SHUSHI, Artsakh (A.W.)—Ceremonies and celebrations took place in Artsakh on May 9, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Artsakh Defense Army, the Liberation of Shushi, and Victory Day.
On May 9, the festivities began with a visit to the Stepanakert Memorial Complex by the Artsakh leadership, an official delegation from Armenia, and the people of Artsakh. There, the Presidents of Artsakh and Armenia—Bako Sahakyan and Serge Sarkisian—paid tribute the memory of the fallen heroes of the Artsakh Liberation Movement.
Armenian President Sarkisian then visited Shushi and laid flowers at the Tank memorial and the statue of Vazgen Sargsyan. The president was also present at the concert held at Vazgen Sargsyan Square and observed the city’s arts and crafts exhibition.
In his Victory Day address, President Sarkisian stressed the importance of May 9 for the Armenian people. “The liberation of Shushi saved not only Stepanakert but also the entire people of Artsakh from physical annihilation,” read his address. “This epic deed of the Armenian warriors and its compound historic significance are so overarching that they are still being studied and analyzed by researchers.”
Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan, in his congratulatory address, called the Artsakh Liberation War one of the greatest victories in Armenian history. Sahakyan honored those who were martyrs in the war and also praised those who are currently defending the frontlines.
Meanwhile His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan also took part in the day’s festivities and attended the celebration at Victory Park.
A military parade dedicated to Victory Day was also held in Stepanakert, during which weapons and artillery were displayed to the public.