Society 19:20 29/10/2013

Vadim Gomoz: At presentation of his book Kuznetsov admits being pro-Azerbaijani bias thus devaluating the book had an exclusive interview with Vadim Gomoz, the editor of "Wikipedia".

- You've been at the presentation of Oleg Kuznetsov’s book in Moscow, "Truth about the "myths" of Karabakh conflict", which was initially considered as a response to the book of candidate of historical sciences Stanislav Tarasov called "Myths about Karabakh conflict." However, you publicly unveiled a lot of historical inaccuracies and fact juggling in the content of the book concerning the history of the Armenian people. Tell us more about it.

- The story of this book revealed an interesting problem. As far as I understood from the presentation most of the work was actually carried out by Azerbaijani historian Eldar Abbasov who spoke at the presentation. He, having investigated the archival documents, demonstrates incapacity of allegations of Stanislav Tarasov. According to Abbasov, a selective quoting and document reduction has been made during the publication. I am not going to judge who is right and who is wrong, for that I will have to get more familiar with these documents kept in the archives, however I liked Abbasov’s presentation, it was absolutely correct. Among the Azerbaijani representatives he was the only one who spoke to the point, and never made anti-Armenian attacks. Nevertheless, in the end the results of his works have been presented in Kuznetsov’s book, and are openly preceded by anti-Armenian propaganda, with all sorts of absurdities.

- Thus, it means that this product of Azerbaijani propaganda has caused exactly opposite effect?

- Any historian who will read this book will not be able to go on. If the author can allow himself to make racist attacks against Armenians, accompanied with unfounded allegations that contradict to everything we know about the history of the region, then where are the guarantees that by presenting the documents, the author will follow the criteria of scientific scrupulousness? Such passages, on the contrary, a priori persuade the third-party reader in Tarasov’s correctness, who is forced to argue with such opponents and on their background appears to be a pillar of academic correctness and integrity.

- It is known that Kuznetsov claims in his book about Stanislav Tarasov’s pro-Armenian disposition, at the same time he does not shun of cooperation with the Azerbaijani side.

- At some point Kuznetsov stated, "Yes, maybe I am not objective, but I unmasked Tarasov." From my point of view, just on the contrary, he did everything to avoid the opportunity to oppose Tarasov on the merits. Summarizing; they say the smart learns from others' mistakes, stupid - on its own. This case can serve an excellent lesson for all parties of the Karabakh conflict. As soon as the academic study gets surrounded with propaganda hullabaloo, together with xenophobic tinge, the credibility of that study tends to zero.
And this, from my point of view, is the main result of Oleg Kuznetsov’s book presentation.

There are normal researchers in both sides. The problem is in isolating them from aggressively ignorant crowds, because when there are ambassadors, Ph.D.s, distinguished writers all around you, and everyone is trying to dehumanize the opponent, even the mere silence seems to be a courageous deed. And if you try to argue, they may call you a "public enemy."

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