To Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Azerbaijan

To Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Azerbaijan

 His Excellency Vasiliy Istratov!

His Excellency ambassador!

For a long time I thought above that whom to address this brief letter: whether to my friends in Russia, or to public figures living there and worthy every respect and maybe to Russian statesmen? Eventually, I had set my choice on you. It would not be inappropriate to address you, as to quite active ambassador representing the huge state in Azerbaijan.

Unfortunately, my police does not give me an opportunity to read this letter before your embassy and officially to hand it over to you. And so, I am compelled to address you through press. I am not a government official and nor diplomat. And I shall state my thoughts without embellishment, frankly and directly.

His Excellency ambassador! From last week all of us – true Caucasians are anxious. The state represented by you, has conceived to occupy Caucasus anew. Capture of the lands of Georgia disturbs me as an Azerbaijani, because I also have such a “wounded” land as Karabakh. And as a Caucasian this occupation offends my pride. 

It is not the first time when the Kremlin issues order on invading of troops to Caucasus. The Kremlin is Russian empire, Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. In essence, for me there is no difference among these three.

As you remember, Russia could occupy Caucasus after long years of war. Javad Khan, Imam Shamil and thousand of mojaheds together with him have not reconciled themselves to that occupation. And occupation by the Soviet government also was not easy. Thousands of Caucasians with the weapon in their hands, had moved away to mountains and combated till the 40-s of the 20th century. Caucasians form the northern and southern sides of our mountains have stood up for liberation war continually. However, you know that better than me.

And now it is not easy for you. It is not clear for me, why you cannot stand our freedom? Caucasians love freedom because they know its price and know what that it means. Perhaps, it proceeds from the fact that we have never been “serfs” and “proletarians”. Is it really not clear for you that you could not defeat Caucasus any way during these 200 years? The land can be occupied; thousand of people can be annihilated, but not spirit. You have failed and will fail to defeat the spirit of Caucasus. Caucasus could be approached only with love and respect. You were sadly mistaken from the beginning, 200 years ago.

In 1990 year of last century Solzhenitsyn named Caucasus «heavy burden» for Russia. This Russian thinker knowingly called to set free the lands, glorified by Pushkin, Lermontov and others. As strange body cannot live in a body, so the Caucasus did not become an integrated organism with Russia for these 200 years. You hitherto do not obey to exhortation of 20-th century Russian patriarch.

You would hold on your hands «puppet regimes», shaped in Caucasus with the blessing of Russia 5-10 years further, and what will be after that? You cannot take away these lands and people living on them to Siberia or the Taiga? Sooner or later you will leave, as have left Central and East Europe. I am confident and assure you, that peoples of Caucasus again will live together and prosper. Then you will not be remembered with good memoirs. To deserve hatred is not so difficult as to forget it. We till now could not forget April 9, 1989 and January 20, 1990.

His Excellency ambassador!

Do not take in head to subdue us, and be friends of us. If you change your policy to 180 degrees will see, how friendly, hospitable and affable we are. Nobody will leave these lands. If you would become our friendly neighbours, we would not search friends for ourselves at the ends of the world.

Do not take offence at my caustic words. I have written that I am not a diplomat.

Your friendly neighbour,

Vahid Gazi

Chairman, INAM Center for Pluralism

August 15, 2008

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