Author: Seymur Kazımov

Both during the Second Karabakh War and after the November 10 Azerbaijan-Armenia-Russia trilateral statement, the questions like “Why didn’t the Azerbaijani army launch a counter-offensive in Agdam direction?” were raised. In one of our articles we shared my approach to this issue. The same question can be answered in this article. A member of the Pressklub.az, who visited the Yusifjanli village of Agdam after 30-year conflict, writes about the military-strategic importance of this area. 

The position of the Armenian armed forces in Yusifjanli allowed to control Hindarkh settlement of Agjabadi region and villages of Agdam region that were not occupied before the war. In the village there are many observation posts, trenches of the Armenian armed forces and ground shafts – shields, built to prevent a possible attack by Azerbaijan. As in other villages, houses were destroyed here. The ruins are covered with green grass, but in some places the remains of the walls were visible. The trenches are seen from afar. The village has not been completely cleared of mines.

 

The only unharmed building on the plain was a place where Armenian soldiers kept weapons during the war. Military uniforms and food containers were thrown inside. Various inscriptions are drawn on the walls. Most of them are in Russian: “The 9th Division was here”, “Martuni ASALA was here”…

Yet, compared to Marzili, the defense system established in Yusifjanli is not so complicated and “rich”. There are reasons for this: Yusifjanli was considered the “first echelon” of defense. Armenian soldiers were assuming that the Azerbaijani side would attack from the direction of the villages of Afatli in Agdam and Giyameddinli in Agjabadi. Yusifjanli is located higher than both villages. After repelling the first attack here, they could retreat to Garakand (Khojavend region) on the border with the village of Marzili in Agdam and gain a foothold in the mountains. From the command post in the village of Marzili, it was easy to observe the entire route of the Azerbaijani army.

Yet, the Azerbaijani army carried out a counter-offensive in a different direction. According to the November 10 statement, the territories above were returned to Azerbaijan without a fight after the cessation of hostilities.

The village cemetery is especially distinguished by its strategic position. This cemetery has long been considered a “neutral zone”. Trenches dug between the graves are found. The graves were left in the 90s, as there were posts on both sides facing the cemetery. After a while, the Azerbaijani army moved its posts further, and these trenches were dug at that time. The distance from the trenches of the opposite side was only 70-100 meters. Although there have been some changes in the positions of the parties over the years, the cemetery has always remained a “neutral zone”. The area is still in danger of being mined.

Yusifjanli cemetery in the distance

Yusifjanli village was occupied on April 12, 1994. The occupation lasted until November 20, 2020.