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Late at night on January 19, 1990, 26.000 Soviet troops stormed Baku. They acted pursuant to a state of emergency declared by the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium, signed by President Gorbachev and disclosed to the Azerbaijani public only after many citizens lay wounded or dead in the streets, hospitals and morgues of Baku.
More than 130 people died from wounds received that night and during subsequent violent confrontations and incidents that lasted in February; the majority of these were civilians killed by Soviet soldiers. More than 700 civilians were wounded. Hundreds of people were detained, only a handful of whom were put on trial for alleged criminal offenses. Civil liberties were severely curtailed.In 1991 Azerbaijan became independent.
1990 January 20 Is a Special Day in Azerbaijan’s history.We will never forget this day.
20 yanvar Şəhidləri, January 20 martyrs, 20 Ocak şehitleri, qara yanvar, Black january
The polls have closed in Kazakhstan’s election in a vote designed to boost the country’s democratic credentials by giving a non-ruling party a toehold in parliament for the first time.
The image of the former Soviet republic and its veteran President Nursultan Nazarbayev was badly tarnished last month when a long-running protest in a remote oil town was brutally suppressed.
There is no doubt that his governing party will again win by a landslide.
But this time the party coming second will be guaranteed seats – although of several contesting the election, only the Social Democrats are described as real opposition.
The party’s general secretary Amirzhan Kosanov said:
“Parliament’s image needs to be raised, the word MP or ‘deputy’ should become respectable, so that it’s not thought to mean ‘lobbyist’ for a particular oligarch group. It should become part of the public consciousness that all citizens can solve their problems via their deputy.”
No previous Kazakh election has been recognised as democratic by the OSCE, whose observers are again on the ground. The opposition has complained that its monitors have been denied access to numerous polling stations.
Nazarbayev’s strongest critics have been barred from standing.
The president though remains extremely popular in the oil-rich country, despite growing complaints that only an elite few benefit from Kazakhstan’s relative wealth.
Polls close in Kazakhstan’s democratic test – YouTube.