On Jan. 20, 1990, special troops of the Soviet Army stormed Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, to suppress a popular rally against the failing communist regime. A full-scale invasion of the city by heavily armored vehicles was carried out, killing many unarmed civilians.
Soviet bullets did not distinguish women from children, elderly from the young, a Muslim from a Jew or a Christian.
All of them, and more, became victims.
The tragedy of January 1990 reinforced Azerbaijan’s determination for liberty and independence. By Oct. 18, 1991, Azerbaijan’s parliament adopted a constitutional act restoring the country to independence after 71 years of Soviet power.
Modern Azerbaijan is a successfully developing country and a key U.S. partner in the strategic South Caucasus region. The secular Muslim democratic nation is a shining example of tolerant co-existence.
President of the Azerbaijan Society of America