“Basayev begged to send him reinforcement at Aghdam'' - Mediamax.am


“Basayev begged to send him reinforcement at Aghdam''

It’s well known that one of the leaders of Chechen gunmen Shamil Basayev fought in Abkhazia, but only a few know about his participation in the military operations against Armenians.

Shamil Basayev
Shamil Basayev

It’s well known that one of the leaders of Chechen gunmen Shamil Basayev fought in Abkhazia, but only a few know about his participation in the military operations against Armenians. It’s due to Basayev’s own merit who has nothing to be "proud of”.

In 1996, Head of the NKR Defense Army Headquarters, Lieutenant General Anatoly Zinevich, who had gone through Afghanistan, told us the following: ''In 1993, Basayev was fighting here, at Aghdam. If we knew at that time that he would play such a tragic role in the Russian history we wouldn't care a straw about all those corridors and would bring down fire on his group''. (During the operation at Aghdam, the Armenian units left the corridor for peaceful inhabitants, which was used by military servicemen including Chechens).


Anatoly Zinevich spoke about Basayev with contempt he could hardly disguise: ''The radio intercepts of his negotiations during which he just begged to send him reinforcements were at my disposal then. Afterwards, Basayev admitted that it was not reasonable to fight in Karabakh as Azerbaijanis couldn’t fight at all and Armenians were unconquerable”.


In 2000, Basayev himself admitted in his interview to Azerbaijani ANS TV Company that he had taken part in the Karabakh war: “We came to Karabakh to fight not for war trophies but for the sake of the idea of Jihad”. However, as Basayev says, “when we arrived in the spot and saw the situation we understood that there were no any signs of Jihad there”. He said that there were very few high-ranking commanders in the Azerbaijani army he could “trust”. Besides, Basayev stated that “Armenians were better prepared for the war”.


Shamil Basayev said that the fall at Shushi was conditioned by the lack of necessary discipline and ineffective leadership of the Azerbaijani troops. According to him, “Shushi could be held by 100 armed people during a year”. Basayev said that due to the reasons mentioned above in the first place, he made a decision in 1993 to withdraw the Chechen troops under his control from Karabakh.


For some reason, Basayev recalled Armenia and Karabakh frequently in 2000. In June, he addressed an open letter to the leadership of Iran which read the following: “Why do you support Armenia against Azerbaijan while the majority of Azerbaijanis are your closest relatives both by their ethnicity and religion?”


In October 2000, Shamil Basayev who had apparently forgotten about his bitter experience of fighting with Armenians wrote a letter to Heydar Aliyev:


“We would like to assure the President of Azerbaijan that we fully support your fair fight for your national independence and territorial integrity. We see that Azerbaijan is surrounded with enemies from all the sides and even Iran which was supposed to be your natural ally mainly pursues a pro-Armenian policy. It’s bitter to realize that”.


“We have serious intentions to help the Muslim people of Azerbaijan after defeating the Russian aggressors. And we have no doubts that it will happen very soon”, wrote Basayev.


Financial Times newspaper wrote back in 2002 that according its data, field commander Khattab assassinated in 2002 - 4 years before Basayev’s death - had also fought in Nagorno Karabakh.


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