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100th anniversary of Heydar Aliyev

On May 10, 2023 the 100th anniversary of the prominent Soviet statesman and politician, the leader of Azerbaijanian nation Heydar Aliyev will be celebrated.  He won the esteem and recognition all over the world.

Heydar Alirza oghlu Aliyev was born on May 10,1923 in the city of Nakhichevan. Between 1939 and 1941 he was a student of Nakhichevan pedagogical college and in Azerbaijanian Industrial Institute (currently Azerbaijanian State Petroleum Academy).

Starting from 1941, he had a job of the Department Director in the Peoples Commissariat (Ministry) of Internal Affairs of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and in the Council of Peoples Commissars of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, and starting from May 1944 he served in the  state security agencies of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan.

In 1950, he graduated from the Higher School of the State Security Ministry in Leningrad, and in 1957 from the History Department of the State University of Azerbaijan.

Heydar Aliyev started his career in the state security agencies of the USSR in the capacity of an ordinary investigator and very quickly he got promoted from the lieutenant to the major-general, the Leader of the KGB (State Security Committee) of Azerbaijan. The expertise, intelligence, investigative skills, strong will and goal commitment of this young officer were in due time highlighted by such legendary figures of the state security system as generals Nahum Eitingon and Evgeniy Pitovranov, who visited the Ministry of State Security of Azerbaijan with inspections and reviewed the operations performed by Azerbaijanian secret service agents.

His rapid rise through the ranks and promotion to high positions was underpinned by Aliyevs high performance in intelligence and counter-intelligence, as well as by successful operations abroad which he directed. For that he was granted the highest award of KGB of the USSR the Plaque of Honor of the State Security Officer. When he became a colonel in 1966, Heydar Aliyev took the course for senior leaders professional upgrading in the Higher School of KGB named after F.E. Dzerzhinsky in Moscow. In 1967, Yuri Andropov, the Head of KGB, personally reported to Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, justifying the appointment of H. Aliyev to the position of the Chairman of KGB of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan.

Working in this high-ranking position shaped H. Aliyevs remarkable breadth of thought and knowledge. The ability to access key information allowed for understanding the interconnections between different events. In those days, KGB of Azerbaijan was perceived as the best organization among the security committees of the republican level.

Then, in 1969, Aliyevs appointment to the position of the First Secretary of the Azerbaijan Central Committee of the Communist Party was a well-justified result of his career. It evidenced his merits as a remarkable professional, manager and politician. He organized an effective anti-corruption campaign in Azerbaijan. During the years Heydar Aliyev was at the helm of the Soviet Republic, Azerbaijan achieved significant progress in industrial development, science, culture and agriculture; the standards of living of its population were noticeably improved. The top-tier leaders of the USSR gave very high appraisals of the economic ramp-up in the republic.

1970s were marked by the untiring activity, unparalleled initiative and giant energy demonstrated in developing comprehensive programs for dynamic progress of Soviet Azerbaijan under Aliyevs leadership.

Structural economic reforms were implemented to assure effective industrial development, new industries were created, first of all, in mechanic engineering, chemical and petrochemical industries, nonferrous metallurgy; technical modernization and upgrade activities were launched, as well as expansion of the processing industry, energy sector, ferrous metallurgy and mining industry.

During those years, Azerbaijan was at the leading position in the USSR in producing petroleum products, oil industry equipment, steel pipes, non-ferrous metals, synthetic rubbers, electric motors, construction materials, household air conditioners, automotive spare parts, and mineral fertilizers. Azerbaijan exported 350 positions of the domestically made items to 65 countries across the globe.

Azerbaijanian science, culture and art enjoyed the unprecedented boom at that time. Comprehensive measures in urban development and infrastructure improvement were carried out in Baku, the capital of the republic, and in other cities and districts.

In 1982, Yu. V. Andropov entered the office after L.I. Brezhnev, and one of his first and important decisions was to relocate Heydar Aliyev to Moscow and to appoint him to the position of the First Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Aliyev also became a member of the Political Bureau of the CPSU Central Committee.

During that period, Heydar Aliyev was in control of more than 12 Ministries of the USSR: he supervised mechanical engineering, trade, consumer goods manufacturing (this sector employed up to 3 mln people and comprised about 3,700 enterprises), all types of transport and communications, as well as cultural and educational spheres. Starting from 1984, Aliyev headed the Commission for reforming the Soviet school, and in 1986, he chaired the Bureau for social development with the Council of Ministers of the USSR. He participated in a number of projects in related spheres. You can see his signature under dozens of very important resolutions of the Council of Ministers and of the Political Bureau of the CPSU Central Committee.

For example, Heydar Aliyev chaired the Commission on operational issues with the Council of Ministers comprising deputies of the Chairman of the government and a number of Ministers. After Aliyev taking this post, the Commission had sessions every Monday and turned practically into the executive board of the Council of Ministers; it reviewed and resolved many pressing issues of the USSR economy management, invited industrial leaders and experts to make presentations and issued assignments to them. Sometimes it was called «the second Political Bureau». On top of that, H. Aliyev participated in foreign economic relations and played a noticeable role in the international contacts of the USSR in Asia and Middle East.

Overall, by mid-1980s, Heydar Aliyev became one of the most popular and high-profile politicians of the Soviet Union. The press published news and articles featuring Aliyev practically every day, TV channels showed him on a regular basis, Moscow intellectuals adored him and eminent culture figures strived to meet with him they knew, that H. Aliyev will certainly settle their problems and support their fair claims.

For his merits to the Soviet state, Heydar Aliyev was awarded five Orders of Lenin, Orders of October Revolution and of Red Star; twice he was awarded the title of the «Hero of Socialist Labor» (in 1979 and 1983) one of the supreme ranks in the USSR.

Andropov had not enough time to appoint Aliyev to the post of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, as he had planned initially in the long run, Yuri Andropov envisaged Heydar Aliyev as one of his potential successor at the position of the Soviet leader. The untimely passing of Yd. Andropov in 1984 did not allow for implementation of all of his ideas.

Heydar Aliyev was viewed as the second important person in the Soviet government, so Armenian nationalists and separatists believed him to be one of the main barriers for their plans to decompose Soviet Azerbaijan. Hence, the Armenians surrounding Gorbachev with the support of Armenian expat communities abroad put through a combination (playing on the suspiciousness and jealousness of the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee), which eventually brough Heydar Aliyev to resignation in 1987. After Aliyevs removal from power, there were no more equally important political figures among the Soviet leaders capable to practically oppose the Soviet Union disintegration.

Heydar Aliyevs resignation was the sign of wreckage of the Soviet power ignited by the frenzy of nationalism, behind-the-scenes politics and ill-conceived political and economic reforms. Aliyev could be a guarantor of reforming the USSR according to the memoires of high-ranking Soviet bureaucrats, he was part of a number of scenarios for modernizing and preserving the Soviet Union, which could have been implemented should Yuri Andropov stay in power for longer time.

After returning to Azerbaijan in July 1990, Heydar Aliyev at first lived in Baku, and then in Nakhichevan. In the same year he was elected the member of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan. In 1991-1993, he occupied the position of the Chairman of the Supreme Mejlis of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic and Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan Republic.

In 1992, in Nakhichevan the constituent congress of Yeni Azerbaijan («New Azerbaijan») political party elected Heydar Aliyev as the Party Chairman. 

During the first years of Azerbaijans independence, combat struggle for power and the accompanying instability inflicted a heavy strike on the statehood. Social and political chaos, anarchy and acts of violence resulted in acute ethnic and civic confrontation and complete incapacity of the authorities. Eventually, the crisis emerged in Azerbaijan in the summer of 1993, and the country found itself at the edge of civil war and decomposition.

In this situation, the Azerbaijani demanded bringing Heydar Aliyev back to power. On 15 June 1993, he was elected the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan, and starting from July 24, by virtue of the resolution of Milli Mejlis (the National Assembly of Azerbaijan) became the acting President of Azerbaijan. On October 3, 1993 by virtue of the nation-wide voting Heydar Aliyev was elected the President of the Azerbaijan Republic and tackled the priority problems.

First of all, he eliminated the power vacuum; with direct support of the entire nation, the destructive forces active in some regions were neutralized, and the civil war was prevented. Criminal elements (those organizing the infringement of the statehood, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan) were isolated from the public.

In May 1994, the ceasefire agreement was achieved in the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Heydar Aliyevs return to the leadership of Azerbaijan marked the turning point in the political, social, economic, science and culture policy, as well as in foreign relations.

In September 1994, the first oil contract called «the Contract of the Lifetime» was signed. Heydar Aliyev was the author of its implementation procedure, which is an example of perfectly elaborated and effective oil strategy underpinning the concept of Azerbaijan economic development.

Economic reforms, market economy gaining a firm footing, economic growth assurance, integration of Azerbaijan into global economy, implementation of privatization program and agrarian reforms became consistent priorities for Heydar Aliyev.

On October 11, 1998 he was re-elected the President of Azerbaijan Republic.

Heydar Aliyev passed away on December 12, 2003. He was buried in Baku, in the Alley of Honorable Burial Sites.

Being a wise politician and a visionary, Heydar Aliyev realized that the national interests of Azerbaijan required formal alliance with Russia. He laid the foundations of strategic partnership of the Russian Federation and the Azerbaijan Republic, made a huge personal contribution into strengthening friendship and mutual understanding of our two nations. 

When speaking about the personality caliber of the national leader of Azerbaijan, President Vladimir Putin called him an «outstanding statesman, a true patriot and a faithful son of his Motherland». According to the Russian Federation leader, «Heydar Aliyev believed that building friendly relations with Russia on a good-neighbor basis, strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation and constructive partnership between our two countries was key to the progress of Azerbaijan. It is gratifying to see that the incumbent President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev decently carries on this policy».

Within the framework of a special project dedicated to the forthcoming 100th anniversary of Heydar Aliyev, Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies plans to organize and conduct thematical events in the memory of this outstanding statesman and politician of the modern era.

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Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies
Projects

100th anniversary of Heydar Aliyev

On May 10, 2023 the 100th anniversary of the prominent Soviet statesman and politician, the leader of Azerbaijanian nation Heydar Aliyev will be celebrated.  He won the esteem and recognition all over the world.

Heydar Alirza oghlu Aliyev was born on May 10,1923 in the city of Nakhichevan. Between 1939 and 1941 he was a student of Nakhichevan pedagogical college and in Azerbaijanian Industrial Institute (currently Azerbaijanian State Petroleum Academy).

Starting from 1941, he had a job of the Department Director in the Peoples Commissariat (Ministry) of Internal Affairs of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and in the Council of Peoples Commissars of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, and starting from May 1944 he served in the  state security agencies of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan.

In 1950, he graduated from the Higher School of the State Security Ministry in Leningrad, and in 1957 from the History Department of the State University of Azerbaijan.

Heydar Aliyev started his career in the state security agencies of the USSR in the capacity of an ordinary investigator and very quickly he got promoted from the lieutenant to the major-general, the Leader of the KGB (State Security Committee) of Azerbaijan. The expertise, intelligence, investigative skills, strong will and goal commitment of this young officer were in due time highlighted by such legendary figures of the state security system as generals Nahum Eitingon and Evgeniy Pitovranov, who visited the Ministry of State Security of Azerbaijan with inspections and reviewed the operations performed by Azerbaijanian secret service agents.

His rapid rise through the ranks and promotion to high positions was underpinned by Aliyevs high performance in intelligence and counter-intelligence, as well as by successful operations abroad which he directed. For that he was granted the highest award of KGB of the USSR the Plaque of Honor of the State Security Officer. When he became a colonel in 1966, Heydar Aliyev took the course for senior leaders professional upgrading in the Higher School of KGB named after F.E. Dzerzhinsky in Moscow. In 1967, Yuri Andropov, the Head of KGB, personally reported to Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, justifying the appointment of H. Aliyev to the position of the Chairman of KGB of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan.

Working in this high-ranking position shaped H. Aliyevs remarkable breadth of thought and knowledge. The ability to access key information allowed for understanding the interconnections between different events. In those days, KGB of Azerbaijan was perceived as the best organization among the security committees of the republican level.

Then, in 1969, Aliyevs appointment to the position of the First Secretary of the Azerbaijan Central Committee of the Communist Party was a well-justified result of his career. It evidenced his merits as a remarkable professional, manager and politician. He organized an effective anti-corruption campaign in Azerbaijan. During the years Heydar Aliyev was at the helm of the Soviet Republic, Azerbaijan achieved significant progress in industrial development, science, culture and agriculture; the standards of living of its population were noticeably improved. The top-tier leaders of the USSR gave very high appraisals of the economic ramp-up in the republic.

1970s were marked by the untiring activity, unparalleled initiative and giant energy demonstrated in developing comprehensive programs for dynamic progress of Soviet Azerbaijan under Aliyevs leadership.

Structural economic reforms were implemented to assure effective industrial development, new industries were created, first of all, in mechanic engineering, chemical and petrochemical industries, nonferrous metallurgy; technical modernization and upgrade activities were launched, as well as expansion of the processing industry, energy sector, ferrous metallurgy and mining industry.

During those years, Azerbaijan was at the leading position in the USSR in producing petroleum products, oil industry equipment, steel pipes, non-ferrous metals, synthetic rubbers, electric motors, construction materials, household air conditioners, automotive spare parts, and mineral fertilizers. Azerbaijan exported 350 positions of the domestically made items to 65 countries across the globe.

Azerbaijanian science, culture and art enjoyed the unprecedented boom at that time. Comprehensive measures in urban development and infrastructure improvement were carried out in Baku, the capital of the republic, and in other cities and districts.

In 1982, Yu. V. Andropov entered the office after L.I. Brezhnev, and one of his first and important decisions was to relocate Heydar Aliyev to Moscow and to appoint him to the position of the First Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Aliyev also became a member of the Political Bureau of the CPSU Central Committee.

During that period, Heydar Aliyev was in control of more than 12 Ministries of the USSR: he supervised mechanical engineering, trade, consumer goods manufacturing (this sector employed up to 3 mln people and comprised about 3,700 enterprises), all types of transport and communications, as well as cultural and educational spheres. Starting from 1984, Aliyev headed the Commission for reforming the Soviet school, and in 1986, he chaired the Bureau for social development with the Council of Ministers of the USSR. He participated in a number of projects in related spheres. You can see his signature under dozens of very important resolutions of the Council of Ministers and of the Political Bureau of the CPSU Central Committee.

For example, Heydar Aliyev chaired the Commission on operational issues with the Council of Ministers comprising deputies of the Chairman of the government and a number of Ministers. After Aliyev taking this post, the Commission had sessions every Monday and turned practically into the executive board of the Council of Ministers; it reviewed and resolved many pressing issues of the USSR economy management, invited industrial leaders and experts to make presentations and issued assignments to them. Sometimes it was called «the second Political Bureau». On top of that, H. Aliyev participated in foreign economic relations and played a noticeable role in the international contacts of the USSR in Asia and Middle East.

Overall, by mid-1980s, Heydar Aliyev became one of the most popular and high-profile politicians of the Soviet Union. The press published news and articles featuring Aliyev practically every day, TV channels showed him on a regular basis, Moscow intellectuals adored him and eminent culture figures strived to meet with him they knew, that H. Aliyev will certainly settle their problems and support their fair claims.

For his merits to the Soviet state, Heydar Aliyev was awarded five Orders of Lenin, Orders of October Revolution and of Red Star; twice he was awarded the title of the «Hero of Socialist Labor» (in 1979 and 1983) one of the supreme ranks in the USSR.

Andropov had not enough time to appoint Aliyev to the post of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, as he had planned initially in the long run, Yuri Andropov envisaged Heydar Aliyev as one of his potential successor at the position of the Soviet leader. The untimely passing of Yd. Andropov in 1984 did not allow for implementation of all of his ideas.

Heydar Aliyev was viewed as the second important person in the Soviet government, so Armenian nationalists and separatists believed him to be one of the main barriers for their plans to decompose Soviet Azerbaijan. Hence, the Armenians surrounding Gorbachev with the support of Armenian expat communities abroad put through a combination (playing on the suspiciousness and jealousness of the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee), which eventually brough Heydar Aliyev to resignation in 1987. After Aliyevs removal from power, there were no more equally important political figures among the Soviet leaders capable to practically oppose the Soviet Union disintegration.

Heydar Aliyevs resignation was the sign of wreckage of the Soviet power ignited by the frenzy of nationalism, behind-the-scenes politics and ill-conceived political and economic reforms. Aliyev could be a guarantor of reforming the USSR according to the memoires of high-ranking Soviet bureaucrats, he was part of a number of scenarios for modernizing and preserving the Soviet Union, which could have been implemented should Yuri Andropov stay in power for longer time.

After returning to Azerbaijan in July 1990, Heydar Aliyev at first lived in Baku, and then in Nakhichevan. In the same year he was elected the member of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan. In 1991-1993, he occupied the position of the Chairman of the Supreme Mejlis of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic and Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan Republic.

In 1992, in Nakhichevan the constituent congress of Yeni Azerbaijan («New Azerbaijan») political party elected Heydar Aliyev as the Party Chairman. 

During the first years of Azerbaijans independence, combat struggle for power and the accompanying instability inflicted a heavy strike on the statehood. Social and political chaos, anarchy and acts of violence resulted in acute ethnic and civic confrontation and complete incapacity of the authorities. Eventually, the crisis emerged in Azerbaijan in the summer of 1993, and the country found itself at the edge of civil war and decomposition.

In this situation, the Azerbaijani demanded bringing Heydar Aliyev back to power. On 15 June 1993, he was elected the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan, and starting from July 24, by virtue of the resolution of Milli Mejlis (the National Assembly of Azerbaijan) became the acting President of Azerbaijan. On October 3, 1993 by virtue of the nation-wide voting Heydar Aliyev was elected the President of the Azerbaijan Republic and tackled the priority problems.

First of all, he eliminated the power vacuum; with direct support of the entire nation, the destructive forces active in some regions were neutralized, and the civil war was prevented. Criminal elements (those organizing the infringement of the statehood, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan) were isolated from the public.

In May 1994, the ceasefire agreement was achieved in the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Heydar Aliyevs return to the leadership of Azerbaijan marked the turning point in the political, social, economic, science and culture policy, as well as in foreign relations.

In September 1994, the first oil contract called «the Contract of the Lifetime» was signed. Heydar Aliyev was the author of its implementation procedure, which is an example of perfectly elaborated and effective oil strategy underpinning the concept of Azerbaijan economic development.

Economic reforms, market economy gaining a firm footing, economic growth assurance, integration of Azerbaijan into global economy, implementation of privatization program and agrarian reforms became consistent priorities for Heydar Aliyev.

On October 11, 1998 he was re-elected the President of Azerbaijan Republic.

Heydar Aliyev passed away on December 12, 2003. He was buried in Baku, in the Alley of Honorable Burial Sites.

Being a wise politician and a visionary, Heydar Aliyev realized that the national interests of Azerbaijan required formal alliance with Russia. He laid the foundations of strategic partnership of the Russian Federation and the Azerbaijan Republic, made a huge personal contribution into strengthening friendship and mutual understanding of our two nations. 

When speaking about the personality caliber of the national leader of Azerbaijan, President Vladimir Putin called him an «outstanding statesman, a true patriot and a faithful son of his Motherland». According to the Russian Federation leader, «Heydar Aliyev believed that building friendly relations with Russia on a good-neighbor basis, strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation and constructive partnership between our two countries was key to the progress of Azerbaijan. It is gratifying to see that the incumbent President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev decently carries on this policy».

Within the framework of a special project dedicated to the forthcoming 100th anniversary of Heydar Aliyev, Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies plans to organize and conduct thematical events in the memory of this outstanding statesman and politician of the modern era.