Map of Baku pogroms, January 1990 prepared by Irina Mosesova.
Courtesy of KarabakhRecords.Info

The map, where crosses indicate instances of attacks on ethnic Armenians and their homes, was prepared in the 1990s by journalist Irina Mosesova (1933-2008) and published in her book “Armenians of Baku: Life and Exile” (Yerevan, Hayastan, 1998).

The crosses are concentrated in previously Armenian-populated parts of the city, including Armenikend, Zavokzalnaya, Montino, Khutor and Chernyi Gorod, and suburbs such as Kirov and Razin, where prior to the conflict Armenians comprised about one-fifth of the population. In addition to the locations indicated, ethnic Armenians were also attacked at the train station, the port and the airport, as they attempted to flee Baku by whatever means available.

Herself a survivor of the pogroms, Mosesova was from а long-established Baku family. In the late 19th-early 20th century, her grandfather Pyotr Kalantarov managed oil magnate Alexander Mantashev’s businesses and helped build the Surb Grigor Lusavorich church of Baku. Mosesova’s mother Anna Ponomarenko was the official in charge of textile industry of Soviet Azerbaijan.

Mosesova’s research was based on her experience as a journalist working in Azerbaijan through the 1980s and hundreds of interviews with eyewitnesses of 1988-90 violence. The anti-Armenian attacks in Baku intensified from January 13, 1990 and continued until the night of January 20, when Soviet military forces imposed martial law, which resulted in additional loss of civilian lives.

As of the late 1980s, Baku and its environs had a population of over 200,000 Armenians, one of the largest communities outside Armenia. In 1988-89, following anti-Armenian violence in nearby Sumgait and in Baku itself, the majority of Armenians were forced to move to other parts of USSR. After January 1990, only a few hundred remained, most of them women from inter-ethnic marriages and living under non-Armenian identities.

The nearly total expulsion of Armenians from Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis from Armenia, which preceded the full-scale war in Karabakh, made prospects for a peaceful compromise in the conflict all the more difficult.