From Alexander Lebed’s memoirs, how the 1988 earthquake in Armenia was celebrated in Baku.

From the book of memoirs of General Alexander Lebed, who during the days of the earthquake in Armenia was in the capital of Azerbaijan, the city of Baku:

“On the evening of December 7, according to the Vremya program, it was announced that there was a colossal earthquake in Armenia … The exact number of victims is unknown, but preliminary it is huge and amounts to tens of thousands of people.

The announcer continued to talk about something else, but they did not listen to him, moreover, soon someone turned off the TV. There was an eerie silence in the foyer. Some kind of sound suddenly burst into this silence, or rather, a range of sounds, mergings into a general, triumphant joyful howl, which grew stronger and stronger.

In a matter of seconds, everything became clear. On the opposite side of the street, obliquely from the building of the district executive committee, there was a large nine-story residential building. Lights were on in all the windows without exception, on all the balconies people were shouting, squealing, hooting, laughing wildly, and rejoicing.

Empty bottles, lit paper, and some other objects flew down from the windows. The nine-story building was not alone in displaying its cannibalistic delight. A similar picture was observed in all nearby houses.

The area shone, frenziedly and enthusiastically howled. People who consider themselves civilized, to one degree or another, educated and educated, many, presumably, believers, professing the commandments of the Koran, all these people in a unanimous impulse indecently and barbarously celebrated the colossal misfortune of others.

I passionately wanted to take a machine gun and cross the cursed nine-story building with a long line, to at least in this way force people who had descended to the level of hamadryas to return to human form again.

How many kinds, of cheerful, reasonable, hospitable people have I met among Azerbaijanis? What passionate, persuasive speeches many of them gave me! Where did they go, how did it become possible that they all dissolved in this foam, succumbed to an impulse, the degree of the vileness of which is difficult to determine?”

Source: Գրիգոր Նարինյան

From the book of memoirs of General Alexander Lebed: “It’s a shame for the state.” The book was written with participation and printed at the expense of Arkady Arshavirovich Vartanyan.

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