Olzhas Suleimenov

Kazakh author

The leadership of the USSR, which “fell in love with reconstruction”, fired professionals and left the fate of states in the hands of newcomers and the masses, subjecting the peoples to the tragedy of separatism, civil wars and ethnic cleansing. Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Chechnya… Hundreds of thousands of people died, millions of people were forced to leave their homeland.

I am confident that if Heydar Aliyev had continued to lead Azerbaijan in the late 1980s and early 1990s, neither the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict nor the Sumgait events would have occurred. In January 1990, General Varennikov’s tanks would not have been deployed to Baku. In the war of 1992-1993, Karabakh would not have been lost.

Heydar Aliyev, I have always treated you with great respect and will always do so. Because as a person, as a statesman, I know your value for the entire former Soviet Union, for the people of Azerbaijan, for all the Turkic peoples. If you had been here in 1990, that Black January would not have happened.

All of this is the result of political incompetence. Professionals have withdrawn from the field, and incompetent people filled the resulting void. Political ignorance leads to millions of humanitarian tragedies. It is crucial that during this challenging period, high-level professionals like yourself lead the people. Because such an opportunity is given to people once in a thousand years and it must not be missed. It must be used in such a way that the nation emerges from this period stronger, and their subsequent generations become truly independent, free, and distinguished individuals. Heydar Aliyev, this is the service of such leaders as you.