Ilham Aliyev addressed the nation
My fellow compatriots,
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!