The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) released a statement Saturday morning.
It reads as follows:
On March 24, 2022, as a result of Azerbaijani aggression, the area around the village of Parukh in the Askeran region of the Artsakh Republic, the former settlement of Karaglukh and the homonymous height, were occupied by the enemy and the Azerbaijani Armed Forces immediately proceeded to the well-known script of the destruction of the Armenian historical and cultural heritage in the occupied territory.
Apart from its strategic importance, the area is also important for its unique historical-cultural and historical-natural environment.
According to the state list of immovable monuments of culture and history, about 20 monuments are officially registered in the above-mentioned territories, including 2 churches (one of them is “Holy Mother of God” church of 13th century, photo attached), the famous Shikakar-Karaglukh fortress, cultural monuments of archeological value, cemeteries, khachkars [(cross-stones)], tombstones. The Shikakar cave is also located in here, where a research was conducted by the Azokh international archaeological expedition in 2011.
However, it should be emphasized that the area has not yet been sufficiently studied, which is also confirmed by the research conducted in the area in December 2021, as a result of which thirty more monuments were discovered.
Considering the bitter experience of Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian hatred policy, when that country organizes and encourages cultural vandalism in the occupied territories of Artsakh at the highest level, we confidently declare that the historical and cultural heritage of Parukh and Karaglukh is also endangered under the Azerbaijani occupation.
Our concerns become more substansive after watching the video released by the Azerbaijani media outlet AZTV on March 30, 2022, which demonstrates human remains exhumed by Azerbaijanis. The Azerbaijani propaganda machine, resorting to a deceitful and insidious method, presents this fact as if a mass burial of Azerbaijanis in the village of Ivanyan (Azerbaijani Khojaly), as a result of hostilities of 1992. However, the reality is completely different. In particular:
1. Although the Azerbaijani side has long resorted to falsification, accusing the Armenian side of the massacre of Azerbaijanis in the village of Ivanyan, there is irrefutable evidence that the Artsakh Armed Forces provided a humanitarian corridor to the civilian population before and during the hostilities, and this massacre took place by the militants of the Azerbaijani opposition in the outskirts of Akna (Azerbaijani Aghdam) which is under their control. They intended to use the massacre in Azerbaijan as a basis for coup d’état, which was acknowledged even by the then President Ayaz Mutalibov. More detailed evidence can be found at the following link:
2. Based on the analysis of sufficient factual, geographical, and cultural data we have, it become clear that the above-mentioned footage is filmed at the Armenian cemetery of Parukh called “Kalen Khut”, which dates back to the 9th-12th centuries (map attached). Therefore, the bones presented are the sceletal remains from an old Armenian cemetery.
A) Experts familiar with the are and the residents of Parukh claim that the video was shot at the “Kalen Khut” cemetery.
B ) One glance of culturologists and archaeologists is enough to fix that the human skulls presented in the video have an brachycephalic (round-headed) structure of armenoid anthropological type typical of Armenians, while the population of Azerbaijan have dolichocephalic (long-headed) structure of Caspian anthropological type skull (photos attached).
C) All the presented bones have smooth surface, which in an archeological sense means that they are not 30 years old, but centuries old, while the nomadic ancestors of the Azerbaijani population invaded these parts of Artsakh only in the 18-19 centuries.
3. Moreover, the Azerbaijani propaganda machine uses such an unfounded and false argument that it can also be sargued that the village of Ivanyan (Azerbaijani: Khojaly) is at least 17 kilometers away from Parukh (map attached). It is clear that the hostilities in Ivanyan could not have anything to do with Parukh.
The above-mentioned facts are so eloquent that we have to record once again not only another episode of the destruction of the Armenian cultural heritage on the Azerbaijani part, but also the anti-Armenian falsification and attempt to deceive its own people and the international community.
Therefore, taking into account the systematic and deliberate crimes committed by Azerbaijan against the rich Armenian and Christian cultural heritage in the previous decades, which gained new momentum since 2020 hostilities and have been registered by many international organizations, including the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on March 9, 2022, we call on the international community, human rights organizations and organizations for the protection of cultural heritage not to show indifference and to take measures against the cultural ethnocide committed by Azerbaijan.
\We regret that to date UNESCO, despite its commitments and mission, has not sent a fact-finding mission to the occupied territories of Artsakh, and does not exert significant efforts to prevent the commission of new crimes by Azerbaijan.