The 11th Anniversary of The Liberation of Shushi

YEREVAN (Armenpress–ArmeniaWeek–Geocites–Noyan Tapan)–"The liberation of Shushi is a symbol of resoluteness and of a peaceful future for Nagorno Karabagh…" declared President Kocharian marking the 11th anniversary of the liberation of Shushi.

Celebrating the anniversary–veterans of the Karabakh battles met with schoolchildren and students at the Alexander Tamanian Museum.

Major-General Arkady Ter-Tadevossian who led the military operation to liberate Shushi–declared: "Eleven years have passed since that time. We took over for our fathers–the World War II veterans–and we won. I am sure if need be our children will take over for us and will get the upper hand over any enemy."

The participants observed a moment of silence in the memory of those killed during the war. "Let’s remember all those who died and let’s pay tribute to those who survived," said the director of the museum–Tamanian’s gran’son. He recalled that during the Karabakh war–Armenia "having gotten used to its neighbors tearing away pieces of its territory–for the first time began to rehabilitate its historical status."

Eleven years have passed since the little town of Shushi perched high above Stepanakert–the capital of Nagorno Karabagh–was liberated by Armenian forces in a surprise assault that caused the Azerbaijani army to flee.

That same army had used Shushi as a base to spread terror down on Stepanakert’s population in the form of Grad rockets fired daily into the city for month after month.

In Shushi: The Symbol of the Strength of the Armenian Spirit–S. Krikorian writes:

"When asked about the three necessities for a nation to win a war–the Chinese philosopher Confucius replied–"food–weapons–and spirit." And what are the two most important necessities? "Weapons and spirit." And what’s the single most necessary thing for a nation to win a war? "The spirit," replied Confucius.

The liberation of Shushi in May 1992 provides ample proof that Confucius was right. The Azerbaijani forces barricaded inside the fortress-city outnumbered the Armenian freedom fighters–had huge stocks of arms and ammunitions that they later left to the freedom fighters–their position was impregnable–and militarily it’s always easier to defend than to attack.

With all these advantages for the Azerbaijani side–how did the Armenian fighters emerge victorious from the battle of Shushi? It was undoubtedly their spirit. That spirit that the Turks could never understand–consequently they were and still are looking for–in all the wrong places–the reasons for their defeat–blaming the Russia’s for assisting the Armenia’s–blaming the internal feuds within the Azerbaijani leadership.

The liberation of Shushi will surely have a prominent place in the textbooks of Armenian History. All Armenian children should see the steep hill that Ashod Ghoulian and his battalion climbed. It is difficult even to imagine how a person can climb that rock carrying more than 50 pounds of military gear. It is unimaginable–but it is a historical fact.

The liberation of Shushi was the most important page of the war in Karabagh. It became a symbol of the invincibility of the Armenian spirit."

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