First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva has shared an Instagram post about Azerbaijan's historic city Shusha.
May 8 marks the anniversary of Shusha's occupation by Armenia forces in 1992. The Azerbaijani Army liberated the city 28 years later during the war in Autumn 2020.
“After so many years of anguish and pain, the date of May 8 has acquired a completely different meaning for us. Today Shusha is free!” Aliyeva wrote in the post.
“We bow our heads before the fearlessness, will, and fortitude of our brave soldiers and officers, our Armed Forces, who, led by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, crushed the enemy and restored the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan! Respectfully honor the bright memory of all our martyrs who died in the name of the Motherland! Shusha is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!" the post reads.
Shusha was the last Azerbaijani city to be liberated, cementing Azerbaijan’s victory in the brief war that lasted from September 27 to November 10, known as the Second Karabakh War.
Apart from Shusha, 300 other city centers, villages and settlements were liberated from around 30 years of Armenian occupation during the war. The liberation of Shusha was followed by the signing of a trilateral peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders on November 10.
The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions that Armenian had occupied since the early 1990s.
Shusha was declared Azerbaijan’s cultural capital by the presidential decree on May 7.
Founded by Azerbaijan’s Panahali Khan in 1752, Shusha has been historically the center of Azerbaijani music, culture and art. It’s the birthplace of composers Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Niyazi, poetess Khurshudbanu Natavan, famous singers Bulbul, Rashid bey Behbudov, many Mugham performers and art figures. Azerbaijan will resume its tradition to hold Khari Bulbul Musical Festival that used to be held every year in Shusha until the Armenian occupation in 1992.