Baku Times

Baku Times

“Roskomnadzor” closed access to two Azerbaijani websites

On the 23rd day of Russia's war against Ukraine, Putin's "operation" remains the number one topic in the press and social media in Azerbaijan. All on-air TV channels ignore this topic, limiting themselves to dry reports about the main events on the Ukrainian front and politics. State and private TV channels continue to discuss the Karabakh war, although a year and five months have passed since the victory of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani websites take a pro-Ukrainian stance, in rare cases explaining their choice of Russian help to the Armenians in the Karabakh war. Forum participants actively informed about the rally in support of Ukraine in front of the embassy of this country in Baku on February 28.

In the Russian Federation, the use of the words "war", "aggression", "occupation" and a number of others in articles about events is prohibited, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. For Azerbaijanis, everything that happens in Ukraine is not an "operation", but a full-fledged war of conquest by Russia. For Ukraine - a Patriotic War. In Moscow, the publications of the Azerbaijani media are read. By the decision of “Roskomnadzor”, since the early morning of November 17, access to the Baku sites Haqqın.az and Minval.az has been closed on Russian territory.

Minval.az explains the ban by publishing truthful information about the Ukrainian war, for which the site was subjected to Russian “digital censorship”. The editors inform that Russian readers can find the site at a new address - Minval.biz.

“Haqqın” also turned to readers with information about the ability to read the site in Telegram, and in smartphones. “In addition, no one has canceled the three magic letters - VPN,” the site writes, hinting at the ability to read news and articles through special VPN programs.

The Turan news agency published interviews with Ukrainian experts Vadim Tryukhan and a televised address by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov. V.Tryukhan joined the territorial self-defense detachment of the Russian Federation, and demands a package of indemnities against Russia. Reznikov said that in Mariupol alone, the Russian army killed 1,500 civilians

The majority of Azerbaijani "networkers" are for Ukraine

In social networks, the majority of Azerbaijani activists are also in favor of the victory of Ukraine. Among them are well-known people in society. MP Rasim Musabekov speaks in defense of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, expressing fears about Putin's intention to turn aggression against other countries of the former USSR. "The unjust war against Ukraine must be stopped and the invading troops should be brought home as soon as possible," writes R. Musabekov. Discussing the events, he notes: "The Russian Federation has attacked Ukraine and has been doing this for 8 years. Ukraine is defending ... tomorrow, after Georgia, Ukraine, the turn of Azerbaijan and others will come"

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Tofig Zulfugarov believes that the possibility of reaching an interim, preliminary (preliminary) agreement, which will outline the following topics, is becoming increasingly relevant:

- ceasefire and hostilities (time x),

- withdrawal of Russian troops either to the line of contact on February 23, 22, or to the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions,

- consideration of the future political status of these self-proclaimed entities in negotiations with international mediation;

- fixing the neutral, non-bloc status of Ukraine;

- Negotiations on the Crimean issue will probably not be reflected in the document..

Economist Gubad Ibadoglu regularly posts his views on the war against Ukraine on Meta. On his Internet channel BizTV, he discussed the war with analyst Rauf Mirgadyrov, member of the National Council Jamil Hasanly and political scientist Ilham Ismail. All guests of the channel consider Russia an aggressor, promising victory to the Ukrainians. D. Hasanli sees no difference between Hitler's fascism and Putin's regime. Ilham Ismail believes that Western anti-Russian sanctions should have been introduced before Putin's aggression, but then these sanctions in the world would not have been supported by the Western community.

It should be noted that the traditional Azerbaijani opposition, many of whose leaders held leadership positions in Azerbaijan before Heydar Aliyev came to power, took a radically pro-Ukrainian position. Russia is perceived as the successor of the imperial policy of the USSR, which, on the eve of self-destruction, shot Azerbaijanis on January 20, 1990. According to the chairman of the Popular Front Party, Ali Karimli, President I. Aliyev cannot muster up courage, and, as the leaders of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, does not express open support for Ukraine, focusing on glorifying the victory in Karabakh and insulting the Azerbaijani opposition.

The chairman of the Musavat Party, Arif Hajili, said on his page: "The world will become better if the Putin regime collapses. Otherwise, a very dangerous period will come, both for the countries of Europe and for the region as a whole."

Supporters of global analysis (Nelli Ateshgah Huseynova) assess the war between Russia and Ukraine as "a confrontation between worlds, two civilizations, East and West, spirit and mind." On this scale, “Light” is Ukraine, “Darkness” is Russia.

The unexpected appearance of a flower wreath with photographs of Russian servicemen killed in the war at the doors of the Russian embassies, "on behalf of the inhabitants of Lenkoran", was received with indignation on social networks. According to the forum member Sevinj Huseynova, the wreath, as a manifestation of Russia's support, was put up from the southern region, which indicates the possibility of their use by the Kremlin against Azerbaijan. The appearance of a sign of support is all the more surprising because on March 2, the Baku police did not allow opponents of Russian aggression to approach the Russian embassy, ​​explaining the ban by strict security requirements.

Social networks have their informants. Ali Guliyev, who lives in Kyiv, publishes daily detailed reports of hostilities and casualties over the past 24 hours. In his last report, he reported on successful counterattacks by the Ukrainian army, with the liberation of territories with a front depth of up to 90 km.

Discussing the intra-Kremlin reshuffles, Dadash Ahmedli comes to the conclusion that V. Putin is immersed in a severe stressful state. "He who goes to hell is looking for a fellow traveler. Hope only for those who have not lost their minds and refuse to obey Putin's orders. Marina Ovsyannikova's action showed that there are still conscientious people in Russia ...".

"Yeni Azerbaijan" has no position on the war in Ukraine

The ruling New Azerbaijan Party has not yet expressed its attitude towards the ongoing war. In its official website, "there is no war in Ukraine", but proud statements about the victory of Azerbaijan over the Armenians do not weaken there.

The deputies from this party are also silent. Along with the majority of pro-Ukrainian Azerbaijanis, there are those who zealously defend the positions proclaimed by Putin. Some of these people live in Russia. They accuse the Azerbaijanis that by supporting Ukraine, where 500,000 Azerbaijanis live, some of whom are fighting for Ukraine, the citizens of Azerbaijan are ignoring the interests of two million countrymen in the Russian Federation. Russian Azerbaijanis are afraid that Putin will take revenge on them for the fact that Azerbaijan supports Ukraine and expel them from the Russian Federation.

Political scientist Nazakat Mammadova, who appears on TV and on websites, unequivocally defends Russia. She considers Ukraine's entry into NATO a danger to the region, and the pro-Ukrainian rally in Baku is a provocation against Azerbaijani-Russian relations.

Her Meta page is "decorated" with a portrait of V. Putin and the coat of arms of the Russian Federation. She believes that if Ukraine is taken into NATO, it will be a threat to Turkey.

It is traditional for the Azerbaijani public to support any foreign policy steps taken by Turkey. The delivery of Turkish "Bayraktars" to the Ukrainian army is perceived as a continuation of Erdogan's policy in Azerbaijan. Turkey is seen by many in the country as the protector of goodness and justice throughout the world.

Some Azerbaijanis criticize the West for limited military assistance to Ukraine, and highlight the instigating role of the US in "framing" the Ukrainians to break up Russia (Aslan Valiyev). The editor-in-chief of korrespondent.az Zaur Rasulzade praised President I. Aliyev: "Our President is a born diplomat, a brilliant politician, I am not saying this for the sake of a red word... He did everything to isolate our country from all blocs, be it NATO or the CSTO... With Ilham Aliyev, I am calm for my Azerbaijan ... ".

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