The anticipation that had been building on May 8 turned into jubilant pandemonium on May 9. SHOUSHI WAS TRIUMPHANTLY LIBERATED.
The people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) in and around Stepanakert had endured grueling daily barrage of fire from Azeri forces, which had taken their positions in Shoushi and were relentlessly bombing the civilian population. The operation, whose military precision had delivered an exacting blow to Azeri forces, irreversibly stifled their attacks and paved the way for the eventual liberation of Lachin (Kashatagh) and the establishment of the vital land corridor to Armenia—a lifeline. It also was the spark that ensured victory in the Karabakh Liberation Struggle.
It would be an understatement to say that the events of and leading up to May 9, 1992 had a far greater importance for the soldiers of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Liberation Army and the general population of Karabakh. The liberation of Shoushi not only had crucial strategic significance, it also brought back the ancient Armenian capital that for so long had served as a center for cultural reawakening and intellectual renaissance.
The significance of Shoushi’s liberation still resonates as loudly as it did 21 years ago, as it is not merely a symbol but a constant reminder of the people’s expression of self-determination and courage, will and resilience.
Today, the Azeri Army, which 21 year ago retreated in disgrace and embarrassment, is regularly provoking military skirmishes around the border and threatening the fragile peace that has been safeguarded. The Azeri leadership is not only threatening war to reclaim Karabakh but has amplified its racist posturing toward Armenians, calling all Armenians enemies of the state. The international mediators refuse to properly assess the situation and, through convoluted statements, are attempting to remain neutral. And, Karabakh is still not at the negotiating table as a party to the conflict.
What is clear to the people of Karabakh, and the entire Armenian nation, is that the liberation of Shoushi embedded an irreversible course for our national liberation movement that is immune to threats and compromises. The people who conceived and carried out the remarkably unthinkable operation to liberate Shoushi will protect it to death.
The Azeris believe that by spending millions of filthy petro-dollars into a propaganda machine that perpetuates their lies, will temper and fray the resilience and determination of the Armenian people, when, in reality, Shoushi was just the beginning of the realization of the Armenian Liberation Struggle toward JUSTICE.