Today marks the first anniversary of the outbreak of the Patriotic War. Those days went down into Azerbaijan’s history as the glorious pages. On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijani armed forces launched the counteroffensive after thwarting yet another provocation committed by Armenians. Under all laws and rules, Azerbaijan’s step was fair. Neither UN resolutions nor the proposals of international mediators promoted the withdrawal of invader Armenian troops from Azerbaijani lands. Just the other way round, they tried to consolidate in the seized lands, illegally settling in these territories and moving people from different countries there.

The change in the government that took place in Armenia in April 2018 brought no changes to Yerevan’s rhetoric on Karabakh. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his wife Anna Hakobyan made haughty statements on Karabakh, shared images on social networks, and took other steps. It came to the point when the prime minister said, ‘Karabakh is Armenia and full stop.’ The domestic political situation did not work in favor of the new authorities. Former Presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan’s supporters threatened to oust Pashinyan. Both the former presidents and Nikol were supported by external powers.

Though Kocharyan was released on a $4-million bail after being imprisoned, he managed to form opposition to the government. Serzh Sargsyan did no less to this end too. Both old and new leaders tried to demonstrate their superiority by playing the Karabakh card. Steps were taken in this direction to increase the sociopolitical influence of Nikol Pashinyan. In the summer of 2019, Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan stressed that they do not accept ‘peace in exchange for territory’ and put forward a different thesis, saying, “New war for new territories. We must increase the number of platoons to conduct military activity in the enemy’s territory.” Nikol Pashinyan supported him and made a new mistake by saying, “If Tonoyan had made a different statement, I would have sacked him.”

On July 12-16, 2020, the Armenian military attempted to violate Azerbaijan’s state border in the Tovuz direction, as one of the steps Pashinyan and his entourage take to increase their public approval rating. Official Yerevan was preparing to attack Azerbaijan following the principle of ‘New war for new territories.’ To respond to Armenia’s claim, Azerbaijan unleashed a counteroffensive. As a result, the country managed to restore its territorial integrity and sovereignty over its lands. Before the battles started, the international community representatives and mediators treated Karabakh separatists and their leaders as ‘an independent state,’ ‘leaders.’ By doing so, they tried to make Azerbaijan give up its lands. The things came to this point due to the 30-year action or inaction of the international mediators.

On the other hand, September 27 brought clarity to the positions of some countries on Azerbaijan’s fair struggle. It also determined who is more honest regarding the conflict settlement and liberation of lands from occupation. From the first days of the war, the international mediators pretended to be shocked. Russian, French, and Iranian media unleashed a more active campaign against Azerbaijan. After that, the officials of these countries started to respond to the developments. Meanwhile, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing states were silent for some time. Then they saw that the situation had changed and stressed the unacceptability of attacking civilians. However, Armenia ignored their statements and shelled civilian targets in Ganja, Tartar, Barda, Goranboy, Naftalan, Yevlakh, Mingachevir, Aghjabadi. They even fired a Russian-made Iskander missile into the Azerbaijani territory.

This is while the international community, which, for 30 years, demonstrated its incompetence in resolving this conflict, mobilized to defend Armenia. As the Azerbaijani Army was liberating its territories from occupation, the unlawful actions of those who acted as mediators and their pals in the Azerbaijani territories were exposed.

Separate states and persons were assisted by the media in hindering the liberation of Azerbaijani lands. For many years, a number of leading media outlets of the world have been distorting Azerbaijan’s just cause and forming an image of humiliated, helpless, and fair Armenians.

During and after the 44-day war, President Ilham Aliyev gave interviews to nearly 30 foreign media outlets, including famous media outlets such as Turkey’s TRT Haber, CNN Turk, Haber Global, Haber Turk, NTV, A Haber television, Russia’s Rossiya-1, Perviy, RBK TV channels, RIA Novosti, TASS, and Interfax agencies, France’s Sky News, France 24 TV channels, Figaro newspaper, Germany’s ARD TV channel, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper, US Fox News, Italy’s Rai-1 channel and La Repubblica newspaper, Spain’s EFE Information Agency, as well as Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, Euronews, CNN International, BBC News TV channels.

In his interviews with local and foreign media, his address to people, and speeches from various rostrums delivered during the 44-day Patriotic War, Supreme Commander-in-chief Ilham Aliyev smashed the wrong image formed in the international arena by Armenia and its patrons. Along with bringing accurate information about the developments on the front to the population, he commented on the developments, thus foiling the attempts to spread disinformation in the country.

During the Second Karabakh War, there were those who supported Azerbaijan’s just cause and those who opposed it. Turkey, Pakistan, Israel, Ukraine, and others were the first to voice political support to Baku’s counteroffensive. Then many sent their congratulations to Azerbaijan on the occasion of the restoration of its territorial integrity.

The head of state’s hard work, diplomatic skills, the comprehensive answers he gave during the interviews in several languages changed the situation in Azerbaijan’s favor, smashing the information blockade created by Armenia and its patrons. The correct information policy conducted by Ilham Aliyev brought victory to Azerbaijan both on the battlefield and in the information war.

As the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, Ilham Aliyev led the Army’s operations during the 44-day war. Ilham Aliyev is now called the Victorious Commander-in-Chef for liberating the lands from Armenian occupation and victory in the war. He has become a hero of the Azerbaijani people.

In all his speeches during international and local events, the president spoke about the occupation of Azerbaijani lands and the fruitless activity of mediators. Owing to his foreign policy, Azerbaijan managed to prove its just cause to the world. Therefore, during the Second Karabakh War, the country’s leading powers could not oppose Azerbaijan. To put it another way, such attempts taken by international power centers were doomed to failure.

Ilham Aliyev’s ‘Karabakh is Azerbaijan and an exclamation mark!’ became famous worldwide. On September 27, the supreme commander-in-chief ordered to launch a counteroffensive for this slogan to come true.

The high combat ability of the Army also depends on ammunition and military hardware. A part of victory is linked to it. The comprehensive measures taken by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief towards the provision of advanced ammunition and military hardware played a tangible role in Azerbaijan’s victory in the Second Karabakh War.

During the 44-day war, Azerbaijan demonstrated its superiority on the battlefield, in foreign policy, information and propaganda. It all was possible owing to the far-sighted policy, diplomatic competence, and commanding ability of the Victorious Commander-in-Chief as a politician.

The young patriots raised during Ilham Aliyev’s presidency also proved themselves during the battles. The high level of combat ability of the soldiers and officers rests on their love for the homeland. Under Ilham Aliyev’s commandment, the young Azerbaijanis waved the country’s tricolor flag in Shusha and other territories liberated from occupation.

On December 10, 2020, Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan participated in the Victory Parade on the occasion of the Victory in the Patriotic War. The Supreme Commander-in-Chief said during this ceremonial event: “On September 27, our villages and military positions came under artillery fire, causing casualties among civilians and servicemen. We said enough is enough, this occupation must and will end. As Commander-in-Chief, I gave an order to our Army to end the occupation and punish the occupier. Azerbaijan achieved what it wanted in 44 days and restored justice.”

The conflict, which the international mediators failed to resolve in nearly 30 years, was settled by Azerbaijani soldiers in just 44 days. It put an end to the long-lasting dispute. This war freed the Armenian citizens of Azerbaijan from captivity. For many years they were deceived by false promises and brainwashed by mythical ideas. September 27 was also the day when Armenians started to get rid of the chains of the false ideology of Armenianism. They now need to start integrating with the Azerbaijani community… Azerbaijan can find a common language with its Armenian citizens provided that there are no ‘do-gooders’ between them.

So, by liberating its lands from occupation, Azerbaijan paved the way for regional security, cooperation, and development of the South Caucasus. This war has exposed the senselessness, uselessness of the ideology of Armenianism and showed that Armenia was on the wrong way. By destroying everything in the occupied territories during the 30-year occupation, Armenians showed that these lands did not belong to them but to Azerbaijan. The combat ability of the two armies were demonstrated during the 44-day war. All wars end sooner or later, the occupier retreats, and talks start. It all marks the beginning of a new stage for getting familiar with each other and sign a peace treaty. So, the offensive unleashed on September 27 shifted the Azerbaijan-Armenia relations to a new phase. Now the parties speak about the recognition of borders and the signing of a peace treaty. The new conditions make the understanding between Armenia and Azerbaijan possible without mediators.

During the Patriotic War that started on September 27, Azerbaijani soldiers were martyred or sustained traumas. They sacrificed their health and lives for the territorial integrity and development of their home country.

Karabakh is Azerbaijan!