Azerbaijan observed a day of national mourning yesterday in memory of the 1990 Soviet military crackdown, which killed at least 132 peaceful demonstrators in Baku and wounded more than 700 others. Attending memorial ceremonies, President Haidar Aliev stated that the nation proved to the world in January 1990 its will to be independent. He noted that Baku continues to demand the extradition of former Communist leaders Abdurahman Vezirov and Ayaz Mutalibov and former KGB chief Vahit Huseinov, who are accused of complicity in the massacre and are being sheltered in Moscow.
The 1990 military and KGB operation sought to forestall Azerbaijan’s secession from the USSR by restoring the Communist party’s control of the republic. Among those accused of involvement in the planning and/or execution of the operation are Russia’s current foreign and defense ministers, along with former Kremlin security chief Aleksandr Lebed. Azerbaijan’s attempts to conduct a comprehensive investigation have been thwarted by Moscow’s refusal to cooperate. (Turan, Interfax, January 20).
Tajik Regime at Bay in North and West.