The January 20th is the Day of the National Mourning over the martyrs in Azerbaijan. On the night of January 19th to 20th, 1990, the Soviet troops entered Baku, which was a violation of the Constitutions of the USSR and the Azerbaijan SSR. Bringing the Soviet army combat troops on the 20th of January 1990 into Baku against the vast masses of people, who overcrowded the streets and squares of Baku to express their protest against the aggressive actions of Armenia, which laid territorial claims against Azerbaijan, and against the patronage offered to Armenia by the former USSR leadership, led to the unprecedented tragedy in Azerbaijan. Hundreds of people, including the youth, old men, women and children were wounded or killed as a result of the invasion. In general, there were 133 persons killed, 744 persons wounded, 841 persons illegally imprisoned and 5 people went missing because of the illegal invasion of the troops into Baku and the regions of the republic. The servicemen crushed and burned 200 houses and apartments, 80 cars, including ambulances, destroyed the state and personal property worth millions of rubles. There were women, children, old men, as well as ambulancemen and militiamen among the killed.
All-National Leader Heydar Aliyev was the first to express criticism to this bloody tragedy.
Addressing the meeting at the permanent representative mission of Azerbaijan in Moscow on January 21, 1990, Heydar Aliyev criticized the people who committed this bloody incident.
Heydar Aliyev declared that he finds this act contrary to law, democracy, humanism and principles of the law-bound state construction announced in the country.
“I think that there were opportunities for political settlement of this issue. There were opportunities to hold a dialogue with the people, which were not applied. Big contingents of the Soviet army and troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs entered Baku on the night of January 19th to 20th. We perfectly know now what tragic consequences it caused”, Heydar Aliyev said.
Though 26 years have passed since those bloody events, the Azerbaijani people always remember that terrible tragedy. Every year the Republic broadly commemorates the day of the tragedy on the 20th of January, which has been immortalized in the blood memory of the people as the National Mourning Day.