The final, yet the most tragic (scale- and approach-wise) deportation of Azerbaijani people from Armenia occurred in 1988-1991. Unlike that of 1948-1953, it coincided with Armenia unfolding its territorial claims to Azerbaijan and was therefore unusually severe. To make matters worse, this time Azerbaijani people were in a completely hopeless situation as the deportation was directly supported by Armenia's administrative and law-enforcement bodies, who maintained the lands Azerbaijanis inhabited had historically belonged to Armenians.
The bulk of Azerbaijani refugees were villagers who were forced to abandon their homelands, grazing lands, fields, and gardens their ancestors had worked at for centuries. Only a small percentage of our nationals was represented by dwellers of small industrial towns and Yerevan (Irevan) itself.
The Azerbaijani people had a good command of Armenian language and used it as fluently as their own mother tongue, Azerbaijani. And still Armenians would not let them forget that they are aliens, the 'Turks'.
Once the deportation started, Azerbaijani delegations from different regions of Armenia and thousands of individuals filed complaints to the highest echelons of power, to the party leaders and the government, signaling their concern over violent incidents against them and pleading to stop the lawlessness.
Insulted and humiliated, people who lost their loved ones and home still craved for justice rather than retribution. But their pleas were left unanswered. According to the Azerbaijan SSR Council of Ministers, there were over 78 thousand refugees from Armenia in the republic as of 2 December 1988 
. The 1989 All-Union census reported 84,860 Azerbaijanis still residing in the Armenian SSR, who were forced to leave it by 1990 
Accommodated in temporary resettlement facilities, refugees were then dispatched to final settlement locations. With Azerbaijanis driven out of Armenia, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict gained traction.
As the USSR Constitution was grossly violated, the Soviet leadership kept making their decisions on the premises that order could be restored by disciplining individual managers, ministers, or law enforcement officers, yet this clearly political process had already acquired a power of erupting volcano 
. The content of decisions made in Moscow was a bright evidence of the central power having always stuck to the approach whereby both aggrieved parties bore equal responsibility in any critical situation, no matter who had triggered it and where first streams of refugees had come from.
Failing to realize or assess humanitarian and political ramifications of the tragedy, the leadership in Moscow could not comprehend that it would eventually propagate to all localities where Armenians and Azerbaijanis lived side by side. Whatever the Soviet leadership's intention was, the ambiguous nature of their political and management efforts combined with assigning equal responsibility to parties was the main reason why the process spiraled out of control, causing increasingly heated debates between the conflicting parties and distrust in central government on the both sides.
From 1988 on, the refugee issue for long years became an inherent factor of political and social life in Azerbaijan.