On January 19, Sumgayit State University hosted an online scientificpractical conference "The beginning of the road to independence - January 20, 1990" dedicated to the 31st anniversary of the tragedy of January 20, 1990, which entered the history of the struggle for freedom and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan as a heroic page. First, the memory of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the independence and territorial integrity of the Motherland was commemorated with a minute of silence. The conference was opened by the rector of the university, Professor Elkhan Huseynov, who spoke about the history of the tragedy. He noted that the twentieth century entered the history of the Azerbaijani people with the bloodiest events, tragedies, unprecedented genocides, as well as the struggle for independence and freedom, courage and heroism, national awakening and self-awareness. “January 20, engraved in our blood memory as a great tragedy and heroism, was a day that introduced our determination to independence and our national identity to the world. Bloody January paved the way for the further rise of the national liberation movement and, as a result, for Azerbaijan to regain its independence. Our people, who have been living with the desire to restore national freedom for many years, have proved what they are capable of. History has shown once again that it is impossible to intimidate, silence and stop our people, who live the traditions of statehood, in the struggle for independence. This date is the beginning of the declaration to the world of the irresistible desire for freedom, which is strengthened by our national ideology on the path to Azerbaijan's independence. The capture of civilians fighting for national freedom and territorial integrity, the killing and wounding of hundreds of innocent people as a result of mass terror, once again demonstrated its criminal nature to the world on the eve of the collapse of the totalitarian Soviet regime. It was the Great Leader Heydar Aliyev who raised the first voice of protest against this tragedy and conveyed it to the world community. One day after the January 20 tragedy, National Leader Heydar Aliyev's visit to the Azerbaijani embassy in Moscow to share the grief of our people and expose the bloody action of the Red regime in our country was a support and consolation for our people at that time. The people felt helpless in those difficult days.” The rector also stressed that as a result of the struggle of the Azerbaijani people over the past thirty years, it was formed and modernized, experienced many tragedies and bloody events, gave martyrs. “Throughout history, the people of Azerbaijan have always been a supporter of peace. But patience also has its limits. Armenia's violation of the peace process, its frequent provocations on the line of contact and its firing on the civilian population left Azerbaijan with no choice but to resort to war. The day of the liberation of Shusha was determined by our President as the Day of Victory in our history. According to a joint statement signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and the Prime Minister of Armenia, Kalbajar, Agdam and Lachin regions were liberated without bloodshed. Under the Supreme Command of our President, our army alone liberated Karabakh by implementing 4 unfulfilled UN Security Council resolutions! Thus, the Patriotic War ended on November 10 with a historic victory. The people of Azerbaijan, who honored their history with this great victory, demonstrated to the whole world their strength and determination to fight for their rights. With this victory, we ended the 30-year occupation of Armenia and removed the mark of defeat. By liberating our lands, we have been re-recognized all over the world, and this time as a victorious state, a victorious people ... Yes, we can proudly say that today we are citizens of a victorious country. Every citizen of Azerbaijan is happy to witness this historic victory. Therefore, we are indebted to the victorious Azerbaijani Army, led by President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, who brought this happiness and joy of historical victory to our people. The visit of the President of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev to Shusha on January 15 was greeted with great joy, and pride among the country's public as previous visits. The revival of the regional cultural center under the leadership of the President, the return to Shusha of the busts of our geniuses - Khurshidbanu Natavan, Uzeyir Hajibeyli and Bulbul, that were shot by the enemy and kept in the yard of the Art Museum in Baku for many years, was another confirmation of historical justice”. Then Professor Shirkhan Salimov, head of the Department of History of the Peoples of Azerbaijan and Eastern Europe, speaking on "The beginning of the path to independence - January 20, 1990", said that on the night of the 19th January 1990, our patriots, who valued the freedom, honor and dignity of the Azerbaijani people above all else, once again proved the struggle, inflexibility, pride and intolerance of betrayals of the Azerbaijani people by turning their chests against Soviet tanks. Afterwards dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management, Associate Professor Aynura Yahyayeva spoke on "The Karabakh War: a great victory, national unity." She noted that today it is a matter of pride to act as a citizen of a victorious country. What a happy person we are to witness these days when the glorious history of Azerbaijan was written. Karabakh is a delicate thread of human feelings of every Azerbaijani, a sacred land that every Azerbaijani considers as valuable as honor and zeal, the grief and longing of every Azerbaijani family, and finally the cause of both joy and tears of love and tears of every Azerbaijani. It was these feelings that put an end to 30 years of occupation and longing with the 44- day Great Patriotic War. A new era is beginning for Azerbaijan, both politically and economically. After that, Azerbaijan will only develop. Nemat Ibayev, the chairman of SSU STUC, spoke on "Ilham Aliyev stage of patriotic education of Azerbaijani youth" and spoke about the role of the events of January 20 in the history of Azerbaijan and the struggle of our people for freedom and independence on January 20. He stressed that the Alley of Martyrs has become a sacred oath for our people, a glorious chronicle of our national will, and said that our sons and daughters who died for our state independence in this tragedy have always been an example for young people. He noted that the great patriotism of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva for the progress of our country, the steady rise of our country's prestige in the international arena, the liberation of occupied Karabakh for nearly 30 years is an example of great patriotism for each of our young people. In the end Aynur Aliyeva, a student of the Faculty of Philology performed poet Baba Veziroglu's poem "Azerbaijan" dedicated to the Second Karabakh War.