On January 20, 1990, the Soviet army forces entered Baku to suppress the masses protesting the USSR-supported Armenian aggression based on territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
The entry of Soviet troops resulted in an unprecedented tragedy for Azerbaijan. Valiant sons and daughters of Azerbaijan put the country’s freedom, honor and dignity above everything else, sacrificed their lives and became martyrs.
During the tragedy, 147 people were killed, 744 were severely injured and 841 were illegally arrested. As a result of the Soviet army's operations, 200 apartments, houses, private and state property were destroyed.
While delivering a speech at a meeting held on January 21, 1990 at the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan in Moscow in connection with the tragedy, Heydar Aliyev sharply criticized the perpetrators of this incident. Heydar Aliyev stressed that the incident did not correspond to the law, democracy, humanism and the principles of rule of law in Azerbaijan.
Despite that many years have passed since those bloody days, Azerbaijanis remember the dreadful night that took many innocent lives and mark the anniversary of the January 20 tragedy every year.
January 20 is immortalized in the memory of the Azerbaijani nation as a Day of the Nationwide Sorrow.