Farkhad Akhmedov, ex-senator, businessman, philanthropist
If the days of celebrating of our undeniable victory can be overshadowed by something, it is grief for the soldiers who died a heroic death in the performance of their military duty during these six fateful weeks, or for the civilians who died in their homes as a result of the barbaric shelling of peaceful cities and village settlements by the enemy.
However, right now, from the dark corners, the long-forgotten voices of the representatives of the "Facebook opposition" are heard, who from the couch distribute their "expert" assessments to the network. In their opinion, the trilateral ceasefire agreement in Karabakh is a "trap" for Azerbaijan.
Claims are voiced against the country's military-political leadership that it did not bring the war to a "victorious end" (without the explaining what exactly does this mean), and allowed the deployment of Russian peacekeeping forces in the conflict zone.
In all fairness, I would like to note that this opinion is shared by a certain - not the main, but still noticeable - part of our society, which has formed inflated expectations against the background of our military successes. In this regard, I have to say the following.
Let's mentally go back to the early morning of September 27, 2020, a D-Day, in military terms. As of this moment:
Now let's see what we were able to achieve as of D+44 - November 10, 2020, when did the ceasefire come into force.
I believe that even the most biased critic will not be able to contravene these obvious results. But! The war would not be a war if it did not take its share of lives and money. And it's going not in the ring, where the two are fighting; there are many external participants in it, each of whom will not miss an opportunity to intervene in it in order to pursue their own interests.
And here the main quality of a real strategist is of a great importance - to find that very elusive moment when it is necessary not to succumb to the dizziness because of the military successes, to stop in time, to transfer the confrontation to the political and diplomatic plane, and to start dictating own terms at the negotiating table.
During the SCW, such a moment of truth happened on November 10. Historians and descendants have yet to appreciate the wisdom and foresight of this step of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.
Now I’ll ask an ingenious question to the couch critics: what could you suggest as a real alternative?
What does it mean to “fight to the bitter end”, more specifically?
To go to the line of the state border with Armenia, overcoming the resistance of the enemy, who, despite the defeats and losses, would anyway continue to make resistance?
To pay with blood for every square kilometer that has been reconquered? Are you ready to participate yourself? Do you know the dollar value of one day of war? Do you realize how difficult it is to wage a war in the face of constantly growing external pressure, when in statements from the foreign capitals the notes of threats of the use of military force and sanctions begin to sound?
Basically, I'm not surprised by what is happening. While the combat operation were conducted, the leaders of the "Facebook opposition", realizing that in the conditions of an unprecedented rise in public patriotism, nothing might not be in the cards for them, by forcing themselves they voiced indistinct statements about the "support" of the military-political leadership. But now, when the guns fell silent, they decided that they have a “window of opportunity” in society, on the one hand, “warmed up” by the military victories, and on the other hand, shocked by the human losses suffered.
They expect that people who have become addicted to the daily military reports from the TV screen during these six weeks will now, in the conditions of the onset of a truce, start reading their pages in the FB.
That is why they put on a record about the "stolen victory", that is why they rummage through the text of the agreement, trying to find the "pitfalls" in it. This is done with the obvious goal of launching the "pendulum effect", stirring up discontent, and who knows, trying their luck to bring the case from Facebook to Maidan.
I'll tell you straight, gentlemen: you have nothing to count on.
The overwhelming majority of society thinks sensibly and sees in front itself completely different goals and objectives. We have to celebrate and perpetuate the victory. We need to mourn the victims and pay our debt to their families and friends. We should psychologically return from a state of war to a state of peace. We need to return refugees to their abandoned homes. We have a lot of work to do to restore and re-integrate the liberated territories. We need to restore and strengthen good-neighborliness and cooperation in the region. We need to continue living, working, raising children and being proud of ourselves.
And we need peace for this. And the agreement concluded of November 10 is the shortest, most effective, and the only possible way to this peace, which fixed and consolidated all the successes and achievements of Azerbaijan, and all the defeats and concessions of Armenia. Its most important result is that there were the First and Second Karabakh wars, and there will be no Third!
I want to congratulate all of us on the Victory that brings peace. And not just peace, but the peace on our terms. And to thank President Ilham Aliyev for this holiday, which is with us now. His perspicacity, endurance and endured inhuman exertion of strength were one of the decisive conditions for our common success. Thank you for the victory, Mr. Supreme Commander-in-Chief!
For my part, I promise you, dear friends, that the traditional "Pomegranate Day", which I have been organizing in Geokchay (Göyçay) for many years, will be held on the Victory Day starting from 2021.
At the end, one more point needs to be added. Another extremely important thing directly follows from the agreements reached yesterday night - the status of Nagorno-Karabakh will be formalized in accordance with the legislation of Azerbaijan. There are simply no other options. The guarantee that this will happen exactly in this way is the signature of President Putin.