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Collapse of the Soviet Empire and restoration of the state independence of Azerbaijan

In the mid of 80’s of the 20th century there lasted difficult circumstances in the economic and social life of USSR, which ended with the collapse at that period. There were laid down objective and subjective reasons, important internal and foreign factors on the ground of economic, political and ideological crash of Soviet empire. The cause of economic crash were the absence of interest of workers to their labour uneffectivity of “socialistic model of economy” severe noneconomic commanding-administrative system, the absence of stimulated output of free rivalry. The difficulties in economy aggravated with the lost of belief to political system, since there shaped controversion between official ideological idols, thoughts about the waited society of “happy future” and real life, incoherence between words and work of governing party-husbardry administration.

Even before on March of 1985, when M.Qorbachov was elected the general-secretary of CC of CPSS, there became obvious to the leaders of USSR that commanding-administrative economic system lost to the system of modern capitalism not only in civil life but also in military contest, which based on electro-computer technic and USSR lagged in that sphere. This contest ate great part of internal and financial resources, limited strategy of the decrease of amount and prices of the Soviet export of oil and gas, as well as the blocade of import of technical equipment. USSR lost the imperialistic war against Afgan nation as well.

Among the essential reasons of the collapse of Soviet system, it is important to mention anti-soviet policy of western countries, whose leaders attentively traced the destruction processes in the USSR and simulated them by their means, realized their political aims on the ground of new world order too.

At the result of the policy of Soviet administration in the period of “reconstruction” USSR did not achieve any success, i.e. did not turn into modern country, which preserved its influensive sphere in Central Europe and other parts of the world, otherwise-caused to collapse of all “socialistic camp” and the fall of Soviet Union in 1991, as party- bourecrathic administration under the leadership of M.Qorbachov continued to rely on the former, basic economic-ideological idols and to conduct discrimination policy in the context of Muslim republics. So, the reasons of the collapse of USSR were not only related with economic, but also political, general-cultural and moral factors.

The attempts of Soviet administration to prevent the deepened crisis with the mobilization of all potential powers of the country and in the frame of declared reconstruction in the beginning of 1985, was not succeeded at the result of wrong methods and directed activites.

Implemented methods much more aggravated the circumstances and increased the collapse of the empire, which became the reason of original changes in geopolitical map of the world.

There immediately strengthened the tendency of national- liberative movements of nations in the shaped social-political circumstances of USSR. As before, Armenian separatists decided to utilize from the formed crisis and declared their national platform, directed to the realization of expansive plans about Azerbaijan lands.

In the beginning of 1988, there began storm under the slogan of “clean Armenia from Turks”, “Armenia for Armenians” by the vehicle of local leadership in Armenia. Simultaneously, nationalistic and separated mood elements in MKAR, which were inspired by these events began to organize demonstrations with the demand of unification of this region to Armenia. After one of such meetings, organized on February 20, 1989, the session of Regional Soviet appealed with such demand to the Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan.

At the same time there continued the pursue and deportation of Azerbaijan population from Armenia by the participation of Soviet organs that at the result more than 260 thousand Azerbaijanis were departed from 185 villages and other settlements – i.e. from their motherland. More than 31000 houses, 165 collective and soviet farms, great amount of big and small cattle were plundered by Armenians.

Azerbaijan population resisted against these actions and demands of Armenian separatists, but the Republic administration did its best to  violate legal rights of the nation instead of to support them. At the result of it, there was organized massacre by Armenians, who killed two men and wounded 19 Azerbaijanis in Askeran.

These events continued to increase under the weakness and directed aid of first secretary of Communist party of Azerbaijan – A.Vezirov by Armenian separatists and their protectors. Due to accuse Azerbaijanis in the revenge of Armenians, present them in negative image to the international society there was organized provocation in Sumgait on February 28. 1988. Active organizators and participants of these realized attacks to Armenians were Armenians themselves: later there was revealed that the murder of five Armenians was organized by E.Qriqoryan-with the nickname of “Pasha” and his assistants, who introduced themselves as Azerbaijanis.

The calm uprisings of Azerbaijan nations much more intensified.

From November 17 till December 4, there occurred meetings in the central square of “Azadlig”, but there was not single centre, which could lead and direct the actions of thousand people.

At that time, when Armenians, relying on the support of central power of Moscow, realized their plans step by step, the government of Azerbaijan, as worldwide leader Heydar Aliyev mentioned, could not find power to prevent these actions of Armenians. Former union and republic administration prevented this: central administration, which was afraid of the great respect of Heydar Aliyev, who supported and aided to his nation in their difficult times, succeeded to dismiss him from leading posts in Moscow, began campaign against him.

For implementation their dirty aims about the seizure of Mountainous Karabakh from Azerbaijan the USSR administration violated the rights of Azerbaijan as united republic, realized a line of measures. The adopted decision on March 24, 1988, about the intensification of socio-economic development in the region pursued the aim to take the region away from the subordination of state organ of our republic.

Nagorno Karabakh gained special rights, the solvement of many issues in autonomous region was instructed to the union Ministries and Commities. Next step became the resolution of January 12, 1989, “About the appliance of special form of governance in MKAR of Azerbaijan SSR and the establishment of the Committee of Special Governance, which was instructed all authority over the governance of this region to; this region was finally excluded from the subordination of Azerbaijan. The activity of this committee lasted till November 28.

In this period governing circles, as well as special services, did their best to prevent the activites of social figures, who were known among the nation, made reports against Armenian separation, disagreed with the weakness of Republic leaders and unbearable attitude of imperial administration. Major goal of special services was to prevent organizing of national union under the leadership of patriotic leaders, to try appointing figures to these unions, who were not capable.

Neverthless, on July 16, 1989, there was organized the Congress of National Front of Azerbaijan, which elected Abulfaz Aliyev (Elchibey) as its chairman. NFA supported the national movement and possessed wide social basics, but there were many uncapable men, who considered themselves “biggest political figures. These people put their own ambitions, ruling ambitions higher than national interests” (H.Aliyev).

At the result of it, A.Vezirov, who relied on the reign of imperial Moscow, who was gradually loosing its power and “new national leaders” began to the struggle for throne, instead of unification of the power of nation. It was possible that the enemies of Azerbaijan intensified such increasement of events in order to distract the attention from Karabakh problem.

The anger of nation fill the patient. In many regions, the reign was substituted by forceful means. At the result of “border movement” the people destroyed the border between North and South Azerbaijan. There renewed the meetings with the demands of dismissal of Republic administration in Baku; in this occasion “USSR government chose the way of severe suppression of national movement, which raised the voice for justice and its legal rights” (H.Aliyev). On January 15, 1990, Supreme Soviet of USSR declared exceptional circumstance in MKAR and in neighboring regions; in this case there was not mentioned anything about the belongth of these territories. There was planned to attack to Baku and Nakhichevan with military detachments. On January 19, 1990, Supreme Soviet of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic adopted resolution about the excluding from the structure of USSR in order to attract the attention of world society and prevented the planned bloodsheeding here.

Due to prevent the attack of troops to the city, thousands of people assembled in streets and intersections of Baku. In order to frighten the nation, without any information regular troops of Soviet army and mobilized soldiers of reserve attacked to the city, realized severe bloodsheeding over the disarmed citizens at night of 19-20th of January. This day entered to the history of Azerbaijan as “Bloody January” and caused to much more hate to the “empire of evil” and to its leaders. “The tragedy of January 20 was the military aggression and crime of totaliratian communist regime against Azerbaijan nation, it aimed to break the belief and will of nation, who rebelled for its legal rights, regarded it and to demonstrate the power of soviet military machine” (H.Aliyev). Due to distract the attention of the world society and defend their actions, soviet propaganda machine extended wrong information about the existence of 44 military terrorists in Azerbaijan. “The operations” on the invasion of troops to Baku was personally led by the Minister of Defence of USSR, Yazov. Soviet army committed great crime, the buildings and any moving predmet were shooted, the “ambulances” were not permitted to help the wounded people, heavy tanks pressed machines, people, trees, monuments. At the result of “military operation” against disarmed people in Baku and in other settlements, there were killed 131, wounded 744 people, hundreds of people lost and 400 people were arrested by the “defenders of the Motherland” according to official documents. National husbandry was destroyed. At the result of “Baku operation” there was died 25, wounded 283 military men. Azerbaijan nation proved its devotion to heroic traditions of past, being ready to sacrify their life for freedom and independence of the Motherland in front of the world and wrote bright page to the chronicle of the Country.

The republic administration displayed weakness again in such difficult time and did not help to the nation.

Vezirov, who was scared from the anger of the nation escaped, others maintained expectant position. They did not participate even in the session of Supreme Soviet of the Republic, which was called by the initiative of deputies and they called this session “illegal assemble”.

The adopted decision by the session about the withdrawal of troops from the city and abolishment of emergency circumstance by military commandance, which obeyed to Moscow, was not implemented.

After these events, on January 21, 1990, Haydar Aliyev came to the representation of Azerbaijan in Moscow; he took part in the organized assemble here, expressed his disagreement about the entrance of troops, gave political evoluation to the tragedy of January 20, revealed real goals of the actions of central and republic administration, which were directed against law, democracy and humanism.

The text of H.Aliyev’s historical speech rapidly and widely extended in the republic and over the world. There shaped hope in the hearts of people, who felt themselves abondoned. But, the wish of H.Aliyev about returning to his motherland in order to give an aid to the nation and to be their support in difficult hour, frightened the leaders of the Republic.

Despite of danger and difficulties, H.Aliyev came to Baku on July 20, 1990. But the republic administration showed that he and his assistans were not wished in the capital and that’s why, on July 22 H.Aliyev went to Nakhichevan. The population of Autonomous Republic gladly met and assembled around their leader and soon in the organized ballots, they elected him the deputy of Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan SSR and Nakhichevan ASSR.

H.Aliyev called the nation to conduct struggle for freedom and independence till the end. Under his leadership there were made new steps on the restoration of the traditions of national statehood in Nakhichevan. On November 19, 1990, there was abolished the phrase of “Soviet Socialistic” in the session of parliament of Nakhichevan ASSR, which was conducted under the chairman H.Aliyev; the three coloured flag was confirmed as the state flag of Autonomous Republic.

Supreme Soviet of Autonomous Republic was renamed to Supreme Mejlis. Only after several months and under the influence of these decisions Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan SSR confirmed its name as “Azerbaijan Republic” and three coloured flag with star and crusant on February 5, 1991.

Soviet empire could not break the will of Azerbaijan nation with its actions. “Bloody January” became the lesson for the nation, it showed that sole way for the solvement of existing problems was the restoration of the state independence. Neverthless, after all of these events and losts because of the leaders who were dismissed from the historical scene of Soviet Empire, Republic communists passed to the side of powers, which aimed to preserve the empire. “We must not rely our hopes on the Union”, said H.Aliyev and refused to participate in Referendum, organized by Moscow as formal-legal basics for the protection of Empire. Despite of the protest of H.Aliyev and other democratic powers, the Republic administration adobted decision about the participation of Azerbaijan republic in Referendum, on March 17, 1991. The result of referendum was showed as-the nation elected for the preserve of USSR; Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic did not participate in the election

Before May 19, 1990, the session of Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan SSR formed the post of “President of the Republic”. A.Mutallibov, who was appointed the party leader of the Republic frightened that H.Aliyev would be able to win in the President elections and achieved to adobtion of special article to the Constitution, which confirmed age limit for the candidates to Presidency.

The Azerbaijan administration supported the forces, who attemted to organize state revolution, overwhelmed at the end and supported Armenian separatists in the period of events of 19-21st August of 1991, in Moscow and proclaimation of emergency circumstance in the territory of USSR under the leadership of QKCP. After August events, the communist regime in USSR was abolished and on September 14, 1991, declared its dismissal in the 33rd session of CP of Azerbaijan.

On August 30, 1991, by the demand of democratic powers of Azerbaijan the session of Supreme Soviet of Azerbaijan Republic adopted declaration “About the restoration of state independence of Azerbaijan Republic”. But, the governments of the Republic could not organize national referendum for legalization of this decision of Supreme Soviet as it was demanded in Constitution, despite of H.Aliyev’s and other deputies’ call. The delay of such processes aimed to prevent the collapse of USSR and preserve its reign. On October 18, 1991, the session of Supreme Soviet had already adopted “Constitutional Act of the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan”, which was ratified by national referendum a little bit later- on December, 29. It became possible only after the declaration of dissolution of USSR on December 8, 1991. So, state independence of Azerbaijan was completely legalized and the Republic became the subject of international-law relations. There were mentioned the Articles of Constitutional Act of the 18th October of 1991, which concerned to soverign rights of the Republic as the subject of international law below:

Article 5. Any action against the indepenedence of the Republic of Azerbaijan is the interference to the internal affairs of the sovereign state and these actions will be responded in accordance with the international legal standards.

Article6. The part of the state debt of the USSR that was formed as the result of the economic activity of the republic and related to the USSR property that transferred to the Republic may be considered the debt of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Article 7. The whole movable and immovable property on the territory of the Republic of Azebaijan is the state property of the country. The exception is the part of the USSR movable property that may pass to other establishments of the USSR by the due contracts and in accordance with the international law.

Property of the USSR formed at the expense of the national incomes, national and other reserves of Azerbaijan though out of the bounds of the Republic of Azerbaijan yet during the Azerbaijan’s existance within the USSR.

Article 8. The Azerbaijan people include the citizens of the republic of Azerbaijan living on its territory or out of its bounds and those adhering to its laws; that does not contradict to the norms defined by the international law.

Article9. The Azerbaijan people have a right to choose the form of government, to define the relations with other people, to develop their political, economic and cultural traditions in accordance with the universal values.

Article 10. The Azerbaijan people are the source of the government in the sovereign Republic of Azerbaijan. A part of the Azerbaijan people or any person cannot adopt the regulation of the country.

The direct state regulation of the Azerbaijan people is carried out through the representatives elected by the direct referendum or the general, equal and direct secret voting.

Article 11. The Azerbaijan people ensures the supremacy of the law and the democratic structure of the Republic of Azerbaijan as the means of the expression of will.

Article12. The Azerbaijan people create the independent, secular, democratic and unitarian state, the sovereign government of the state is restricted by the laws in the inner affairs and by the principles subsequent from the treaties and contracts agreed by the Azerbaijan people in their foreign policy.

The sovereignity of the republic of Azerbaijan is applied to the entire territory of the country.

The Republic of Azerbaijan does not pass the sovereign rights, it applied on its territory to any other state or unions of states.

Article13. The state power of the Republic of Azerbaijan is based on the separation of powers.

The legislative power is vested in the parliament of the republic of Azerbaijan.

The high executive power is carried out to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The judicial power is carried out by the independent court and high instances-by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the High Arbitrage Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Article 14. The territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan is integral and cannot be divided into parts. The Republic of Azerbaijan does not transfer its territory to anyone and the borders of the country can be determined by the resolution of the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the basis of the national referendum and the agreement of the Azerbaijan people.

The lands of the Republic of Azerbaijan cannot be sold to any other states or any legal enterprises of other countries.

Article 15. The Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan are effective on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The legislative power is restricted by the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the executive and legislative powers by the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and its laws and acts.

The Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan is adopted among the   entire   population of the  Republic   by   the general   national referendum.

Article16. In accordance with the generally accepted international legal standards the Republic of Azerbaijan builds the relations with other states in accordance with the following principles: the sovereign equality of the states, the peaceful settlement of the issues and conflicts of territorial intergrity of the state, noninterference with the internal affairs of the countries, respect for the human rights and principal liberties, the adherence to the peoples’ equality and the right to determine their own fate, the cooperation of the states and international duties.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"