Glory to its liberators, to those who made it a fertile hearth and gave it blood of life, and to its defenders!
Even for thirty years we were unable to preserve her—presidents and premiers, ministers and generals, officials both native and from the diaspora.
How arrogant and megalomaniac, greedy and gluttonous, myopic and self-taken were we, the unworthy standard-bearers, entrusted with the responsibility for national rights and state interest.
Yes, our brilliant golden boys in uniform sacrificed everything, their very lives, in unequal battle. In the name of their martyrdom, as well as on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the liberation of the eastern fortress city of Armenian civilization, it is imperative that we record the following:
a. Shushi is our Homeland, it is eternal, and sooner or later she will return, but first we need to overcome ourselves and recorrect course.
b. All criminals, military and civilian, and first of all the commander-in-chief acting at that time should personally be held criminally accountable for Shushi's surrender and all the preventable victims.
c. The Republic of Artsakh, together with Shushi, Hadrut, Shahumyan and the rest, had already exercised its right to self-determination in 1991 and became a sovereign state in accordance with controlling Soviet legislation and the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933). It had, and cannot have, anything to do with the absurd references the above-mentioned alleged perpetrator has made to the Madrid Principles, the Alma-Ata Declaration, and/or other, albeit highly flawed documents, which were just the working formulations of all the successive transitional governments of the Republic of Armenia.
d. While the culprits of Shushi’s handover must meet with the punitive severity of Armenian national justice, their enemy-ally counterpart (the trial must determine this), led by the dictator of Azerbaijan, should face the international criminal court for war crimes and many documented crimes against humanity.
e. A real, meaningful, and enduring peace treaty is ruled out as long as these two incumbent rulers reign. They, one by one or simultaneously, should be deprived of power and tried, receiving the punishment they deserve according to the letter of the law.
We shall not allow them to destroy, from inside and out, Shushi, Masis, Aragats and our other sanctities—as a source of boundless and united will and commitment, as a priceless birthright of our Heritage, as the state entire.
We must stop this insane national abdication underway by one evil hand. Now and together.
Raffi K. Hovannisian
May 9, 2023