Vadim Morozov

Former Deputy Minister of Transport of the USSR

Prior to Heydar Aliyev, candidate members of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee were in charge of railway transport. When I was Deputy Minister of Railways of the USSR, I was asking, since 1979, to follow the major repair work to see how difficult the work of road maintenance was.

After Heydar Aliyev was elected a member to the Politburo and appointed First Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union (his powers also included overseeing the railway transport), I asked him to watch the progress of major repairs with us. He agreed. Work began on July 21, 1983 with the workers of the experimental road station No 1. In four hours, 2 kilometers of the old road were demolished and a new one was built. Heydar Aliyev oversaw this process from beginning to end, talked to the workers, and warmly congratulated the engineering and technical workers on the completion of the work. Thus, he saw with his own eyes the hard work of road construction. After that, he ordered the allocation of resources for the purchase of foreign machines and instruments for road construction.

He called me often and was interested in road construction. Once, during a conversation with him, I raised the issue of railway switches, their crossing sections and said that because of this equipment, the speed of trains is limited at many stations. After my information, Heydar Aliyev ordered the modernization of the Murom switchgear plant. After the completion of the work, he, together with the Minister of Transport N. Konaryov, participated in its grand opening. In August 1984, in Moscow, at the USSR Ministry of Transport, a large board meeting was held with the participation of the heads of 32 railways, sections, some locomotive and car depots, heads of roads, communications, power supply stations, representatives of trade union committees and employees of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Member of the Politburo, First Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union Heydar Aliyev also took part in the meeting. He gave an in-depth analysis of the situation in the country’s railway transport and pointed out shortcomings in his an hour and a half long speech at this meeting. Everyone was mesmerized by his comprehensive speech, which did not use any written text. After the end of the meeting of the board, mostly road workers came up to me and said that Comrade Aliyev was probably a railway worker. I had to convince them that it wasn’t. Comrade Aliyev graduated from the Faculty of History of Baku State University. When he first interacted with me in a language comprehensible to railway man, I was stunned.