Heydar Aliyev continues working for benefit of Russian-Azerbaijani relations even after death
December 12 marks the anniversary of the death of the national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Ailev. It's been already 14 years since he died, but to this day people in Russia pay tribute to the memory of Aliyev with great respect.
This year, three volumes of the book 'Heydar Aliyev. Personality and Epoch' were published in Moscow by a member of Milli Majalis, writer and publicist Elmira Akhundova. The book, which was published with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, tells about different periods of life and activity: the first volume tells about Heydar Aliyev's start in life, his activities in the state security bodies, his election as the leader of the Azerbaijan SSR, Azerbaijan's economic ascension in the 1970s; the second volume - about Heydar Aliyev's relations with the three Secretaries-General - Yuri Andropov, Konstantin Chernenko and Mikhail Gorbachev, about the plan for the removal of the politician, as well as about the Karabakh separatism; the third volume - about Heydar Aliyev's return to Nakhichevan and - because of strong demand by the people - to the leadership in independent Azerbaijan, about preventing a civil war, saving the country from a split, achieving a ceasefire in Karabakh and an oil strategy.
"Heydar Aliyevich is many-faced and many-sided. It's like there are three different people on the covers. It would seem that there are different faces, but his eyes are the same," the chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Leonid Slutsky, said at the commemorative event in the Azerbaijani embassy. "In terms of telling about a personality, the person who stood at the origins of today's Azerbaijani statehood, these three volumes surpasses are ahead of all previously published books."
"It is impossible to imagine a prosperous, energy-independent, proud Azerbaijan without its founder, without this man. Without him Azerbaijan would not have been a state. Looking from heaven to his son, his daughter-in-law, his people, his land, Heydar Aliyevich can be satisfied, because today Azerbaijan has made a tremendous breakthrough. This country is confidently moving along the path of progressive development both in politics, economics and in cooperation with other countries, among which Russia occupies a special place," Leonid Slutsky believes.
A pianist and composer Farkhad Badalbeili told Vestnik Kavkaza that Heydar Aliyev was an internationalist: "He loved his homeland, the USSR. I was born in the USSR as well, so we are little sensitive when everything connected with that period is 'described in the blackest colours' It was a powerful country with huge achievements, especially in culture. And for Heydar Aliyevich culture was special. Peter I shaved off his boyars' beards, forced them to wear German styled clothing, and our Heydar Aliyevich introduced a very interesting thing: every last Friday evening there was a symphony concert. A famous musicologist Zhanna Dozortseva came to us from Moscow, she still gives lectures in the Moscow Philharmonic. Events were also organized for the party activists. Heydar Aliyev understood that the cultural level of many officials, unfortunately, is not enough. Heydar Aliyevich paid much attention to it, because he was a great intellectual. He adored the theater, art since he was young, he wanted to become an architect. Moscow and Leningrad theaters, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra often performed in Azerbaijan. He always visited, expressed his opinions about a certain performance or concert. He loved it, it was from the heart. Therefore, we, the cultural figures, are very fortunate in this sense. He always tried to solve everyday problems of talented artists. It was my time, the time of Muslim [Magomayev], Polad [Bulbul oglu]. A wonderful time when we were one common power, and Azerbaijan performed its very strong solo part in this choir of fraternal republics thanks to Heydar Aliyevich. "
Answering the question about modern cultural relations between Russia and Azerbaijan, Farkhad Badalbeili said: "Russian theaters perform in Azerbaijan, I will perform in the Tchaikovsky Hall on December 13. But I think that such an exchange should become more intensive. Russia is a powerful power. It has a huge army, a huge recent success in Syria. But believe me, Russia's culture is an even more powerful weapon. Russian culture wins without any sacrifice, without hatred, without war. One performance in the Bolshoi Theater, one symphony by Tchaikovsky or Shostakovich forces to love Russia a hundred times more. Russian culture should be more aggressive in a good way. Do not break these ties. In Soviet times, there were Days of Russia in Azerbaijan, Days of Russia in Ukraine, Days of Ukraine in Georgia ... There was an understanding that cultures should interpenetrate into each other. There are certain efforts now - we have the Slavic University in Baku, the Russian sectors in my academy. There is no problem of Russian language for us. What can be the problem with English or Russian languages, if these languages are spoken by most people in the world. Not to mention the great Russian literature and music. Therefore, in this respect we really want Russia to be more involved in the Caucasus, as it was once".
The artist Andrei Bronnikov told Vestnik Kavkaza that "it's so interesting to listen to those people who knew Heydar Aliyev personally".
"He was a unique person in our history and culture. I've known this name since I can remember. Listening stories about him, you understand the importance of his personality. He really stepped into the same river twice, becoming the head of two completely different Azerbaijans, which is scary, important, and valuable. In fact, it was Heydar Aliyev who created modern Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is my passionate love, which is very sincere, I adore this country. But I understand perfectly that history is created by personalities. In this sense, it is very important that a man of such scale, such energy was at the right time in the right place," Bronnikov said.
President of the Union of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia, Gennady Schmal, expressed the opinion that Azerbaijan was very lucky when "the real leader of the Azerbaijani people" Heydar Aliyev took over it in the difficult period: "It was an amazing and unique person, who had vast knowledge and was able to solve problems. He went through a great school, working both in his own country, and in Moscow, in the government of the USSR. "
"The Commission of the Council of Ministers, which dealt with the problems of the fuel and energy complex, was headed by Boris Yevdokimovich Shcherbina, and the Commission for Operational Issues - by the First Deputy Prime Minister Heydar Aliyev. The Commission for Operational Issues was engaged in management of the entire economy, except for some global, promising issues. There were many problems, and one of them was connected with dumping of cars. The turnover was great, the volume of traffic was enormous, and the existing cars were not enough. I worked in the Minneftegazstroi back then, and I remember how hard it was with a temperature of 50 ºC in the North, in the arctic regions - Urengoy, Nadym, Novy Urengoy. Our cranes could not work at all - they broke like matches. Only foreign equipment - then we received Kamazu pipelayers - could work in these conditions. But, of course, there were delays. Heidar Alievich held conference calls every week. He solved problems related to transport and many other problems, but his talent in the government was not fully used," Shmal recalls.
He believes that when in 1987 Mikhail Gorbachev pushed many people who had great potential into retirement, it was a serious mistake: "He made many other mistakes, but it was one of the main ones when he removed such people from the Central Committee. When Heydar Aliyev came to leadership in Azerbaijan, everything changed in the country. "
Shmal also recalled how he spent time in with Geidar Aliyev in the recreation house 'Lesnye Dali': "I saw him in everyday life. I saw how he treated his grandson, who was three or four years old back then. It was nice to see how this outstanding statesman, an intellectual worker, communicated with his grandson."
"Today, Azerbaijan's economy is much like ours. Oil and gas account for 40% of budget money both in Russia and Azerbaijan. The decline in prices affects our economies. Nevertheless oilmen and gas specialists have always had a standard - Baku. We were always connected by a very close friendship with Azerbaijani oil workers, geologists, builders, machine builders, therefore, Azerbaijan was the place where magnificent drilling equipment plants and plants that were engaged in floating drilling rigs were built. Therefore, my close friends were the outstanding son of the Azerbaijani nation Farman Salmanov, another prominent Azerbaijani - Sabit Orudzhev, the minister of the gas industry of the USSR, the first Azerbaijani native who was the USSR minister, who did a lot for the development of the gas industry. With him comes to the post of gas minister our gas workers reached a colossal production growth of more than 400 billion cubic meters of gas a year ... Heydar Aliyev made a huge contribution to the development of the economy the USSR, but as for Azerbaijan, our friends were very lucky to have such a leader," Shmal said.
The ambassador of Azerbaijan to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu told Vestnik Kavkaza that a lot can be said about Heydar Aliyev's contribution to the development of Russian-Azerbaijani relations: "He was an outstanding public figure, an outstanding political leader of his people. Heydar Aliyev have continued working for the benefit of his people, for the benefit of the development of Russian-Azerbaijani relations even after his death. Today, outstanding, famous people, political figures, political scientists, deputies visited our embassy. Even after all these years at the commemorative event, all this is aimed at bringing Russia and Azerbaijan closer. It expresses love to the people, the culture and those relations in the country, which was called the USSR. There were a lot of bad things, but there was a lot of good back then. This good must be preserved, we should remember it, we should develop it. On this basis we need to move forward. Therefore, today everyone remembers the contribution of an outstanding person to the development of Russian-Azerbaijani relations and in modern Azerbaijan."