In all, as a result of terrorist acts against Azerbaijan perpetrated since the late 1980s by the Armenian secret service and Armenian terrorist organizations closely connected with it, over 2,000 citizens of Azerbaijan have been killed, the majority of them women, the elderly and children.
It is notable that the first entry in the tragic list of crimes by Armenian terrorists in the territory of Azerbaijan was made before the beginning of the conflict when in 1984, in Baku, a passenger bus on the No. 106 route was blown up, killing one woman — the mother of two children — and injuring several other people. The identified terrorist responsible for that crime was an Armenian named Vartanov.
In December 1988, a military transport aircraft on the Baku-Yerevan route with rescue workers and humanitarian aid for victims of the Armenian earthquake on board suffered a disaster near Yerevan in circumstances which remain unexplained. Some versions speak of firing and others of the deliberate disorientation of the pilot by air traffic control at Yerevan airport (in view of the low altitude of the flight and the mountainous terrain). The underlying motive for this planned “air disaster” is completely unprecedented, in that the victims of this crime were 79 people who had been sent on a humanitarian mission from Azerbaijan to Armenia, despite the difficulties that had by then arisen in relations between the two republics.
On 27 May 1989, on a train from Yerevan to Baku, an Armenian citizen, V. Minasyan, was arrested and found to be in possession of an explosive device. In her testimony, Ms Minasyan confessed that she had been intending to set that device to go off in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku.
On 24 July 1989, there was an explosion on a train of Azerbaijan Railways at Karchevan station.
On 7 October 1989, the road bridge across the river Khalfalichai on the southern edge of the town of Khankandi was blown up. On 29 April 1992, the perpetrator of this terrorist act — one A. Abramyan — was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Over the period from 19 January to 17 February 1990, a terrorist group carried out numerous raids from the territory of Armenia targeting the inhabitants of the frontier villages of Kheyrymly and Sofulu in the Gazakh district of Azerbaijan. The same terrorist group carried out an attack on a patrol vehicle of the Gazakh district division of internal affairs and plotted the destruction of a railway locomotive. Two members of the group, L. Arutyunyan and A. Mkrtchyan, were sentenced to five and six years’ imprisonment, respectively.
On 18 February 1990, 13 people were injured by an explosion in an intercity bus on the Shusha-Baku route, at the 105 km marker on the Yevlakh-Lachyn road.
On 11 July 1990, between the settlements of Getavan and Charaktar in the Tartar district of Azerbaijan, an armed assault was launched on a road convoy, travelling under troop escort and conveying people and goods to the town of Kalbajar. In that terrorist act, three people were killed and 23 injured. The investigation identified one A. Airiyan as the perpetrator of this crime.
On 10 August 1990, in the Khanlar district of Azerbaijan, terrorists blew up an intercity bus operating on the Tbilisi-Aghdam route, killing 20 passengers and injuring 30. The perpetrators of that terrorist act were arrested before they were able to carry out their plan to blow up, on 17 June 1991, a bus on the Aghdam-Tbilisi route. Two Armenians, A. Avanesyan and M. Tatevosyan, were found guilty of those crimes.
In November 1990, a terrorist group, set up by one M. Grigoryan, a member of the terrorist organization “Ergraparkh”, based on the territory of Armenia and composed of inhabitants of the Echmiadzin district of Armenia, was sent into the territory of Azerbaijan. This group was disarmed by the law enforcement agencies of Azerbaijan while attempting to carry out terrorist acts.
On 9 January 1991, at the 5 km marker on the Lachyn-Shusha road in the area of Galadarasi village, terrorists fired on a UAZ-469 vehicle belonging to military unit No. 44688 of the city of Ganja, killing the driver, Sergeant I. I. Goek, the commander of the reconnaissance battalion, Lieutenant Colonel A. P. Larionov, the chief of staff in the commandant’s office of military unit No. 3505 (the command centre for the special units of the interior forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Major I. D. Ivanov, and a journalist from the newspaper “Molodezh Azerbaidzhana”, Ms. S. A. Asgarova. The investigation identified A. Mkrtchyan, G. Petrosyan, A. Mangasaryan, G. Arutyunyan and G. Arustamyan as the perpetrators of this crime.
On 30 May 1991, 11 people were killed and 22 injured following an explosion on a passenger train from Moscow to Baku near Khasavyurt station (Dagestan, Russian Federation).
In May 1991, officials of the law enforcement agencies arrested S. Aznaryan, an inhabitant of the Noyemberyan district of Armenia, on a Baku-Tbilisi train at Shamkir station and removed from his possession two mines, a sub-machine gun and maps of the Azerbaijan rail and road network.
On 31 July 1991, a Moscow-Baku passenger train was blown up near Temirgau station (Dagestan, Russian Federation), killing 16 people and injuring 20.
The law enforcement agencies of Azerbaijan detained and disarmed two members of the Armenia-based terrorist organization “Urartu”, A. Tatevosyan and V. Petrosyan, who, on 2 August 1991, had carried out terrorist attacks in the territory of the Kalbajar district of Azerbaijan.
On 20 November 1991, an MI-8 helicopter carrying a group of representatives from the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan and senior Azerbaijani leadership was shot down near the village of Garakand in the Khojavand district of Azerbaijan. The killing of 22 people, including statesmen from three countries, effectively put an end to the first attempt to settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict peacefully and prompted an escalation of violence in the region.
The single successful terrorist act carried out by Armenian terrorists against vessels of the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Line occurred on 8 January 1992. An explosion on the ferry Sovietskaya Kalmykia operating between Krasnovodsk and Baku claimed the lives of 25 people and injured 88. In the same year, an attempt to carry an explosive device onto the steamer Sabit Orujov was prevented in time.
On 28 January 1992, a civilian helicopter flying on the Aghdam-Shusha route was shot down by terrorists over the Azerbaijani town of Shusha in the Nagorno Karabakh region, killing 41 passengers, most of them women and children, as well as the crew.
On 28 February 1993, 11 people were killed and 18 injured near Gudermes station (Dagestan, Russian Federation) by a bomb placed on a Baku-Kislovodsk train.
On 2 June 1993, a passenger carriage was blown up in a siding at the Baku railway station. On 22 July 1994, I. Khatkovsky, a Russian national and correspondent for the newspaper Demokratichesky Tilzit, resident of the village of Gastelovo in the Slavsky District of the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation, was found guilty of committing this crime and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The investigation process revealed that Mr Khatkovsky had been recruited by the Directorate for National Security (the former State Security Committee) of Armenia and provided with detailed instructions on how to organize the bombing of transportation and communications facilities and vital services in Azerbaijan, gather intelligence information and commit terrorist acts in the territory of the Russian Federation. The case of Mr Khatkovsky helped to uncover and neutralize a group of agents of the Directorate for National Security of Armenia who was responsible for organizing terrorist acts in Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Russian Federation. The head of the group was Lieutenant-Colonel Jan Oganesyan, the chief of the department of intelligence and subversive operations in the territory of an adversary. Lieutenant-Colonel Oganesyan and his two subordinates, Ashot Galoyan and Boris Simonyan, were sentenced by the military tribunal of the Tambov garrison, Russian Federation, to various terms of imprisonment.
On 1 February 1994, a Kislovodsk-Baku passenger train was blown up at Baku station, killing three people and injuring more than 20.
On 9 April 1994, a railway car was blown up at Khudat station.
On 17 March 1994, an Iranian C-130 transport aircraft was shot down over the territory of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenian armed forces, resulting in the deaths of 32 people who were citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
On 19 March 1994, a bomb placed in one of the carriages of a train exploded at the 20 January subway station in Baku. As a result of this act, 14 people were killed and 42 were injured, some seriously.