President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Victorious Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and their son Heydar Aliyev have visited Hadrut settlement of Khojavand district and attended the opening of a military unit here.
The Victorious Commander-in-Chief presented a battle flag to the military unit.
The head of state made a speech at the event.
Speech by President, Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev
- A new military unit is opening in Khojavand district of Karabakh, in Hadrut today. I heartily congratulate you on this occasion.
Soldiers: Thank you!
President Ilham Aliyev: In recent years, new military units and military camps have been built in a number of places of Azerbaijan. The vast majority of them are newly built military units. Some of them are refurbished military units. We have been paying a lot of attention to this area because service conditions of our servicemen must be such that they can perform any task and also have good conditions for training. The establishment of military units has a special place in the army building work we are doing, and I can say that most military units in all regions of Azerbaijan meet our standards now.
The opening of this military unit is of great importance. This military unit is being opened in the liberated area, in Khojavand district, and is being made available to our army. Along with improving the service conditions of our servicemen, we are also keeping their housing problems in the spotlight. As you may know, according to my decree, those who have served in the army for 20 years are provided with housing. To date, more than 2,200 servicemen have been provided with housing by the state. By the end of this year, 130 more families will be provided with new apartments. In other words, the army is always treated with care from the state, the President and the Commander-in-Chief. As a result of this attention and care, the Azerbaijani Army is known in the world as a victorious army, an army that has got the upper hand on the battlefield.
The Hadrut operation was an operation of special importance in the second Karabakh war. First of all, because the liberation of this strategic settlement provided additional support for our subsequent plans. If we had not liberated Hadrut from the occupiers, our further operations could have faced greater difficulties. It is no coincidence that Hadrut was the second largest settlement after Jabrayil to be liberated. The victorious Azerbaijani Army liberated this settlement from the occupiers on 9 October last year. Everyone can see the mountains surrounding this settlement and realize what a great, difficult and glorious mission this was. Because the contemptible enemy had built strong fortifications in all the occupied territories for 30 years, had installed several lines of defense here. At the same time, the natural terrain of Karabakh and the East Zangazur region was favorable to the enemy. They were sitting in these mountains and hills and had a tremendous military advantage. Therefore, the professionalism, physical strength, moral training, patriotism and self-sacrifice of our servicemen allowed us the opportunity to achieve this glorious victory.
I am confident that the Hadrut Operation will take its rightful place in the history of modern world wars. Armenia did its best to keep Hadrut under its control. Even a few days after Hadrut was liberated from the invaders they spread their typical lies and fabrications that Hadrut was allegedly still in their hands. The victorious Azerbaijani Army had already raised our national flag in Hadrut. Hadrut and all the surrounding heights were in our hands. Armenia, realizing the moral and psychological condition of its army, was lying about Hadrut. I must also say that after the liberation of Hadrut, cases of desertion became even more widespread in the Armenian army. They admitted themselves that there were 10,000 deserters in their army during the war. There were no deserters in the Azerbaijani Army. Our patriotic spirit, heroism, devotion to the Motherland and self-sacrifice created a clear picture of the Azerbaijani Army and the Azerbaijani people all over the world. It showed that we are a great nation. It showed that we are a people who will liberate our lands at any cost.
Today, when talking about the Hadrut operation and the second Karabakh war in general, we must first of all commemorate our dear martyrs. May God rest the souls of all our martyrs in peace!
President Ilham Aliyev: At the cost of their lives, the blood of our wounded veterans and servicemen, we have restored historical justice, expelled the enemy from our lands, raised the Azerbaijani flag in all liberated lands, and restored historical justice and our national pride.
I repeatedly said during the occupation that the Azerbaijani people would never come to terms with the occupation. I repeatedly told the Armenian leaders that it wasn’t too late for them to vacate our lands, to get out of there. Sadly, though, they began to believe the lies they had been spreading for years. They spread untrue, slanderous and fabricated information about the Azerbaijani people and the Azerbaijani Army to the world. The second Karabakh war showed who was who. The second Karabakh war showed the indomitable resolve of the Azerbaijani Army and the Azerbaijani people. Today, the Armenian army is already defeated. The Azerbaijani Army is a victorious army!
After the Hadrut operation, our glorious mission continued. It was still a month before the end of the war, and, of course, we continued our glorious mission with even greater confidence and even greater determination. Fuzuli was liberated eight days after Hadrut. A few days after the liberation of Fuzuli, we liberated the southern part of Zangilan, Gubadli and Lachin districts from the occupiers. We actually accessed the Lachin corridor, we started to exercise control over the Lachin corridor. Armenia should have already understood that they would be defeated, that their defeat was inevitable. Nevertheless, they did not give up their foolish deeds. Our peaceful cities were fired upon using long-range ballistic missiles. As a result, more than 100 innocent people, including children and women, were killed. Throughout the hostilities, the Azerbaijani Army fought the war with dignity, complying with the rules of warfare. We have never waged a war against the civilian population and shown the greatness of our people yet again. We only targeted the enemy's military units, weapons, equipment and weapons depots.
Anyone visiting the liberated lands can witness the Armenian savagery. All cities and villages were ruthlessly destroyed by the Armenians. The world can already see this. But look at the town of Hadrut – there is not a single destroyed building here. What does this show? It shows that we have never waged a war against the civilian population. This demonstrates to the world the high moral qualities of our people again.
After Hadrut, our road to Shusha was opened. Had Hadrut not been liberated from the invaders, it would have been more difficult to reach Shusha. However, the Shusha operation has already become a saga. The Shusha operation is now being discussed and analyzed in the world's leading military schools, and many, especially those who have been in Shusha, cannot believe that the heroic sons of Azerbaijan climbed those rocks with only light weapons and liberated Shusha, our cultural capital and crown of Karabakh. It was through the Hadrut forests and over the high mountains that we approached Shusha, and the battles for Shusha are no longer a secret.
The 44-day second Karabakh war led to a complete destruction of the Armenian army. There is no Armenian army now. I have said this many times here in Hadrut, a district of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region and a settlement of Khojavand district, and I can say it again – there is no Armenian army today. If Armenia tries to become a source of danger for us again, their end will be the same as in the second Karabakh war. We can never allow any threat to be posed to our people, our state and our territorial integrity. Even if it is outside the country and if we see it as a threat, no-one can stop us. They tried to stop us so many times during the 44 days, they threatened us so much, put pressure on us, but no-one could stop us. Throughout those 44 days, I kept saying that no-one could stop us, that the Armenian leadership should give us a timetable of when it would get out of our lands, and then we would stop the war. And we did exactly that. We kept our word. So if anyone in Armenia is thinking of some kind of revenge, if anyone thinks that the situation will change in a few years, that something will happen and they will have a military opportunity again and put forward territorial claims to us again, let them know from the beginning that we will not wait for anything. No-one can stop us. We will take the necessary steps no matter what. We have the political resolve and strength to do this. The whole world saw the strength of the Azerbaijani Army. The whole world saw what the heroic sons of Azerbaijan are capable of doing.
I want to say again that the opening of a new military unit in Hadrut today is a very significant event. Also because this region is of strategic importance. Our strong armed forces based in Hadrut will protect our security, the security of our country. On the other hand, it is located in the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region. At the same time, the greatest importance of this military unit is that we did not stop the process of building the army after the war and did not reduce the expenditures on the army. We have actually increased them. New contracts signed after the war are being implemented. On the basis of new contracts, the most modern weapons and equipment are already being delivered to Azerbaijan for the needs of our Army. We never concealed that and repeatedly demonstrated it in military parades during the occupation. The acquisition of military equipment, the increase in military spending, as well as the increasing salaries of servicemen – all these are obvious – show that even though the war is over, the process of building the army will not stop. On the contrary, the war experience has shown us our strengths and weaknesses. We didn't have many shortcomings during the war, but we did. Therefore, the war was a valuable experience for us. Since the war ended, weapons and equipment meeting modern requirements have been purchased and new armed units have been formed. There are representatives of the new military unit, the commando forces in this military unit in Hadrut today. The establishment of a commando brigade is a novelty for us. Not one, not two, but many commando brigades are already being established in Azerbaijan, and these brigades will be capable of performing any military task. Our well-trained children have shown great determination and readiness to sacrifice themselves for the Motherland and will serve in these brigades. This will greatly increase the strength of our army. I want to say again that there will be many such brigades and thousands of our servicemen will serve in these brigades. Thus, the Azerbaijani Army will continue to maintain its professionalism and fighting spirit.
During the occupation, Armenians destroyed all our cities and villages. They destroyed and desecrated our historical and religious sites, and even used derogatory language about our people and our army. It was even said that Armenia was preparing for a “new war for new territories”. They said that if war broke out, Armenian tanks would be on the streets of Baku. All these arrogant expressions were thrown in the trash. Yes, Armenian tanks did come to Baku, but we brought them. We displayed them in the military parade in Azadlig Square, in the Victory parade. Today, they are displayed in the Military Trophy Park as a manifestation of the strength of the Azerbaijani Army and the Armenian army’s defeat. From now on, we will always live as a victorious nation and a victorious state.
Dear servicemen, I once again sincerely congratulate you on the opening of this military unit.
Servicemen: Thank you!
President Ilham Aliyev: I wish the Azerbaijani Army continued success!
Servicemen: Thank you!
President Ilham Aliyev: Long live the Azerbaijani Army! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!
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Then the presentation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on handing over the battle flag of the Commando Unit was read out. The presentation says:
“As a symbol of military honor, courage and dignity, the duty of every soldier of the military unit is to serve the Motherland with faith and truth, to bravely and skillfully defend it without sparing his blood and soul, to fulfill the assigned combat missions and to defend every inch of homeland from the enemy.
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Unit Commander: Mr. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Commander of the Commando Unit Colonel Sanayev has arrived to receive the battle flag.
Mr. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, I swear that I will never take my eyes off this sacred guard, that I will always hold this glorious battle flag, raised at the cost of the blood of our ancestors, higher than my own soul. It is forbidden for me to die without handing over this glorious battle flag, which keeps the spirit of great leader Heydar Aliyev alive, to those I am survived by. In my oath, I kiss and take over this flag to show my loyalty and respect.
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The head of state, the First Lady and their son then viewed the training center and watched the training activities.