From The Memoirs Of Alexander Lebed – How The Armenian Earthquake Of 1988 Was Celebrated In Baku

From the memoirs of General Alexander Lebed who was in the capital of Azerbaijan in the days of the earthquake in Armenia:

“On the evening of the 7th, the “Time” program announced a huge earthquake in Armenia… The exact number of victims was unknown, but preliminarily, they were estimated to be huge – tens of thousands of people.

The announcer switched to another topic, but no one would listen to him. Moreover, someone turned the TV off. An oppressive silence hung in the lobby. Suddenly, a strangle sound burst into this silence – or rather, a gamut of sounds merged into a single, general, triumphant joyful howl that would become more and more intense.

In seconds, everything became clear. On the opposite side of the street, in front of the building of the district executive committee, there was a large residential nine-story building. Every window without exception was illuminated, and on every balcony, people were yelling, hooting, and laughing wildly. Empty bottles, lighted paper, and some other objects were being thrown down.

This nine-story building was not alone in displaying its cannibalistic enthusiasm. A similar pattern was observed in all nearby houses.

The area was shining and howling ecstatically. People who considered themselves civilized; to one degree or another brought up and educated; many, presumably, believers professing the commandments of the Koran – all these people in a unanimous impulse were indecently, barbarously celebrating the colossal alien human grief.

I passionately wanted to take a machine gun and cross the damned nine-story building in a long burst and somehow make the people who have fallen to the level of monkeys return to their human form again.

How many kind, cheerful, intelligent, welcoming people I have met among Azerbaijanis! What passionate, convincing speeches many of them gave to me! Where did they go, all reasonable and kind, how was it possible that they all disappeared in this foam and succumbed to the rush whose degree of infamy is difficult to determine?”

Grigor Narinyan

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

Sources:, Գրիգոր Նարինյան

Read also: Donald E. Miller – “Azerbaijanis Celebrated The Earthquake In Spitak”

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