President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev has made a speech in front of the servicemen in Shusha.
First, the national anthem of the Republic of Azerbaijan was played.
President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev made a speech in front of the servicemen.
Speech of President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev
– Dear servicemen! I congratulate you, the personnel of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan and the people of Azerbaijan on the occasion of Victory Day. First of all, I would request that the memory of our martyrs who died heroically for the Motherland be commemorated with a minute of silence.
May Allah rest the souls of all our martyrs in peace.
We are celebrating Victory Day in Shusha, on the Jidir Duzu today. All of Azerbaijan celebrates this glorious holiday. Azerbaijan has restored its territorial integrity and restored historical justice. We have fulfilled our historic mission by driving the enemy out of our native lands. In 44 days, Azerbaijan won a historic victory by destroying all the fortifications and military positions Armenia had built in 30 years and crushed the Armenian army. This glorious holiday was presented to our people by you and tens of thousands of other servicemen like you.
The second Karabakh war is a bright page in our glorious history. The people of Azerbaijan have mobilized all their resources and fulfilled this glorious mission. During the occupation, I repeatedly said that every citizen of Azerbaijan should bring this holy day closer with hard work and deeds. I said that the people of Azerbaijan would never come to terms with the occupation, and we mobilized all our resources to put an end to the occupation and drove the enemy out of our historical lands.
When I was first elected President in 2003, I addressed the people of Azerbaijan and said that we would regain our historical lands from the enemy at any cost – whether through peace or war. And so it happened. Many years of peace talks did not yield any results. The result was zero. On the contrary, the enemy became completely presumptuous. Whereas the Azerbaijani people and myself still had some hope for negotiations in the first years of occupation, those hopes were completely dashed in recent years. Armenia and its supporters wanted to perpetuate this occupation. They believed that if they were able to occupy our lands for about 30 years, they would continue to occupy them forever. But they made a mistake. They should have known that we would never come to terms with this situation. They should have known that we would drive the enemy out of our lands at any cost. We had to be ready for this as a people and as a state. All preparations had to be made on time, and they were. As you know, army building and strengthening of our military potential were my priority tasks as President, and it is no coincidence that the biggest state budget expenditures have been intended for military purposes during my presidency. Over the years, we have created a strong military and technical capacity. The most modern weapons, ammunition and equipment were brought to our country, and this equipment was used properly by the military. The second Karabakh war is a clear proof of this. The combat capability of our army has greatly increased. Regular military exercises were held, and the equipment, morale and combat capability of our army were greatly enhanced.
We had to strengthen the economy, and we understood that if we did not achieve this, we would not be able to drive the enemy out of our lands. First of all, economic independence had to be secured. Because if we had been dependent, if we had depended on any other power, they would never have allowed us to fulfill this glorious mission. Therefore, from the first days of my presidency, all the necessary steps were taken for economic independence, and we achieved this in a short time. Today, Azerbaijan is at the forefront of the world in terms of economic potential and economic stability. Without the economic independence, there would be no political independence. We could have found ourselves in a dependent position – just as many countries are dependent today, which is why they are unable to express their will. Political independence has allowed us the opportunity to build relations with all our partners on the principles of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s affairs. Thus, one of the main conditions for the liberation of our lands was provided.
We have managed to convey the realities of Karabakh and Armenian atrocities related to the occupation to the world community. Soon after the first Karabakh war, we could not achieve this. Therefore, there was a distorted perception of the war in the world and of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a whole. We have eliminated it. We have been working day and night to inform the world community, to work successfully in leading international organizations and to have decisions and resolutions adopted that would support us and reflect the truth. All this work formed the legal basis for today’s reality. Because today, after we have driven the enemy out of our lands, no one can criticize us. We have conducted a successful operation on our own lands, we have not violated international law, we have not violated the rules of warfare. We fought a just war and defeated the enemy on the battlefield.
Another important factor was the upbringing of the younger generation. We understood very well that even if we have weapons and ammunition, even if our economy is strong, even if we succeed in the international arena, these factors would not matter much if our citizens did not show their strength for the sake of our lands, for the sake of the Motherland. We have brought up young people in the spirit of patriotism, paying great attention to educational work. We did not allow the history of the occupation to be forgotten. We have not forgotten Karabakh. On the contrary, this issue has always been the top priority issue in every event for us, both domestically and internationally. Growing up in the spirit of patriotism, young people were able to sacrifice their lives and take our sacred lands from the enemy at the cost of their own lives. The combination of all these factors conditioned our victory.
I want to say again that it was clear that the enemy did not want to leave our land of its own free will, was becoming more and more impudent, was taking unacceptable steps and making statements to insult the dignity of the Azerbaijani people. By saying “Karabakh is Armenia”, Armenia not only put an end to the process of negotiations, but also insulted us. It was an insult addressed to us when a fake swearing-in ceremony was held in Shusha, the crown of Karabakh, which is so sacred to us. That devil’s lair in which the event took place was destroyed by the heroic Azerbaijani Army during the war. The relocation of the so-called “parliament” of the self-styled entity to Shusha was another provocation against us. Armenia was arrogantly threatening us with renewed occupation. How much longer did we have to put up with that? Someone had to teach them a lesson, didn’t they? Thousands, tens of thousands of young Azerbaijanis, soldiers and officers like you stepped forward and showed the enemy where it belonged, putting it in a situation they will never be able to get out of. They will live forever with the mark of a defeated nation and state.
During the occupation, the enemy celebrated the occupation of Shusha, a city sacred to us, in May every year. In May of this year, the “Kharibulbul” festival was held here on the Jidir Duzu, and the mugham was played. In August, Vagif Poetry Days were held here, and poems by Vagif and other great poets were recited in Shusha. From now on, no songs will be sung here in a strange language and no inappropriate statements will be made in this land and under this sky. From now on, it will be the Azerbaijani language that will dominate this land, as has been the case throughout history – calls to prayer in the Shusha mosque, the sound of the mugham in the Jidir Duzu, poems in front of the mausoleum of Vagif. That is the reality. We have achieved this. Despite all the international pressure and despite all the threats, our people united like a fist, stood behind the Army, and we have fulfilled this historic and glorious mission. For 44 days, we kept moving forward every day and never took a step back. Despite 10,000 deserters in the Armenian army, no one in the Azerbaijani army escaped from the battlefield. This is our national spirit. This is the spirit of Azerbaijan.
During the occupation, Armenia invented myths about its army and its alleged warriors: “the invincible Armenian army”. Where is this invincible army now? Where is the Armenian army? It has been blown to smithereens, we crushed them in a matter of 44 days. They begged for help and were on their knees. Accepting our conditions, they signed an act of capitulation in the early hours of 10 November and waved the white flag.
We have shown the whole world who is who. We have shown the whole world that we are a great nation. We showed the greatness of our people both during the war and in the year that has passed since it ended. The Armenians have ravaged all our cities. Azerbaijani citizens and foreigners visiting these places are stunned and horrified that such vandalism is even possible. Can there be so much hatred? Can there be so much barbarism? This was committed by the Armenians during the occupation. They committed these atrocities by demolishing and looting all the buildings and even taking tombstones to Armenia. During the war, we followed the laws of warfare, we did not violate the rules of war, we acted with dignity, just as we act with dignity in life and politics.
Victory Day is our holiday. It is the holiday of Victory, it is the holiday of courage, it is the holiday of justice, it is the holiday of national pride, it is the holiday of national dignity. We have restored our dignity. From now on, we will live forever as a victorious country and a victorious nation. From now on, we will live forever in Karabakh and Zangazur. If any force in Armenia looks askance at us or engages in revanchist tendencies, it will see our fist. Our fist is still in place.
Dear friends, dear people of Azerbaijan. I would like to congratulate you once again on this glorious holiday. I wish the Azerbaijani Army new victories and the Azerbaijani people continued success.
Long live the Azerbaijani Army, long live the Azerbaijani people. Karabakh is ours, Karabakh is Azerbaijan!