On this day, in the year 1992, humanity witnessed one of its darkest episodes – ‘another’ dark episode in the eyes of many, who fail to recognize the magnitude of tragedy involved in the ending of human life. Trapped in the midst of the Nagorno-Karabakh wars, hundreds of Azerbaijani civilians were spotted by the enemy Armenian troops while trying to flee the city of Khojali (after its being shelled and an unascertained number of civilians being killed or maimed). They were shot point blank in cold blood. The 366th Motor Rifle Regiment of the Russian troops joined in this crime, though apparently not acting on the orders of the command.
In the brutality of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, hundreds of men, women, elderly persons and children of all ages were killed and their bodies mutilated, and an additional hundreds (mostly women and children) froze to death in the mountains; while two sides warred for their own selfish, petty needs, who further tried to use the hundreds of human lives as an additional weapon to further their personal destructive agendas. The Azerbaijani officials (according to some reports) refused to evacuate the civilians from the city because it would speed up its capture by the enemy; several members of the Azerbaijani forces tried to hide among the fleeing civilians and took the opportunity to shoot at the Armenian forces; while the Armenian and Russian army men, though claiming to have provided a free corridor for the exit of civilians, brutally and cruelly shot at the civilians, including women and children, from a close distance.
Later on, both the sides tried to use the said human lives to further their political goals, with both the sides playing the blame game and making political use of the pictures and footages of the massacred people; while also blaming each other for using false pictures with the aim of drawing false sympathies.
And thus claimed the Khojali massacres at least 200 human lives according to human Rights Watch and 600 according to other reports. And with the end of the hundreds of human lives, ended several hundred stories of mutual love and care, years and decades of bittersweet struggles of life pursued together as loving families, and uncountable dreams and hopes and aspirations. In the backgrounds of an evil story of the hegemonic struggle for more power and control, hundreds of human lives were terminated, and then even played upon, used as a propaganda tool, and made extensive political use of. The debates revolve around who perpetrated the crime and for which evil goal; while the loss of lives and the cruel spilling of blood is reduced to a matter of conflicting stats. And the war continues, and each side tries to further capitalise the gory incidents, and innocent civilians continue to be victimised in struggles that mean nothing to them and give them nothing but loss and destruction.
Wars fought for the lust of power deprive hundreds of thousands of innocents of the basic needs of life as well as life itself, and the announced as well as the hidden goals remain mere propaganda, and the only losers are the majority of newly budding lives as well as the nobler human values. Modern warfare makes it even deadlier, with the face-to-face, army-to-army battles of the past being replaced with heavy shelling and indiscriminate firing on civilian targets. And wars go on, with the adoption of the latest technologies assuring the greatest destruction. And civilisation goes on; while the blood of hundreds fails to draw its attention to its non-washable stains and permanent scars; while humanity fails to feel for a part of its own; while nobler values are reduced to golden words, and human rights are reduced to political rhetoric; while technological advancements and the ease they bring very conveniently blurs the gradually but steadily worsening humanistic scene.