In these fateful times for the region, the Karabakh junta’s leadership, having failed to achieve “international recognition”, is now desperately attempting to declare its “subjectivity” through mass circus performances in rural squares.
According to information available to Caliber.Az, all administrative mechanisms were used by the so-called “authorities” and in fact – the remnants of separatist gangs to attract as many participants as possible to this rally. Insistent instructions to strictly take part in the October 30 rally were given to all members of illegal armed formations, “civil servants”, state employees, school teachers, and students. In the best Soviet traditions, a special order was given to bring people to the square who have at least some leverage. And therefore, everyone, from small to large, was literally driven to the square, according to its size, corresponding to the area of the peripheral district centre of Azerbaijan. The insistence of the callers reached almost absurd demands – almost like in our deep childhood – “whoever does not come, we will exclude him from the pioneers, the Komsomol and the party”. Also, the objective control data available to Azerbaijan recorded an intensive transfer of citizens from Armenia to Khankandi last week.
Despite all their efforts, the organisers were able to attract approximately 15,000 people. The outcome is quite good for the deserted Karabakh. Of course, Armenia is interested in exaggerating maximum the number of protesters, and information is already spreading that about 70,000 have arrived. However, even with a stretch, the photos from the rally do not confirm these figures.
It is worth noting that the rally unwittingly refuted Armenian information about the population in Khankandi and other districts of Karabakh remaining in the Russian peacekeeping contingent’s temporary responsibility zone. If we assume that at least half of the population attended the demonstration in support of the “NKR”, there are only no more than 30,000 Armenians on this piece of Karabakh land. This, by the way, corresponds to the figures stated by Azerbaijan.
However, God be with them and their numbers. Another point is far more important here. Why, after all, were these people gathered in the square? To say that they will not become Azerbaijani citizens under any circumstances? If they are unhappy with the prospect of Armenian-Azerbaijani normalisation – that is, regaining Azerbaijani citizenship – then, as they say, you will not be nice by force – we will not hold anyone. Anyone who does not agree with life in Azerbaijan can leave the country with ease.
President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly stated that residents of this region are Azerbaijani citizens just like those of Shaki, Shabran, Baku, or Ganja. But if the Azerbaijani citizenship of a certain part of ethnic Armenians is not a joy, but a burden, then they can be freed from this burden not by walking around the square, but by driving (and absolutely safe, also guaranteed by the head of our state) along the still functioning Lachin road. In the opposite direction.