Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the 75th anniversary of the Victory over fascism in the Great Patriotic War
May 9, 2020 marks 75 years since the Victory over fascism in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. On this significant day, we pay tribute to the memory of each of the soldiers, officers and ordinary citizens who played an unprecedented role in the Victory in one of the most terrible wars in the history of mankind. Having shown courage and heroism, having endured enormous difficulties, they inscribed forever their names in the most glorious pages of history.
The people of Azerbaijan made a very significant contribution to this common victory. More than 600 thousand sons and daughters of Azerbaijan went to the front, more than half of them died and went missing on the battlefields. For the courage shown during the war years, 123 citizens of Azerbaijan were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, and more than 170,000 soldiers and officers were awarded various orders and medals. The 77th, 223rd, 396th, 402nd and 416th national rifle divisions, formed from the Azerbaijani conscripts and volunteers, have passed a glorious battle path from the Caucasus to Berlin. The heroic sons of our people bravely fought for Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Stalingrad, Simferopol, Odessa and hundreds of other large and small settlements and took an active part in the liberation of many countries from fascism.
Azerbaijan’s contribution to the Great Victory by supplying fuel and lubricants was invaluable. Between 1941 and 1945, Azerbaijan accounted for more than 70 percent of the oil produced in the Soviet Union, 80 percent of gasoline and 90 percent of motor oils. The vast majority of tanks and planes of the Soviet army, which played a decisive role in ensuring the Victory over fascism in World War II, were set in motion on fuel sent to the front by Baku oil workers. The enterprises of Azerbaijan in the uninterrupted mode produced various types of weapons and ammunition, which were so necessary for victory.
The people of Azerbaijan demonstrated unprecedented labor feats on the rear front, day and night selflessly working to meet the needs of the army. Our fellow citizens sent to the front more than 7 tons of donated blood, they were especially distinguished in providing the combat units with food and warm clothes. In the name of the Victory over fascism, Azerbaijan mobilized all its resources.
Azerbaijan strongly condemns attempts to distort the truth about the Great Patriotic War, justify fascism and glorify fascist criminals. We are seriously concerned about the glorification of the Nazi movement and its minions in our region in any form, including the installation of monuments. We regret to note that the glorification of fascist criminals is becoming the norm for official Yerevan. Similar tendencies in Armenia, which continues to keep one-fifth of the territory of Azerbaijan under occupation, thereby flagrantly violating the norms and principles of international law, violating the fundamental rights of more than one million Azerbaijanis and committing crimes against humanity, such as the Khojaly massacre - clearly demonstrate the aggressive nature of this country and its leadership. However, as the inglorious experience of Nazism has shown, the result of these trends is nothing more than self-destruction.
Azerbaijan has always supported the resolution of the UN General Assembly “Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to the escalation of modern forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”, and we believe that our joint efforts can play an important role in overcoming these alarming trends.
Veterans of World War II are the pride of our people. The heroism shown by them during the war continues to give rise to great respect and deep appreciation of the whole society, sacredly honoring the memory of our fallen compatriots. Although 75 years have passed since the Great Victory, the merits of our people, which have shown examples of unparalleled courage in the war, have never lost and will not lose their significance. And justice, in the name of which our ancestors fought, will invariably triumph in the future.