May 10, 2022 - 11:10 AMT
Karabakh: Most WWII monuments in Azeri-held lands vandalized, destroyed

Most of the monuments dedicated to the Great Patriotic War in Nagorno-Karabakh territories occupied by Azerbaijan have been vandalized or destroyed, Artsakh (Karabakh) State Minister Artak Beglaryan said Monday, May 9 – the anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War.

On May 9, Nagorno-Karabakh celebrated Victory Day, the Day of the Defense Army of the Republic of Artsakh and the liberation of Shushi, an Armenian town occupied by Azerbaijan during the Second Karabakh war in the fall of 2020.

"24 people from Artsakh became Heroes of the Soviet Union, and two of them – the legendary pilot Nelson Stepanyan and Marshal of the Soviet Union Hovhannes Baghramyan – were awarded this title twice," Beglaryan said, recalling the many other Armenians who fought in the Great Patriotic War and received all kinds of recognition.

"However, after the Azerbaijani aggression on September 27, 2020 and following the publication of the trilateral statement of the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan on November 9, 5,000 Armenian monuments (including from the Soviet era) of the Second World War remained in territories of the Republic of Artsakh occupied by Azerbaijanis. The vast majority of these monuments have been vandalized and destroyed."

Immediately after the war, Azerbaijani soldiers were filmed practicing shooting at bottles placed on a memorial to the fallen soldiers of the Great Patriotic War, erected in the village of Avetaranots, Askeran region.

Satellite imagery obtained in summer of 2021 showed that the Azerbaijanis had also destroyed the bust of the great Soviet hero of the Second World War, Armenian Marshal of Soviet Aviation Sergei Khudyakov (Armenak Khanperiants).