Direct Translation via Google Translate. Edited.
Modest Kolerov: Dear Stanislav Nikolaevich! I know that you were born in Soviet Azerbaijan, in Kirovabad, the former city of Ganja, now Ganja again, in 1953. I also remember that your grandfather was a royal official. And he was saved from absolutely real repressions in Soviet Azerbaijan with the help of his old acquaintance, the famous Stalinist Prosecutor General Vyshinsky - such an interesting detail. And this tsarist official, an officer, was a Pole. Vyshinsky was also a Pole. In 1975 you graduated from the Faculty of History of the Azerbaijan State University. You graduated from the eastern department of the Faculty of History, studied, in particular, with the future President of Azerbaijan, Elchibey...
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, we found a certain time, the first time before his arrest he gave a course of lectures.
Modest Kolerov: In 1975, you graduated from the university and entered full-time graduate school at my native history department of Moscow State University, where I studied later. It is clear that you were politely sent to Moscow so that you would not create competition there, in Baku. Did you defend your Ph.D. thesis on the participation of the Bolsheviks in party building in Azerbaijan?
Stanislav Tarasov: It was called, I can name the topic now - the fight against the nationalist counter-revolution in the Transcaucasus and the Middle East in 1918-1921 . And we studied the formation of nationalist parties, movements, and so on, how Musavat, Ittihad, Dashnaktsutyun were formed, what kind of relations they had with the Georgian Mensheviks and all the ins and outs. And what we found in the course of these studies is that we just, frankly, fell into absolute depression, because a completely different picture emerged.
Modest Kolerov: What?
Stanislav Tarasov: I studied for five years at the national university. Unlike other universities, it was a specialized university that singled out national history and gave it paramount importance. Near and Middle East, Ottoman Empire and so on. And after the university we had a clear conviction, an idea of the historical development, the history of this region.
Modest Kolerov: What are the main conclusions from this dissertation?
Stanislav Tarasov: Firstly, the main conclusion was that the tsarist administration of the period of Vorontsov-Dashkov, the governor, after the bloody events of 1905, which were in Transcaucasia, when the Dashnaks practically took control of all Transcaucasia, base centers, even Baku, a decision was made on the special status of the governorship with the prospect of entering the Griboyedov project. Griboyedov's project - at one time, when Griboedov was a diplomat, even before Persia, was to create a Transcaucasian Russian company according to the version of the Russian-American company with the granting of an autonomous status of a protectorate type within Russia.
Modest Kolerov: And what limits was the empire ready to attach to the Russian Transcaucasus to create this protectorate?
Stanislav Tarasov: This is where the Vorontsov-Dashkov project took shape. The Vorontsov-Dashkov project included the following: The Transcaucasian Democratic Republic is the first project, the United States of Transcaucasia. And, by the way, tsarist military intelligence was connected here. The position was very simple: we did not digest the Caucasus, preparations were underway for the First World War, we will not hold the Caucasus, we have no resources, the Caucasus must be given a special status, it is desirable that it be loyal and be under protectorate control. Hence the question arose: what to do with the titular nations? Armenians, Georgians, Transcaucasian Tatars, as the Azerbaijanis were then called. Of all three ethnic groups, the Armenians turned out to be the most politically advanced, the Dashnaktsutyun party was the first political party established in Russia in 1890. It was, by the way, a party of a foreign type. It was not fixed as a Russian party. The only party that had a program of its state building, independence and so on. But the center of state building for her was Western Armenia.
Modest Kolerov: Western Armenia, then part of the Ottoman Empire.
Stanislav Tarasov: Quite right. Hence, by the way, all this struggle, the lawsuit that went on with the Armenians. It is known that, for example, the property of the Armenian Church was arrested. Why? Because it was a special policy, the Young Turks, with whom we also actively worked. Why? Because an interesting thing happened, there was a development, as the future was seen: the Transcaucasian United States or three state formations. For the first time, the political term "Azerbaijan" was used by the tsarist military intelligence in 1911. Subsequently, this term was used as the state name of the Musavat party. The Musavat party is a product of the tsarist military intelligence, it was supposed to build statehood. And for the Dashnaktsutyun party, the center of Armenianism is Western Armenia, the territory of Ottoman Turkey. Now the question arose what about the Georgians?
Because the Georgians had nationalist parties of the federalist type, then Menshevik deviations, and so on. The Mensheviks did not position themselves autonomously as separatists, they were part of the Russian social democracy, and then their leaders, as you know, headed the Petrograd Soviet. They did not push themselves away from Russia. Nicholas II granted Vorontsov-Dashkov the status of his plenipotentiary governor, the status of almost the supreme ruler. Its own intelligence, its own counterintelligence, its own army, its own bureaucracy. It got to the point that in Transcaucasia Vorontsov-Dashkov received the right to confer general ranks. By the way, Armenian militants received general ranks in Transcaucasia. They did not go through the register of imperial general ranks - general ranks in Russia were assigned by the emperor, and these did not pass through the Russian register. They were not Russian generals. But they wore, got uniforms and so forth.
Modest Kolerov: Were they Russian Transcaucasian generals?
Stanislav Tarasov: Russian Transcaucasian generals. This is a special status. There was a special policy, hence special relations with Persia, special relations with Turkey.
Modest Kolerov: So they wanted to annex part of the Ottoman Empire to Russia or not?
Stanislav Tarasov: The Dashnaks were the main opponent and at the same time the main partner of the tsarist administration. The Dashnaktsutyun party had two bureaus, Eastern and Western. The eastern one was in Tiflis, the western one was in Geneva and partly in Paris. Their task was as follows: these were to use the resources of the Russian Empire, and those were to use the resources of the West.
Tactically behave differently, and the strategy is a great Armenia. The task was as follows - to drag the Eastern Bureau to the Russian side, and the Western Bureau had to work differently. By the way, this marked the tragedy of the Armenians, because, nevertheless, the Eastern Bureau decided that it was independent, made contacts with the Young Turks, with Enver Pasha, Nazim Pasha, they financed the Dashnak party. And the Dashnaks contributed to the introduction of the Russian version of Pan-Turkism. Hence another conclusion:
Modest Kolerov: Modeled after Austria-Hungary...
Stanislav Tarasov: A multinational empire where the Turks are numerically in the majority, but there are enclaves: strong Armenian, Greek, Jewish enclaves, and so on. The Turks are in second place, there is no dominant Turkish ideology, the Turkish language is not the state language, in the Ottoman Empire the leadership is French-speaking, Francophile. How to destroy this empire?
You need to take the leading ethnic group and say: build a nation state. This means that other ethnic groups begin to vibrate. This doctrine is subtle, elegant, and was practiced in two centers: in St. Petersburg, at the university, by officers of the General Staff with oriental scholars, and in Kazan. And this ideology was introduced into Turkey. Gasprinsky, Akchura - these are all its products. They worked out the so-called Russian Slavic unity in order to to weaken the Ottoman Empire and to create pseudo-state formations on the fragments of the Ottoman Empire. And all publications of the Pan-Turkic type in the Ottoman Empire, from 1908 to 1914, were financed by the tsarist government. St. Petersburg scientists published a monograph "Young Turks in the Service of the Reaction", or something like that, where they first cited the documents that I used.
Modest Kolerov: Was your dissertation finally closed?
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes.
Modest Kolerov: And it remains closed, and, accordingly, those archival materials that you used have not actually been put into wide circulation?
Stanislav Tarasov: Not included.
Modest Kolerov: And what are these archives? Military-historical archive?
Stanislav Tarasov: No, the military-historical archive is legal. I referred to it.
Modest Kolerov: What about illegal ones?
Stanislav Tarasov: There was a special fund of Vorontsov-Dashkov in the military-historical archive, it still exists, and there is only a special permit.
Modest Kolerov: Good. And what remains classified from your sources? Archive names?
Stanislav Tarasov: There are no names. They are designated by abbreviations: P2832 ...
Modest Kolerov: These are funds. And in what archive?
Stanislav Tarasov: Funds, yes. Mostly in Podolsk.
Modest Kolerov: Is this the archive of the Ministry of Defense?
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, mostly there.
Modest Kolerov: Are these agent funds?
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, these are closed-end funds. When I used the documents, I say to Professor Stishov: “Mikhail Ivanovich, well, where can I use this?”
Modest Kolerov: Did he supervise your work in graduate school?
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, Stishov Mikhail Ivanovich. And he says: Tarasov, look, if you decide to go to the West and refer to these documents, you will be declared crazy, because these funds do not exist.
Modest Kolerov: Are there any other important conclusions from your dissertation, which remained closed? Did the Bolsheviks, following in the footsteps of Vorontsov-Dashkov, also accept these developments of Russian military intelligence?
Stanislav Tarasov: The question of the Sovietization of the Transcaucasus is also unwritten facts. Lenin recognized and demanded the Sovietization of Azerbaijan, but with the provision of attributes of an independent state. Because oil was needed and resources. As for Georgia and Armenia, Lenin was against Sovietization, and he believed that the Georgian Mensheviks should be generally left alone as one of the experimental reserves of Menshevik-type social democracy and through them, since the Second International, as is known, condemned the Bolsheviks, go to the International and achieve, for the International to unblock Soviet Russia. He gave Georgia to the West.
As for Armenia, Dashnak Armenia, the Dashnaks came to power, they maintained relations with Denikin, naturally, they entered into problems, entered into conflict. They were guided by the West, it was a purely pro-Western party. And Lenin believed that they should leave. And when the draft of the Sevres Treaty of 1920 arose, in general, Lenin was not against it. But what happens at the top of the Central Committee? Stalin, corresponding with Ordzhonikidze, declares: “Sergo, if we are left without territory (Transcaucasia), Lev Davidovich will throw us out, as the party does not need us as theoreticians.
But Lev Davidovich has no territory - he has an apparatus, a historical role - and we have a territory. Lev Davidovich was informed about this ... He had good intelligence, tsarist military intelligence, he used it very much. But Lev Davidovich has no territory - he has an apparatus, a historical role - and we have a territory. Lev Davidovich was informed about this ... He had good intelligence, tsarist military intelligence, he used it very much. But Lev Davidovich has no territory - he has an apparatus, a historical role - and we have a territory. Lev Davidovich was informed about this ... He had good intelligence, tsarist military intelligence, he used it very much.
Modest Kolerov: So, in the fight against Trotsky, Stalin decided to keep the Transcaucasus as his territory for the future struggle.
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, they carried out the sovietization of Transcaucasia. And moreover, they took advantage - this moment is still mysterious - an alliance with Atatürk, a project to create a socialist Turan ...
Modest Kolerov: Yes, this is the Trotskyist Red East.
Stanislav Tarasov: But the fact is that the Turan project was worked out by the tsarist military intelligence. Moreover, the task was to work out the project of pan-Turkism in their own interests. I already have this document, where the Russian resident writes: "The 20 million Turks living in the Russian Empire are the material with which we can conquer the East." That is, turn pan-Turkism towards Russia.
Modest Kolerov: Has it been published, this document?Stanislav Tarasov: It has not been published.
Modest Kolerov: So, maybe we will publish it?
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, I have it, issued, link. The idea was that Russia, as a Turkic state with 20 million Turks, could become the leader of the Turkic world. And by the way, this project was supported by Vorontsov-Dashkov. Pay attention, after Sovietization: Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia - Armenians live, official status; Georgia, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic - Georgians live. But until 1932, in the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, the ethnos was the Turks. Why did Stalin refuse the ethnonym "Azerbaijanis" up to this point? Why was the common Turkic grammar practiced? Why was a common Turkic history written? Because we hatched a project until 1932 on the creation of a single Turkic state. And what type of Turkic state? Ottoman Empire, Turks, Azerbaijan joins, leader, and on the southern underbelly - these are Iranian Azerbaijanis. Here, please, the Vorontsov-Dashkov project ...
Modest Kolerov: Well, the Bolshevik project of creating a red Turan.
Stanislav Tarasov: There was a question, if you think logically, how did Stalin behave further? 1920s–1930s: Red Kurdistan project on the territory of Karabakh. After World War II: The Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. See what experiments are being carried out on the territory of Iran. Then in 1946, territorial claims against Turkey, then a furious controversy broke out between the Central Committees of the Communist Parties of Armenia and Georgia, a commission of academician Javakhishvili was created, which specially traveled to the territory of Eastern Anatolia, where they described the remains of Christian monuments ...
Modest Kolerov: But they left in 1917.
Stanislav Tarasov: There were several expeditions.
Modest Kolerov: The first Georgian expedition to Turkey was back in 1916, under our occupation, and then in 1917.
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, they did. The Georgians wrote that it was a Georgian monument, the Armenians otherwise. The question is this: this region was in an uncertain geopolitical state. The borders along the Araks, up to the collapse of the Soviet Union, were never considered stable from the point of view of military logic. Never.
Modest Kolerov: Yes, when you underwent military training at the military department at the Azerbaijan State University, did you study this issue with your teachers?
Stanislav Tarasov: They simply trained translators, political workers, propaganda workers from us, we even had impromptu classes when some colonel, the future commandant of Istanbul, spoke. Everyone told us how to conduct it, what kind of agitation, how to conduct interrogations - an ordinary military department, there was nothing special here.
Modest Kolerov: About the dissertation. So, the Bolshevik factor in the formation of national political parties in Transcaucasia. Can we say that the Bolsheviks were, if not the main customers, then the main beneficiaries of this party building or not?
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, they actually became them. But here the question was: howthey became? They began to repeat, step on the same rake as the tsarist administration. Sovietization took place, formally, legally, but only Russification did not take place. And without the Russification of the region, there were no carriers of this so-called revolutionary ideology, because the national intelligentsia or the national element that joined the Communist Party, to the last, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, they used Soviet power in their own interests. They never considered that they would live forever in the Soviet Union. I, a former student of Azerbaijan University, who attended a course of outstanding professors, heard how we were openly told in the 1970s about the impending collapse of the USSR.
We argued with the Armenians about the history of Caucasian Albania, we were taken out on buses to see these monuments, we traveled from Karabakh to all of Transcaucasia, all the ruins. We knew that the upcoming struggle between Azerbaijan and Armenia was an ideological struggle. At the level of Soviet historiography, separate monographs were published in Azerbaijan and Armenia, where the controversy was on individual monuments. We understood that the problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia would end in a war. The professor told us: we will even sacrifice Karabakh if we get the opportunity to unite with Iran, Iranian Azerbaijanis, and Turkey. And then, he said, we will strangle the Armenians. if we get the opportunity to unite with Iran, Iranian Azerbaijanis, Turkey. And then, he said, we will strangle the Armenians. if we get the opportunity to unite with Iran, Iranian Azerbaijanis, Turkey. And then, he said, we will strangle the Armenians.
Modest Kolerov: I remember from your stories how Heydar Aliyev, whom you knew personally, told you before or after the collapse of the USSR…
Stanislav Tarasov: Before the collapse.
Modest Kolerov: Yes, in the last years before the collapse of the USSR, he expressed to you the idea of uniting Azerbaijan with Turkey so that Azerbaijan would lead this association.
Stanislav Tarasov: Who is Heydar Aliyev? I can now say more frankly that the fact that I ended up in foreign broadcasting of the USSR after graduate school is a division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you can’t just get in from the street - it was a pure accident, I was placed there by the Andropov family, chairman of the KGB of the USSR. I was offered to become a teacher at the Higher School of Intelligence. But I found out that you won’t write under your last name there, you won’t be allowed to leave. I came across specialists of the general level who brilliantly mastered all this material.
Modest Kolerov: But were they all closed too?
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes. There was nothing new for them, and when I talked to them, they did not interrogate me, they understood what I wanted to say, I understood what they were thinking.
Modest Kolerov: And so you went to work after graduate school for foreign broadcasting.
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, to the Turkish department. Came, a young Ph.D. And what is foreign broadcasting, the Near and Middle East? Four hundred people: former employees of special services, trade missions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, legal and illegal immigrants, and so on and so forth. It doesn't smell like journalism. They were unique, they knew countries, regions so well…
Modest Kolerov: You worked from 1978 to…
Stanislav Tarasov: Until 1983. They are such connoisseurs: Afghanistan… Later I came across when I was already in Afghanistan, if it wasn’t for them, I could have made such mistakes there… They had such knowledge of the country that you can’t subtract anywhere, in any documents. Knowledge of psychology, stories ... But they have everything in the past. They looked at me like I was some kind of prodigy. "What are you going to do here?" spoke. And when the main edition of the international life of Central Television was created, in 1985 ...
Modest Kolerov: You went there.
Stanislav Tarasov: I was invited there. The elite gathered there, the strongest world-class journalists, this is the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company. What was the strength of foreign broadcasting? The materials with which we appeared on the air, they could not be printed in Pravda, Izvestia - these were completely different materials. I performed under my own name. We were known in the Middle East, there was even a provocation against me. In July, I published an article, “The CIA in Turkey,” or something, the Milliyet newspaper ... Two weeks later, the permanent representative calls me ...
Modest Kolerov: Did the Milliet newspaper respond to this?
Stanislav Tarasov: Then we found out that this was a provocation from Moscow. Two weeks later, the ambassador's encryption, then the Milliet newspaper arrives by special mail, and my editor-in-chief is summoned. And I have an Armenian editor-in-chief, a specialist in the Kurds: “Listen, what have you done? Did you write about Turkey, about the CIA?” I say I wrote. He: "give me the text." And we have three copies. I give him a text, he: I can’t understand anything, but what is special here? The recording is being listened to - there are no distortions, the text that was translated was heard on the air. And "Milliet" writes: "Tarasov, close to the ruling circles of the Kremlin, a well-known observer, claims that 60% of the members of the Turkish government are agents of the CIA."
Modest Kolerov: Did they just attribute this formula to you?
Stanislav Tarasov: The Ambassador gave a code, I was suspended from the air for two weeks. For two weeks my fate was being decided. What's the matter, they can't prove anything. Then I was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and at that time Eduard Amvrosievich Shevardnadze was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and for the first time I ran into him as a Minister. He told me: "Is that you?"
Modest Kolerov: Disgusted?
Stanislav Tarasov: No, he is. He has a manner like this: “is that you”? I say yes". And there are still his assistants. And he: "what are you writing"? I say: "I write correctly." And I already know that I have broadcast there confirmed that this is a provocation. And he told me: "Yes, go, you will be thanked." I went, I’m waiting for gratitude, they don’t let me on the air for another week, then Eduard Amvrosievich says: “You haven’t written something for a long time, come on, write.” Then it turned out that we had a man recruited by the Turkish special services. For some reason they did not like me, and they decided to set me up in this way through the Milliet newspaper. There were such cases. And this edition of international life had a special status, it served the International Department.
Modest Kolerov: International Department of the Central Committee of the CPSU.
Stanislav Tarasov: We caused a lot of dissatisfaction on television, because there was the program "Time", there was Leonid Petrovich Kravchenko, who headed the television. All international topics were removed from under it and transferred to the Central Committee. He hated us. He ruined us, ripped off everything. There were constant problems. And here all the intelligence officers, counterintelligence officers, well-known observers and so on gathered. We were in sight. The second point: we had a correspondent network, we were all traveling. I came to work and did not know where I would end up in the evening: in Korea, in Iran, or where. There was perestroika, there was a need - television eats like a dragon, we need materials, our own picture. And the battle for your picture was leading. Western TV channels imposed a picture on us, we used it in rare cases, we had to give our own picture. And its own picture is an operator. Correspondents - 60 correspondents.
Modest Kolerov: Seconded from the special services.
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, they were limited in scope.
Modest Kolerov: And they are not about this, they are about something else.
Stanislav Tarasov: Quite right. And we are in the Warsaw Pact, and in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, and in the NATO Council. I have been to Belgium twice. NATO Council, I was in his building twice, we interviewed there. We went out all the time, we had to give a picture. And the correspondents ... The correspondent of the State Radio and Television in Warsaw says: "Why send Tarasov, I could do it myself." And the curator replies: “no, you didn’t manage it, let ours go.” And we had problems with the corset. I remember that I flew to Belgium, for the first time in a foreign country, with equipment, two engineers, an operator. We were supposed to be met by a local Soviet correspondent, but he did not. And it appeared only when we made the first report from Charleroi, made a rebroadcast of the NATO competitions, and it went on the Vremya program. And he wanted to break us.
Modest Kolerov: Yes.
Stanislav Tarasov: And we were especially status, and we had to communicate and so on. Here's how I got into the machine...
Modest Kolerov: Apparatus of the Central Committee.
Stanislav Tarasov: Then the apparatus of the Central Committee, first ... At one fine moment, they call to Staraya Square. Let's go, instructions, generals say. And we are on normal terms, Brutents...
Modest Kolerov: Karen Brutents, Deputy Head of the International Department of the Central Committee.
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, and Gorbachev's assistant Georgy Nersesovich Shakhnazarov. They are friends, Baku people. Brutents, himself a physician by education, is a native of Baku. And this Caucasian, Karabakh. And they hold on, and here I am. And we are talking about Azerbaijan, about Karabakh and so on. With Brutents, we developed a variant of sympathy, a certain trust. I want to tell you how I was sent to Afghanistan to make a film about the politics of national reconciliation. And there the situation was bad.
Modest Kolerov: What year was that?
Stanislav Tarasov: 1988. We went with the director, traveled all over Afghanistan. And there is such a nuance. There are women in veils. Girls in a veil of one color, before marriage of another, a matchmaker in this and so on. And there is nothing under the burqa. And when the wind blows there, they are like naked. And our operator Grigoryan Serezha filmed like this, and close-ups.
Modest Kolerov: Erotica.
Stanislav Tarasov: And our task was to show that the situation is bad. In the text, Karen Nersesovich claimed it, everything is written normally. You said once, you are silent twice, music, wind. Then a close-up - a face. And the picture led the viewer to one thing, and my voice-over said something completely different. And when it went on air on Sunday, I come on Monday, I look, the boss says to me: Karen Nersesovich called me, he said, “I will arrange for this Tarasov” ...
Modest Kolerov: In 1987, Gorbachev removed Aliyev from the post of first deputy chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. Aliyev, a member of the Politburo, oversaw relations with Eastern countries, with Arab countries. But Gorbachev removed it, and this caused a powerful movement for the secession of Karabakh - they thought that the allied "roof" over Azerbaijan was leaky.
Stanislav Tarasov: I will tell you what I know about Heydar Aliyev. I treat him with great sympathy, because if it were not for his quota on the basis of nationality for admission to the university, I would not have entered Baku University. I got into the national quota: 15 people, six of them must be Russians, and among the Russians there are competitions, benefits, and so on. Aliyev introduced this, because there was an outflow of Russians and Armenians from Azerbaijan, and he decided to stop: the Russians are brothers. And I was appointed headman of the group, secretary of the Komsomol organization of the faculty, went to the king, an excellent student. Moreover, I was lucky that I was a Lenin scholarship holder, the only one at the faculty. My father died tragically when I was in my second year. Scholarship - 40 rubles. Mother alone, work to be done...
Modest Kolerov: Was the Lenin scholarship 100 rubles?
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, 100 rubles, a lot of money. While my father helped me, I felt calm, but here ... My middle sister is also a student, the youngest was at school, her mother was a telephone operator ...
Modest Kolerov: Did you receive 80 rubles?
Stanislav Tarasov: Well, yes. Naturally, there was a question for me: to switch from full-time to part-time or evening studies in order to work. And I had to study perfectly in order to get a Lenin scholarship. And I passed all the subjects on the top five. Therefore, I am grateful to Heydar Aliyev in this respect.
Modest Kolerov: Did his daughter study with you?
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, I studied at our class. The question is the following. It so happened that the Andropov family, when they told me that this was a friend of the Andropov family…
Modest Kolerov: Who, Aliev?
Stanislav Tarasov: Yes, Aliyev is a friend of Yuri Vladimirovich's family. And I want to say that this is a real Bolshevik, he spoke about internationalism, fought against corruption. Baku was international. There are two very conflicting issues here. What happened to Karabakh, why did the Karabakh party play against Aliyev? Aliyev was running for promotion. Two people who were nominated: Aliyev and Nazarbayev. Third in the echelon was Shevardnadze.
Shevardnadze then, under Gorbachev, became the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Gorbachev snarled Aliyev, allegedly for some business. Aliyev was supposed to head the government under Andropov, and he had a plan ready to reform and preserve the USSR. I am one hundred percent sure, knowing Aliyev, his power, that he was highly respected in Moscow by the special services. He was a unique person in the sense that even being in Baku,
Modest Kolerov: I personally remember how, in a narrow but official circle, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia in 2008-2018 Edward Nalbandian literally proudly recalled how he accompanied the First Deputy Chairman of the USSR Government Heydar Aliyev on one of his trips to Arab countries...
To be continued
September 9, 2022