Minister of Interior Gen. Ramil Usubov on Karabakh War and History of Azerbaijan


We decided to present an excerpt from the interview with Ramil Usubov, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Azerbaijan Republic, published in "Bakinskiy Rabochiy" newspaper, in Russian, on 7 May 1998, p. 3, recorded by Oktay Mamedzade Altunbay; place and date not given: "Response to the 'Gentlemen' Suffering From Political Color-Blindness."
The interview, besides addressing general opposition claims and question, reveals interesting details of the involvement of Azerbaijani Police in the Karabakh war, as well as proud history of military successes and conquests of the people of Azerbaijan.


[Ramil Usubov] "Since the times of the rule of our great original mother Tomris and the Medean era the Azerbaijani Turks have been a nation creating states and culture. Throughout its history Azerbaijan has by the glory of its heroes and geniuses multiplied the glory of world history. Did Tomris, the great original mother of the Azerbaijani Turks, 2,500 years ago not with a single blow bring to his knees the emperor of Achaemenian Iran, who had united the major st ates of the ancient world? And did not the star of a country that would subsequently be called Azerbaijan begin to shine? The peoples of the ancient world observed with astonishment and dread the upsurge of this proud and magnificent people from the traps of tragedy. The ancient world saw that Azerbaijan was fully resolved to break the will of its conquerors. In the era of Alexander the Great of Macedonia Azerbaijan, which was at that time called Atropatene, was able to preserve its independence.

And in the eighth century, in the era of the Arab caliphate, the backbone of the empire called Arabestan [arabskaya derzhava], was felled by the sword of the mighty hero of Azerbaijan -- Babek. And although the Arab empire with a broken backbone prolonged its life for a further 200 years, its former power and glory receded in the 14th century into history. The star of a mighty state—Azerbaijan -- shone in the East once again.

By his heroism, intellect, and sword Atabek Muhammed Jahan Pehlivan, the ruler of Azerbaijan, deterred enemies, forced them to swallow their own blood, compelled Baghdad to yield, and brought Iran to its knees. The gaze of the entire Ea st was then riveted on Azerbaijan. This was a time when Azerbaijan dictated its will to the Arab caliphate. And then, in the 12th century, the state of Garagoyunlu, in the 15th century, the state of Aggoyunlu, and in the 16th century, the creation by Shah Ismail Khatai, brilliant son of Azerbaijan, of the Safavid Empire and Azerbaijan's entry into world politics. These are glorious pages of our national statehood. How ungrateful and impious you have to be not to see these glorious pages of Azerbaijani his tory! To accuse the Azerbaijani people of an inability to create their own state!

[Altunbay] Minister, Monitor [magazine] pontificates about some gift of fortune. Sovereign Azerbaijan is not, allegedly, the result of the Azerbaijani people's historic struggle for their freedom and independence but simply a sovereign state by the will of fortune. The red empire collapsed, and, thanks to this, Azerbaijan became independent, allegedly.

[Usubov] When a person maintains that white is black and does so with impunity, in time lies and slander become a rule of life for such people. You can blacken the whole world in this way and talk about a gift of for tune, this is, to put it mildly, black ingratitude and indifference to the misfortunes and sufferings of one's people. The Armenians savagely wiped Khojaly from the face of the earth. Shusha was a wound in the heart of Azerbaijan.... Blood-stained Kelbaja r was calling for help....

And the bloody night--20 of January 1990? This was a gift of fortune? One-fifth of Azerbaijan is still under the heel of the enemy. And the million- strong army of refugees? All this is disastrous for the economy of Azerbaijan, the stat e is buckling beneath this burden. It is not every country that would endure under this intolerably heavy load.

All this is being done to bring Azerbaijan to its knees and to encroach on its sovereignty. Is this a gift of fortune? Monitor called the present independent state of Azerbaijan a "gift of fortune." This is appalling ingratitude and an unthinkable moral crime.

Are these hacks not Azerbaijanis? Whence such indifference to the motherland? Whence the unimaginable lack of righteousness in their hearts? What ray, what sun could illumine this cemetery-like darkness?

What sort of conscience do you need to have to philosophize, calling the present Azerbaijani state a "gift of fortune"! No, this is not simply delirium, it is a hostile policy openly aimed against our people.

No one can imagine what Azerbaijan's lot would be today had the Azerbaijani police not displayed heroism from the first day of the war against the Armenian aggressors. Because a nation that had no army had to be defended by its polic e. And the police did so. And the more than 500 of our police who fell in the fight against the Armenian occupiers egged on by the malice of Balayan and the hatred of Starovoytova? The ineradicable scars in the hearts of the 500 mothers, 500 fathers, and 500 wives and fiancees? What sort of callous cynic do you have to be to loaf about in the shadow of the police heroes and call them "Gestapo"!

And who will answer for the wounds and torments of almost 5,000 police officers?! These are the wounds of our courageous sons, which they peceived so that our people (and the people of Monitor also) might live in peace and freedo m and so that our fathers and mothers and wives and sisters and our children not find themselves slaves in the clutches of Armenian gangsters.

After all, had we not had such national heroes as Madat Guliyev, Nuretdin Ibragimov, Alif Gadzhiyev, and many others, who knows in what backwaters the Monitor orators would be vegetating today and whose captives they would be. Do they know about Madat Guliyev's wounds? Had it not been for the 62 national heroes from the ranks of the Azerbaijani police who, proceeding from the philosophy: "After the motherland is occupied, what use is freedom, and if freedom is enchained, the m otherland will be a dungeon for us all," hurled themselves into death's embrace for our land, for the security of our people and the state. What sun is today illumining your fate, gentlemen Monitor employees, calling the Azerbaijani police Gestapo?

If on the frosty nights of 16-18 January 1990 during the fighting for Sadarak national hero Mageram Seidov, captain of police, and Allakhverdi Gasanov, then chief of police of Sharur Rayon, with 20-30 pistol rounds had not taken on A rmenian tanks, rockets, machine guns, and automatic weapons, the sages from Monitor would not now be sitting in cozy corners of Baku throwing confusion on the issue.

And how can we forget Allakhverdi Gasanov, colonel of police, now chief of the police department of Kurdamir Region. For heroism displayed during the defense of Sadarak the local population at that time, in 1990, that is, sent stream s of letters and telegrams to the Supreme Soviet and high government authorities urging that the title of national hero be bestowed on Allakhverdi Gasanov. But Allakhverdi himself stopped this flow.

President Geydar Aliyev, experiencing the burdens together with his people in Nakhchivan, conferred on Allakhverdi Gasanov the title "People's Hero." What a good thing it was that four enemy bullets did not fell Allakhverdi and he d id not become a national hero by edict of the apologies for leaders. Not every edict stands the test of time.

Edicts that were yesterday considered honorable are today worthless pieces of paper. People's hero--this is a sacred and unshakable idol who is independent of time.

[Altunbay] Once during a meeting with Allakhverdi Gasanov I asked him: Colonel, you considered it beneath your dignity to accept an award from the rulers at that time or, sensin g the greatness and power of such an honorific, the responsibility that it presupposes?

Allakhverdi Gasanov answered slowly, heavily, with sorrow and sadness in his voice: If the motherland is captive, what's the point of the glory and honor connected with the title of national hero? Can I be proud of the title of natio nal hero if one-fifth of Azerbaijan is beneath the heel of the enemy? Do we have the moral right to call ourselves heroes? If the honor of the motherland is being trampled by the enemy, such an accursed enemy as Armenian fascism, what is more, what honor is there to talk about? One million of my compatriots are refugees, can there be any question of glory? Yes, I fought for four years for the freedom of the motherland. But did we liberate it? And until our native land is liberated, which of those living i s morally entitled to consider himself a hero?


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