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!