Victory over Nazis ‘was impossible without Baku oil’

The Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II would have been impossible without Baku and its oil, Vladimir Dorokhin, the Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, has said. He was addressing an event organized on Friday by the embassies of the former Soviet bloc CIS’ states to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the victory over fascism.
Speaking at the "Brotherhood grave" site, which was erected to honor the Great Patriotic War victims, the ambassador described Azerbaijan’s contribution to the victory as indispensable.
641,000 Azerbaijanis were involved in the Patriotic War from 1941-45, of whom about half fell in the battles. Over 130 were named Heroes of the Soviet Union for their courage. Azerbaijan also supplied 70 percent of the oil produced in the USSR during the war, and the fuel provided by Baku oilworkers was used for the tanks and planes that were crucial for attaining victory over the Nazis.
The Russian ambassador termed as "a major historic injustice" the fact that Baku was not declared "Heroic City" by the Soviet leaders.
The USSR government granted the title to the cities that stood out for their valor and persistence during the war. A total of twelve Soviet cities received the title.
Dorokhin said this injustice can no longer be rectified today. The "Heroic City" title was being granted by the Soviet Union. And since the USSR has collapsed, this is no longer possible."
101-year-old war veteran Garash Gasymov said in his remarks that Azerbaijan was the only Soviet republic during the war that was producing fuel for military machines.
Lawmaker Mikhail Zabelin compared Azerbaijan’s current situation with the concept of the fascists’ occupying Soviet territory.
"Azerbaijan is currently on the brink of war, because [Armenians] are trying to take away part of its land. I think they won’t be able to do so. The Azerbaijani people will regain their territories," Zabelin said.
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a cease-fire in 1994, but Armenia continues to occupy Upper Garabagh and seven other Azerbaijani districts in defiance of international law. Peace talks have not yet resulted in resolving the conflict.*