Social Studies

Chingiz Mustafayev

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Chingiz Mustafayev was born on 29 August 1960 into a family of a military officer in the Astrakhan region of the huge country called the USSR. Chingiz’s family moved to Baku when he was 4 years old. He graduated from Azerbaijan Medical University in 1983 and started his medical career in Devechi, now known as Shabran, in the north of Azerbaijan.

Chingiz’s rise to fame was not at all connected to being a doctor. Chingiz took up journalism, which was the passion of his short, but glorious life.

Chingiz started his career in journalism as a concerned citizen, when he filmed the cruel execution of civilians in Baku by Soviet troops on the night of 19th-20th January in 1990. As the armed conflict started in Nagorno-Karabakh, Chingiz dedicated himself fully to military journalism. In October of 1991, Azerbaijan State Television hired him as a combat correspondent. It did not take long for the charismatic newbie to conquer the hearts of the audience. Chingiz Mustafayev’s stories and broadcasts were some of the most credible sources of information for the ordinary people, who were eager to find out what happened to their family and friends in the regions of Azerbaijan in the war zones. They were hungry to know the truth of what was going on at the frontline. Chingiz traveled to combat zones along with his small team and was able to broadcast valuable stories about the real situation on the ground. He risked his life to capture the war even during intense fights. The video and photo footage he produced told the real story of the conflict and showed the cruelty of Armenian troops towards civilians living in the Azerbaijani regions and villages. Chingiz helped overcome the information blockade and prevent the inflow of biased media coverage by the controlled mass media. He dedicated his life to bring the truth about what was going on at the front line in Azerbaijani-Armenian armed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in early 1990th.

Probably Chingiz’s most distinguished production in his short career as a combat journalist was his video plot about Khojaly. Despite Armenians’ violent shootings, he managed to reach the spot of bombardments on a helicopter twice with a group of journalists and filmed the aftermath of the Khojaly genocide. He managed to shoot footage of hundreds of bodies scattered around on the snowy fields of Khojaly.

On 15 June 1992, Chingiz Mustafayev was severely wounded by a landmine, while he was trying to film the Azerbaijani Army advance during the fierce battles in the Nakhchivanly village in Nagorno-Karabakh. Despite his sad demise, his camera continued to film and it was able to record his martyrdom.

On 6 November 1992, the President of Azerbaijan issued an order to posthumously award the title of the National Hero of Azerbaijan to Chingiz Fuad oghlu Mustafayev. There is a bas-relief to Chingiz Mustafayev with a camera on his shoulder, on the wall of the house where he lived in Baku. It portrays his patriotism to his country.  His body rests at the Alley of Honors in Baku.

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