2020 Baku Victory Parade (Azerbaijani: Zəfər paradı) was held on 10 December, in Azadliq Square, Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. It was held in honor of the Azerbaijani victory during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, officially described as the Patriotic War in Azerbaijan. The parade was held with 3,000 military servicemen who distinguished themselves during the war marched alongside military equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft, as well as Armenian war trophies, and Turkish soldiers and officers, while navy vessels performed maneuvers in the nearby Bay of Baku, and jets and helicopters flew above the city.
President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the military parade as an official guest. The grand event was attended by local and foreign officials, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps.
The military parade aroused great interest among Bakuvians, who gathered in different parts of the city and tried to closely follow the parade, despite the rules related to COVID-19.
The screenwriter and host of the Victory Parade was a personal pensioner of the President, Honored Art Worker Colonel Abdullah Gurbani
Preparation and organization
On December 1, Azerbaijani media reported, citing military sources, that on December 10, a Victory Parade is planned to be held on Freedom Square and that training for the parade has already begun. It was reported that some of the servicemen who distinguished themselves during the hostilities will take part in the parade. It also became known that at the parade it is planned to demonstrate the equipment available in the arsenal of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, as well as part of the captured equipment from the enemy. On December 5, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry confirmed this information, also naming the number of servicemen and military equipment who will take part in the parade. Also, the defense department has distributed video footage from the training of the Victory Parade.
On December 8, training for the parade with the participation of both Azerbaijani military equipment and captured from the enemy during the battles of captured equipment began directly on Freedom Square. In total, more than 3 thousand servicemen and up to 150 units of military equipment, including those recently adopted for service, including warships and boats, took part in the parade. The parade also showed part of the military trophies captured from the enemy during the hostilities. On the same day, in the skies over Baku, aircraft and helicopters of the Air Force of the Republic of Azerbaijan made training flights in preparation for the Victory parade.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Baku on December 9 to participate in the parade. He was accompanied by a large official delegation from Turkey. The Turkish president was accompanied by his wife Emine Erdogan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, official representative of the ruling Justice and Development Party Omer Celik, deputy chairman of the party Mahir Yunal, official representative of the presidential administration Ibrahim Kalin and public relations director of the Turkish Presidential Administration Fahrettin Altun.
PASSAGE OF THE TROOPS
The commander of the Victory Parade dedicated to the great Victory of Azerbaijan in the Patriotic War - Operation Iron Fist, was commanded by Deputy Defense Minister, Chevalier of the Order of Zafar, Lieutenant General Kerim Veliyev. The parade was attended by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan.
The military conductor of the parade massed bands was the Honored Artist of Azerbaijan, Lieutenant Colonel Rufat Akhundzadeh, the son of Yusif Akhundzade, who is the incumbent Chief of the Military Band Service of the Armed Forces. The official parade master of ceremonies was the Honored Artist of Azerbaijan, the President's personal pensioner, Colonel Abdullah Gurbani.
SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENTS
The parade began with the massed bands playing both Azərbaycan marşı and İstiklal Marşı after the arrival of the two heads of state.
During his speech, President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, stated that hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis living in the present-day Armenia were "expelled from their ancestral lands", adding that Zangezur, Goycha, and Iravan were the "historical lands of Azerbaijan", and that the Armenian leadership had expelled hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from Armenia, as well as Nagorno-Karabakh. Ilham Aliyev also noted that three days before the war began, at UN General Assembly, he said that "Armenia was preparing for a new war and they must be stopped". He added that in 2020, Armenia launched three attacks against Azerbaijan, in July, in August, and in September. And in response, he had "ordered the Azerbaijani soldiers to move forward." Aliyev then recalled the Battle of Shusha, calling it a "historic event". At the end, Aliyev stated that the Azerbaijani army had defeated Armenia, and that the Armenian Army was almost "non-existent and destroyed", adding that if the "Armenian fascism rises again, the result will be the same".
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also made a speech. He first wished God's mercy to the Azerbaijani soldiers who were killed or wounded during the war, then continued to praise the Azerbaijani–Turkish relations. He then added that those who brought "nothing but massacres and tears to Karabakh must now come to their senses", and that the Armenian politicians should take "bold steps towards peace and stability." Erdoğan, reciting a controversial Soviet Azerbaijani poem, then stated that it was the day that the "souls of Ahmad Javad, Nuru Pasha, Enver Pasha and Mubariz Ibrahimov were enlightened". He also stressed that the "struggle in the political and military spheres will continue on different fronts."