Vladimir Ukhov

Former Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers

I worked under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev. Our department received many letters in his name. We received about 6-7 thousand letters from Azerbaijan alone a year. Heydar Aliyev was a cheerful person who could not live quietly. He liked to work in conditions that allowed him to reveal his personal qualities, such as accuracy, fluency, and the ability to promptly solve every issue.

Heydar Aliyev was a very decisive and just person. He had great respect for the employees who worked under his supervision or communicated with him on various issues. Among these employees were those younger than him. However, Heydar Aliyev addressed everyone as “You”.

The most important aspect that distinguished him from others was his hardworkingness. He was overworking. During our private conversations, we used to say to him: “Heydar Aliyev, why do you work so much?” He replied that he couldn’t do otherwise, it was his way of life. Even when he went on vacation to Azerbaijan, he continued to work there. When all the employees of the apparatus were relaxing, he, as usual, remained at the workplace and was busy solving issues. It always seemed to me that he was working tirelessly, always working. The only time he did relax, probably was when he went to the theater. He loved art.

He treated requests and letters with special sensitivity, and always helped to solve people’s problems, no matter whether they were big or small. Letters to him came mainly from Azerbaijan. I remember a citizen asking for help in buying a musical instrument. Heydar Aliyev did not disregard even such a simple request. He instructed me to establish contact with the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan in order to find out who could deal with this job. I was also able to solve the problem. There were many such letters and he helped everyone. He was in close contact with the republic, reading letters and solving problems.