Blog No : 2022 / 36
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Aze Media (11 August 2022)

Taras KUZIO(*)


Thirty years before Bucha, before the massacre in Srebrenica, mass graves were dug and filled with thousands of civilian victims in a conflict on the borders of Europe. With their remains only being unearthed and catalogued today, Taras Kuzio asks what happened and discusses why these crimes must be revisited.

In early April 2022, Adalat Verdiyev was the first of a group of military engineers to make a grim discovery. While digging the foundations for a temporary building in Farrukh Heights, atiny hilltop town in Karabakh, Azerbaijan, in the South Caucasus, they uncovered 20 bodies. They had rested there for 30 years, while above them, life for those who had moved into the dead people’s homes had simply gone on uninterrupted.

Other bodies have been revealed in the ghost towns of Karabakh. In Edilli, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Khojavand and Shusha, close to 200 corpses have been found in exploratory digs in the first three months of this year alone. Some finds were unexpected, but elsewhere those searching knew preciselywhat they would unearth: the remains of some of the 4,000 Azerbaijanis still missing from the war over the southwest territory of Nagorno-Karabakh fought between Armenia and Azerbaijan a generation ago.

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(*)Taras Kuzio is a research fellow at the Henry Jackson society and professor of political science at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy.

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