STEPANAKERT, Artsakh—A public rally and march dedicated to 30th anniversary of Artsakh Liberation Movement took place in Stepanakert on Tuesday, as thousands marched along the capital’s central streets to the Stepanakert Revival Square holding posters and flags.
The first public mass demonstration demanding Artsakh’s reunification with Armenia took place on Feb. 13, 1988 in Stepanakert. The demonstration is traditionally considered the beginning of the Artsakh Liberation Movement.
Archbishop Barkev Martirosian, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, opened the rally with his blessing, after which Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan addressed the crowd, noting that 1988 was a turning point in the history of the Armenian nation.
“The guarantors of [independence] are our powerful army, the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora unshakable trinity; our people carving their country’s secure future on their own; and the patriotic and strong independence generation being forged while defending the Motherland,” Sahakyan noted.
Several leaders of the liberation movement, including Hamlet Grigoryan and Zhanna Galstyan, also addressed the crowd, according to Stepanakert-based Artsakhpress news. Former Artsakh President Arkadi Ghukasyan; Artsakh National Assembly Chairman Ashot Ghulyan; Artsakh State Minister Arayik Harutyunyan; parliamentarians; Artsakh War veterans; and several guests were also present at the event.