Today we commemorate the centennial of massacres of Armenians in Agulis. A century ago, on the night of December 24 to 25, 1919, the peaceful Armenian population of Agulis was massacred, while this ancient Armenian settlement of Nakhichevan was left in ruins.
It is worth mentioning that in response to those massacres, the Government of the First Republic of Armenia appealed to the international community, and particularly to the Entente countries, to prevent violence being committed in its territory and to ensure the security of the Armenians in the region.
Unfortunately, the crimes committed against Armenians in Nakhichevan didn’t remain in the history of 20th century but received a new manifestation in our days when the Azerbaijani authorities, after ethnically cleansing the Armenian population of Nakhichevan, carried out the coordinated and massive destruction of the Armenian cultural heritage as well.
As a result, thousands of Christian monuments including churches, monasteries, and cross-stones (khachkars) in Jugha, Agulis and elsewhere, were totally destroyed. Video-documented annihilation of thousands of Jugha’s cross-stones (khachkars) – masterpieces of medieval Christian arts – by the servicemen of the Azerbaijani army will remain in the pages of world history as an unequaled manifestation of cultural atrocities.
Today, after a century since these tragic events, Armenia is more than determined to defend and ensure the right of existence and peaceful development of the Armenian people in their historical motherland, including in Artsakh.