Liberation of Lachin should be celebrated along with other May victories: Historian

Alisa Gevorgyan
Public Radio of Armenia

Lachin (now Berdzor) was liberated on May 18, 1992, opening a corridor to Armenia and breaking the blockade of Artsakh. The liberation of Lachin was the greatest military achievement of the Armenian side after the liberation of Shushi.

The two eagle-shaped totems in Kashatagh – the symbol of the region – date back to 5000 years B.C. These artifacts are the most ancient evidences of the Armenian origin of the area.

The province was named Kashatagh in the 13th century, when not only Azerbaijanis, but also Caucasian Tatars did not exist. Kurds and Tatars started to settle in Kashatagh in the 18th century. After Artsakh was annexed to Azerbaijan in 1921, the authorities of Soviet Azerbaijan cunningly solved the issue of Kashatagh, as well.

“When the map of the province was being developed in July 1993, the leaders of Soviet Azerbaijan did their best to ensure that Kashatagh with the Lachin corridor appear under Azerbaijani control with an aim of depriving Armenia and Artsakh of a land corridor,” historian Gevorg Melkonyan said.

Kashatagh regained its “Armenianness” on May 18, 1992, when the Armenian self-defense forces entered Lachin. Its liberation was of great strategic significance for Artsakh, actually eliminating the 7-km-long gap between Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Without this the existence of the blockaded region would be impossible.

The liberation of Lachin was as important as that of Shushi. It marked the end of the Shushi-Lachin operation. Gevorg Melkonyan considers that May 18 should be properly celebrated along with the other glorious May victories.

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