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Refugees are persons who in light of the justified danger of repression because of their race, religion, nationality, belonging to a certain social group or adherence to political principles live outside the country of their citizenship and are not able or given some risks are unwilling to accept the protection of such country, or who are deprived of the citizenship of the country of their previous residence and live outside the territory of such country as a result of such events and are not able or willing to return to such country.

          A certain historiography has been formed in the world with respect of the collapse of the USSR with its totalitarian regime where the events which originated in the Mountainous Karabagh Autonomous Oblast (region) of Azerbaijan (NKAO) are considered as one of the factors contributing to the breakup of the USSR. The aforementioned events began in February of 1988 when the population of NKAO set forth the peaceful claim on independence and the right to self-determination. This demand was in line with the policy of the USSR leadership run during the period of perestroika. The claim was uttered by using the democratic methods, without any violation of the law. Supported by the leadership of the former USSR, Azerbaijan responded to this action by violent confrontation and its explicit unwillingness to even consider the problem. Moreover, during the period from February 26 to 29, 1988 in the town of Sumgayit the bloody massacre was organized and thousands of Armenians were exuded. Not only these people lived in Sumgayit but had been actively involved in the erection of the town.
          The above-noted actions marked the new policy which Azerbaijan embarked on and which was assessed by the international community as the policy of national “clean-up”. NKAO was isolated from the rest of the world, and throughout the territory of Azerbaijan barbaric actions were perpetrated against more than 500,000 Armenians. From January 10 to 13, 1990 the massacre of the Armenians began in the capital of Azerbaijan Baku. As a result, all Armenians were forced out from there. Supported by the Soviet army, the Azerbaijani OMON (Militia Regiments of Special Assignment) initiated the armed actions against the peaceful Armenian population of the isolated NKAO and other Azerbaijani regions populated with Armenians. By joint efforts they succeeded in forcing out the authentic Armenian populace from many regions of Azerbaijan during 1990-1991, including Kirovabad, Khanlar, Getashen, Shahumyan and other regions. The chronology of these events is tracked in all government, international documents, the references of the Ministry of the Interior of the USSR, the Ministries of the Interior of Azerbaijan and Armenia, the periodicals of that period..
          From 1988 the Azeri emissaries initiated a wide-range propaganda to leave Armenia immediately in those regions of Armenia which were densely populated with Azeraijani people. This propaganda was not duly regarded both by the Central and local authorities since it should have been recognized as a signal about the forthcoming massacre of Armenians in Azerbaijan. Influenced by this harsh persuasion, the Azeris hastily sold or exchanged their homes mainly with those Armenians who hurried to leave Azerbaijan after the events in Sumgayit. Thus, selling for nothing their apartments in urban areas of Azerbaijan, the Armenians were obliged to obtain expensive homes in the remote regions of Armenia. During the time when the Operation “Circle” was ranging it was claimed on behalf of the Central Government of the USSR and Azerbaijan that the residents of Shahumyan Region and Getashen Sub-Region should flee from their homes within three days. It was announced that otherwise there would be no guarantee for ensuring their security. Due to these and other actions the outflow of the refugees and other resettled people began.

Refugees and IDP (Internally displaced perssons)

/thousand square km./
Population size for 01.01.1989 г.
/thousand persons/
Left the places of permanent residense
/thousand persons/
Living refugees
/thousand persons/

/thousand persons

Azerbijani SSR
86 6
7 290
Autonomus Oblast of Nagorno Karabagh
Armenian         30
Azeri                 45
Armenian SSR


Tent Town Shows.

      The show of tent towns has been demonstrated by the Azerbaijani authorities to the international community for more than ten years with the intention to display the grave living conditions of the refugees and migrants of Azerbaijan.
          In fact, there was no necessity for creating such tent towns.
          During the period from 1988 to 1992 360,000 people of the Armenian nationality were deported from Azerbaijan to Armenia. According to calculations, 92,000 apartments and houses were abandoned in Azerbaijan given fact that an average Armenian household constitutes 3,9 members (360,000 divided by 3,9).
          During the same period 160,000 Azeris migrated from Armenia and 45,000 left the territory of Artsakh. Meanwhile, from those territories of Azerbaijan which are controlled by the armed forces of Mountainous Karabagh, 305,000 people were resettled. Thus, the number of the migrants of Azerbaijani nationality was only 510,000 (160,000 + 45,000 + 305,000). With the average number of 5,04 of the persons in an Azerbaijani household, only 101,000 households migrated, i.e., theoretically, the Azerbaijani authorities had to resolve the problem of accommodation maximally for 101,000 households whereas the factual number was much lower since some of the migrants moved to Russia and other countries.
          In 1989 compensation in the amount of US$ 110,000,000 was paid unilaterally to 14,500 Azerbaijani households by the authorities of Armenia against the apartments and property left in Armenia.
          Therefore, the accommodation problem could exist for not more than 86,500 migrated Azerbaijani households (101,000 - 14,500).
          It is evident that the 92,000 apartments and houses abandoned by the Armenian households were quite sufficient for addressing the accommodation problem of all migrated Azerbaijani families.
          Since the abandoned Armenian apartments and houses (located mainly in the urban areas) were of certain market value, the Azerbaijani authorities used them as a source of personal income. Moreover, at higher official levels the abuse was even more severe.
          The problem of tent towns arose due to the greed of the Azerbaijani authorities. The migrants and refugees were used as a tool for meeting their goals. This has been stated in numerous evidences published in the Azerbaijani mass media. The tent towns were merely a show which helped them to receive foreign humanitarian aid. On the other hand, the existence of such tent towns where there are no conditions for survival may give birth to persons who will be able and ready to fulfill any assignment, the future “Bin Ladens”.