'Fuel of Victory: Azerbaijan during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945)' book by Mikhail Mukhin presented in Baku

The leading researcher of the Institute of Russian History of Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Historical Sciences Mikhail Mukhin's monograph titled 'Fuel of Victory: Azerbaijan during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945)' was presented today in the Russian Information and Cultural Center (RICC) in Baku.

Mikhail Mukhin explained his interest in the topic of Azerbaijani oil by his work on the issue of providing troops with  aviation fuel during the Great Patriotic War. "It is no secret that during the Second World War from three-quarters to two-thirds of all the country's oil was produced in the Apsheron Peninsula. During archival research, I managed to find the files dedicated to the Azneftekombinat activities before and after the Second World War - that's why I began to study it more closely," the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza cited the author as saying. 

In the process of historical research, the scientist had to explore the topic of Azerbaijan SSR as a whole. "I increasingly started to notice that, as a historian, I'm not able to clearly explain for myself why Azerbaijan's oil industry developed exactly that way, until I do not touch upon subjects that at first glance has nothing to do with economic history, but still affect it. Therefore, I started to explore socio-cultural issues. In particular, I could not understand how they managed to survive during the period of June 22, 1941-January 1, 1942. And I realized that it was achieved solely by their moral qualities," Mikhail Mukhin noted.

The structure of the research has been developed due to this approach. "In the first chapter, I considered the history of Azerbaijan's incorporation into Russia, because I am firmly convinced that at the beginning of the 19th century, the Azerbaijani elite, both cultural and political, was in a state of civilizational choice. There were Iran-oriented people, those who planned to enter the Ottoman world, and also there were wide western-oriented circles, in this regard they were guided by Russia - if these circles had not won, Azerbaijan would not have been part of Russia," the scientist said. .

"In the second chapter, I considered the process of formation of the Azerbaijani oil industry in the years of the Russian Empire. The third chapter is devoted to the 1920s and 1930s. I devoted the fourth chapter to the first six months of the Great Patriotic War," Mikhail Mukhin drew attention.

The last chapter of the book is devoted to the Azerbaijani society. "The Absheron oil industry was the leading segment of the Azerbaijani economy in those years - but the oil industry workers were part of a single society. Their mothers, wives and daughters worked in the country's economy, Azerbaijani transport workers also contributed to the common victory. Azerbaijani people of art traveled to the front as part of the front brigades. That is, the whole country took part on the war, and the victory was common as well," the scientist emphasized.

"When I put the last point, I realized that the most important conclusion personally for me was the thought that we constantly need to compare our actions with the past. Those sitting here in the forefront, back then you did something that was unbearably difficult. Now we, who were born long after 1945, need judge ourselves by this standard," he concluded his speech.

The Moscow publishing house 'Khudozhestvennaya Literatura' has published the monograph in March, 2018. In his book, Mikhail Mukhin draws attention to the fact that the oil industry was one of the foundations of the defensive capability of states during the Second World War.

And in those years, Absheron Peninsula was the basis of oil production in the USSR. The outcome of the front operations of the Red Army depended on how reliable and efficiently the Azerbaijani oil producers worked.

The book also tells about the development of the oil industry in Azerbaijan before the revolution and before the Great Patriotic War and about the contribution of the AzSSR to the Great Victory.

The study used the documents of Russian State Archive of the Economy, as well as Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History and Central Archives of the Russian Ministry of Defence, most of them were first introduced into scientific circulation. The work is aimed at a wide range of history lovers.

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