An exclusive interview of Day.az with well-known Russian writer-publicist, expert on international relations, Professor Yuriy Pompeev.
— If I am not mistaken you haven’t been in Baku for 15 years. What is the reason of your present visit?
— Absolutely right. Last time I was in Baku in October, 1994. My present visit was organized by the initiative of Heidar Aliev Foundation for what I am sincerely grateful to its chiefs. The matter is that in the frame of international organization “Justice to Khojali” initiatively heading the Russian representation of the organization leaded by Leyla Alieva prepared the trilogy written by me for the edition – “the Bloody whirlpool of Karabakh”, “Suffering days” and “Ruins».
— First two books were published in St.-Petersburg — in 1992-93, and after here, in Baku, even in the Azeri language. Returning to these books is connected with their discussions on internet including the forum of your news agency where «the Bloody whirlpool of Karabakh» was especially discussed and caused to a wide public resonance. So I decided that it was time to go back to these books and publish the trilogy by supplementing it.
— What terrified you the most among what you had seen?
— I saw a lot… Saw the first stream of refugees from Armenia, saw Black January, saw the people who have lost families in Khojali slaughter which made me sit down at the table and take a pen. My soul was simply overflowed. The impressions were so strong that I wrote the first book within three months, having finished «the Bloody whirlpool of Karabakh» in May, 1992. It helped me much that I followed all the conflicts in the former USSR territory at the end of 80th — the beginnings of 90th. I was a member of the committee on international relations which was established by the House of writers in St.-Petersburg.
— How did your mutual relations with the Armenian colleagues in St.-Petersburg affect your creativity?
— They understood that I was simply doing my work and stating my opinions on the current situation as any writer like me. It was admitted that the truth was on my side. I was very interested in supporting this truth. The debates were held with journalists and my colleague, Armenian Babanov where I supported the interest of Azerbaijan and they spoke in support of Armenia.
— And who won in this debate?
— In these debates won journalist Alexander Soldatov, by whose initiative those debates were held. And on my initiative, we began to invite the Azerbaijani writers to St. Petersburg right after Sumgayit events to give the chance to clarify the situation and to refute the numerous allegations that were put forward at that time against Azerbaijanis.
— And the Armenians invited you like we that you came and looked at everything on the place?
— No, apparently they realized that their policy of militarization of consciousness of the people I was there unwanted guest. But they need to justify their occupation policy in the opinion of the population.
— Fifteen years ago in Baku, you were lucky enough to meet the national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev …
— Yes, those were hard times. Baku was like a wild lost, gloomy city. The country was also in such a difficult situation. At that time I was allowed to spend one day with Heydar Aliyev, from morning till night, that is, his whole working day. I was allowed to participate in all cases that had been planned for that day.
— Was there anything in him that made a strong impression on you?
— Of course, his ability to converse with people. His gift was to convince everybody and to draw them to his side. Like a man came with his position, with his vision of the problem, and goes entirely influenced by the views of the same problem by Heydar Aliyev. It was clear that he is not just a leader of one country; he is a politician of the world-class level.
— What is the prospects for the campaign of «Justice Khojaly», which was launched May 8, 2008 Leyla Aliyeva, General Coordinator of the OIC MP on intercultural dialogue in your opinion?
— With regard to this campaign and the youth movement headed by L. Aliyeva — it is certainly very promising, just like the work of representation of Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Moscow and St. Petersburg. It is encouraging that the action of the campaign aimed at foreign audiences, is creative and able to bring the pain of the Azerbaijani people to notice of the representatives of most different countries.
I took part in one of the activities of the campaign conducted by the MOF and the OIC Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and saw how purposefully they are doing their duties in this youth movement. It is necessary to consolidate your capabilities, intelligence, and then you can achieve many things. Much success has achieved the Heydar Aliyev Foundation by doing its best to its nation, including the recognition of the truth about Karabakh.