Legendary surgeon Leo Bokeria about Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis
President of the League of Nation's Health, Honorary President of the Bakulev Center, Chief Freelance Cardiovascular Surgeon of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Academician Leo Bokeria told Vestnik Kavkaza about his connections with Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis.
- Today, in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, Russian and Azerbaijani doctors have strengthened their already close cooperation. Have you been to Azerbaijan? What connects you with this country?
- I have never been to Azerbaijan, but I treat this country and its people with great sympathy. A doctor of sciences, an Azerbaijani professor Alik Hajiyev worked in our center - he was not only my assistant, but also a friend. We worked together in a baro-operative room, where operations for children with congenital heart disease were performed at a pressure equivalent to the pressure of 25 meters of water. This was my initiative, my Ph.D., doctoral, and then the Lenin Prize for operations in a pressure chamber. I personally performed more than 250 surgeries under such pressure, and Alik helped me in 70-75% of cases. This would be an incredibly warm, decent, witty person. He even played for the double of the Baku “Neftchi”. Unfortunately, he died suddenly from cancer. He was a very bright man.
I must also say that Azerbaijanis have always been very hospitable and friendly people. I am a Soviet person in every sense and it is important for me that, for example, revolutionary circles in Transcaucasia were formed precisely in Azerbaijan. It was the Azerbaijanis who hid and protected other people in the name of a bright idea so that everyone would live better.
Here I will not list the Azerbaijanis who have made a huge contribution to art, science, medicine - not a single interview will contain the names of those people whom Azerbaijan gave us.
- Did you know Heydar Aliyev?
- No, but our director of the Bakulev Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery Vladimir Ivanovich Burakovsky met with him when Heydar Aliyev was the first deputy chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. He helped Burakovsky a lot in allocating funds for the construction of a huge complex on Rublevskoye Highway, which was built from 1984 to 1997. Many then interfered with construction, and Heydar Aliyev really helped a lot. For this, too, many thanks to Azerbaijan. (Since 1955, the Institute of Thoracic Surgery was located in only two chambers of the faculty surgery clinic of the Second Moscow Medical Institute headed by Bakulev. the first operation was carried out.The official opening took place a year later, in November 1998, - ed.).
And with the current vice-president of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva, we received the Order of the Commonwealth for 2011 together.