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20th January tragedy

         On the night of January 19-20,1990, military units from the USSR Ministry of Defense, State Security Committee and Ministry of Internal Affairs entered Baku and nearby regions, massacring the civilian population using heavy military equipment and other various forms of weaponry. As a result of the January tragedy,131 civilians were killed and 744 more were wounded in Baku and nearby regions. Among those killed were women, children and the elderly, medical employees and policemen. . The victims of the tragic events of 1990 are symbolically named “20 January martyrs”. . In total, there are 150 “20 January martyrs” in Azerbaijan. Immediately after the tragedy, on January 21, 1990, national leader Heydar Aliyev visited with his family members the office of Azerbaijan`s permanent representation in Moscow. Being a basis for nationwide mourning, the January tragedy also demonstrated the firmness of the Azerbaijani people`s will, and determination. Unmoved by the Soviet army`s cruelty and the consequent imposition of a curfew in Baku, the people of Azerbaijan staged a massive rally in the city`s “Azadlig” square on January 22 to pay tribute to the martyrs of January 20. The first political-legal recognition of the January 20 tragedy came on March 29, 1994, when Azerbaijan’s legislative body Milli Majlis adopted a relevant resolution on national leader Heydar Aliyev`s initiative. The Azerbaijani people cherish the memory of 20 January martyrs.