STEPANAKERT (PanArmenian)—Armenians marked the 18th anniversary of Shushi’s Liberation from Azeri forces on Friday with celebrations and memorial services in Yerevan and Stepanakert.
In Yerevan, the commemorative day began with senior state, military, and diplomatic officials laying wreathes at the World War II memorial in Yerevan’s Victory Park and concluded with a solemn ceremony at the Yerablur National Cemetery. The anniversary falls on the same day the war against Nazi Germany was over.
In Stepanakert, commemorative services were lead by Karabakh President Bako Sahakian, former Armenian President Robert Kocharian and former Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian. Ceremoies began at Stepanakert’s Monument to Martyrs, build in honor of the men and women lost in Karabakh’s liberation World War II.
Sahakian visited Shushi later in the day for the inauguration of newly built homes for families of servicemen in the Karabakh Defense Army ceremony.
A celebration was held later in the evening in Stepanakert. Sahakian delivered remarks during the event.
The liberation of Shushi is considered one of the major turning points in the Karabakh self-defense movement. The liberation of the strategically vital mountain town was the first significant military victory during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The successful battle ushered in a series of Armenian victories over Azerbaijan’s occupying forces, including the liberation of the Lachin corridor connecting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.