22 year have passed after Lachin’s invasion by Armenian armed forces. The Armenian army invaded Lachin on May 18, 1992, attacking from Turshsu village of Shusha and Gorus region of Armenia. Lachin region situated in the mountainous area in the south-west of Azerbaijan borders on Kalbajar in the north, Shusha in the east, Gubadli in the south, Armenia in the west. Its area is 1835 square kilometers, the population had been 64 thousand until the invasion.
As a result of the invasion a town and a settlement and 120 villages were occupied, 264 people became martyrs, 103 men became disabled, 65 men were taken hostages. In the region 24374 children from 1 to 16 age became disabled, 31 of them lost their parents, 64 thousand people became refugees. 133 high and secondary institutions, 20 medical institutions, 217 cultural centers, nearly 40 cultural and historic monuments, tens of educational institutions are under occupation at the moment. Rauf Ganbarov who participated in battles in Lachin in the May of 1992 speaks about the invasion of the region to “KarabakhINFO.com” international e-journal:
For information it should be mentioned that R. Ganbarov was born in 1970 in Zabukh village of Lachin region. He was in military service during the years of 1988-1990. After the military service he acted as a policeman in Lachin region.
– Rauf bey, how was Lachin invaded?
– The goal of my working as a policeman was to defend my motherland. At that time young people weren’t allowed to the battle area. Nor gave they a gun to us so that we could defend ourselves when the enemy attacked. For that reason the youth of that time guarded the land wearing a police-uniform. The deed made by Lachin police during 1990-1992 years was known to everyone. In those years Lachin police were headed by Akif Salimov, the present executive leader of the region. The Lachin police that had achieved a lot of success by the time of the invasion served being placed in posts, gave a hand to Shusha and Gubadli.
– Lachin citizens are accused of being cowardly. In the media it a claimed they have escaped leaving the town. How do you feel about it?
– The cadre consisting of the words “you are cowards, you’re escaping, you’re women” sounded by the journalist Chingiz Mustafayev, has been broadcasting on TV for years. But none of those words belongs to Lachin citizens. Because during those shooting there were only Lachin sons, Lachin policemen around the operator. None of them escaped betraying Lachin. Lachin people were there where they had to be. They are neither cowards nor betrayers. The sons of Lachin guarded motherland to the end.
– What kind of tasks have Lachin police done in the sphere of its liberation since the town was occupied?
– In the August of 1992 with the leadership and persistence of Lachin policeman Akif Salimov headquarters were created in the non-occupied villages and streets of Lachin from the side of Kalbajar. Our policemen took the national army in the direction of Lachin. In September and November Lachin was almost in a half step of liberation. The release of Mollalar, Merkiz height, Sus, Gizilja villages, the closing of the corridor led to the liberation of the town. We were in the front as Lachin police. We continued our way liberating the necessary points with investigational attacks. We freed Merkiz height -the place known as tele-studio and went to Sus and Gizilja villages. Within one night the army were taken from us and we were taken from us and we were again betrayed. We could get out of the blockade with the help and effort of the national hero Oktay Gulaliyev. Hojaz height and the villages around were freed thanks to O. Gulaliyev’s plan.
We started from the area of Gorus region to the direction of Lachin with 7 tanks when we were at Merkiz height. The event was happening in the area of the village Zabukh (the popular Zabukh village, Zabukh valley known from history. I showed the officer of the army where the tanks were on the map. I gave coordination to the officer via radio-contact. I remember very well, we were responded that those coordinations couldn’t be shot. As if those points were Armenian territory. But it wasn’t true. Those coordinations were the area of Zabukh village. After that the army left Lachin police. We fought against 7 tanks almost unarmed. We had to go back getting out of the blockade. Of course we had lasses, too.
– They say there were martyrs among policemen. How did your family meet such news?
– At that time my parents had been waiting for my dead body for 3 days. Because they were told that there were dead people among policeman. The dead policeman was Adalet Mamedov. Although we had returned and made our positions Hojaz, our power was not enough. My colleagues Oktay, Adalet and others had already died.