Answer of Heydar Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the questions of the journalists in connection with the fifth anniversary of the bloody tragedy on 20th of January - January 20, 1995

Question: - Mr. President, only national consciences moved the armless people to face the tanks. After five years, the people in reply to your challenge fearlessly rose to face the danger, isn't the development of the national consciousness?

Answer: - Of course, undoubtedly. As I said two days ago in my meeting with the intelligentsia that the national feelings of these people have developed, it began to rise since 80s gradually. The growth of the national consciousness, desire for freedom is closely connected with the January events. These feelings awoke people, the masses rose for the defence of their national rights, republic, and motherland. The people rebelled, held meetings against the ignorance of former administration of Azerbaijan, ruling circles, officials, and institutions.

The former Soviet Union appealed to military and political aggression, and as a result our nation incurred victims. It grieves us. But at the same time these victims are symbols of the rise of the national spirits, consciousness. The period which followed was complicated and difficult, reactionans forces fired to suffocate Azerbaijan, nevertheless the national consciousness continued its development. The aggressors were powerless, the national consciousness was strong, and it as a result the nation responded to my challenge at once last October 4.

Surely, you have observed that the processes of 1988 began spontaneously people held meetings, united the demonstrations and protests turned against the authorities. On October 4 this national consciousness became connected with the policy of the government, therefore the people rose by the challenge of the state.

The same people came for the defence of the state on October 4, at 1994, but once they had gathered in front of the presidential palace expressing their hate against the state, authorities, leaders at night on January 20, or on the eve of 20 January.