By Ruslan Rehimov
BAKU (AA) – Azerbaijan on Friday marked the 28th anniversary of its independence from the U.S.S.R.
Azerbaijan first declared independence from the Russian Tsar under the chairmanship of Mehmet Emin Resulzade on May 28, 1918, but was occupied by the Soviet Union after a short period of two years.
In 1991, Azerbaijan re-established its status as an independent state on Oct. 18.
Despite decades under Soviet rule, Azerbaijanis never forgot their heritage as the first democratic republic of the East, which granted equal rights to all citizens regardless of race, religion, sect and gender.
The Soviet Army’s massacre on Jan. 20, 1990 in Baku and other provinces completely shook Azerbaijanis' confidence in the U.S.S.R., accelerating the process leading to the country's independence.
On Aug. 30, 1991, the Azerbaijani parliament, Ali Soveti (Supreme Council), adopted the Declaration on the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The constitutional act on the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan was approved and adopted by the Supreme Council on Oct. 18, 1991.
On Dec. 29, 1991, independence was affirmed by a nationwide referendum when the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist.
Oct. 18 has been celebrated as an independence day since 1992.
*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak