Nikolai Balatsky

Former Head of Kyiv Metro

When Heydar Alirza oglu was the Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union, he supervised the transportation field, along with a number of other issues. And I headed the department of transport and communications of the Kyiv City Party Committee for ten and a half years.

There were great problems in rail transportation, especially at the end of the year when every institution had to fulfill its annual quota quickly. At that time, the timely delivery of goods was a serious requirement for every executive, from small businesses to large enterprises.

It was in those responsible and tense situations that Heydar Aliyev took the initiative to ensure transportation, even in harsh winter months. Heydar Aliyev’s selector meetings throughout the vast territory of the USSR were an example of professionalism in difficult conditions, as well as a good organizational school in solving complex tasks for young party and business workers.

I must mention that Heydar Alirza oghlu never allowed the slightest rudeness or tension. I don’t recall anyone being removed from their position in such complex situations. Everything relied on a deep understanding of the situation, trust in the executive staff, and of course, primarily on the great influence of Heydar Alirza oghlu.

In November 2002, I had the opportunity to participate and speak on behalf of the Kyiv Metro team at the celebrations of the 35th anniversary of the Baku Metro. We, representatives of the CIS subways, were impressed by everything, from the participation of the President in the ceremonial meeting and concert, to his personal conversation with us, to his awareness of the work of the Baku Metro and Metro Construction Department collectives. In his speech lasting more than an hour, Heydar Alirza oglu gave many numerical examples and called dozens of workers by name.