Vladimir Vardanov: Azeri soldiers shot their civilians in Khojalu

PanARMENIAN.Net - Azeri TV reports on Khojalu - dead bodies of Azeris lying in a small field, are nothing more but an obvious lie, said Vladimir Vardanov, founder and commander of special-purpose force.

"I can prove it. These were corpses of people who died long before it. As an observer, I was sitting right there, and these corpses appeared on the site after the end of the battle, some 7-8 hours later," he told Bakour Karapetian, who provided PanARMENIAN.Net with the script of the interview.

"I don't think that the Azerbaijan authorities could be so mean as to shoot their escaping population. It was dark, I couldn't see. I saw an exchange of fire with the position of Nakhijevanik, which lasted some 1-2 minutes, not more. After it, the refugees, understanding that it was a wrong direction, didn't go to the positions of Nakhijevanik. I don't exclude that some refugees died during the exchange of fire. When Azeri refugees went to Nakhijevanik, they were forced back from the position. Some 15-20 minutes after it, a very fierce fire was opened from the Azerbaijan positions. I don't exclude that Azeri, who were in front of the position of Nakhijevanik, while seeing the numerous group approaching them, thought that Armenians were attacking, because before that they had an exchange of fire with Armenians. When refugees appeared in front of Azeri, a very fierce firing started. It is possible that the soldier, who watching over the position, was sleeping, but during that firing, he opened his eyes and "started" to fire uninterruptedly. A very strong firing continued. I believe that soldiers in the Azerbaijan position killed the civilians," Vardanov said.

"If we objectively approach the situation, I think that the governing body cannot punish those soldiers: it was their position, they were keeping it safe and they didn't have any information. If those people died in Khodgalou, they wouldn't appear on the territory under the inspection of Azerbaijan, Azeri would not come to take photographs, the highly esteemed governing body wouldn't cry over the dead population. Me, who was fighting against them, felt bad seeing it, but when they showed the place, it became clear for me. After a very fierce firing, Azeri soldiers, who were among the refugees, started to fire back and it became a real battle. I don't exclude that the corpses were gathered from the Turkish firing point and shifted to a medium size clearing to blame Armenians and to take photographs of the corpses. There were no corpses there. When the fire ceased, I was informed by Soviet portable radio transmitters: "You can come back". Next midday we returned and there was no exchange of fire there," he said.

Azerbaijan claims that on February 26, 1992 Khojalu was attacked by Armenian forces. The Azeri authorities accuse Armenians of "killing civilians and taking some 2000 people hostage."

  • What really happened in Khodgalou
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