President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has made an appeal to the people of Azerbaijan.
Appeal of President Ilham Aliyev to the people
– Armenian armed forced fired on our settlements, as well as our military positions, from several directions this morning, using various types of weaponry, including heavy artillery.
As a result of the enemy fire, there are casualties among the civilian population and our servicemen. Some people have been wounded. May God rest our martyrs in peace! Their blood will not remain unavenged. The Azerbaijani Army is currently firing on the enemy’s military positions, and as a result of these strikes, many units of the enemy’s military equipment have been destroyed. This is another manifestation of Armenian fascism.
Armenia’s military provocations against Azerbaijan have become regular of late. In July, our servicemen and a civilian were killed as a result of artillery fire in the direction of Tovuz on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. It is no secret that the first fire, including artillery fire, was opened by Armenia, and the first victims were Azerbaijani servicemen. Azerbaijan gave a fitting rebuff to the enemy and they could not move an inch forward. The enemy was stopped and the territorial integrity of our country was protected. As a result of the crushing blows, the Armenian side was forced to accept a bitter defeat. I have said this and I want to say again that if we had wanted, we could have conducted military battles on the territory of Armenia. However, we do not have military targets in Armenia, and this being the case, a ceasefire was introduced a few days later.
What objectives did Armenia pursue by committing this provocation? First of all, Armenia plans to occupy Azerbaijani lands and does not conceal that. Their military-political leadership tried to threaten Azerbaijan with a new occupation, a new policy of occupation for new territories – this is the policy of Armenia’s military-political leadership today. Another reason is to distract the population from the very serious social and economic problems in Armenia and portray Azerbaijan as an enemy. Yet another reason is that Armenia is doing everything possible to disrupt the negotiations, and I can say that it has succeeded in doing that. It is as a result of Armenia’s hypocritical, unconstructive and false policy that the negotiations have actually stopped and this provocation is aimed at these goals. These are the main goals for them.
In July, Azerbaijan gave a fitting response to the enemy, preserved its territorial integrity and once again showed that anyone speaking to Azerbaijan in the language of threats will regret doing that. Unfortunately, this was not a lesson for them. However, after the July provocation, I said that this bitter defeat by Armenia should be a lesson for them.
In August, Armenia launched yet another military provocation. This time a sabotage group was sent to Azerbaijan. The head of the sabotage group was detained by the Azerbaijani military and is currently giving evidence. His statements clearly show that this sabotage group came to Azerbaijan with a plan to commit acts of terror. Another military provocation against the civilian population and our servicemen was committed by Armenia today and, as I said, they have received their punishment this time again and will continue to receive it.
Armenia’s provocations are also reflected in the statements made by the Armenian leadership. A year ago, the Armenian prime minister said in the occupied territories, in Khankandi, that “Karabakh is Armenia, full stop.” First of all, it is a lie, Karabakh is Azerbaijan, and I have repeatedly expressed my views on this issue. Karabakh is Azerbaijan, an exclamation mark! Secondly, this provocative statement was in fact a major blow to the negotiations. If the prime minister of Armenia says that “Karabakh is Armenia”, then what kind of talks can there be?! At the same time, the Armenian leadership has been repeatedly stating for two years that Azerbaijan should negotiate not with Armenia, but with the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh republic”. This is a big blow to the negotiation process. First of all, Azerbaijan will never negotiate with the puppet junta regime. Secondly, attempts to change the format of talks show once again that Armenia’s main goal is to disrupt the talks and maintain the status quo. However, the heads of state of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have repeatedly stated that the status quo is unacceptable, which means that the occupation must end.
Armenia’s provocations against us do not end at that. Recently, the “swearing-in” ceremony of the head of the so-called criminal junta was held in Shusha, an ancient city of our ancient Azerbaijan. Isn’t this a provocation? This is an insult to us. They thought that we would put up with this insult. They are deliberately provoking us and they will see the bitter consequences.
Recently, a decision was made by the so-called parliament of the “Nagorno-Karabakh republic” to settle people in the ancient Azerbaijani city of Shusha. This is another provocation. Recently, the prime minister of Armenia announced that “voluntary” military units would be established, bringing together tens of thousands of people. Why is this necessary? Who will they fight against? This was part of the preparations for today’s provocation against Azerbaijan. I have said several times, including from the UN platform recently, that Armenia is preparing for a new war, and Armenia must and will be stopped.
Armenia is pursuing a policy of illegal settlement in the occupied territories. Several Lebanese Armenian families have recently been resettled to Nagorno-Karabakh, including Shusha, an ancient city in Azerbaijan. This is a war crime. This is completely contrary to the Geneva Convention. Armenia will be held accountable for this crime. This is another provocation against us. Settlement in the occupied territories is a crime, and this policy has been pursued by Armenia for many years. The fact is that the country’s population is declining due to the difficult economic, political and social situation in Armenia. Armenia is experiencing a demographic crisis and does not have the human resources to deploy its people in the occupied territories. That is why they hope for Armenians living abroad. This policy is currently underway. At the same time, according to the accurate information we have, Armenia has carried out illegal settlement in some of our occupied territories. The names of our districts and villages are being changed. The historical heritage of Azerbaijanis is being erased. Our historical monuments are being destroyed. Azerbaijani mosques are being destroyed and desecrated. Armenia keeps cows and pigs in our mosques. This is the greatest insult to the entire Muslim world. The graves of our ancestors are being destroyed by tractors. It is fascists, vandals and savages who have done this.
At the same time, the recent military exercises in the occupied territories should be considered another provocation by Armenia. Because these exercises have one purpose: to attack Azerbaijan, to fire on the civilian population and to occupy new lands! All the facts I have mentioned show again that Armenia and its ugly policies are the source of danger in the region.
Azerbaijan has not resorted to any provocation. Azerbaijan simply defends its interests, supports its position and pursues its policy openly. We have repeatedly stated that Nagorno-Karabakh is historical and ancient land of Azerbaijan, and this is true. When the prime minister of Armenia says that “Karabakh is Armenia”, it is a lie. When I say that “Karabakh is Azerbaijan”, it is true. The whole world recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as an integral part of Azerbaijan. Historical justice is on our side. Because it is our native land, our ancestral land. International law is on our side. All international organizations recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. All countries recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Decisions and resolutions adopted within international organizations explicitly state that Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan. Four UN Security Council resolutions call for an immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories. These resolutions have been on paper for almost 30 years. Negotiations within the Minsk Group have been going on for almost 30 years and, as a result, Armenia has paralyzed the negotiations by regularly committing military provocations. Besides the United Nations, all other leading international organizations support our rightful position. The Non-Aligned Movement is the second largest international institution after the United Nations, and it is currently chaired by Azerbaijan. It has adopted a fair resolution on the conflict. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has adopted fair resolutions. The decisions of the OSCE and the resolutions of the European Parliament support our position. Our position is based on international law and justice. We are fighting on our own land. Today, the Azerbaijani Army is dealing crushing blows to the enemy on Azerbaijani soil. Today, the Azerbaijani Army protects the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan on its territory. What are Armenian soldiers doing in our lands?! What is the Armenian army doing in our lands?! It is no secret that 90 percent of the personnel in the “Nagorno-Karabakh army” are Armenian citizens. Armenia is an occupying state, this occupation must and will end.
We are on the right path! Ours is the cause of justice! We will win! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has addressed the nation.
Nationwide address of President Ilham Aliyev
Dear fellow countrymen!
Today, the city of Jabrayil and nine villages of Jabrayil district have been liberated from occupation. I heartily congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this historic event.
I sincerely congratulate all our soldiers and officers who took an active part in the liberation of Jabrayil District and other occupied territories. As a result of their heroism and courage, our native lands have returned to us today. May Allah rest all our martyrs who died in these bloody battles in peace. May Allah sending healing to our wounded soldiers.
After many years, the city of Jabrayil has been liberated. Jabrayil is ours!
Four years ago, the reconstruction of the village of Jojug Marjanly in Jabrayil district began. The heights liberated as a result of a successful operation allowed the residents the opportunity to return to the village of Jojug Marjanly in Jabrayil district. We have built a beautiful town there. I said at the opening of the settlement that Jojug Marjanly is a symbol of our invincible will. Jojug Marjanly shows that the Azerbaijani people will never put up with the occupation, and our return to other occupied lands began with Jojug Marjanly. I think that the liberation of most of Jabrayil district and the city of Jabrayil today is of special importance.
As you know, Azerbaijan has been fighting to restore its territorial integrity for a week now. On the battlefield, our soldiers and officers show heroism, inflict crushing blows on the enemy, put the enemy in its place, drive the enemy out of our lands at the cost of their lives. This glorious mission will find its worthy place in history.
Today we are writing a new history of our people and state, a glorious history. We are restoring historical justice today because the land of Karabakh is our ancient historical land. The people of Azerbaijan have lived, created and built in these lands for centuries. But for many years, for almost 30 years, Armenian executioners have occupied our lands, destroyed all our historical, religious and cultural sites.
We will restore all our cities. We will restore all our mosques destroyed by the Armenians. Life will return to these places. We have put an end to the attempts of Armenians to change our historical names and falsify history, to erase the historical and cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people. The historical names of our settlements are being restored and they will be restored.
We are fighting on our own lands. Our territorial integrity must be restored and we are on the right path. Our soldiers are saviors because they are liberating their native land from invaders.
Today, the people of Jabrayil, of course, are happy, as indeed are all the people of Azerbaijan. Yesterday, our ancient settlement, the Sugovushan settlement was liberated from occupation. All the people of Azerbaijan celebrated this historic event, congratulated each other and could not hold back their tears. These were the tears of joy. Azerbaijan shed tears in the early 1990s but those were tears of defeat, tears of tragedy.
Today, the people of Azerbaijan are happy. I would like to list the names of the settlements liberated today for the people of Jabrayil and all the people of Azerbaijan. Today, the glorious Azerbaijani Army liberated the following settlements: Jabrayil city, Karkhulu village, Shukurbayli village, Yukhari Maralyan village, Charakan village, Dashkasan village, Horovlu village, Dejal village, Mahmudlu village, Jafarabad village.
I am appealing to the residents of these villages. Your long wait is coming to an end, and let all our other refugees and IDPs know that we will return them to their ancestral lands. By force! We wanted this issue to be resolved through negotiations and we were patient. We have always been fair in the negotiations. We wanted what is ours. We have never set our eyes on anyone else’s lands. But we have always said that they are ours, our people’s, our nation’s, they must return to us, they must return through negotiations. But these talks have, in fact, led to the freezing of the conflict, as was calculated in advance. Can negotiations go on for 30 years?! Is it possible to keep the Azerbaijani people in such a situation for 30 years?! For 30 years, we have lived with hopes that the international community will resolve this issue. Countries and international organizations involved in resolving this issue will have their say. The world’s highest international body, the UN Security Council, will work to implement its resolutions. These resolutions have been on paper for 27 years. For 27 years, we have shown a constructive position, a fair position at all times – in all periods of negotiations. But what did we see in return? The aggressor became even more impudent. The aggressor’s greed grew even more as they set their sights on our ancestral lands. As a result, all the occupied lands were attributed to the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh republic”, new maps were published and all the occupied territories were portrayed as Nagorno-Karabakh. What happened after that? Then they stated that they would not return an inch of the lands to Azerbaijan.
We have been saying that this, after all, is contrary to the subject of negotiations. After all, our main point of hope in the talks was that it was stated that the occupied lands would be gradually returned to Azerbaijan. We also agreed to return them in stages and peacefully. Let five districts be returned at the first stage, two at in the second stage, then let the Azerbaijanis return to Nagorno-Karabakh, return to Shusha, and then let the Azerbaijani and Armenian peoples live together as we once did. This is a fair position. This position is in compliance with all norms of international law. What did we want? We wanted this much, we were and are entitled to that. But what did we see?! We saw that they want to break the will of the Azerbaijani people. We saw that a new war is being waged against us, that we are being threatened with a new war. We saw that in July, for no apparent reason, our city of Tovuz and other settlements came under fire, our servicemen were killed, one civilian was killed. We saw that a sabotage group was sent in August and the head of that sabotage group was neutralized and detained. Now he is testifying and saying that he was sent to commit acts of terror. Is this a commitment to the process of negotiations?! Then, the prime minister of Armenia makes nonsensical statements, falsifies history, tries to deceive his people and the international community. A year ago, he torpedoed the whole process of negotiations by saying that “Karabakh is Armenia, full stop”, making it meaningless. Attempts to change the format of talks, the words that “Azerbaijan must negotiate with the so-called puppet junta” completely contradict the negotiations. Did he get an adequate response? I have repeatedly told Minsk Group co-chairs, the co-chairs’ ambassadors, other international organizations and the European Union to influence Armenia, to impose sanctions and put pressure on it. This can’t be allowed to happen. If there is no strong pressure, Armenia will become even more impudent, even more impertinent and start making new claims. They did not listen to me. I wanted this issue to be resolved peacefully. They did not listen to me. Did they think that the Azerbaijani people and I, the President of Azerbaijan, would put up with this situation?! They thought that our holy city of Shusha would be trampled by the Armenians and I would put up with that?! Are we supposed to negotiate with the Armenian executioners who have dealt a blow to the history of the Azerbaijani people? The people of Azerbaijan were insulted when the head of the so-called regime held a “swearing-in ceremony” in Shusha. Let’s see now where he will hold the swearing-in ceremony now, a funeral ceremony will be held! He has now run away and went into hiding like a mouse. Come on out! The prime minister of Armenia dances in Shusha, on the Jidir plain, and thinks that we will put up with that?! They are wrong! We will never put up with that. What does it mean to move the parliament of the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh republic” to Shusha?! Again, it is an attempt to insult the Azerbaijani people. What does it mean to build a new road from Armenia to Jabrayil?! This means that there will be illegal settlement. Armenians are already being brought from Lebanon and other places, and being resettled in our ancient city Shusha, and this is shown on television in violation of international conventions, in violation of the Geneva Convention. Does anyone say a word to them?! I have asked all our foreign diplomatic missions to raise the issue, tell the UN, the OSCE, the European Union, other organizations that it is illegal! Illegal settlement is a crime! Was there a reaction to that?! Did the Minsk Group make a statement?! It did not! Did the European Union make one?! It did not! They said that we are not interested in that. If they are not interested, then don’t be interested now. Why are you raising a hue and cry now then? What are these tricks for? There are slandering against Azerbaijan. Some countries, European countries are accusing us. Let them go and look in the mirror. These accusations have no basis. Someone says that they will not allow Azerbaijan to conquer Nagorno-Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is ours, it is our land, we must return there, we are returning there and we will return there!
Therefore, the first culprit in the current situation is the Armenian leadership. At the same time, there are circles of some countries that are indifferent to this issue, always support Armenia and want to perpetuate this occupation. Azerbaijan is resolving this issue on its own, and I told Armenia before the events of 27 September – let’s fight one on one. Let’s see who is who! So what happened? Pashinyan calls one world leader a day. Every day! I did not call anyone. I did not call any world leader. I had contacts and they called me. There is no world leader left who he would not call, beg, send an emissary, implore and kneel to. This is the end of it. If he had spoken to us in a normal language, if he had not desecrated our holy city, of course, we would live with the hope that this issue would be resolved through negotiations. But every step was a provocation, every step was an insult, and he thinks that we will put up with that?! Now we have shown who is who. We are driving them away like dogs! Azerbaijani soldiers drive them away like dogs! The Azerbaijani flag is being raised in the occupied territories! Azerbaijani soldiers are standing in their trenches! Their posts are in our hands! We are driving their tanks! Their other weapons are in our hands, their trucks are in our hands! We are fulfilling our mission of salvation and we will complete it!
Let the Armenian leadership think carefully before it is too late. He put forward seven conditions to us. Who are you to put forward condition to us?! Let’s see what your conditions are now! You fall to your knees begging for a ceasefire. The ceasefire was restored for two years at the request of the Armenian prime minister. He told me that the situation inside was difficult, that he was being squeezed here and there, asked for some time to solve this problem because he had some new ideas. He said he had drawn a line through everything that happened in the past, asked for a chance, for some time. I said OK. But what happened then? A year later, he said that “Karabakh is Armenia”. Let him say that “Karabakh is Armenia” now. The calls I have been receiving and the conversations I have been having during the calls are, of course, confidential, and in some cases they are asking me what our condition is. My condition is the same – to leave our lands, to leave them, to stop the confrontation. Not in word but in deed. Let him say that he recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, as stated in the fundamental principles. Let him say that he will withdraw his troops from the occupied territories, as stated in the fundamental principles. Let him say that he apologizes to the Azerbaijani people and say that Karabakh is not Armenia. The last condition is to give us a schedule for a withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories. Then, of course, we will restore the ceasefire. But it is difficult to do it now when fierce battles underway. Because if we stop, they will not stop. But at least it would be possible to work on that. But requests to stop and give them some time… Why should we give them time? Give them time to gather strength? Give them time to attack us again? Do they really think we are so naive? Give them time to come to the talks… I said what I needed, and this is all.
Today, the liberation of Jabrayil from occupation should be a lesson to Armenia and its benefactors. I said before the events. He committed a provocation there, we taught him a lesson, but it wasn’t learned. He committed a provocation here, we taught him another lesson, but it wasn’t learned either. Finally, this time he committed yet another provocation, we taught him yet another lesson, and it was learned this time round.
We are on the side of justice. We live in the most glorious moments of history. The Azerbaijani people are an ancient people. There have been many glorious moments, events and victories in our history. Today’s events have a special place among them. We are restoring justice, restoring our territorial integrity, fulfilling the hopes of the Azerbaijani people and will continue to do so. We are right and we will win! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
Today, Azerbaijan’s victorious Army liberated several settlements. I cordially congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion.
I would like to bring to your attention the names of the liberated settlements: the town of Hadrut, and Chayli, Yukhari Guzlak, Gorazilli, Gishlag, Garajalli, Afandilar, Suleymanli and Sur villages.
The liberation of these villages and the town of Hadrut is our historic victory. Azerbaijan is liberating the occupied territories. Good news comes from the frontline almost every day. Every day, our soldiers and officers perform their combat missions with dignity. At the same time, they are capturing more and more commanding positions. They are taking over strategic heights. Thus, the operational plan is being fully implemented. The operational plan is based on modern combat principles. Today, Azerbaijan’s Army has a complete advantage on the battlefield – both in terms of logistics and combat readiness.
Many pieces of the enemy’s military equipment have been destroyed and seized in today’s battles. I can say that the Armenian army has suffered a major blow since 27 September. I would simply like to bring to your attention the list of Armenia’s destroyed and seized military equipment and hardware – 16 command posts, 196 tanks, 38 BM-21, one “Hurricane”, 10 self-propelled artillery units, including eight “Acacia”, two “Qvozdika”, 36 infantry fighting vehicles, 24 artillery batteries, 2 RM or air defense installations, two launch facilities of the “S-300” complex, 25 OSA anti-aircraft missile systems, two “Cube” anti-aircraft missile systems, four “Repellent” radio-technical barrier installation, 136 cannons, 56 mortars, one TOS-1A flame thrower, two radar stations, one “Kalchuga” antenna. In addition, 18 tanks, four artillery pieces, 22 infantry fighting vehicles, 12 mortars, four UAZ trucks, one excavator, 27 “Igla” complexes, one ZIL truck and nine GAZ trucks have been seized.
I should also say that not a single piece of military equipment belonging to Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces is in the hands of the enemy. The enemy tells tales and lies to his people. They falsify facts, want to deceive their own people, want to deceive the international community saying that they are allegedly attacking us, that they have retaken some of our positions. This is a lie. There is an objective observation of the battles, and any military expert can see that Azerbaijan’s Army today has defeated Armenia on the battlefield. Our army is showing its superiority. Azerbaijani soldiers and officers are showing high moral and psychological qualities, showing high spirits. Because we are fighting on our own land, we are liberating our own lands. Armenian soldiers are occupiers. The land where the battles are ongoing does not belong to them. They are abandoning their positions and running away. However, several layers of a deeply echeloned defense system were established along the line of contact over the past 30 years. Engineering and fortification facilities were built. It is very difficult to break them, to cross them. In some cases, we needed a few days to break through some fortifications. In the meantime, we are doing everything to minimize losses. Therefore, in some cases, we strengthened our positions in various directions and then prepared for a new operation so that there is a maximum result and minimum loss.
Today, the Azerbaijani flag flies in the liberated lands. Today, Azerbaijani soldiers are guarding the trenches dug by Armenians in our occupied lands – we are in their trenches, not them in ours, we are in their posts, we are in their tanks. We are now using the military equipment taken as bounty – 18 tanks. Their tanks have turned against them on the battlefield. This is the advantage of Azerbaijan’s Army, this is our advantage. Today, we show in open media, on the Internet how accurately and precisely the enemy’s equipment is being destroyed.
The enemy is in panic, the enemy is hysterical. The leadership of the enemy country is completely at a loss. He regularly calls different countries, heads of state and government of different countries, repeatedly asks for help, begs for help, implores several times a day. He is at their feet. He humiliates himself – come and rescue us. The only way to save them is to leave our lands. We have said this many times – leave our lands of your own accord. Implement UN Security Council resolutions or you will regret it. Do you think that Azerbaijan will put up with this situation? It will not! I have said this many times. Did you think that the Azerbaijani people would put up with these insults? They won’t! I have said this many times. But if you sit on our lands, poison our sacred land and then put forward claims against us – look at this impudence! We showed them their place. We showed them where they belong. We are chasing them so badly that they will never forget this sprint.
Today, battles are taking place along the entire frontline. Azerbaijan is strengthening its positions in all directions and we are forcing the aggressor to make peace. This is the main purpose of this operation. We have shown them that we are winning on the battlefield, internationally and politically. They saw our strength and they saw our determination. They saw that no force in the world can turn us away from the right path. No country in the world can influence our will. Whoever else you beg, whoever else you kneel before, whoever else you implore – no-one can influence us! We are on the right path, we are winning, we are getting the upper hand and we will take back our lands! We will restore our territorial integrity!
But we are giving the occupier probably the last chance to leave our lands. Get out, make a commitment, go back to the negotiations, and return to the format of the negotiations. Who does the prime minister of Armenia think he is? How dare he speak to us in such manner? Now he knows his place. By saying that “Karabakh is Armenia” Karabakh will never become Armenia. Let him say that “Karabakh is Armenia” now. He can’t even utter a word now.
Their foreign minister has had to go to Moscow for talks now. Let him say “Karabakh is Armenia” there. If he says such a thing, there can be no talks. I said that no-one can force us. He said we should negotiate with the bandit leader of the criminal “Nagorno-Karabakh republic”. We can never agree to this and this will never happen. Therefore, the events that took place in the political sphere yesterday and the day before yesterday show that the Armenian leadership has finally begun to realize, after receiving a major blow to the head, that it will only do what we tell them to do. Whatever we say will happen. We are giving him a chance to leave our land through negotiations and peace. We will return these lands anyway. We will restore our territorial integrity. The whole world saw that, including Armenia. We don’t want bloodshed. We don’t want martyrs. We want our lands back. Get out of our land! Go and live in your own country. We will get our lands back! Therefore, they should not miss this historic opportunity.
I think that today’s meeting in Moscow will clarify many things. They must accept the basic principles. However, Pashinyan said he did not accept them. He said that he would not give back an inch of land to Azerbaijan. What happened?! Why can’t you hold on to these lands? Why can’t you? What happened? Why did you run away? Now you are kneeling before others, humiliating yourself and humiliating your people. You have brought your country to level zero. He said he would not give back these lands. Who is even going to ask you whether you will give it back or not?! We came and took it, and that is all. We will take as much as we need, if we want, we will take more; just as we could have done in July. I have talked about that. In July, we could easily move into the territory of Armenia and occupy lands. No-one could have stopped us. These battles are proving that. We didn’t do that. I didn’t! However, our army was ready for that. I did not let them because there is a political will. We act within the law. We don’t set our sights on the lands of other countries but we will not give our land to anyone either. So what happened, Pashinyan? You said that the ‘Nagorno-Karabakh republic” covers all the occupied territories. So come and defend them now. Why are you running to Moscow? Why do you keep calling and annoying world leaders? Who did you not call? Who did you not annoy? I would advise him to call shamans. Let them help him. Or call a tribe chief on some remote island and he will save your life. As they say, he has become a joke character. Go and scroll through social networks. People are making fun of you and circulating jokes. There has never been anyone in the world who would humiliate his country so much. Why? Because he cannot just come and sit on someone else’s land and keep them.
That is why I turn to the people of Azerbaijan and say that we will take our lands back. I remember the leader of the gang illegally living in Nagorno-Karabakh and soon to be kicked out of there conducting a “swearing-in” ceremony in Shusha. At that time, this reverberated a lot in Azerbaijani society. It had a major impact. We took it as an insult – all of us without exception. I remember also receiving calls that we should not allow this to happen, that we should bomb and destroy it. Of course, I could not go for that because our war is not against civilians. Unlike Armenia, we do not fire on civilians. But we have not forgotten that. Now let him go and look at the venue where he was sworn in. See what shape it is in now.
We know what to do and when. Therefore, our successful operation today has led to great results. I know what to do, how and when. The Azerbaijani people believe in me. Relying on this trust, I also take all necessary measures; run our country with confidence in all areas, including army building.
I want to touch upon another issue. The people of Azerbaijan have repeatedly heard from mediators and leaders of some international organizations that there is no military solution to this conflict. I said that I do not agree with this thesis, and I was right. I was! Negotiations have been going on for about 30 years. Has the issue moved off the ground? Has a centimeter of land been given to us through negotiations? Did they force the aggressor to leave our land and implement the UN Security Council resolutions? No! How is this problem being resolved now? Isn’t this a military way? This issue is being resolved by military means. Military and then political. If this operation had not taken place, if we had not inflicted the necessary blows on the aggressor, if we had not taught them a lesson, would they have fled to Moscow to negotiate?! He would be satisfied and keep saying that we will not give back the land. We have forced them. We have brought them to such a state that they are looking for a place to hide but cannot find it. They are sitting tight-lipped like mice, keeping silence. So where is your persistence? Where is your arrogance? Where is your “heroism”? You said that “Karabakh is Armenia”. Karabakh is Azerbaijan. Everyone should know this, including those in charge of Armenia today. I tell them again that if they cheat again after the Moscow talks, they will regret it. We will take back our lands – peacefully or through war. There is no question about that! We want to organize it peacefully. We want to do it peacefully. We give Armenia one last chance, one last chance! They shouldn’t rely on anyone. No-one will help them. Armenia is helpless before us. Armenia is on its knees before us. We have brought them to their knees for the souls of our martyrs. Shedding our martyrs’ blood did not go unpunished. I have repeatedly said in meetings with representatives of the families of martyrs and parents of martyrs that we will take revenge. The blood of our martyrs will not remain on the ground. We do not want blood. We want our lands to be given back to us. Let them not delay this issue any longer.
There is no such thing as status-quo. It is over. We heard that status quo is status quo is that. I have changed the status quo, I have changed it! There, on the battlefield. There is no status quo. There is no line of contact. We smashed it. They had been building this line of contact for 30 years. The terrain in that region is a natural fortification. We are going from the bottom up. In fact, they were building concrete fortifications there for 30 years. We broke through. No-one can stop an Azerbaijani soldier. We have destroyed that line of contact today. There is no line of contact. Now they are saying there will be a new line of contact. It will not happen! We will take back our lands. What line of contact can we talk about now? None, we have destroyed it, we have done that, we have shown determination, we have shown strength, we have relied on our people’s will and today we are winning. We are winning a historic victory! This victory is the brightest victory among the victories of the Azerbaijani people. These victories will be continued in the future. We will liberate our lands and restore our territorial integrity! We will drive the enemy away. I know that the people of Azerbaijan liked my previous remarks. We will drive them away to the very end. Our flag will be raised in all occupied territories and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan will be restored. Long live Azerbaijan’s Army! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
Today, Armenia’s fascist leadership perpetrated yet another war crime. The cities of Gandja and Mingachevir came under missile attack. As a result of this cowardly shelling, our fellow citizens have been killed and wounded. May Allah rest all our martyrs in peace and send healing to our wounded compatriots!
This once again shows the fascist nature of the Armenian leadership. This is not the first time our cities have come under fire. Armenia fires on Tartar, Aghdam, Goranboy, Aghjabadi and other cities practically every day. Due to this fire, our citizens have been killed and wounded, more than 2,000 houses have been destroyed or seriously damaged. However, these cowardly actions cannot break the will of the Azerbaijani people.
Armenian leadership is committing a war crime. Shooting at civilians, including firing missiles, is a war crime, and they must and will bear responsibility for this crime. We are retaliating on the battlefield. We are avenging and will continue to avenge the deaths of our martyrs, of innocent civilians on the battlefield. We have never fought or will ever wage a war against the civilian population. We are not Armenians. We have our own way, we have our own cause, and all the Azerbaijani people are united around this cause. All the Azerbaijani people are showing solidarity and patriotism.
The victorious Azerbaijan’s Army is driving and will continue to drive the enemies away from our lands in the ongoing battles. I said that if they do not leave our lands of their own free will, we will chase them away like dogs and we are doing that. Every day, the victorious Azerbaijani Army liberates new strategic locations, new heights and new settlements from the occupiers. Our revenge happens on the battlefield.
These days, from 27 September to the present, a crushing blow has been dealt to Armenia’s military potential. I just want to bring some figures to our citizens’ attention. I must say that the list I will provide is incomplete. An even larger amount of enemy equipment has been destroyed and, of course, it is impossible to calculate it accurately during the battle. However, the figures I will quote show explicitly that we have gained a complete advantage on the battlefield and have almost completely destroyed the military-technical potential of Armenia. The question is where do so many weapons and so much equipment come from to Armenia? Armenia’s military budget is well known. Armenia’s state budget is also well known. Armenia is a bankrupt country. The country’s foreign debt accounts for 60-70 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The country’s foreign exchange reserves are only $1.5 billion, which are bank reserves. That is, it is not available funds. Where do they get the money for weapons and equipment? The equipment we have destroyed and taken as trophies so far is worth at least $2 billion. But there is still more in their hands – in the occupied territories and in the territory of Armenia. The question is who is arming them. In some cases, we are criticized that we are arming ourselves, we are buying weapons and this can allegedly aggravate the situation and turn it in an undesirable direction. The question is what about Armenia’s armament. Where do so many weapons and hardware come from to this poor country? Today, they are smuggling weapons and equipment using some smuggling schemes. And they are very dangerous and very destructive weapons. Therefore, we want answers to these questions, and I am sure we will get them.
I would like to bring to the attention of my people some of the Armenian equipment Azerbaijan’s Army has destroyed in recent days. Thus, the list of the destroyed Armenian equipment includes: 234 tanks destroyed, 36 tanks taken as military trophy, 49 infantry fighting vehicles, 24 taken as military trophy, 16 self-propelled artillery pieces destroyed, 190 cannons of various calibers, two “Hurricane” systems, one TOS flame-thrower, two “Elbrus” tactical operational missile complexes, one “Tochka-U”, 35 “OSA” anti-aircraft missile systems, three “TOR” anti-aircraft missile complexes, five “KUB” and “KRUG” anti-aircraft missile complexes, nine radio-electronic combat systems, two S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, 196 cargo trucks destroyed, and 98 taken as trophy. Anyone, any specialist can calculate the price of this equipment using open sources. We must and we will find answers to these questions.
Azerbaijan’s glorious Army is successfully continuing its salvation mission. In recent days, I have informed my people and announced the names of the newly liberated villages. Today, with a feeling of great satisfaction and joy, I want to convey to my dear people the names of more settlements that have been liberated. The following villages of Fuzuli district have been liberated from the occupiers – Gochahmadli, Chiman, Juvarli, Pirahmadli, Musabayli, Ishigli and Dadali villages and the city of Fuzuli. The city of Fuzuli has been liberated from the occupiers, Fuzuli is ours, Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
I cordially congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion. I offer sincere congratulations to the people of Fuzuli on this occasion. Many years of longing for native land are coming to an end. We are honorably fulfilling our mission, restoring and will restore the territorial integrity of our country. The battles for Fuzuli were very hard. Time will pass and books and papers will be written about these battles. It was a battle that required great professionalism, skill, courage and self-sacrifice. Because during these 30 years, the enemy has built such a strong fortification on the line of contact that some people thought that it was impossible to liberate the city of Fuzuli from occupation. Even the most well-known military experts were of the opinion that it would take months to capture Fuzuli and free it from occupation and whether the operation would be successful at all. However, the victorious Azerbaijani Army was able to tackle this glorious mission and most of the villages of Fuzuli district and the city of Fuzuli have been liberated from the enemy in a short time. When we talk about the city of Fuzuli, of course, we should all know that there is nothing left of the city, no monuments, not a single building. For 30 years, it was in the hands of vultures, in the hands of predators, in the hands of jackals. All the buildings have been demolished, our religious sites have been razed to the ground, everything has been looted, the roofs of the houses, the windows, the property – everything. It was as if a wild tribe had taken over the city. The remains of the city of Fuzuli are a manifestation of Armenian fascism and a witness to Armenian fascism.
We will return to Fuzuli, we will rebuild and landscape all the villages. Life will return to those villages. Just like in the past when the Azerbaijani Army liberated 22 villages of Fuzuli district, including Horadiz settlement, under the National leader. Look at how beautiful this place is now. Horadiz settlement has become a very prosperous and modern town. Fuzuli people live in liberated villages. I can say that about half of the population of Fuzuli has been settled in the villages liberated so far, but more villages inhabited by Fuzuli people have been liberated today. Life will return there, they will return there, they will live there, they will visit the graves of their ancestors. The call to prayer will be heard in the mosques to be restored there. We are fulfilling our glorious mission. I am confident that the glorious Azerbaijani Army will continue to drive the invaders away from our lands.
The Fuzuli operation is quite symbolic. Azerbaijan has regained its historical and ancient settlement and ensured the return of tens of thousands of people to these places. At the same time, from a strategic point of view, the breaching of several lines of defense on the line of contact with Fuzuli gives us another strategic advantage. Because our armed forces located in the direction of Fuzuli have been fighting there these days. Of course, it is not a secret now where we were able to enter Fuzuli from. As a result of tremendous military professionalism and courage, we were able to liberate Fuzuli from the occupiers. Before that, the city of Jabrayil was liberated from the invaders. Before that, Hadrut was liberated from the occupiers. Many villages of Khojavand and Jabrayil districts, including Fuzuli district, were liberated from occupation. Only after that were we able to liberate the city of Fuzuli from the occupiers.
In the latest stage, the enemy has dropped the guns and fled. Today, I can say with full responsibility that the Fuzuli operation will be included in military books. In fact, not only Fuzuli operation but also other operations. According to the information I have today, military experts are already clearly saying that the Azerbaijani Army is an army with great combat capability and technical support.
It is a historic day today. The date of 17 October will remain forever not only in the memory of Fuzuli people but also in the history of the Azerbaijani state. Today, we, all the people of Azerbaijan, are writing the brightest page of our people and our state together. Today, we are writing this glorious history of solidarity, mutual support and unity. We are lucky to live in these moments. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of our refugees and IDPs who were looking forward to these moments did not live to see these days. But I am sure that their souls are happy today because their native lands have been liberated from the occupiers.
Despite the fact that the cowardly, treacherous and vile enemy commits war crimes, fires on the civilian population and kills children as a result of today’s bombardent, I want to say again that we must not take revenge on civilians. We are taking revenge on the battlefield. The blood of our martyrs and civilians does not and will not remain unavenged. I warn the fascist leadership of Armenia again – leave the remaining lands of your own accord. We will throw you out of there anyway. There will be no trace of them left on those lands. We will drive them out of our lands to the end. Let them leave of their own accord!
He did not want to give up Fuzuli even though he understood perfectly well that he would not be able to keep it. He did not want to give up Jabrayil. Yesterday, the day before yesterday and today, successful operations were carried out in the direction of Jabrayil and strategic heights were captured. I do not want to say anything about that yet. I do not want to get ahead of the events. But the victorious Azerbaijani Army is achieving and will continue to achieve its goals, our territorial integrity is being restored and will be fully restored. No force can stop us. No force can stand against the will of the Azerbaijani people. Everyone should know this. No one can stand in front of us. Let the predatory Armenian state vacate our lands. After that, a ceasefire will be ensured. A ceasefire was declared, but Ganja was bombed a day later. And which part of it? A residential settlement. Where did they hit today? Again, a residential area. When did they shoot? At night, so that more people die.
This is a crime against humanity. If the international community does not want to bring Armenia to justice for the crimes it has committed – just as no one has brought them to justice for the Khojaly genocide – we will bring them to justice ourselves. We will punish them, and our punishment will be just. They deserve the most severe punishment. Armenia’s political-military leadership are criminals and we will punish these criminals.
The prime minister of Armenia who said that “Karabakh is Armenia”, what happened, why aren’t you saying that “Karabakh is Armenia” now? Come to Fuzuli, where you were exploiting our land. Come to Jabrayil, come to Hadrut, come to other liberated places and say that “Karabakh is Armenia”. You are sitting there in Yerevan, making statements from there, annoying world leaders – there is no one left you didn’t phone.
Why aren’t you saying that “Karabakh is Armenia”? You are afraid and you should be. But why were you so brave when you insulted the Azerbaijani people by saying that “Karabakh is Armenia, full stop”? Who did you rely on? Didn’t you know that one day you will be held accountable for your actions? The day has come and is coming. Bringing Armenians from Lebanon and other countries to Shusha is a war crime that contradicts the Geneva Convention. They do it demonstratively, they show it on TV, they show Armenians coming to live and work in our ancient land. Let’s see now who will come to settle in Shusha. You were building a new road with Armenia from Jabrayil. Why? You have illegally occupied that region, our Araz region, in order to settle Armenians there? You wanted to make us face facts? What was the purpose of bringing Armenians from abroad and settling them there in various ways, including through deception because Armenia has a small population? The goal is to keep our historical lands under eternal occupation, to ensure eternal occupation and Armenianize our lands. Look, they gave Fuzuli an ugly name. Let this name be a curse on you. This name will go to hell. This name no longer exists. There is no Madagiz – it is Sugovushan. We will restore our other historical names. You wanted to move the parliament of your “entity” to Shusha. Go ahead and do it now! Where is the place where you conducted the “swearing-in ceremony” of the leader of that fake gang? We have destroyed it, completely destroyed it. You put forward seven conditions to us. You were speaking to us in the language of ultimatums. Let’s see what your conditions are now. What happened? You cling to people, fall at their feet begging for help in stopping Azerbaijan. Tell Azerbaijan to stop. Get out of our land and we will stop! Get the hell out of our lands! I have said this before and do not hide anything. The people of Azerbaijan know this and the international community is saying this too. I say this every day – get out and say that you will leave here tomorrow, and we will stop. We do not need to shed blood. We need lands. We will get this land by any means. Let everyone know this. The history of the last days shows this.
It is proving too costly for you, for the Armenian leadership, to insult the Azerbaijani people. Too costly. The Armenian people must finally bring the leaders of this criminal regime to justice. Rallies are already being organized in military conscription offices in Armenia. Mothers are blocking the roads and preventing their children from dying in another country. I also appealed to the Armenian people, and I am appealing to them again: Do not let your children go! What are they doing in our lands? Live in your own country. We have nothing to do with you. Go and live in your own country, do whatever you want but leave our lands. I am confident that the Armenian people will also bring the leaders of their criminal junta to justice. We are on the path of truth, we are on the path of justice. We are right, we are fighting in our own land, we are giving martyrs on our own land. Ours is a sacred war!
We have shown our strength on the battlefield, both to the enemy and to the whole world. The strength we are showing on the battlefield is underpinned by the will of the Azerbaijani people, the talent of the Azerbaijani people and our success.
I want to say again that we are a lucky people. Our generation is happy to be witnessing these happy days. I consider myself a lucky person to convey this good news to my people. As the Commander-in-Chief, I lead all the work and want to assure the people of Azerbaijan that I will continue to do my best to protect the national interests of our country and our people. No threat and no pressure can affect my will. Ours is the cause of truth. We are fighting on our own land and restoring our territorial integrity.
Long live Azerbaijan’s Army! Long live the people of Azerbaijan! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has addressed the nation.
Nationwide address by President Ilham Aliyev
– My fellow citizens.
Azerbaijan’s glorious Army is gaining new victories on the battlefield. These victories make every Azerbaijani citizen happy. The enemy, which has been occupying our lands for almost 30 years, witnesses the strength of the Azerbaijan’s Army on the battlefield. We are fighting on our own land, defending our own land, and we will continue to drive the invaders out of our lands.
Our people are looking forward to more news from the battlefield and the frontline. I am very happy. I am a very lucky person to be able to convey this good news to the people of Azerbaijan. The liberation of every village, every city and every strategic elevation from the occupiers requires great professionalism, courage, bravery and heroism. Our servicemen are becoming martyrs. May Allah rest the souls of all our martyrs in peace! Our martyrs will always live in our hearts. Our servicemen are getting wounded on the battlefield. May Allah send healing to all our wounded soldiers! At the same time, the despised enemy is constantly firing on our settlements. Every day, our cities and villages along the frontline come under enemy fire. Terter district is particularly exposed to cowardly fire. In the meantime, the enemy fires on Aghdam, Goranboy, Aghjabadi, Barda, other cities and districts. As a result of the cowardly shelling of the city of Ganja, civilians were killed – children, women, and the elderly. But it does not matter to the enemy. There is no difference for them. They are defeated on the battlefield, they are unable to withstand Azerbaijan’s Army and therefore commit crimes against the civilian population in front of the whole world in order to stop us and strike at us. The whole world sees what an ugly and savage enemy Azerbaijan is liberating its native lands from.
For 30 years, they sat on our lands and tried to challenge us. For 30 years, they exploited our lands, exploited our natural resources. Theft and looting are their trademarks. Suffice it to look at the destroyed villages and cities to see what savages we are facing. There is not a single safe building in the occupied and already liberated lands. All buildings have been demolished and looted. Our historical sites, mosques and graves have been destroyed, looted and desecrated. They thought that the Azerbaijani people would put up with this situation. They thought that these lands would be occupied forever. They changed the names of our cities, changed the borders of our districts, changed the names of our villages, wanted to Armenianize our lands but could not achieve this. They could not break the will of the Azerbaijani people.
Every Azerbaijani who has not seen their native lands, who was born after the occupation, lived with a desire to return to these lands. We saw it in the example of Jojug Marjanly. Young people born after the occupation, each of them cherished the dream of returning to Jojug Marjanly. I am confident that the citizens of Azerbaijan will return to all the lands liberated from the occupiers. They will live in those lands again and build there in peace and tranquility – just as the cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people has been created in all the once occupied lands. But the enemy wanted to destroy this heritage, destroyed our mosques. When we built a mosque similar to the Shusha mosque in the village of Jojug Marjanly and I inaugurated it, I said that they may have destroyed the buildings of mosques but these mosques live in our hearts, and one day all our destroyed mosques will be restored, all our cities and villages will be restored. We are on the threshold of the Great Return, and the Azerbaijani State will do its best to ensure that citizens of Azerbaijan return to the occupied and liberated lands and live there in peace and tranquility. Life will be revived in these lands.
Our IDPs have lived all these years with a dream although many of them have wonderful conditions. As you know, this year alone we plan to provide 7,000 apartments to the IDPs. More than 300,000 IDPs have been provided with houses and apartments. They are grateful to us for this care; they have expressed their gratitude in our numerous meetings. But at the same time, I knew it myself and they asked me to return them to their land. They understood that this was a difficult task, they were perfectly aware that this required certain geopolitical conditions. They believed in me, and I told them that we would return them to those lands. I told them that I knew what to do, when and how. The trust people placed in me allowed us the opportunity to resolve this matter. I declare again that I keep all my promises. I am true to all the promises I make. My primary goal as President is the return of Azerbaijani lands, the restoration of territorial integrity, and we are doing it on the battlefield today.
The negotiations did not yield any results for almost 30 years. The fortifications Armenia built in the occupied territories show that they did not intend to give up these lands. They simply deceived us and the international mediators. They were simply biding time, while also conducting illegal resettlement in the occupied territories. They resettled thousands of people in the city of Lachin, thousands more in Kalbajar. They lived in our villages we have liberated today – in Fuzuli, Jabrayil and other districts. Most of those villages are destroyed, but in some houses they lived on our lands. Having carried out ethnic cleansing against the Azerbaijanis, having committed genocide against the Azerbaijanis and having expelled our citizens from their native lands, they held a “referendum”, which is completely contrary to human morality, laws and international law.
No-one recognizes the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh republic”. Now they are trying to get countries of the world to recognize this criminal entity. They have lost their mind. They do not understand that no-one will do it. They do not understand that every country that does this can no longer be considered a friendly country for Azerbaijan. Not only that, we will cut all ties with such a country. They lost their mind. They are trying to restore the status quo now. I have said that there was no status quo. We have eliminated the status quo and we have done what is right. We have been waiting for nearly 30 years. Ten years ago, at the level of the Minsk Group co-chairs and their presidents, a statement was made that the status quo was unacceptable. We also supported it, we welcomed it, we had high hopes, and then some progress at the negotiating table raised our hopes. But the despised enemy simply deceived us and the international community. This is disrespect to international mediators.
We changed the status quo by showing strength on the battlefield. I said this before these clashes, I have said this several times. Unfortunately, international law does not work in international relations. If it did, four UN Security Council resolutions would have been implemented long ago. We waited for 20 years for these resolutions to be implemented. They simply remained on paper. Why? Because there was no political will, there was no mechanism for the implementation of these resolutions. The enemy thought that they could continue to ignore them, that they would continue to flout international law that they can continue to perpetrate their sordid deeds on our lands. We have forced them. Our fist is there not only to smash the enemy’s head. Our fist is a fist of unity, the unity of our people, a fist of focused performance, the adoption of decisions and resolutions at the international level that benefit us and reflect justice.
In some cases, I saw before these events that Azerbaijani citizens, including the IDPs, believed that although such diplomatic successes were certainly important, they did not provide a solution. I always explained to them that this was an issue that should be resolved within the framework of international law. Therefore, we must work with all leading international organizations to expand the legal framework for resolving this conflict. UN Security Council resolutions did not work. We have made great efforts, the UN General Assembly, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other organizations have adopted resolutions. The document we have initialed with the European Union also supports the inviolability of our borders, our sovereignty and the territorial integrity of our country. That is the basis for resolving this conflict. This is why the Armenian leadership, acting like a beggar, like an inane one – I am sorry but they are worthy of any name – sends letters to all international organizations day and night, makes statements and asks why they remain silent. Why should they speak up? They have already adopted these resolutions and decisions, and Azerbaijan conducts military operations on its territory recognized by the international community. We do not carry out any operations on the territory of Armenia – we have no such plans – even though they have bombed Ganja twice from Armenia’s territory. We did not respond to them in their fashion. We retaliated on the battlefield. I said that we would take revenge on them on the battlefield. We will not leave the blood of our martyrs unavenged. The primary goal of our activity in international organizations was to improve and expand this legal framework, and we were able to achieve this.
Therefore, the Armenian leadership must think carefully. They are already on their knees. We have brought them to their knees. We have shown them the place they deserve. We will drive them out of our lands! We will drive them out! Good news comes in every day. Every day, our flag is raised over a new residential settlement. That is the strength of the Azerbaijani state and the Azerbaijani people. For 30 years, the Armenian leadership has been spreading myths about a “strong army”, myths about an “invincible Armenian army”. Where is this “invincible Armenian army?” Look how they run away from us. It was all a myth, it was all a lie. We have exposed it. They insulted us for 30 years. For 30 years, they had been destroying our sites in the occupied territories, trying to erase our historical and cultural heritage. Why has the international community not imposed sanctions on the aggressor state for 30 years? I have repeatedly said that sanctions should be imposed. This country, the leadership of this country does not want to leave these lands of its own free will. They deceive us, imitate a process of negotiations. They are not trustworthy, and I was right. Look at the fortifications they built there. Will a country that builds such fortifications – a country that has spent so much money on them ever abandon them? If they wanted to leave, they would not have built them. So every word they say is a lie. Today, the leaders of their state incessantly spread lies and fabrications about Azerbaijan and the events on the battlefield – as if someone is fighting on our behalf. The Azerbaijani people, Azerbaijani youth, Azerbaijani soldiers are teaching them a lesson. We are fighting alone and everyone knows that. They can’t come to terms with that because their myth is falling apart, the myth that formed the basis of their ideology. They have been lying about history. Unfortunately, they have succeeded in convincing many countries of their historical lies. The lies about Khojaly – as if Azerbaijan committed the Khojaly genocide itself. Regarding the bombing of Ganja, their officials have made false statements that Armenia did not organize the rocket fire. They have neither conscience nor morality. They don’t even have the brain. If they had the brain, they would acknowledge: this is the starting point and the trajectory of this ballistic missile. It can be monitored by the world’s leading countries, where it was fired from and where it landed. Ballistic missiles are programmed with a combat mission. It did not accidentally fall into that residential area at night. It was done deliberately. They have lost their mind. They want to continue to deceive the world. Who else fired this rocket on Ganja? We did it ourselves? Just as they lied that Azerbaijan committed the Khojaly genocide, they are lying again now. He lies to the whole world. He lies in all of his interviews. We will continue to expel these liars. They see who is who now. They see that we are teaching them a lesson they will never forget. Now they are asking for help. They are calling for help now! So where is your “victorious army”? Where is your “invincible army”? Armenia’s drunken prime minister was dancing on our sacred Jidir plain. He should have thought that this insult would affect the people of Azerbaijan. He thought that no-one would touch them. He thought that all countries would continue to defend them, world Armenians, Armenian lobbies and some of their friendly countries. This is why they have gone astray; this is why they have grown impudent. We showed them their place; hit them on the head so hard that they are unlikely ever to recover. We have almost destroyed their army and equipment. They are running away. And they will keep running.
In short, our superiority on the battlefield is no longer a secret. We are on the right path. Ours is the cause of justice. We are fighting on our own land, having martyrs and restoring our territorial integrity. These steps will continue. Armenia must declare before it is too late that it is withdrawing from the occupied territories. After that the fighting may stop.
Every time I address my people, I bring good news. At the same time, almost every day I mention the names of new villages and cities liberated from occupation on my Twitter account, through Twitter. I know that the people of Azerbaijan are waiting for this news every day! Every day and every hour, people wait for this news to come out. But I want my dear people to know that the liberation of every village and every elevation requires great courage. Because not only the fortifications built there but also the terrain in the liberated lands are more favorable for the Armenians. We are fighting against their fortifications, their cannons and missiles, as well as the natural terrain. We are liberating our lands inch by inch from the occupiers. It is very difficult.
The day will come and we will provide detailed information about that. I am sure that the people of Azerbaijan understand that we are releasing whatever is possible to say today. The fighting is ongoing, and we want this fighting to end and our territorial integrity to be restored soon. Therefore, I think that the volume of information provided to the Azerbaijani public is sufficient.
Staying true to this excellent tradition, I would like to share new information with the people of Azerbaijan. I will share with my dear nation information about the enemy’s destroyed equipment and booty.
Thus, 241 enemy tanks have been destroyed, 39 tanks have been taken as military trophy – so a total of 280 tanks. However, there are still more tanks, both in the occupied territories and in Armenia. Where did they get so many tanks? This contravenes the international conventions governing all this. Why didn’t the institutions that were supposed to monitor these conventions pay attention to that? We say that 241 tanks have been destroyed – we will organize their demonstration later – and 39 tanks have been taken over in good condition. Our soldiers are riding those tanks and firing at the enemy with their own tanks.
Fifty infantry fighting vehicles have been destroyed and 24 have been taken as trophy and are in our hands. Seventeen self-propelled artillery pieces have been destroyed, 198 artillery pieces have been destroyed, 58 mortars have been destroyed, 12 mortars have been taken as trophy, 25 grenade-launchers have been seized as military trophy, 53 anti-tank vehicles have been destroyed, 70 pieces of 122 mm multiple rocket launcher have been destroyed, two “Hurricane” and two heavy multiple rocket launchers and one “TOS” type multiple rocket launcher has been destroyed, four “S-300” anti-aircraft missile systems have been destroyed. Last time I shared this information with the Azerbaijani public, we had destroyed two “S-300” anti-aircraft missile systems. To date, we have destroyed four complexes. The cost of each complex is well known. They are very expensive military equipment. Three “TOR” anti-aircraft missile systems have been destroyed. About 40 “OSA” anti-aircraft missile systems have been destroyed. Five “KUB” and “KRUG” anti-aircraft missile systems have been destroyed. Six unmanned aerial vehicles, two “Elbrus” type tactical operational missile systems, one ballistic missile, one “Tochka-U” missile, eight radio-electronic means of combat have been destroyed, 198 trucks have been destroyed, including 15 full of ammunition, 102 trucks have been seized as military trophy. We will continue to destroy the enemy’s military equipment. Whatever they have left will also be destroyed.
And now, I am very proud to announce the liberation of our settlements that my dear people are looking forward to.
Khojavand district – liberated settlements: Aghjakand, Mulkudara, Dashbashi, Gunashli (former name of Gunashli village was Norashen), Vang. I am giving this village a new Azerbaijani name. From now on, Vang village will be called Chinarli village. Blessed be the name!
Zangilan district – Azerbaijan’s glorious Army has also entered the territory of Zangilan district and liberated settlements. The liberated settlements in the territory of Zangilan district: Havali village, Zarnali village, Mammadbayli village, Hakari village, Sharifan village, Mughanli village and Zangilan city! Zangilan is ours! Karabakh is ours!
Dear nation, dear people of Zangilan, Fuzuli, Khojavand, Jabrayil and other occupied districts. We are fulfilling our mission. We are giving a befitting response to the enemy. We are punishing the enemy. The enemy is helpless. We are breaking the enemy’s back and we will break it!
Karabakh is ours! Long live Azerbaijan! Long live the people of Azerbaijan!
Address by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
– My fellow compatriots!
The second Karabakh War has been ongoing for about a month. This war is a Patriotic War for our people. We are liberating our homeland from occupiers. During this time, Azerbaijan’s victorious Army has liberated many settlements from the enemy. We are restoring historical justice on the battlefield because Nagorno-Karabakh is an ancient and historical land of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani people have lived and created on these lands for centuries. We know the history of Karabakh perfectly well. A great deal of work has been done in recent years to convey this history to the international community.
In general, the world did not have much of an idea about Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. Armenian lobby organizations operating in many countries created a distorted image in the world, in international public opinion, by circulating false information about the history of the region and the conflict’s history. That is why sanctions were imposed on us even though our lands were occupied, and those sanctions are still in force. In the early stages of our independence, the US Congress imposed sanctions on Azerbaijan, claiming that Azerbaijan is engaged in aggression against Armenia, and these sanctions are still in force. Can you imagine that? At that time, Azerbaijani diplomacy could not counter Armenian lies with any arguments. As a result of consistent work in recent years, we have informed the world community about Karabakh’s history, the history of the conflict, and all this work helps us today. The world already has a more objective view on this issue, a more objective outlook. It is thanks to our tireless efforts that we have been able to achieve this. I am absolutely right when I say that we are restoring historical justice. During the live debates at the Munich Security Conference, I proved to the whole world that this is our historical land. I provided information about the Kurakchay Peace Treaty signed at the beginning of the 19th century. There was no information about this treaty in the world at all. Unfortunately, there was no extensive information about the Kurakchay treaty in Azerbaijan, either. The Kurakchay Peace Treaty was signed between Ibrahimkhalil Khan of Karabakh and Shusha and a general of Tsarist Russia. That agreement is available online, and anyone can look it up. After my remarks, I am sure that a broad international audience keenly following the current situation on the battlefield will visit those websites and see that there was no mention of the Armenian people in that agreement. The Armenian people were not here at that time. The Armenian people were brought to our ancestral lands after the Kurakchay, Gulustan and Turkmenchay peace treaties. They were deliberately brought and resettled in Karabakh, one of the most fascinating corners of our country, and appropriate conditions were created for them. The objective of this was obvious – to change the religious composition in the new lands of the empire, to expel Muslims from their ancestral lands, drive them away and create a new reality. Unfortunately, they achieved that goal.
After that, the Armenian population was brought en masse from neighboring countries, settled in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, in the Azerbaijanis’ ancestral lands. Then they demonstrated their typical nature and gradually began to appropriate all our lands. After the Bolshevik revolution in the early 20th century, there was a grave danger that the Bolshevik government would hand over Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. The Caucasus Bureau has protocols dated July 1921. It is enough to view the Caucasus Bureau’s protocols to see that there was such a threat. But I believe that due to the efforts of Nariman Narimanov and others who accurately acknowledged the reality, that endeavor had failed. The protocols of the Caucasus Bureau state that Nagorno-Karabakh should be kept as part of Azerbaijan. During all these years, fake Armenian scholars and benefactors patrons have been trying to prove that Stalin separated Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia and gave it to Azerbaijan. That is a lie! See the Caucasus Bureau protocol, which says that Nagorno-Karabakh should be kept as part of Azerbaijan! That once again confirms that this is our land.
Unfortunately, after that, the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region was established, and the region was given a special status. But I must also say that this was not a republic, but a province. There was a lower level of self-governance. Suffice it to look at the history to see that the Armenians living there had broad rights and opportunities.
In Soviet times, a few years before the conflict, separatist tendencies were overwhelming. However, there was no reason for that. Of the nine members of the bureau, the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region’s governing body, eight were Armenians, and one was Azerbaijani. He was the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Shusha district. So, the first secretary, the head of the government, and the chairman of the parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh were Armenians. What else did they want? Azerbaijan invested so much in that region and built a railway in the 1970s, the Sarsang water reservoir, the Madagiz water reservoir – I have restored its name – the Sugovushan water reservoir was built. All these investments were made at the expense of the state budget of Azerbaijan. However, the Armenians were ungrateful, as they took advantage of the situation and anti-Azerbaijani leadership in Moscow, and separatist tendencies emerged in the region. What did they do before that?
The Armenians had been making preparations for that. Heydar Aliyev was the target of those preparations. They realized perfectly well that the presence of Heydar Aliyev, his significant influence in the Soviet leadership, ruined their plans. Unfortunately, national traitors from Armenia and other places, including Azerbaijan, were sending numerous anonymous letters to Moscow and carrying out a smear campaign to eliminate the Heydar Aliyev factor. Less than two weeks after Heydar Aliyev had resigned from all posts, Armenian separatists rose and demanded that Nagorno-Karabakh be separated from Azerbaijan and annexed to Armenia. That was when the misfortunes of our people began.
An illegal select committee was set up in Nagorno-Karabakh, and an ardent pro-Armenian person was appointed its head. That laid the groundwork for the secession of Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, the then leaders of Azerbaijan simply remained spectators as those perilous events unfolded. They could not raise their voice; they did not have the courage, just kept their head down and did what they were told to do from Moscow. At that time, the people leading Azerbaijan did not have an iota of Azerbaijani blood running in their veins. Although they were considered Azerbaijanis, they did not have a bit of national spirit and were cosmopolitan people. They could not even speak the Azerbaijani language properly. That is the history of Nagorno-Karabakh. After that, large-scale military operations were launched against Azerbaijan, and our lands were occupied.
The loss of Shusha and Lachin in May 1992 and the occupation of Kalbajar in April 1993 created a geographical link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. There was no such connection before. The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region had no border with the Republic of Armenia.
Those tragic events somewhat created a new reality. After that, the issue was taken over by international mediators and the Minsk Group was established in 1992. The performance of the Minsk Group is evident. After some time, the Minsk Group’s co-chairs concentrated almost all power in their hands and virtually monopolized the issue. The Minsk Group as a group was paralyzed, and the three co-chair countries began to deal with this issue. But was there any result? There was not! There was no result for us, but there was one for Armenia. Armenia wanted the negotiations to last forever, Armenia wanted to deceive us forever, this issue to remain in a frozen state, and our lands to remain under occupation forever. But what did the Minsk Group do? Was it able to put pressure on the occupier? No! Did it want to put pressure on it? No!
I have repeatedly raised the issue with them: if you want to see a resolution, impose sanctions on Armenia. All this is in your hands. You are permanent members of the UN Security Council and are in the position to resolve any issue. In particular, officials of these countries say that they agree on this issue. That is also an interesting issue. How is it possible that in all other matters – nuclear weapons, the situation in the Middle East, the situation in Asia, the situation in Europe – their interests diverge completely? On what other issues do their interests overlap? None! The Nagorno-Karabakh problem is the one. Why? Everyone understands that. Of course, the frozen state was in everyone’s interests except ours – primarily, in Armenia’s interests.
Armenia is conducting illegal settlement on these lands. Has anyone said a word? No! This crime, this international crime, runs counter to the Geneva Conventions. Does anyone ask them why they are conducting illegal settlement? And even demonstrate it. You transfer and resettle the Armenians from Arab countries in our cities, including Shusha. Nobody says a word. What does this mean? It means to go on, bring them here and resettle as many as you want, Armenianize these lands and erase Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage. That was the message. Didn’t these three countries have the opportunity to show the aggressor its place? They didn’t want to. This reality suited them.
Therefore, there is no other assessment of the Minsk Group’s performance. We were being pushed to accept this situation, as it were. We were being told that new realities had emerged and that we must reckon with them. We have created a new reality. Everyone has to reckon with the new reality now. But what do we see? Notice what is happening when we began to liberate our lands from the occupiers. Look at the intense pressure being put on Azerbaijan from all sides. They have started a commotion. What happened? For 28 years, this issue dragged on, and they pretended to be addressing it. They kept coming and going; there were endless meetings and negotiations here and there. We are fed up with these negotiations. How long can one negotiate with the enemy? Besides, the enemy becomes complacent, rampant and impudent, and they tell us, no, there is no military option, and the issue must be resolved only peacefully. Who says there isn’t? Isn’t this a military solution now? What are we doing? We are single-handedly implementing UN Security Council resolutions, although this is the UN Security Council’s responsibility. We are doing this alone. We have created a new reality. Reckon with it! But what do we see?
There is a meeting here, a meeting there. What about the ceasefire? Who has violated the ceasefire? It means that all their activities are now aimed at saving Armenia, an aggressor that committed the Khojaly genocide, attacked Ganja with ballistic missiles from Armenia’s territory. That is their activity.
As far as the ceasefire is concerned, the first time the ceasefire entered into force on 10 October. My position was that this should be humanitarian, and we agreed to this to exchange the bodies of the dead, hostages and prisoners. However, less than a day later, Armenia flagrantly and insidiously violated the ceasefire by bombing Ganja at night. Then, on 17 October, a new ceasefire was declared. And again, Armenia broke it two minutes later. This morning, at 8 o’clock, a new proposal came in. But when I inquired about at 9 a.m., Armenia violated the ceasefire a few minutes later by firing on Tartar district again.
However, I have instructed Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces to show restraint for the time being and not succumb to provocations. My position is known to my people. This issue must be resolved either by the military or by peaceful means. I suggested: if you want a peaceful solution, well, we will stop. But we must be told immediately that Armenia is vacating our lands. A timetable should be provided – in how many days they would leave a particular district, after how many days they would leave the next one and when they would leave the rest of the districts. A timetable should be provided. Has Armenia provided this timetable? It has not. That means that the ceasefire continues, and the issue remains frozen again – this does not work for us. That is the first thing.
Secondly, we have accurate information that Armenia is already on its knees on the battlefield and simply wants to take advantage of the ceasefire to mobilize its resources again, intends to re-arm and pursue a new policy of aggression against us. There is such information and, unfortunately, over the past month, weapons, various types of weaponry have been supplied to Armenia in large quantities. We have all the lists. Some of them have been published in our media. There is a whole list of arrival times and aircraft types, where it arrived, what it delivered, how it was offloaded and where the cargo was sent? So, why are those interested in a ceasefire sending weapons to Armenia? After all, Armenia is already on its knees. We have already knocked them out that they can hardly recover. Armenia’s prime minister, who danced in a drunken state on Jidirduzu and behaved like a great commander, now falls at everyone’s feet, asking for help, begging for assistance, humiliating himself and his people.
Just don’t give them weapons, and it will all be over. Don’t give them weapons. Who gives anything to us? Nobody! Don’t give them weapons. If you want this to end, don’t give them weapons. He will surely come round in a couple of days.
On the one hand, there is talk of a ceasefire, but on the other, weapons are being sent to them. What is this? Are we supposed to be silent about this?
The people of Azerbaijan should know everything. For 17 years in my capacity as President, I have always told the truth to the Azerbaijani people. I regularly report to the people on all the matters. And I am doing that to this day. It may not be complete information because there are specific diplomatic rules. However, whatever can be said, I say it to the Azerbaijani people and the whole world. If you want to save Armenia, tell it to leave our lands, to get lost immediately! Let this clown, who danced in Shusha, on Jidirduzu, declare that he is vacating our lands in a drunken state. Calling world leaders five or six times a day will not solve the problem. Our position remains unchanged; we are defending the truth and justice.
I would like to touch upon another issue. The legal framework for the settlement of the conflict is quite broad. We have expanded this framework. Today, there are not only UN Security Council resolutions but also other documents. The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the European Parliament and other organizations. The document we have initialed with the European Union contains a special provision on the sovereignty of our country, the inviolability of our borders and territorial integrity. In other words, it is a legal framework that allows us the opportunity to teach the enemy a lesson on the battlefield, to drive them away, to remove them from our lands. But look at what is going on lately? The Minsk Group co-chair countries have convened a meeting of the UN Security Council. They have done it once before. Apparently, the document adopted there did not satisfy them. This time, a few days ago, we heard about the appearance of a new document. We immediately took action and prevented this document’s adoption even though the three co-chair countries exerted tremendous pressure on other members of the UN Security Council.
What was the purpose of this? The goal is obvious – to overshadow the resolutions adopted in 1993 demanding the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from our lands, to leave them in the past to make sure they lose their relevance. That was the goal. How fair is this? We saw further attempts to provide support to the occupier. What is the result? It did not pass. How? The member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement stood up like real gentlemen and did not allow this to happen. They supported us – I say thank you to them. And this happened despite the fact that they came under pressure and may have even been threatened. But they stood up like gentlemen for us just as we stand up for them. It shows that nothing will work. My dear brother, the President of the Republic of Turkey, has repeatedly stated that the world is bigger than five countries. And he is absolutely right. This vote proved it. They joined their forces and put forward another document that meets Armenia’s interests, but it did not go through.
Justice prevailed. No matter how hard they tried, justice prevailed. Justice and international law are on our side. Therefore, we will continue to go our own way. If they want a ceasefire, then let them tell the occupying state to go away, to leave our lands. Otherwise, we will go to the end, all the way. And we will continue to drive the enemy out, as we have been doing. They are already running away from us, and we will continue to chase them. Because we are right and we are strong.
As I have been saying for the past few years, the world is no longer the same. The power factor comes to the fore, and we did not do this. Take a look – do large countries reckon with international law today? No! Do they reckon with the UN Security Council? No! Everyone does what they want in their neighborhoods. One enters there, another one enters elsewhere, and the third one divides some territories. There is no semblance of international law. So why should we defend it? We are defending it and are not taking steps outside the law. We are not entering Armenia’s territory; we are restoring the territories recognized by the international community. If the UN Security Council’s permanent members, the co-chairs of the Minsk Group, could not do this, then let them step aside and not interfere. Unlike Armenia, we do not ask anyone for help. Let them not interfere and test the patience of the Azerbaijani people. This war will end tomorrow, and we will achieve our goal. What will our relationship be like? Will the Azerbaijani people forget this injustice? They will not. Let them give this a thought. Today, Azerbaijan is not a country the interests of which can be ignored. No!
The day will arrive when they will come to us with requests and proposals, including those on cooperation. How will they look us in our eyes? They have mobilized all their forces against us today. I have been putting up with this for a month, a whole month. I was silent about it, but we are fed up. This is the first thing.
Second, the mediator must be neutral. If it is not impartial, then it should give up its candidacy. If a mediator is not neutral, then it cannot be a mediator. The mediating countries should now come up with new functions for themselves. What will they do? They can no longer talk about the liberation of five districts. Where are those five districts now? Four of them are already with us. This question is already in the past; it is over. We have taken them back ourselves – Fuzuli, Zangilan, Jabrayil, Gubadli. Most of these districts are with us. We also have a part of the former Hadrut and currently Khojavand district. So let them think.
We are not against negotiations. As a result of yesterday’s talks in the United States, the decision was made to hold a meeting between Azerbaijan and Armenia’s foreign ministers in Geneva in a few days. I don’t mind that; let them meet. Over these 28 years, there have been so many useless meetings; another one will not make a difference. I do not mean to say that I regard this meeting as useless. No. We want it to make sense. And this should speed up the settlement of the conflict. Armenia’s patrons, I appeal to you: if you’re going to save this fake state, tell it to get out. One word of yours is enough for it to get out – just one word. If Armenia is not provided with financial, economic, military and political support, will it be able to stand on its feet? No! I will give the Azerbaijani people some information on their military hardware we have destroyed. Everyone can count this, go online, see the cost of this equipment and ask a question. Where does this impoverished country get all this? Where does this money come from in a country that is mired in problems? We have already destroyed so much of their military hardware, and they are still bringing more. Never mind, let them bring it. They know better.
This is our position at this stage, and we are ready to resolve this issue by military-political means. But it must be resolved. The ceasefire has been declared, all right, let there be a ceasefire. Armenia has already violated it; we are recording every violation, every single one. I have instructed to record every violation. This information is immediately sent to the OSCE representative and other countries interested in the ceasefire to see how many times the Armenians have violated it. We have all the data. A military-political solution should resolve the issue of restoring the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
As for the future of the Armenians who have settled on our ancestral lands 200 years ago, I have said that they are our citizens too. They must also get rid of this junta. If they cannot save themselves, we will help them. Didn’t the new government of Armenia represented by Pashinyan say that those who governed Armenia before him were criminals? I was saying exactly the same. What if those who governed the country before Pashinyan for 20 years were criminals? What is this country then? It is a criminal country. The two ex-presidents also headed the junta in Karabakh and then led Armenia. A criminal case has been opened against both. They are criminals who sucked the blood of the Armenians living in Karabakh. Where did they get so much property, wealth and fortune? Where? They got it by sucking the blood of the Armenian people. So I repeat: the people living in Nagorno-Karabakh are our citizens. The Azerbaijani people are tolerant. Those Armenians are not to blame. Whoever is to blame is being brought to account, and I said that the shedding of Azerbaijani people’s blood would not go unpunished.
The criminals who committed the Khojaly genocide have already been eliminated in the battles that have lasted for a month. Justice has prevailed. Therefore, I want to reiterate my position. We will definitely return to these lands by military-political means. The military stage may end today. We will resolve the issue politically. Azerbaijanis will return to Shusha, Azerbaijanis will return to Khankandi. They will return to all other places where they used to live. Conditions will be created for the Armenian population. We must gradually learn to live together, both them and us. I see it this way, and my approach is based both on the norms of morality and the norms of international law. Armenia wants to drive us out of there, then to carry out ethnic cleansing, to Armenianize our sites, to settle Armenians from abroad. Pashinyan, you wanted to build a road to Jabrayil? Where is this road now? Did you want to build a parliament building in Shusha? So what happened? It all went to hell.
I want to state again that no force can make us deviate from our path. Successes on the battlefield have created a new reality at the negotiating table.
Now I want to share some information with my dear people. I am presenting a list of the enemy’s equipment and military trophies we have destroyed and taken over since 27 September. So 252 tanks have been destroyed, 53 tanks seized as a trophy – in total, Armenia has lost 305 tanks. But they still have more. Look at how many tanks they had. Fifty infantry fighting vehicles destroyed, 29 seized as a trophy – a total of 79 units. Then, 251 cannons of various calibers have been destroyed, 24 seized as a trophy – 275 in total. Sixty-one mortars destroyed, 45 seized as a trophy – 106 in total. Fifty-three anti-tank weapons destroyed, 82 truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers destroyed. Two units of “Hurricane” multiple launch rocket systems have been destroyed. One unit of “TOS”-type multiple rocket launcher destroyed. 4 “TOR”-type anti-aircraft missile systems, about 40 units of “OSA”-type surface-to-air missile systems, four units of “KUB”-type surface-to-air missile systems, one unit of “KRUG”-type surface-to-air missile system and two units of “S-125”-type surface-to-air missile systems have been destroyed. Six “S-300”-type missile systems’ launchers – one of the most expensive launchers, have been destroyed, plus one detection station and one locator. Their price is well known. Everyone can calculate this. We have eliminated two units of “Elbrus”-type tactical ballistic missile systems and 1 “Tochka-U”-type tactical-operational missile complex. Trucks – 231 trucks have been destroyed, including 20 with ammunition, 173 trucks have been seized as a trophy. In total, we have deprived the enemy of 404 trucks.
Now I will ask the question again. I will keep asking this question every time. I will keep asking it until there is an answer. Where does this money come from? Let the pro-Armenian observers, mediators, political scientists say where it comes from. We have the money, and everything is transparent. The people of Azerbaijan know how much money we have, the world knows, everyone knows. We are buying it with our own money. We don’t depend on anyone. How did this bankrupt country buy this? Armenia’s external debt is about $8 billion. Foreign exchange reserves amount to $1.5 billion. These are not even free funds. These are bank reserves. They cannot use them. If they use it, then their so-called currency will go down the drain. Who gave them so many weapons? Why doesn’t anyone ask? During this month, I have been interviewed every day. They ask me what Turkish F-16s are doing in Azerbaijan. I am tired of answering. Open up satellite images. You have got satellites; can’t you see what they are doing? Go and see what F-16s are doing. Are they in the air or on the ground? Everyone knows that they are on the ground. They arrived for exercises and stayed behind when the war broke out. Our Turkish brothers left them here to give us moral support. But if we are attacked from outside, they will see those F-16s. There are only five or six planes left at the airport, and they ask about it every time. I answer these questions.
But ask Armenia too; ask those who give them weapons. Ask these questions – why are you giving Armenia weapons? Have they been paid for? Do the citizens of the countries producing these weapons know how much of their goods were lost in a matter of one month? Do they know how much weaponry we have destroyed? No journalist asks me this question. Isn’t this interesting? It is interesting. Never mind. We are already accustomed to the fact that for all these years, slander, lies and fabrications against Azerbaijan have shown no sign of abating. Both foreign media and the Azerbaijani people see that I respond to all these questions and answer them appropriately. And I do not stoop to their level. Never! I answer them correctly, and they are silenced. They cannot answer. I say – go look in the mirror. Did you come here to blame us? They don’t ask questions, they act like a prosecutor, accuse us. Who are you to so? I respect journalists a lot. Therefore, they take advantage of that. I speak to them in a calm manner. But they should know that I can talk to them in any form. This is a reality. This reality is against us. But we have changed this reality. These new lists show again that we have changed this reality.
Now, it is with great satisfaction and pride that I will bring to the attention of my people the list the Azerbaijani people are looking forward to. So I am informing my dear people of the list of settlements liberated yesterday. The following villages have been liberated in Zangilan district: First Alibayli, Second Alibayli, Raband, Yenikand. Liberated villages of Jabrayil district: Govshudlu, Sofulu, Dagh Mashanli, Kurdlar, Hovuslu, Chalabilar. The settlements of Gubadli district liberated yesterday: Padar, Efendilar, Yusifbayli, Chaytumas, Khanlig, Sariyatag, Mollaburkhan and the city of Gubadli!
I already shared this good news with the Azerbaijani people yesterday. I want to convey this joyful news to the entire Azerbaijani people again. It is a great honor for me to bring joyful news to the residents of Zangilan, Jabrayil and Gubadli districts who lived in these villages. True, there is nothing left of those villages. But never mind, we will restore them. Both the Azerbaijani people and the state have enough strength to do that as long as our lands are free. If only our flag is raised in all the liberated lands. We are liberating these lands at the cost of the life and blood of our soldiers and officers. We have asserted ourselves both on the battlefield and the political field. We have asserted ourselves in the world. We have asserted the Azerbaijani people as proud people, as a brave people, as an unconquerable people. No pressure can affect us. No threat can turn us off our path because we are on a righteous path; we are united like a fist. This unity is eternal and will be everlasting!
My fellow compatriots, I promised you from the first days of the war that we would drive the enemy away from our lands, drive them out until the end. Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva have today visited the Honorary Alley and the Alley of Martyrs
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Victorious Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva have today visited the Honorary Alley and the Alley of Martyrs.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva first paid respect to national leader Heydar Aliyev at the Honorary Alley.
President Ilham Aliyev laid a wreath at the tomb of national leader Heydar Aliyev.
The national anthem of Azerbaijan was played.
The head of state and his wife also paid tribute to the prominent ophthalmologist, academician Zarifa Aliyeva.
They also put flowers at the graves of statesman Aziz Aliyev and physician, scientist Tamerlan Aliyev.
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva then visited the Alley of Martyrs. The head of state and the first lady paid their respect to the Azerbaijani heroes who gave their lives for the country’s independence and territorial integrity and put flowers at their graves.
President Ilham Aliyev laid a wreath at the Eternal Flame monument.
The national anthem of Azerbaijan was played.
The head of state addressed the nation at the Alley of Martyrs.
Address by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Victorious Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev to the nation
– My fellow countrymen, dear sisters and brothers!
It is with great pride that I declare that the city of Shusha has been liberated from occupation! Shusha is ours! Karabakh is ours! I cordially congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion. I sincerely congratulate all the people of Shusha.
Shusha, which was under occupation for 28 and a half years, has been liberated! Shusha is free now! We have returned to Shusha! We have won this historic victory on the battlefield. 8 November 2020 will eternally go down in the history of Azerbaijan. This history will live forever. This is the day of our glorious victory! We have won this victory on the battlefield, not at the negotiating table. I have said many times that, despite all the statements, there was a military solution to this conflict, the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and we are proving it on the battlefield today. Nearly 30 years of meaningless negotiations did not bring us any closer to the result. Our ancient historical lands had been under occupation for almost 30 years. In the process of negotiations, the Armenian side simply wanted to gain time, strengthen the status quo and perpetuate it. Over the years, signals sent to Azerbaijan from various power centers were repeatedly urging us to put up with the situation. However, showing determination, courage and political will, we did not go for any agreement that did not meet the interests of the Azerbaijani people. I have repeatedly stated from all international forums that the restoration of our lands and territorial integrity is our main task, and we are fulfilling this task. Negotiations did not yield any results. They were trying to fool us. They were trying to freeze the issue. We have won this victory on the battlefield. We have won this victory through martyrs. May God have mercy on all our martyrs! I ask God’s mercy for all our martyrs who died in the first Karabakh war and the second Karabakh war – the Patriotic war as we call it. I wish God’s healing to our wounded compatriots. We are liberating our lands from occupiers at the cost of our people, soldiers, and officers’ lives and blood. We are expelling the occupiers from our lands, and we will drive them out!
Shusha was under occupation for 28 and a half years. Shusha has a special place in the history of Azerbaijan. This is our ancient and historical city. For centuries, Azerbaijanis have lived, built and created in Shusha. Shusha is a pearl not only of Azerbaijan but also of the entire Caucasus. However, by occupying Shusha, the despised enemy dealt a great blow to our cultural heritage, destroyed our historical sites, destroyed our mosques and insulted us. We have now returned to Shusha. We will restore all our historical sites, all our mosques, and a call to prayer will be heard in Shusha again after 28 years. A few years ago, at the opening of a mosque built on my instructions in the Jojuq Marjanly settlement, which was liberated from occupation after the April 2016 fighting, I stated that this mosque was similar to the Shusha mosque. It is of the same size and architectural style. I said that one day we would restore our mosques destroyed by Armenian vandals in Shusha, and that day is coming. Today, the Azerbaijani flag is flying in Shusha. Today, all the people of Azerbaijan are proud to welcome this good news.
We are gathering strength in a focused manner, tirelessly, despite all the pressures. We are building up economic power. If we did not have economic power, it would not be possible to achieve this victory. First of all, economic independence had to be secured and was secured. Today, Azerbaijan is not economically dependent on anyone, on any country or international financial institution. This independence has allowed us the opportunity to develop our country and strengthen our army at the same time. We buy all the military equipment and weapons needed for our army from foreign markets. If we didn’t have economic opportunities, how could we get them? By pursuing a successful policy within the country, we have created a unique model of development for the world. Our internal solidarity, national unity and common cause gave us additional strength and did not allow some sordid foreign circles to implement their ugly plans with respect to Azerbaijan. However, there were such plans; there were such attempts. We have repulsed these attempts by showing political resolve and unity. We have defended our pride as a people; we have defended our independent choice as a nation. We have proved that no-one can or will interfere in our work. Without this unity and national solidarity, we would never have been able to liberate our lands from occupiers. The smear campaign’s primary goal, the campaign of libel and defamation against us over the years, was to distance us from our main task, distance us, drown us in internal problems, and keep the occupied territories in the hands of the occupiers forever. Strong political will and the unity of the people and government overthrew these plans.
The third key factor in our victory is our success at the international level. We have proved to the whole world that Karabakh has always been the land of Azerbaijan. We have proved that the Azerbaijani people have lived in these lands for centuries. We have proved that the Armenian population was settled to these lands only 200 years ago, how it was resettled and for what purpose. We presented it all to the world community, with evidence and facts. We have proved that Nagorno-Karabakh is a historical and ancient land of Azerbaijan, and this issue must be resolved based on the norms and principles of international law. All of the world’s leading organizations, all international organizations have adopted fair resolutions and decisions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Four resolutions of the UN Security Council, resolutions of the UN General Assembly, resolutions of the Non-Aligned Movement, resolutions of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, resolutions of the European Parliament and other international organizations unequivocally recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as an integral part of Azerbaijan. This gave us additional strength. If we had not done that, the processes surrounding the conflict today could cause us significant problems. Over the years, we have established relations with many countries based on sincere, businesslike and mutual respect. Many countries consider Azerbaijan, a strategic partner, and this expression is already reflected in international documents. We have established relations with all neighboring countries based on sincere friendship, mutual respect and mutual trust. If we had not done that, a completely different process could have unfolded around the conflict today.
When Shusha was occupied, our main problems were that we did not have an army, and the leadership could not fulfill its duties. At the international level, Azerbaijan had strained relations with almost all countries. We were virtually isolated. But today, we have isolated Armenia. Our transnational projects have created an entirely new landscape in the region. We have redesigned the energy and transport maps of the region. The projects implemented on our initiative meet the interests of our people and the interests of many countries, including the countries of the region. We have both bilateral and trilateral cooperation formats with neighboring countries. All this has dramatically strengthened Azerbaijan’s international relevance. Without these achievements, the problem could have remained frozen.
Finally and, most importantly, army building. During these 17 years, the crucial part of my work has been devoted to army building, strengthening our army, to equipping our military with the most modern weaponry. It was not an easy task, either. Material resources alone are not enough to buy these weapons. Simultaneously, diplomatic and political efforts must be made, and we have achieved all this. Today, Azerbaijan provides for its military needs from many countries. At the same time, the defense industry has been created in Azerbaijan on my initiative. We meet the needs of our army largely through domestic production. Azerbaijan produces more than 1,000 types of military products, including the most modern ones. This is our activity – building the army, solving the material and housing problems of our servicemen, addressing the retired servicemen’s issues, providing them with apartments, and improving our servicemen’s working conditions. We have rebuilt almost all our military camps and military bases, and they meet the highest standards. Of course, first of all, there is combat capability. The ability to fight has increased. Repeated military parades on Azadlig Square have shown the world our strength.
Increasing combat capability is a critical factor in army building. We use modern weapons, use technology, and destroy enemy equipment, but it is Azerbaijani soldiers who liberate our lands. It is Azerbaijani officers who liberate them. They are the ones who chase the enemy with a flag and a weapon in their hands, soldiers who destroy the enemy. Long live our soldiers!
We have created such an army! We said to the occupiers, we told them, put an end to the occupation before it is too late. Therefore, our policy was unequivocal at all times. We have said that if the issue is not resolved peacefully, we will resolve the issue militarily. I have said this many times. Therefore, I have been criticized by some countries. I said to them: weren’t our lands occupied by military means? Has Armenia occupied our lands peacefully? Every country has the right to self-defense. This right is given to us by the UN Charter. I said that if I saw that the talks were entirely ineffective, we would be left with no other option. Let everyone know this – the enemy, its supporters and the mediators involved in this matter. I have always kept my word. I did what I told the Azerbaijani people. I kept my word on this issue, and we are already celebrating the Victory.
Since 27 September, more than 200 cities, villages and settlements have been liberated, including the city of Fuzuli, which has been completely destroyed. The hated enemy did not leave a single safe building there. Jabrayil is completely destroyed. Gubadli, Zangilan are completely destroyed. Villages, cities. Hadrut settlement, Sugovushan settlement and the city of Shusha today.
Our victory march continues. There are still occupied lands, and the fighting continues. If the Armenian leadership does not respond to my demand, we will go to the end. No-one can stop us. No force in the world can stop us. Armenia has already admitted its bitter defeat, has humiliated itself and insulted its people. The Armenian leadership now seeks help, military assistance, weapons and equipment from other countries. Where is your invincible army now? We have destroyed it. All their words, all their statements were a myth, a lie. The invincible army is the Azerbaijani Army! We showed this on the battlefield, drove out the enemy from the lands singlehandedly. Billions of dollars have been spent over 30 years; fortifications have been built, engineering facilities have been created. But we have destroyed them all – at the cost of our spirit, strength and unity!
I want to say again that our victory march continues. Enemy forces must be withdrawn from all occupied territories. This is our demand. International norms and principles, decisions and resolutions of international organizations require precisely that.
Dear sisters and brothers, today I bring this good news to my dear people here in the Alley of Martyrs. This is no coincidence. This is natural. Today, I bow once again to the souls of our martyrs. Today I declare that the blood of our martyrs does not remain unavenged. The blood of the victims of Armenian atrocities, the victims of Khojaly, does not remain unavenged. We took our revenge on the battlefield. We have never fought against civilians. We didn’t do it this time either. Although the hated enemy has killed 93 and wounded more than 400 civilians with cowardly fire. But I said no, we are Azerbaijanis! We will take our revenge on the battlefield! We have destroyed their army, we have, and we will continue to destroy their equipment. We will drive out the enemy!
Today, I also visited the grave of great leader Heydar Aliyev and paid my respects. I said in my heart; I am happy to have fulfilled my father’s will. We have liberated Shusha! This is a great victory! The souls of our martyrs and the Great Leader are happy today! Congratulations, Azerbaijan! Congratulations, Azerbaijanis of the world!
These days I receive thousands of letters from Azerbaijanis around the world, from people living in Azerbaijan. I get thousands of letters every day. I only regret that I can’t read them all. There is simply not enough time. What beautiful words, what generous support! Today we prove to the whole world that we are a great nation. We are a proud nation! We are invincible people! We show the enemy’s place on the battlefield!
These days, I have repeatedly addressed the people of Azerbaijan and showed my fist to the enemy. I said that this was not just a fist. This is an iron fist. We will crush the enemy’s head with this iron fist! At the same time, this fist is a symbol of our unity. Today, the people of Azerbaijan are as united as this fist! It will always be the case! This unity will last forever! This unity will allow us to fulfill all our responsibilities in the future. For all these years – for 17 years – I have felt the support of the Azerbaijani people. I have witnessed your trust, your kind attitude to me. It gives me strength. This is an invaluable support for my policy. I have always assured the people of Azerbaijan that I will serve my homeland and my people with dignity and loyalty. I am glad that I have kept my word. As always, I have kept my word.
Bringing this good news to the people of Azerbaijan on this historic day is perhaps one of the happiest days of my life.
Dear Shusha, you are free!
Dear Shusha, we are back!
Dear Shusha, we will reinvigorate you!
Shusha is ours! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
On November 10, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev addressed the nation.
Address by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
– My fellow countrymen.
It is a historic day for our country today. An end is being put to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict today. I think that the trilateral statement that has just been signed will put a full stop in resolving the issue. The statement has been signed by the President of Azerbaijan, President of Russia and Prime Minister of Armenia. I want to familiarize you with the text of the statement:
We, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan I. H. Aliyev, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia N. V. Pashinyan and President of the Russian Federation V. V. Putin, declare the following:
A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict shall be introduced at 00:00 hours Moscow time on November 10, 2020. The Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, hereinafter referred to as the Parties, shall stop at their current positions.
Aghdam district shall be returned to the Republic of Azerbaijan by November 20, 2020.
Along the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor, a peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation shall be deployed in the amount of 1,960 military personnel with small arms, 90 armored personnel carriers, and 380 units of an automobile and special equipment.
The peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation shall be deployed in parallel with the Armenian armed forces’ withdrawal. The period of stay of the Russian Federation’s peacekeeping contingent is five years and shall be automatically extended by a further five-year period if none of the Parties declares six months prior to the expiration of the period of its intention to terminate the application of this provision.
In order to increase the effectiveness of control over the implementation of the agreements by the Parties to the conflict, a peacekeeping center shall be deployed to exercise control over the ceasefire.
The Republic of Armenia shall return Kalbajar district to the Republic of Azerbaijan by November 15, 2020, and Lachin district by December 1, 2020, while retaining the Lachin corridor (5km wide), which shall provide a connection of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and shall not affect the city of Shusha.
By agreement of the Parties, a plan for the construction of a new route along the Lachin corridor shall be determined in the next three years, providing communication between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, with the subsequent redeployment of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to protect this route. The Republic of Azerbaijan shall guarantee the safety of citizens, vehicles and goods traveling along the Lachin corridor in both directions.
Internally displaced persons and refugees shall return to the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent districts under the control of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The exchange of prisoners of war and other detainees and bodies of the dead shall be carried out.
All economic and transport links in the region shall be restored. The Republic of Armenia guarantees the safety of transport links between the western regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic in order to organize an unhindered movement of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions. Control over transport shall be exercised by the bodies of the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia.
By agreement of the Parties, the construction of new transport communications linking the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with the western regions of Azerbaijan shall be ensured.
November 10, 2020
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia
President of the Russian Federation
X X X
Dear fellow countrymen, dear sisters and brothers.
This statement has historic significance. I must say that this statement has been signed in a videoconference format. Initially, the heads of the three states were supposed to sign the statement in this videoconference format. However, at the very last moment, the Armenian prime minister refused. This is somewhat understandable because this statement is actually tantamount to Armenia’s military capitulation. Therefore, this statement was signed by the President of Russia and me in a videoconference format. This statement has been prepared in Russian. I have put my signature here. This document was submitted to the Russian Ambassador, and the heads of state and government of Russia and Armenia will sign this document afterward.
I want to say again that this conduct by the Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan is understandable. However, I think that everyone should be held accountable for what they do. Everyone must respect themselves, even in the most challenging and critical situations. Respect themselves and their country. Pashinyan will sign it one way or another. We have forced him to do that. But he will sign it in a confined place, in a locked-up room, far from the cameras, in a cowardly and treacherous manner. He is not signing it of his own free will. He is signing it under pressure by the iron fist!
This statement is our glorious victory. I am glad to be sharing this good news with the people of Azerbaijan today. One of the reasons this statement has been signed is our brilliant victory, our historic victory, the liberation of Shusha from occupation. Shusha is Karabakh’s crown jewel! The liberation of Shusha has great political and strategic significance, as well as great moral importance. We have returned to Shusha, we have returned Shusha, we will live in Shusha, and people will live in all other lands liberated from occupation. People will return to those lands, live there, our people’s 30-year longing will come to an end.
I think that the reason for this statement being signed was yet another glorious military victory on November 9 – National Flag Day. On November 9, Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces liberated 72 settlements from the occupiers. By liberating Shusha, by liberating 72 settlements on November 9, by liberating about 300 settlements since September 27, we broke the Armenian army’s back. Pashinyan was forced to sign the statement – in a very pathetic and miserable state. I have signed this statement with great pride and joy because it puts an end to the long-standing occupation. This statement allows us the opportunity to return our other occupied regions – Aghdam, Lachin, Kalbajar – without bloodshed. There is a very short deadline; those districts will be returned to us by the end of this month. This is great happiness. I seize this opportunity to congratulate the residents of Aghdam, Lachin and Kalbajar districts, all the people of Azerbaijan, on this occasion. Every time an occupied district or city was liberated, I congratulated the residents of those cities and districts. I can imagine what it means for them. Some, perhaps many, have lost hope because the issue had not been resolved for many years. Over the past 17 years, I have been in numerous meetings with the IDPs, attended ceremonies to present them new homes, and I saw that their hopes were diminishing with every passing year. I saw it. I saw it with a sore heart. I noticed that some of them had already lost hope. Yes, they expressed their gratitude; of course, we have created the right conditions and resolved their problems.
As you know, the efforts for the IDPs in Azerbaijan are unique to our country. IDPs are in many countries around the world, but the situation of our IDPs is incomparably better than in other countries. But their main desire has been to return to their native lands, and they asked me, “Mr. President, please return us there”. Every time I met with them, I saw a firm resolve, invincibility, loyalty to the state, but at the same time, I saw sorrow and longing in their eyes. It is over, my fellow compatriots, may your eyes be clear now, you are going back, we are going back, Azerbaijan is going back! Azerbaijan is restoring its territorial integrity. Could there be greater happiness?
The IDPs are well aware that we will do our best to help them return to their ancestral lands. We will rebuild these liberated lands. The whole world can see now what the despised enemy has done to these lands. All our buildings have been destroyed. All our historical sites have been destroyed, our museums looted, nature gravely damaged, and our mosques destroyed and desecrated. In the half-destroyed mosques in the liberated lands, the savage enemy kept pigs to insult us and hurt our pride. But we took revenge on them with a vengeance. We have avenged the victims of Khojaly. We have avenged our martyrs.
While announcing Shusha’s liberation to my people on November 8, I said that I bow to the memory of our martyrs. The martyrs of the First and Second Karabakh Wars will forever live in our hearts. May Allah rest all our martyrs in peace. Thanks to their heroism and self-sacrifice, we will return to our lands. May Allah heal all our wounded soldiers, may they recover soon and return to everyday life, and we will do our best for their recovery. Even our severely wounded soldiers and officers in the most challenging condition should know that we will do our best to bring them back to normality. We all owe this victory to them. They liberated our lands from the occupiers inch by inch. They raised our flag in the occupied and liberated lands. They hoisted our flag there. It is a victory for all of us, for all the people of Azerbaijan. The people of Azerbaijan have once again shown what a great nation, what a patriotic country, what a people with an iron will we are. Thirty years of suffering, 30 years of despair, 30 years of longing did not break our people, did not affect our resolves.
On the contrary, we have become even more united, even more robust, we said ‘enough is enough’, we will not tolerate this occupation any longer. We said that we would drive the enemy out of our lands! We are not interested in any negotiations. You know very well that over the past year, I did not talk about negotiations at all. I did not want to deceive my people; I never have and never will. The Azerbaijani people know this. When I said before the war that I knew what to do and when, I am sure that the vast majority of our people understood what I meant and patiently waited for this day, believed in me as President and Commander-in-Chief, believed and waited, and this day has arrived. Enough, this occupation shall end! How much longer will our cities remain under occupation? How much longer will the despised enemy pollute our nature, walk, eat, drink, dance and insult us in our lands? We said that we would show the enemy its place, drive the enemy out of our lands, and we drove them away!
Historians will tell what happened on September 27. I think many people know how it all started. The Azerbaijani people’s patience had already run out, and I told the Armenian prime minister in recent meetings that he should not play with fire. He should not abuse the patience of the Azerbaijani people. You don’t know the people of Azerbaijan well enough, you will find out what we are about, but it would be too late. Come round, get out of these lands. These lands do not belong to you. But what did they do? To conduct illegal resettlement, they brought Armenians from abroad to Shusha in a demonstrative manner, in gross violation of international law, international conventions, including the Geneva Conventions, to insult us. In Shusha, the gang leader who is now looking for a hole to hide, the leader of the junta was sworn-in, and the prime minister of Armenia attended. Wasn’t that intended to infuriate us? Did they think that no-one would hold them to account for that? We did, we brought them to their knees, and they are on their knees now! There is hardly anyone he didn’t call over the past 40 days, begging for help and humiliating himself. We have disgraced him, and we were absolutely right in doing so. When he danced drunk on Jidir Duzu in the sacred city of Shusha, he should have thought that this day would come. He would receive his punishment. Now he hides like a mouse as he takes this document and signs it in tears. We showed him his place. We taught him a lesson. We chased them out of our lands like dogs. I said that we would chase them, that we would chase them like dogs, and we chased them, we chased them like dogs. He is now signing this document out of fear, knowing that we will come to Aghdam, Kalbajar and Lachin. No-one can stop us. Everyone sees our strength; everyone understands what our iron fist is like. That is why we have driven them out and are perfectly right in doing that.
We have destroyed almost all of their military hardware. We have breached the fortifications they had built for 30 years. Our soldiers have broken through them like lions. They have crushed the enemy and were right to do so because they are on their land. We abide by international law. We respect international law. We did not take revenge on civilians, and we never will. This is why there are very few civilian casualties on the enemy side. What did they do? They could not confront us on the battlefield, fled and then fired on civilians with ballistic missiles. This is a war crime. They will be held accountable for that war crime. To strike the city of Gandja with ballistic missiles from Armenia is a disgrace, a despicable act, a crime. It is a war crime to hit Barda with cluster munitions. I said earlier that the city of Tartar is similar to Stalingrad, which was destroyed during World War II. Every day, hundreds of shells landed there. Even though it is not a big city, not a single person has left. But the Armenians fled. Their “invincible” army was destroyed, desertion began, and the junta head in Nagorno-Karabakh ordered that whoever ran away would be held accountable. Did any of us run away? It didn’t happen! Not a single person! This is who the people of Azerbaijan are! Civilians lost their homes, property, and loved ones but kept saying, “Long live the Motherland”. Go ahead, go forward! The letters to me say, Commander-in-Chief, go on! We support you, go forward, don’t stop, and so I did. I did not stop.
I gave about 30 interviews during this war. I have probably never given so many interviews in my entire life. Some were wondering why Ilham Aliyev did not give interviews. I thought that I had ample opportunity to express my position and often expressed my views on all matters. All my activities are transparent, and all my meetings are reported on to the public. I didn’t think it necessary. But when it became necessary, I gave about 30 interviews. In those interviews, I said that we respect international law, defend international law, defend justice, and implement UN Security Council resolutions. I said that all our steps were based on international law’s norms and principles, were based on morality, and all our efforts were taken to that end. We took our revenge on the enemy; we took it on the occupier. We have not dealt with and will never deal with civilians. There is no significant destruction in the cities where the enemy lives and hides because we did not open fire on civilian facilities. That is what makes us different.
After the war started, I said that many, almost all politicians involved in this issue, kept saying that there was no military solution to this conflict. What was I saying? I said there was! I was often criticized. People were questioning what Ilham Aliyev was saying. They insisted that there was no military solution. I said, in that case, solve it peacefully. You have available means. You are a superpower, you have an excellent reputation, and you have tremendous capabilities.
What is Armenia compared to you? Can’t you influence it? Or perhaps you don’t want to put pressure? No, they said it is impossible to wage war, and the issue must be resolved peacefully. Fine, a peaceful solution may be sought for one year, for two years, but 30 years? How much longer will you try to fool us? However, we have proved that there was a military solution. And I said what I wanted. I said to Pashinyan, make a statement, make a commitment, provide a timetable. I have been saying this since the first day of the war. Everyone can see it. In my interviews and my addresses to the nation, I spoke openly – provide a timetable, give me a schedule, get out, leave, and I will stop. They were asking us from here and there to stop. But why didn’t you tell them to stop when they occupied our lands? Why didn’t anyone say to Armenia, which has been occupying our land for 30 years, “get out of there!” What is this?
Well, we are now relying on our strength to liberate these lands by giving martyrs and shedding blood. Why are you telling us to stop and not telling them to get out? No-one says that. They told us to stop. I said I would not stop. No-one can stop me. I said I demand from you, Pashinyan, you personally, not your foreign minister or anyone else – you must make a personal commitment, you must provide a date by which you will get out of our lands. There is that commitment in this statement. We forced him, we compelled him, and we made him commit by beating him up for all his evil deeds, for keeping those pigs in our mosques. He who keeps pigs in our mosques is a pig himself. Now there is an obligation in this document. He will get out of the rest of the occupied lands by December 1. Therefore, there is a military option. But as I said, I want this military phase to stop to move on to the political stage. What happened – exactly what I was saying? All that I was saying is coming true today. The military phase is over, and we are moving on to the political stage. We have signed a document that favors our interests the most. Pashinyan has signed it. There was no other option. In essence, this is an admission of defeat. This is a military capitulation. In principle, I could ask him to come and sit there, down below, and sign it there. But I am no such person. Why humiliate anyone? He has already humiliated himself. He put himself in this disgraceful situation. He should have thought of today when he put his stomach forward and danced in a drunken state in Jidir Duzu. This is it. No-one can joke with us. No-one can test Azerbaijani people’s patience. No-one can insult us. If you do, you will learn a lesson. And we have taught him a lesson.
Therefore, the issue has already been resolved – of course, if Armenia adheres to the ceasefire. I have already given all of my orders. I have given my orders to command centers, and we will stop. We respect our signature. The other side must also stop because if it doesn’t stop, we won’t stop either.
International observers know who violated the ceasefire. Who violated it the first time by bombing Ganja with a ballistic missile, who violated the truce the second time less than five minutes after it was declared, and the third time by hitting Barda with cluster missiles. If they break it again, I think they will regret it even more. Therefore, we were able to achieve what we wanted. We were able to force the enemy. I gave them an ultimatum. I said – you must leave, if you don’t, I will go to the end. Until the end! On November 8, I said in the Alley of Martyrs that I would go to the end, and no force could stop me.
We won this victory on the battlefield. About 300 settlements, including Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Gubadli, Shusha, Hadrut, Sugovushan and other settlements, were liberated on the battlefield.
These victories forced the enemy to return Aghdam, Lachin and Kalbajar districts to us through political means. But it would be wrong to look for any good intentions of the Armenian side here. They have no idea what good intentions are. They were simply forced. Because he knew that if he did not sign this document, we would get these lands ourselves anyway. Everyone knew that. I said that I do not want to shed blood. We must stop the war, so get out of our lands! And this is precisely what happened.
I would like to mention one more issue. I have just acquainted my dear people with the text of the document. A new control mechanism is being applied here. The fifth paragraph of the statement reads: “In order to increase the effectiveness of control over the implementation of the agreements reached by the Parties to the conflict, a peacekeeping center shall be deployed.” I can say that Russian and Turkish servicemen will work in this center. Thus, Turkey will officially play a role in the conflict’s future settlement and monitoring the ceasefire.
In my remarks at the signing ceremony in the videoconference format, I praised the efforts of both the President of Turkey, my dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. They made truly great efforts during these 44-45 days to resolve the issue peacefully. At the same time, I am delighted that these two leaders have already played a positive role in ending the conflict. I think that it also largely determines the format of future cooperation in the region. If we look at the history of relations between Turkey and Russia today, I think they are at the highest level. Both countries are friendly and neighboring countries for us. So I think that this format of cooperation can be even more diverse in the future.
Another important issue I would like to emphasize is that a link is being established between the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and the rest of Azerbaijan. The opening of all communications and roads also shows that new transport and communication infrastructure can and should be created. We have, of course, been very supportive. I can say that this paragraph was included in this statement upon my insistence. It has no bearing to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but I am glad that my request was accepted. Thus, a historic step was taken to connect the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with Azerbaijan, with Azerbaijan proper by land. The despised enemy besieged Nakhchivan in the early 1990s and shortly before. All communication lines were cut off. At that time, energy resources were supplied from the central part of Azerbaijan. The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic was in a tough situation. At the same time, there were attacks from the territory of Armenia. I have said many times that it was thanks to the courage and endeavors of the great leader Heydar Aliyev that Nakhchivan was not occupied. Armenian vandals did have such plans.
Therefore, I would like to emphasize this and congratulate the people of Nakhchivan on this occasion. I must say that Nakhchivan’s people, as indeed residents from all other regions, took an active part in the second Karabakh war. Now the war is over, some issues that have not been disclosed will be revealed. Everyone will know that the people of Nakhchivan, along with servicemen from all other regions, have shown extraordinary heroism, selflessness and became martyrs for the liberation of our lands.
I would like to touch upon one more issue. These days we saw the unity of the Azerbaijani people. Our army received support from all our regions. People across all our regions lived these days with great excitement, watched the news in front of the TV, radio, on the Internet every day, rejoiced at our successes. We saw this in all our regions. We were further convinced of how wonderful our country and our people are. Representatives of all nationalities and all religious denominations living in our country showed courage fighting the enemy and restored Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. This is our great asset, a great value. I have said this many times. Armenia is deprived of such happiness because it is a mono-ethnic state; no-one lives there except for the Armenians. In Eurasia, there is no other country like this in our region because no-one can live there. They are expelled, subjected to ethnic cleansing like the Azerbaijanis, or representatives of different nationalities cannot live there. They are being squeezed out, out, and out. But our advantage lies precisely in this. A multinational and multi-confessional Azerbaijan has asserted itself in this war; representatives of all peoples have displayed true unity and heroism. I want to say again that this war clarified many issues yet again.
I would like to mention one more issue. You probably noticed that this statement contains not a single word about the status of Nagorno-Karabakh! Where are the demands of the Armenian side that Nagorno-Karabakh should be granted independence? When I offered them autonomy, they disagreed. They said no, it was an “independent state”. For many years, they have been living as an “independent state” and must gain independence from Azerbaijan.
Not a word, Pashinyan! What happened? What is it, Pashinyan? This phrase will probably remain the talk of the town for many years – what happened, Pashinyan? You were going to pave a road to Jabrayil. You danced. But where is the status? The status went to hell. It failed; it was shattered to smithereens. It is not and will not be there. As long as I am President, there will be no status. Therefore, this document is of great importance. I am sure that the Azerbaijani people, having shown great attention to this document, will read it in detail, with great attention, and they will see what a tremendous political victory we have achieved. Our military victory plays a unique role in achieving this political victory. Of course, the work carried out in our country in recent years, the excellent atmosphere that has developed, the unity of the people and the government, the achievement of a positive environment in political relations, our international relevance, our performance in the international arena – all this and, of course, the army building have made our victory possible. These days, I also noticed the following. Even people with different political views, those who are critical of our work and often express unfounded criticism, showed a model of high consciousness during this period. I have always said that there are and should be different views on the political plane. This is normal. There must be opposition. We, as in any democratic country, of course, have all these freedoms. Only one thing should not be there – it is impossible to be in opposition to the state and statehood. You can’t live with the idea – “the worse it is for the government, the state, the better off I am”. I can say: these days, I saw that we could all unite in national causes. It is also essential for our future because we all want Azerbaijan to develop and become an even more powerful country. We have demonstrated our strength on the battlefield, in the political sphere, in any format. We showed our independence. The day will come, and some issues will probably be revealed that could not be announced during the war. Perhaps I can also clarify some points. Then everyone will see what ordeals we had to overcome, how much pressure we came under. We can say that they repeatedly told us to stop, stop, and stop! But we went forward because I felt the support of the people. I saw their confidence in me. Nothing could stop me because I knew we were right. We are restoring our territorial integrity, returning our lands. This war showed the whole world how great the Azerbaijani people are – the unconquered people, the people with iron resolve, the victorious people, and our victorious army! We are proud of our people, our military!
I am sure that all Azerbaijani citizens believe that these days and minutes are the happiest in their lives. I am also excited to convey good news and these messages to the Azerbaijani people. I am pleased to have signed this historic document. I am happy that we are returning to our homeland, to our native Karabakh, Shusha – Karabakh’s crown jewel, and we will always live in these lands! From now on, no-one can move us from these lands!
The expression “Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” has already become a symbol of our victory. I said it a year ago. I am proud that my statement has already become a national slogan. Today we can say with great pride that Fuzuli is ours, Jabrayil is ours, Zangilan is ours, Gubadli is ours, Aghdam is ours, Lachin is ours, Kalbajar is ours, Shusha is ours, Karabakh is ours, Karabakh is Azerbaijan! Glory to the Azerbaijani people! Long live Azerbaijan!