20th Anniversary of Shoushi Liberation Celebrated

Karabakh Armed Forces stage military parade

STEPANAKERT—It is only fitting that the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Shoushi—a glorious victory for the Armenian nation—would be marked by a glorious military parade in the streets of the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic—Artsakh.

More than 2,000 troops of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Armed Forces marched through the streets of Stepanakert Wednesday. They were followed by tanks, anti-aircraft systems and other heavy artillery, including surface-to-surface ballistic missiles known as Scud-B, which have a firing range of up to 300 kilometers.

Leaders observe the parade

Thousands attended the Stepanakert parade, which kicked off the official celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Shoushi Liberation.

On May 9, 1992 soldiers of the Nagorno-Karabakh self-defense forces, in a harrowing operation, recaptured the ancient Armenian capital of Shoushi and liberated it from Azeri forces, which had been using its perch to relentlessly shell Stepanakert and its population. The Shoushi operation was adeptly followed by the liberation of Lachin and the opening of a land corridor to Armenia. More importantly, however, the liberation of Shoushi became the driving force for victory in Artsakh and a crowning moment of the Armenian Liberation Struggle.

Heavy artillery on display during the military parade

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian was joined by his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, former Armenian and Karabakh presidents Robert Kocharian and Arkady Ghoukasian, as well as other high-level dignitaries in watching the parade from atop a balcony in the city center.

In his congratulatory remarks on this momentous occasion, Sahakian called the liberation of Shoushi “a celebration that has been sanctified with the blood of our sisters and brothers, thus becoming one of the most cherished nationwide holidays.”

Scenes from the parade

“May 9 is a holiday of victory, the victory of nationwide unity and consolidation, freedom-loving spirit and unbendable will,” declared Sahakian.

“May 9 is the victory of all Armenians in the national liberation struggle, when all parts of the Armenian nation became a single entity uniting around the glorious idea of defending Artsakh. Everything was being done for the sake of our sacred mission, for the realization of our age-old aspirations, for the bright future and perseverance of the Armenian nation,” added Sahakian.

Parade also showcased surface-to-surface ballistic missiles known as Scud-B, which have a firing range of up to 300 kilometers

“With this sense the defense army—the most important guarantor of our nation’s freedom and security, its pride and one of the greatest achievements—was formed. The army was born in the crucible of the war. It accomplished and, today, continues with honor its sacred mission of to defend the homeland. It is also due to the Armenian army that peace and stability in the whole region are secured. This undeniable reality cannot be ignored,” expressed Sahakian.

“We will continue doing everything to keep the army strong and victorious, with a high level of fighting capacity and strong spirit, ready to realize any task assigned to it,” said Sahakian.

“The Free, independent and developing Artsakh is of great and important significance for all Armenians. Due to the support of Mother Armenia, our sisters and brothers from the Diaspora and Artsakh managed to not only recover from the wounds of war but also embarked on a path of stable development. A nation that protected its native soil with flying colors must live a worthy life. We will spare no efforts to achieve this goal,” declared Sahakian.

“Today our sons who were born in the liberated homeland and keep its boundaries secure are proudly standing in the parade. They continue the mission of their heroic fathers with dignity thus preserving the memory of all our martyrs,” said Sahakian.

“Together with those who achieved our cherished victory, today’s servicemen of the Artsakh army steadily defend the security of their native land and peaceful life of their own people. This has been so for 20 years, and it will continued to be so forever,” added Sahakian.

In his congratulatory remarks, President Sarkisian, who commanded a battalion during the liberation of Shoushi said: The liberation of Shoushi once again opened new doors for our people’s peaceful, creative work and the flourishing of the nation. This victory too was achieved through the greatest sacrifice of our people.”

Celebrations continued throughout the day, with cultural programs in Shoushi and other gatherings attended by thousands of residents of Artsakh and Armenia.


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  1. Paul D Garber said:

    Why is Armenia almost never mentioned in American News?: I know there are or were many American Armenians who support the homeland & yet I never heard of this struggle until I read this blog. I also want to know why Armenia, as the only Christian country in the Middle East, has not been courted as an ally by the US instead of Turkey (spit) & Azerbaijan (spit) especially now with the Iran situation. I am only half Armenian but my Mother, Areknas Vartanian Garber, would have loved to have know this news but she died in 2010 without ever hearing of it.

    • Heghapokhagan said:

      Dear Paul, I am happy that you have interest in your mother’s ancestral homeland and culture.
      Your question is simple and yet it is very complicated to answer, because there are too many variety of reasons dating back from early 1920’s up to date. Mostly the reasons are political and Turkey being in strategic location, also there are vast amounts of illegal money made and to be made by US Government officials, including Department Of State and Other Agencies, including Military…. from… Turkey
      You would be surprised to know “US Media” has participation too

      • Heghapokhagan said:

        But fortunately “ALL MIGHTY GOD” Is on our side

  2. Avery said:


    Only language Aliyev and his warmongering thugs understand.

    He used to issue threats of war almost every week. After the massive display of Armenian retaliatory power during RoA’s 20th Anniversary Military Parade, the threats quieted down.

    Very satisfying to see heroic Artsakh warriors are now backed up by first rate, plentiful military hardware.
    They don’t have to sacrifice valuable men to capture hardware from Azeri invaders to fight with (…as they did in 1991-1994)

    “Si vis pacem, para bellum ” Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

    • Arman said:

      “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
      Incidentally the German 9mm Luger cartridge is also known as a 9mm ‘Parabellum.’ The name comes from that quote.

    • Heghapokhagan said:

      Eventually Artsakh will invade that fabricated country and divide them to the rightful owners

  3. David said:

    It was so amazing, i’ve seen that wonder parade too!
    Also the “Special Presidental Force” and Orchestra’s shows was so wonderful and interesting!
    Nice parade, i wish Artsakh all good only!
    Happy May 9!!!!!!

  4. Kevork said:

    I love seeing all this, but yet I wanted to bring up a point and see if anyone else has any insight on this subject. It seems to be a traditional thing with ex-Soviet countries to have military parades as a “show of might”, but in regards to Armenia and Artsakh it makes me wonder if this is in our best interest.

    As much as we the general population likes to be kept informed, we know that the enemy is also watching very closely, which is what my concern is. If our enemy starts another war it is better for them to underestimate us rather than overestimate us, is what I’m trying to say.

    Maybe some things are best not placed on display? I’m split on this one.

    • ST. ECHMIADZIN said:

      Trust me not everything is displayed . There are weapons that we will not show them. And sometimes it’s better when they see what you have so they shut up.

    • Papken Hartunian said:

      Dear Kevork:
      In principle, you are right. However, we need to boost our population spirit. Moreover, there might be MDW in homeland rather than IRAQ.
      Armenia Live Beyond Ever.

    • Heghapokhagan said:

      Obvioiusly what were displayed are only what they wanted to display…
      and I am sure they are Not Elementary strategists.

    • Jack said:

      I’m sure not everything is put on display, but it’s probably in the best interest of Armenia/Artsakh to get rid of the Soviet mentality. What is the objective of these parades? In the past the USSR would try to make the USA fearful. Now it’s just to make citizens more patriotic and nationalistic. What does it show the world? A county that is war hungry and not peaceful. There are other ways to make people more patriotic. You don’t see Abrams on the streets of America now do you.

    • Random Armenian said:


      War is messy, bloody, destructive and sucks. You don’t want a war to start. You want to discourage it without giving away secrets. A show of force is appropriate.

    • Tsayt said:

      It has come to a point where Armenians had to show the enemy that Azerbaijan is vulnerable in case of a war. Cowards that Azeris are, they need to see these weapons to think twice before starting a war. Also, there is a message to all supporters of Azerbaijan with their oil-politics, that their interests are on the line as well.

      So the parade accomplishes many objectives, including peace.

  5. Arman said:

    The 3rd and 4th pictures have wrong captions on the bottom. The 3rd one shows T-72 tanks but is titled “heavy artillery on display.” The 4th one is titled as being a surface to surface Scud ballistic missile. It is actually a surface to AIR missile (SAM). It’s an SA-4, (NATO codename “Ganef”) being towed on its reload trailer. The actual launch vehicle is tracked and looks like a tank more or less but with 2 SA-4s instead of a tank turret.
    In front of those are reload trucks for the SA-3 (NATO codename “Goa”), and in front of those are SA-8b (NATO codename “Gecko”).

  6. arziv said:

    I have my reservations that what Armenia displayed at the parade constitutes a fraction of the technology and fire power at the armie’s disposal. The other side has to be made to understand that it risks a high cost if ever attemprs to tackle the Artsaj forces , besides suffering a humiliating and degrading retreat. Azerbaijan will not launch an atttack on Artsaj unless joined by the mongol turks. The Azeris know full well that if hostilities break out, their oil fields will go up in flames like a pyrotechincs circus, The Azeris depend on their godfather the turks to even be able to sneeze. It depends on the turks. The turks have other problems on their plate to bother with egging Aliev on foolish misadventures. Tuerkey is aware of Iran, syria, Greece . It does not have the capacity, nor the infrastructure to grapple and contest a war with the three of them at once. Last but not least there are the kurds, a nettlesome trouble, a major tooth ache for turkey . If the kurds revolt, it can fracture the territorial integrity of turkey. That is why turkey is not interested in Azeris and their obstinate comlpex about Artsaj

  7. Angela Achikgiozian said:

    The war has not ended. When I was in Artsakh in September of 2011, people showed me pictures of a killed chechen, who along with 2 others, had penetrated into Artsakh and killed few people. People of Artsakh never cry, they know the price of liberation and the price they pay every day for staying and living on their ancient land. They are proud and smart people. And showing the military power is a great way of firming their spirit and desire to be independent. My deep respect for those who serve there and who carry out daily protection of our borders.
    At night time, when it is dark, you can see the lights of azeri villages so close…Just like when you drive along the Araratyan plain in Armenia, you see the lights of turkey so close…Long live our brave soldiers and officers who stand there day and night and protect our land. Great day!

  8. ARA said:

    We show what we want and we have more-we never tell the enemy what we have- u show them less than half a moon and let them trap themselves to death in the other half- The parades and marches and demos are great- God loves us and the enemy still has our lands around us- History will repeat and we will get our lands back and grown our crops and people-

  9. AraK said:

    Hello Paul Garber, there are a few answers to your question. America doesn’t give a damn if we were Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians or something else. America always repeated over and over that she always looks after her interests only. Armenia does not have oil, Azerbaidjan has, Turkey has a fantastic geopolitical situation, we don’t and Israel (who has a tremendous influence on America’s exterior policy) wants Turkey’s and Azeris’ friendship. Lately Israel sold weapons worth 1.6 billion $$ to the Azeris! This is called realpolitik…
    Money talks.

  10. AraK said:

    Kevork, Azerbaidjan doesn’t need to see our parades I’m sure she knows exactly what we have and vice versa. Today NOTHING in this world moves in secret… These parades boosts only the moral of the locals, specially after the death of so many of our soldiers on the front line.
    That’s my opinion of course.

  11. John-Emmanuel Shirajian said:

    The parade was a fitting celebration for this momentous occasion. It has a clear message to our enemies. The people of Artsahk will meet the invaders with the rugged time tested Soviet-Russian weaponry. The days of the improvised shot guns and obsolete weapons is behind us. The chauvinistic and adventurous clowns in Baku better be cognizant to the new military realities.
    However , the most important information that cannot be extracted from the pictures and the videos of the parade is what military analysts call the “intangibles of military power”. They are training, moral of the troops and their leadership, esprit de corps, and commitment to just cause or to the cause of the conflict by the general population. In these categories the Armenian side has a marked advantage.
    I take this opportunity to commend and thank the reader “Arman” on his accurate remarks regarding the captions.

  12. Allen said:

    Dear Kevor,

    Your worries are uneccessary. I am undoubtedly sure that the upper echelon of our military have considered this and taken the proper precautions to prevent the enemy from gaining complete knowledge of our weaponry. While being of very high quality military hardware, the weapons on display are only mid-level equipment from our arsenal. For instance, Azerbaijan recently was bragging about the purchase of S-300 weapons systems, but Armenia possessed these missiles since the late 1990’s however we only verified our possession of them in the past year. The Armenian military is going through a complete modernization from 2011-2015. Furthermore, I want you to not be fooled by Azerbaijans balooning military budget. Azerbaijan purchases weapons from Israel, Turkey, and Russia at retail prices which have sometimes been marked up over 500%. Meanwhile, Armenia acquires these weapons at cut throat prices of often times for free since we are in a military coalition with Russia. Russia is OBLIGATED to provide us these equipment under an agreement we signed with them in 2011.

  13. www.Voskanapat.info said:

    I didn’t see it mentioned in the article but there were UAVs in the sky made in Armenia to match these purchased by Azeris from Israel.

    Turks know damn well that the war is over and they lost it big time. They have now advantages whatsoever and cannot recapture Artsakh ever! Yes, they can throw tens of thousands of their ethnic minorities (Turks themselves are not fighters, their best talent is to sell spoiled tomatoes at Russian bazaars) to Artsakh, but Tolysh, Lezgi, Avar, Udin, Tat youth wouldn’t fight for their oppressors anymore. Besides, physically there is no place in Artsakh for all these tanks, guns and soldiers that Sultan Ilham is trying to threaten us with. It’s a small mountainous territory, the more troops you bring in, the more body bags come back. Aliev clan are not idiots, their war-mongering tactics have only two purposes – to make their own population to believe that they need to live below poverty line and scarify their youth to get back “Garabag” and the second one is to prevent Armenians from moving to Artsakh and repopulating the liberated lands. We have limitations in reaching out to the indoctrinated population of so-called Azerbaijan, but we ought to start re-populating settlements on the liberated lands.