Thomas Goltz: The Godfather of the Legend of the “Khojaly Genocide”
Thomas Goltz: The Godfather of the Legend of the “Khojaly Genocide” –
By Vahram Atanesyan – Translated by Vartan Matiossian
Thomas Goltz. Born in Japan. Graduate of New York University, majoring in Near Eastern issues. He has been a journalist for fifteen years in Turkey and then in the former Soviet republics. He is the author of three books: “Azerbaijan Diary,” “Chechnya Diary,” “Georgia Diary.” He cooperates closely with Azerbaijani organizations of the U.S. and Canada (see http://ru.wikipedia.org)
Of seven bodies seen here today [February 27? V.A.], two were children and three were women, one shot through the chest at what appeared to be close range. Another 120 refugees being treated at Agdam’s hospital include many with multiple stab [? V.A.] wounds.
The Armenians who attacked Khojaly Tuesday night were shooting, shooting, shooting,” said Raisa Aslanova [we will refer to this name again. V. A.], who reached Agdam Wednesday night. She said her husband and a son-in-law were killed and her daughter was missing.
Among the refugees who fled here [Agdam. V.A.] over the mountains of Nagorno Karabagh [? V.A.] were two Turkmen soldiers from former Soviet Interior Ministry forces who had taken refuge in Khojaly after deserting from their unit last Friday because, they said, Armenian non-commissioned officers had beaten them “from being Muslims.”
The two deserters claimed their former unit, the 366th Division [? V.A.], was supporting the Armenian militiamen who captured Khojaly. They said they tried to help women and children [from Khojaly. V.A.] escape. “We were bringing а group through the mountains when the Armenians found us and opened fire,” said Agamehmet Mutif, оnе of the deserters. “Twelve [of that group? V.A.] were killed.”
It was necessary to use trustworthy means of communication to publish an article on the events of Khojaly in The Washington Post on that day, bearing in mind that in 1992 there was no electronic communication in Azerbaijan. It is also impossible that Goltz could have created telephone communication between Agdam and Washington. One must assume that he sent the material to Washington from Baku, where two countries had diplomatic representation at that moment: Iran and Turkey. It is likely that Thomas Goltz used the means of communication of the embassy of Turkey to send the first “hot” news to Washington. 
The weirdest thing is that no corpse of an inhabitant of Khojaly could be in Agdam on that day. The fact is that the first corpses reached Agdam by helicopter on February 28. Therefore, the story of “of seven bodies seen here today, two were children and three were women, one shot through the chest at what appeared to be close range” is pure invention. We repeat: the bodies of the dead were transported to Agdam later than Goltz wrote about them in The Washington Post as an “eyewitness.”
The charge of the “journalist” to the government of Azerbaijan in the piece of February 27 is very evident: “[F]ears Azerbaijanis would turn against it if they knew how many had been killed.” If his issue was just to make the American public aware of the events of Khojaly, why did he need to go deep inside the possible confrontation between government and people, particularly when he cites “an official from Baku”?
On March 1, the Sunday Times had already printed the following from Goltz’s pen:
One bоу who arrived in Agdam had an ear sliced off.
Тhе survivors said 2000 others, some of whom had fled separately, were still missing in the gruelling terrain; manу could perish from their wounds or the cold.
Ву late yesterday [February 28? V.A.], 479 deaths had been registered at the morgue in Agdam’s morgue, and 29 bodies had been buried in the cemetery. Of the seven corpses I saw awaiting burial, two were children and three were women, one shot through the chest at point blank range.
Agdam hospital was а scene of carnage and terror. Doctors said they had 140 patients who escaped slaughter, most with bullet injuries or deep stab wounds.
Nor were they safe in Agdam. Оn Friday night rockets fell оn the city which has а population of 150,000 [V.A.?], destroying several buildings and killing one person.” 
What was Goltz’s role? The answer comes from his Azerbaijan Diary. On March 5 we “see” him in the hall of the extraordinary session of the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan. The dialogue between Goltz and Elman Mahmedov, the mayor of Khojaly, is characteristic; when the “journalist” asks why he is worried, Mahmedov answers: “The film. They won’t show the film.” He referred to the footage ascribed to Jengiz Mustafayev, which was going to be shown as “exhibit” for Mutalibov’s resignation. It was shown on the same day, March 5, 1992.
Afterwards, we “meet” Goltz on May 14 of the same year, among the militants of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan attacking Mutalibov’s residence, together with the “press attache” of the embassy of Turkey in Baku. The remark of February 27, “his government fears Azerbaijanis would turn against it if they knew how many had been killed,” was not the prelude to that change of government? Was not the role of “international messenger” reserved to Goltz?
This is the Azerbaijani society’s problem. We have simply tried to prove, on the basis of proofs, that the information disseminated by Thomas Goltz on Khojaly has not even the slightest connection to reality.
 Azerbaijani website in Russian.
 Thomas Goltz, “Armenian Soldiers Massacre Hundreds of Fleeing Families,” Sunday Times, March 1, 1992.