Twenty-six years have passed since the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Lachin district by Armenia.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
On May 18, 1992, Armenian occupiers destroyed hundreds of cultural facilities, tens of settlements, villages and historical monuments, and 63,341 Azerbaijani citizens were driven out their homelands as a result of the occupation. There are 121 villages in Lachin, which has an area of 1,835 square kilometers.
More than 300 servicemen and civilians were killed or became missing during the occupation of the Lachin district. The occupation of Lachin, a region of great geostrategic significance, caused a serious harm to Azerbaijan’s economy.
As many as 8,950 buildings, including seven industrial and construction enterprises, 471 service offices, 154 schools, hundreds of historical and cultural monuments fell under occupation.
On May 8, 1992, after the occupation of the Shusha city of Azerbaijan, Armenian armed forces, occupying settlements around Lachin, opened intensive artillery fire at the district`s center.
On the night from May 16 to 17, 1992, starting their occupation from the place named Turshsu (Shusha city) and the Gorus region of Armenia, the Armenian armed forces occupied Lachin district. Majority of the enemy forces could get into the region through the Lachin corridor.
At that time, the key part of the Azerbaijani armed forces, withdrawn from Lachin and surrounding districts, were involved in the political confrontation in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The army taking part in the military demonstrations in Baku did not have control over the positions on the frontline, which resulted in the occupation of Lachin district of Azerbaijan following the occupation of other districts.