Azerbaijan’s Honored Art Worker, presidential pensioner, Colonel Abdulla Gurbani, who participated in the 44-day second Karabakh war [from late Sept. to early Nov. 2020] from its beginning, spoke about the events of the war and the historical victory of Azerbaijan in an interview to Trend.
- The first anniversary of the historic victory of Azerbaijan in the 44-day war is being celebrated. How did this war remain in your memories?
- After the new provocations of Armenia, Azerbaijan launched a counteroffensive along the entire front line on September 27. The Azerbaijani army began operations to expel the occupier from its territories and restore the territorial integrity of the country. The war was fought according to special tactics. Armenia created a myth about their allegedlyunbreakable "Ohanyan's line"[system of fortifications built by Armenian armed forces along the whole line of contact with Azerbaijani armed forces]. However, the Azerbaijani army very quickly destroyed this myth. Speaking about their nonexistent "strength", "technique", "patriotism", Armenian armed forces then choked with their own lies. Seeing the might of the Azerbaijani army, while fleeing, they threw not only weapons and military equipment but also the bodies of their comrades.
I want to mention the following fact. During the 44-day war, there was a so-called police corridor along the front line from both the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides. The difference was that the police corridor on the Azerbaijani side was blocking the way for our civilians, who were eager to fight, they were told that there was enough military personnel in the Azerbaijani army, whilst the police corridor from the Armenian side blocked the way for the soldiers who, having thrown their weapons, fled from the battlefield. Our civilian population was eager to fight, and their soldiers fled. The Armenian soldier knew that Karabakh was Azerbaijani land, so he did not want to fight and die for it. The Azerbaijani soldier liberated his lands. Both veterans of the first Karabakh war and young boys who hadn’t yet reached draft age wanted to participate in the battles.
The war ended a year ago, but the bodies of Armenian soldiers are still found in the mountains and forests.
The victory in this war was a triumph of the solidarity of the Azerbaijani people, the economic power of independent Azerbaijan, heroism, fearlessness, determination, and courage of the sons of Azerbaijan. From now on, for centuries, the whole world will talk about the heroes and power of Azerbaijan.
- Representatives of all peoples living in Azerbaijan took part in this war, united in a fist.
- So it is. I was in this war from the first to the last day, until the day of our Victory. In the military units, in the trenches, I haven’t heard that soldiers would ask one another whether they are Lezgins, Talishs, Udins, or Avars. There were so many examples of heroism in the Second Karabakh War that will forever remain in history. We can talk endlessly about this heroism, high fighting spirit and patriotism of our soldiers. The level of morale and patriotism of our soldiers was very high. The level of moral and psychological training of the personnel of the Azerbaijani army played a role in the war. The soldier knew what he was fighting for, and this further increased the feeling of patriotism. If there is no patriotism, the army will lose the war, even if it possesses the most modern weapons in the world.
- During the 44-day war, our civilian population also tried in every possible way to support the military servicemen...
- Yes, and this inspired the soldiers even more. I will never forget the incident that took place during the fighting for the liberation of Khojavand. Groceries and homemade food were brought from the Imishli district by car. When the food was unloaded, one of the soldiers said - "I wish they brought mom's pies." The driver heard this and an hour later a car with pies drove up. It turned out that thousands of pies were baked and brought for the soldiers. Everyone was deeply touched at that moment. Pies were brought from the Imishli district to Khojavand for the soldier, and his wish was fulfilled. Can such a soldier give up all hope? Of course, no.
Do you know what the situation was? The army and the civilian population were one. The soldiers were even more encouraged by the responses of the President of Azerbaijan, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev to journalists from the world media, most of which were briefed in advance. We recorded interviews with the head of state, and at the earliest opportunity, we showed them to the soldiers.
Crowds of people gathered in front of the city and regional departments of the State Service for the mobilization and conscription into the military service of Azerbaijan, and everyone who could hold weapons voluntarily enlisted in the ranks of the army, wanted to go to war.
I would like to especially note the activities of the media in this process. The Azerbaijani media did not succumb to the provocations of the enemy, they disseminated official, consistent information.
Parents of soldiers, fathers and mothers of martyrs felt an incredible sense of pride in their children. The father of one of the soldiers was called to the military unit and told that his son had become a martyr. He said that he had another son in the army. A few hours later, the news came about the death of the second son. Reaction to this with the words "Long live the Motherland!" shocked the entire personnel of the military unit.
The courage of the hero of the April war, the National Hero of Colonel Shukur Hamidov in this war especially inspired the soldiers, as a unit commander he was the first to rush into battle. The heroism of General Polad Hashimov, Colonel Ilgar Mirzoyev in the battles of Tovuz, the fact that they became martyrs in the battles for the Motherland, gave a special impetus to the rise of our spirit, national consciousness.
I also took part in the first Karabakh war. But this war was special. We were always ready for war, but we didn't want bloodshed. Azerbaijan wanted a peaceful solution to the problem. The fact that Armenia avoided peace negotiations and repeatedly committed provocations led to war. The Armenians themselves knew that Azerbaijan is capable of liberating its lands and will liberate them. The Armenians knew that the unsolved problem would lead them to the abyss. But the military-political junta of Armenia nevertheless led its country to the abyss. The iron fist, which united the whole of Azerbaijan, showed Armenia its place.
- You were the host of five parades held in the country and organized dozens of military events. How was last year's Victory Parade different from other parades?
- All our events and parades were great. But the Victory Parade was very special. Each parade has its own historical significance. When I was leading the Victory Parade, I felt like the happiest person in the world. I cannot convey the fullness of those feelings. That day was very special.
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