The act of destruction of Anatoly Zinevich’s bust
On January 10, 2023, a series of videos was posted on the Azerbaijani Azərbaycan Ordusu / Ordu. az Facebook page, showcasing heavy snowfall in various regions of Artsakh. One of the videos was filmed on Anatoly Karevich Street in Stepanakert, Artsakh district. In 2014, a bust of Lieutenant General Anatoly Zinevich, former Chief of the General Staff of the Defense Army of the Republic of Artsakh, was unveiled here. (https://artsakhpress.am/arm/news/6852/).
In the 7th second of the Azerbaijani video, the camera captures the location where the bust once stood. Only the remnants of the pedestal are visible (https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=382713347575892). It is evident from the footage that the bust has either been deliberately destroyed or removed.
According to Article 4 of the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, any acts of vandalism, theft, robbery, embezzlement, as well as enmity and revenge against cultural heritage are expressly prohibited. Additionally, as outlined in the first Protocol of the 1954 Hague Convention, it is forbidden to destroy cultural or spiritual values in territories that are under occupation.
The second Protocol of 1999 to the Hague Convention reaffirms this obligation, designating such acts as international crimes under Article 15. The destruction of cultural values is additionally prohibited by the National legislation of August 12, 1949, as well as by various United Nations International Conventions, Treaties, and Human Rights Agreements related to the conduct of warfare.