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Azerbaijan Diary: A Rogue Reporter's Adventures in an Oil-Rich, War-Torn, Post-Soviet Republic

by Thomas Goltz

Buy the book: Thomas Goltz. Azerbaijan Diary: A Rogue Reporter's Adventures in an Oil-Rich, War-Torn, Post-Soviet Republic

Release Date: 01 May, 1999

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Thomas Goltz. Azerbaijan Diary: A Rogue Reporter's Adventures in an Oil-Rich, War-Torn, Post-Soviet Republic

The best coverage of Karabakh conflict

Twice during the recent years, in 1992 and in 1994, I visited Azerbaijan with a group of other French journalists. All I have heard about this country was the war in Karabakh and oil reserves. I was biased, filled with pro-Armenian information typical to most of the Western media. However, the truth I found, from first hands, eyewitnesses, people who experienced the horrors of that bloody conflict changed my view by 180 degrees. I think the author of this book, Thomas Goltz, underwent the same experience as I did.

In fact, Armenia proved to be the aggressor, Azerbaijan was the victim! The crimes of Armenian military units against Azerbaijani women, children, elderly can not be described in any human language. Dead bodies were mutilated, eyes pierced, ears torn, people were burned alive. I know that because I have seen the pictures and actually visited the sites of these massacres. And I am grateful to Thomas Goltz that he made sure the world knows about the truth. Particularly, the chapter of the book concerning Khodjali massacre deserve a special recognition.

Who were those Armenian militants, what did they want?

They were so-called "freedom fighters", their desire was to create "Great Armenia", "Black Sea to Caspian", "to clean Caucasus from Azeri Turks' (i.e. Azerbaijanis). They were armed by Russian weapons and ideological fiction of Armenian "historians" which completely ignored the facts and rewrote the entire history of the region. Their idea was about the "supreme", "most ancient" Armenian nation which has a "historical right" to take back "its lands", by killing, raping destroying everybody on its way. And that is how the Karabakh war started.

Ironically, this ancient Azerbaijani land now invaded by Armenian military was the home for most of Azerbaijani poets, writers, musicians. There is no credible record in the history that Karabakh ever belonged to Armenia. Even the ancient churches in there were built by Caucasian Albanians, the Christian ancestors of modern Muslim Azerbaijanis. The first Armenians moved there only 150 years ago, supported by Russian Empire.

Anyway, it is sad that Thomas Goltz is one of the few reporters who had enough courage to write the truth about this region. The conflict is still not finished, and Azerbaijan is still subject to illegal Armenian occupation on the verge of 21st century. The country with huge oil reserves and strategic interests of the West is also a constant subject of Russian political-economical attack. Unfortunately, century long propaganda machine of Armenia managed to mislead the world and hide the crimes committed against Azerbaijani population of Karabakh and other lands invaded by Armenians.


Amazingly accurate book

Finally, a writer who is not afraid to tell the truth. If you listen to all the pro-Armenian propoganda, you would think that all Azeris are monsters. The book does an excellent job in exposing the real truth behind the conflict. It shows you the real horror, aggression, unbelievable violence Azeris had to go through. The chapters brought me to tears and made me remember all the horrors I saw and experienced first hand. The images of little children lying lifeless, old people burned to death with fingers cut up are just some of the things I have to live with my whole life. Years have passed but I still haven't recovered from all the horror and cruelty I saw back when I was a child. If just one person can learn the real truth from reading this book, I'll know my struggles were not in vain. God bless the United States and God bless Azerbaijan. My heart goes out to all who suffered.

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Nizhniy Novgorod

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