly painful for Azerbaijanis as the city is considered to be the cultural and music center of Azerbaijan.
Shusha occupies a special place in the musical culture of Azerbaijan. The city, built in the middle of the 18th century by Karabakh’s Azerbaijani rulers, began to play the role of the musical center of Azerbaijan in the early 19th century. It was also called "the Conservatoire of the Caucasus".
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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