17 Years Passed Since Armenian Occupation of Lachin Region of Azerbaijan

Today is 17th anniversary of the occupation of the Lachin region of Azerbaijan by Armenia. On 18 May 1992, the Armenian occupiers destroyed hundreds of cultural facilities, tens of settlements, villages and historical monuments. Some 63,341 Azerbaijani citizens were driven out their home lands as a result of the occupation. Lachin region includes 121 villages with a total space of 1,835 cu. m. More than 300 military men and civilians were killed or missing during the occupation of the Lachin region. There are 8,950 buildings, 7 industrial and construction enterprises, 471 service facilities, 154 schools and hundreds of cultural and historical monuments left in the occupied lands.

On 8 May 1992, after the occupation of Shusha city of Azerbaijan, Armenian armed forces, having occupied settlements around Lachin, fired intensive shells to the center of the region. On a night from 16 to 17 May 1992, starting their occupation from the place named Turshsu (Shusha city) and Gor region of Armenia, Armenians armed forces occupied Lachin region. Majority of the enemy forces could get into the region through Lachin corridor.

At that time, the key part of the Azerbaijani armed forces withdrawn from Lachin and surrounding regions, were fighting the political confrontation in the capital city of the country. The Army who taking part in the military demonstrations in Baku did not have a control over the positions in the front-line which resulted in the occupation of Lachin region of Azerbaijan following other regions. The occupation of Lachin, region of great geo-strategic significance, dealt a serious blow to the economy of Azerbaijan. Lachin region has administrative-territorial status since 1930.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 due the territorial claims of Armenian to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh excluding Shusha and Khojali in December 1991. Shusha, Khojali and 7 surrounding regions of Nagorno-Karabakh were occupied in 1992 to 1993. In May 1994, the parties reached a ceasefire agreement and unfruitful peace talks have been held under the auspice of the OSCE Minsk Group including Russia, France and United States since then.

In 1994, Armenia and Azerbaijan reached ceasefire agreement with peace talks being held since then.