Ilham Aliyev attended the ceremony to give out apartments to families of martyrs and war disabled was held in Baku

25 february 2021, 13:30

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended a ceremony of handing over the apartments to families of martyrs and war disabled in the residential complex in Ramana settlement, Baku.

The head of state viewed conditions created at the residential complex that features 30 nine-story buildings. The 1,512-apartment complex has a school, kindergarten and a community center.

After viewing the complex, President Ilham Aliyev met with martyrs` families and the war disabled.

The head of state addressed the meeting.

Remarks by the President Ilham Aliyev:

A new residential compound for the families of martyrs and those disabled in the war is commissioned in Baku's Ramana settlement today. I congratulate you on this occasion. Thirty buildings were built here. All the facilities are up to modern standards and with a high-quality finish, and the apartments are very spacious and bright. A kindergarten and a school for 1,200 children is under construction. In other words, all the conditions are available here, so I sincerely congratulate you on this occasion. Only three and a half months have passed since the war, but a beautiful residential compound has been built and presented to the families of martyrs and those disabled in the war.

At the same time, a rehabilitation center was inaugurated in Shaghan settlement after a major overhaul today. Thousands of veterans will receive treatment, rehabilitation and restore their health every year there. Furthermore, the most modern prostheses have been ordered for our veterans who lost their limbs during the war. I was informed today that more than 300 of our disabled war veterans would be provided with these prostheses. Several of our veterans who have lost their legs have already been provided with these prostheses and have returned to everyday life. The world's leading companies manufacture these prostheses, and they are the most modern ones available. These prostheses will allow our veterans the opportunity to return to everyday life.

The government is doing its best for the families of martyrs and those disabled in the war. My policy in this area is unequivocal. Over the past 17 years, I have repeatedly met with the families of martyrs at different events. About 9,200 families of martyrs and war disabled people have been provided with housing by the state to date. A total of 1,572 apartments were delivered last year alone. Another nearly 3,000 apartments will be handed over this year. Thus, the families of our sons killed in both the first and second Karabakh wars living in Baku, Sumgayit and Absheron district will be provided with apartments by the end of this year. We will fully implement this program in Baku, Sumgayit and Absheron district by the end of this year. The construction of multiunit buildings and individual houses for the families of martyrs living in other cities and districts is also underway. I am sure that this program will be fully implemented soon. I must also say that about 7,200 cars have been handed out to the war disabled citizens.

By citing these figures, I want to emphasize the government's care for this category of people. Azerbaijan is one of the leading countries in the world in this area. There have been many wars and losses in the world. If we look at recent history, we can see that the relatives of those who died in conflicts in different countries have never been treated with as much care and attention as here. I must also mention that there were losses in the Armenian army, and various figures are being cited about the second Karabakh war. According to our information, some 6,000-7,000 invaders were killed. Not a single family has received any help from the Armenian state. In general, there is not such a support program in Armenia at all. The relatives of those killed in the war do not even receive a hut, not to mention a house. Cognition comes through comparison. Our policy in this area is unequivocal. This policy is based on moral norms, and the relatives of those who died for the Motherland will continue to be taken care of by the state. The increase in the amount of benefits and pensions in recent years is evident. The state will continue this policy.

We had about 3,000 martyrs in the second Karabakh war. Among them, I also mean civilians. May Allah have mercy on all our martyrs. May Allah grant you and their relatives patience. We bow before the souls of our martyrs. I must say that the blood of our martyrs did not go unavenged. We have avenged the martyrs of the first Karabakh war and the martyrs of the second Karabakh war. We have taken revenge on the enemy, restored our territorial integrity and will forever cherish the memory of our martyrs in our hearts.

We had more than 12,000 martyrs in the first Karabakh war, and about 4,000 servicemen went missing. We had about 16,000 losses, and our lands were occupied. Considering the scale of the second Karabakh war, the number of our martyrs was minimal. Of course, we revere the memory of each martyr. Everyone's life is priceless. However, given that there was a large-scale war, that we started a counter-offensive operation in the first days and subsequently turned it into an offensive operation, given the fortifications the Armenians had built there for 30 years - the five to six lines of defensive fortifications and the local terrain of that region - we can say with full confidence that we achieved what we wanted with minimal losses. Even military experts from the world's leading countries are surprised that we liberated our lands from the occupiers with such small losses. How? Because one of the most critical factors for us as we planned all the operations was to keep the number of our losses low. That factor was always at the forefront when operational plans were being approved every day.

There is no war without casualties. Our fight was the one of freedom, a just war. Armenia was waging a war of aggression. Justice is on our side. Therefore, our servicemen rose to martyrdom and honorably fulfilled their civil duty to the Motherland. Thousands of our servicemen have been awarded high state orders and medals. Their heroism, bravery and self-sacrifice should and will be an example for every Azerbaijani, an example for the younger generation.

We have restored justice, returned the lands that had been occupied for 30 years, and shown the might of our state and our people. From the first day of the war, we had the advantage. The enemy was in panic and hysteria. According to their reports, there were more than 10,000 deserters in the Armenian army. The Armenian state does not know how to bring these deserters to justice because this can have significant implications. There was not a single deserter in the Azerbaijani army. However, there were deserters in the first Karabakh war. In the first Karabakh war, our heroic sons showed courage. However, the people in charge of Azerbaijan at the time failed to take the necessary measures, especially during the PFPA-Musavat government.

The surrender of Shusha, Lachin and Kalbajar to the enemy was an act of great betrayal and, in fact, preconditioned the subsequent outcome of the war. A geographical connection was established between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh that gave the Armenians a great advantage for the remaining territories' occupation.

The fate of our districts was in the hands of self-defense forces at that time. There was no regular army. Even the evacuation measures from Kalbajar and Lachin were not taken, which resulted in significant losses among the civilian population. Tomorrow is the 29th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide. The Khojaly genocide is a crime against humanity. The Armenian state committed that crime. In the second Karabakh war, we also avenged the blood of the victims of Khojaly.

Of course, we were preparing for war all these years. We never concealed that because our lands were under occupation, we realized that a negotiated solution to this issue was impossible. We were further convinced of this in recent years. The Armenian leadership's conduct, its provocative speeches and steps convinced the international community and us that a peaceful solution to this war was implausible. However, high-ranking officials of the Minsk Group co-chair countries have repeatedly said that there was no military solution to the conflict. But we saw that there was no peaceful solution to the conflict either. Otherwise, this issue would have been resolved in 30 years. There was a lack of genuine interest, or someone sought neither war nor peace situation. Someone was glad that the people of Azerbaijan were living in such a situation for 30 years. Someone was delighted that our lands were under occupation, and it was almost perceived as a means of pressure on Azerbaijan. They tried to convince us that this was a reality, that this reality had existed for 30 years and that Azerbaijan must come to terms with this reality. I kept saying that we would never put up with this situation. I kept saying that we would never allow for creating a second so-called Armenian state on our lands, and we did not allow that.

We have mobilized all our resources, pursued a consistent policy for many years, done an excellent job in the international arena, in the economic sphere, in our relations with neighboring countries, in the implementation of regional projects and, of course, in enhancing army building. At the same time, a young and patriotic generation has grown up. This generation has liberated our lands. Addressing the people of Azerbaijan from the Jidir plain in Shusha, I said that when I came to power in 2003, people aged 25-30 today were children then. We raised them in the spirit of patriotism and loyalty to the state, and they liberated our lands from occupiers.

Besides, young people who had never been to the occupied territories but were originally from those lands fought like lions for their lands. All the people of Azerbaijan, the representatives of all the peoples living in Azerbaijan, united like a fist, defeated the enemy and liberated our lands from occupation. It is a historic event. There has never been such a brilliant victory in Azerbaijan's history. Azerbaijan has shown its strength to the whole world; it has demonstrated the resolve of our people. The entire world saw again that if there is a will, power, and unity between the people and the government and determination and courage, justice will always prevail. We have demonstrated that.

Look at Armenia's position now. There is a crisis; there are daily clashes and arrests, the democratic foundations have almost vanished. Armenia has never been in such a miserable state. Their leaders put them in this situation – both the leaders of the junta that led Armenia for 20 years, the Kocharyan-Sargsyan junta and the government that succeeded them. The government that came to power afterward had a choice –either continue the policy of aggression and bring itself to a miserable state or to vacate our lands of its own free will. We gave them this chance, and I said many times during the war that they should provide us with a timetable of when they would vacate our lands, and we would stop the war. And so it happened – as soon as they gave us the timetable, the fighting stopped. But they were forced to provide us with this timetable. They didn't give it of their own accord. After we had destroyed their army, the servicemen of the Armenian army, and brought them to their knees, they were forced to sign an act of capitulation, and our victory was confirmed.

We would have liberated all our lands one way or another, but there could be many losses, especially in Kalbajar and Lachin's direction. It was already winter, it was snowing, and we could have suffered heavy losses there. Therefore, we defeated the enemy by military means, drove them out of our lands, liberated Shusha and other cities from the invaders. After that, we returned Lachin, Kalbajar and a part of Aghdam district by political means – these lands are already under our control.

As for the post-war period, everyone can see that Azerbaijan is developing, reconstruction work has begun, whereas Armenia is in crisis. They are blaming one another, going for each other's throats. Representatives of foreign countries have always been telling us that the Armenian society demonstrates unity, that there is a national accord there. We can see where this national unity has gone now. After this defeat, they accuse each other, and there are mass arrests. For some reason, certain non-governmental organizations and some governments preaching democracy are turning a blind eye to this. How come while opposition in Armenia is oppressed, undermined, arrested and killed daily, no one seems to react to that? What does this indicate? The 30-year history shows again that we did not win this victory only over Armenia. Organized and powerful circles had united against us. They wanted to keep our lands under occupation forever. Armenia was just a tool, a means. We have destroyed them. We have shattered this insidious policy and restored justice.

The Armenian leadership now complains that the weapons given to them were useless. You know, it is easy to blame someone. However, they must also say that these weapons were given to them free of charge. They were armed against us not just for one or two years but 30 years. We are now using all the opportunities available to monitor the developments unfolding in the region closely. We have the means and sufficient information sources. We know how much free weaponry Armenia was given during the war and how much they received before the war. Immediately after the July clashes, starting from July 17 until the last day of the war, Armenia received free weapons delivered by several aircraft a day. Did Armenia pay for those Iskander missiles? They got it for free. Did they buy Elbrus, Tochka-U and Scud missiles? They got it for free. The S-300, seven of which we destroyed, were provided free of charge, just as tanks, artillery and other air defense systems. We have destroyed them all. There is no Armenian army anymore.

I heard a few days ago that their allies want to revive the Armenian army, to modernize it. Why? Against whom? The war is over. If someone cherishes some revanchist sentiments, they will see this fist again; it is still there, so they should not test our patience. The Armenian army is non-existent. It doesn't and shouldn't exist. There should be no army in such a fascist state. We will never tolerate any threats to us or our citizens who will return to the liberated lands.

Everything is under control. We will continue to strengthen our army. New contracts have been signed, the most modern weapons are being purchased and are already being imported. All modern weaponry available in the world has already been contracted and will be delivered to Azerbaijan. The war also raised the issue of the future of our army. The reforms that will take place will lead to creating a more agile, more combatant and more capable military.

A new reality has emerged in the world after the war. We have created this reality, the people of Azerbaijan have. We have shown our determination and strength. Yes, we were waiting. Life has shown that we chose the right moment. We could have counterattacked when there was a provocation against us on the border in July. But I stopped the counterattack then. We drove the Armenians out of our lands, reached the border and did not cross it. They wanted to provoke us to do so. Had I not stopped our army then, and if we had crossed into Armenia in July, the situation could have been different. They were provoking us.

Missiles fired from Armenia led to the destruction in Gandja, Barda, Tartar, Goranboy, Naftalan, Aghdam and Fuzuli. One of the rockets fired by them reached Khizi. Notice the distance between Khizi and the zone of military action. Therefore, provocative plans were there, but we chose the right moment and took appropriate steps. We destroyed the Armenian army in 44 days, shattering the myths they created over the centuries. We have shown that the people of Azerbaijan are victorious. We have shown that the people of Azerbaijan are combatant. They were on their knees before us. They have never been in such a miserable situation. Should someone have punished them or not? They were challenging the whole world. They were putting forward unreasonable demands to the entire world. It looks as if everyone is obliged to help them, feed them, give them a drink, and provide them with weapons. They cling to other countries like a leech. They occupied our lands, left people homeless and destroyed our historical sites and mosques. Then they went on to say that this is Armenian land. Should someone have punished them or not? Should someone have put them on their knees or not? We did that. It is a historic victory, a landmark achievement. I want to say again that we have won this victory at the expense of the blood of our martyrs. Martyrs live and will live forever in our hearts. May Allah grant all of you patience. You, mothers and fathers, have raised remarkable sons for our people and our state. Although they lived short lives, they have become immortal and written their names in the Azerbaijani people's glorious history forever.

I want to express my respect to you. I want to say that the state of Azerbaijan and I will always be with you as President.