Pogroms of Armenians in Baku

Armenia -- Broken khachkar (headstone) in Noradus medieval cemetery, Noradus village, 2007 (c) www.ditord.com

Twenty years ago today seven-day pogroms broke out against Armenians in Baku, with various sources citing a death toll of 48 to 400. Tens of thousands of Armenians, or, according to some Armenian sources, as many as 200 thousand were exiled from their homes. Baku was effectively cleaned of Armenians. Evidence suggests, that the action was organized by Azerbaijani authorities, as the attackers had lists of Armenians and their addresses.

This is one of the many bleeding wounds caused by the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. And as with most other ongoing conflicts, Armenians and Azerbaijanis try to distort history and tilt it in their own favor. Quite expectedly, Armenian media is full of articles today about the pogroms. Some have gone so far as to liken the pogroms in Baku to the Genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman empire.
This approach, however, is not acceptable to me. Pogroms of Armenians in Baku were most tragic events. Fuss, lies, exaggerations and attempts to score political points here are completely inappropriate. Stating bare facts is so horrible, that there is no need to exaggerate anything. And I don’t see the point in pressing the wound so hard – it doesn’t heal that way. Let’s just prey in silence. RIP

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. The Human Rights Watch report contains several factual errors. For example it claims that Armenians control 20%-25% of Azerbaijan whereas the correct figure is less than 15% (see Thomas de Waal).

    1. This just proves my point – the figures are not reliable, the human tragedy – is real.

  2. Totally agree, and the same goes for exaggerating the figures on the other side. Higher or lower it doesn’t detract from the tragedy and one can’t help but think that those who play this game seem more interested in scoring a propaganda victory and perpetuating ethnic divisions and conflict than remembering the dead. Great post.

  3. […] full scale war and which until this day, despite the 1994 ceasefire, remains unresolved. The blog notes that the Armenian and Azerbaijani media continues to exaggerate the death toll of a series of …. Cancel this […]

  4. […] both Armenians and Azerbaijanis, implying that that a selective or subjective account of history does nothing to ease the pain or resolve an ethnic conflict which still continues to this day. Twenty years ago today seven-day pogroms broke out against Armenians in Baku, with various sources […]

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