the Collapse of the Soviet Union
February 10, 1991
speech was made by Heydar Aliyev in Baku in Parliament on February
10, 1991. Ten months later on December 5, 1991, the Soviet Union
was declared officially nonexistent when the presidents of the
Soviet Republics of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus met at the Belarus
President's dacha (Belovejskaya Pusha) and declared the breakup
of the Soviet Union.
When this speech was made, Heydar Aliyev was no longer an official
member of the Communist party, as he had already resigned on
July 19, 1990 in response to the brutalities of Black January
(January 19-20, 1990) when Soviet troops attacked Baku and hundreds
of the People. Dear Citizens.
It's a great honor for me to have been elected as a People's
Deputy of Azerbaijan. I want to express my gratitude to all those
who have supported me.
Rumors have been spreading about my return to Azerbaijan and
about my being elected as a National Deputy. In response to those
rumors, I want to say that I did not return to the Motherland
to come to power again nor to take revenge on anyone. I came
here to share the difficult moments with my nation, to accomplish
my duty as a citizen and to join in the struggle for freedom.
No one can deprive me of these rights as an Azeri.
I want to express my personal opinion about the situation in
the Soviet Union and in Azerbaijan, and to set forth my proposals
to the Supreme Assembly of Azerbaijan.
For several years, the Soviet nations have been in a state of
political and economic crisis. International relationships have
disintegrated. The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse.
The reasons for all this are numerous. Of course, in such a situation,
one cannot deny the effect of mistakes made during various stages
in the past. But the main reasons are that serious, unforgivable,
blundering errors have been made during this period which we
call "Perestroika" [Reconstruction / reorganization].
Unfortunately, they have been covered up, and the official circles
and mass media concentrate on criticizing the distant past.
There has been no systematic strategy based on political, scientific
or economic principles to carry out the reforms of 1985 that
were put into effect in a hurry without any long-term strategy
in mind. Of course, it is only natural that policies that are
at opposites with each other cannot lead to positive results.
Mistakes in the sphere of national policy have led to tragic
situations in so many Republics of our country. Tragedies that
have occurred in Alma - Ata [Almaty, Kazakhstan], Tbilisi [Georgia],
Fargana [Uzbekistan], Baku, Novouzensk [Volga region of Russia],
Osh [Kyrgyzstan] and the Baltic Republics [Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania] are the result of trampling on the rights of the Union
Republics and following a policy of centralized government.
Democracy and political pluralism, which had begun to open a
path for themselves during those early years, are now being limited,
and a policy of dictatorship is being pursued. All this has brought
the nation [USSR] to the brink of catastrophe. The foreign policy
of the Soviet government is also full of shortcomings.
The culprit to be blamed is Gorbachev, who seized the power of
the Central Committee of the Soviet Party along with all the
power of the government. During the past five years, Gorbachev
has made so many promises to the nation but has kept none of
them. There is a void between word and action, and a gap between
political leadership and the nation. This has resulted in skepticism
and disbelief in the government and the people's disappointment
in the future has increased to the extent that the influence
of the Communist Party doesn't exist any more.
[Speech continues about issues related to Nagorno-Karabakh].
from the book, "Gatiyyatin
Tantanasi" (Triumph of Determination) Baku, 1995, pp.101-102.
(7.4) Winter 1999.
© Azerbaijan International 1999. All rights reserved.
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