Our Analytics 11 june — 12:35

Shahin Rzayev left with Armenian journalists (With feeling of contempt for Azerbaijan)

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

In the pro-Kremlin 'Nezavisimaya Gazeta' another libel with mocking criticism of Azerbaijan slipped through. Of course, this slanderous essay could have been ignored, so often the pages of this dilapidated newspaper are filled with tendentious text authored by the Armenian journalists who have flooded the editorial office. But they had newcomers in their regiment. Imagine my surprise to meet under the biased text the name of our colleague - Shahin Rzayev. The views of my colleague have been known to me since prehistoric times in the early 1990s - from the time of the editorial office of the Istiglal newspaper. And in those days, the pacifist Rzayev was often carried away from liberalism to social democracy and vice versa. As it has brought him in our era from the pro-Western Institute of War and Peace to the pro-Kremlin edition of the most reactionary nature.

Shahin Rzayev stood on a par with Armenian journalists of the most reactionary and nationalist nature. The appearance of a critical article written by a colleague - a pacifist-cosmopolitan - in liberal publications, say, Novaya Gazeta or Echo Moskvy, could be explained by a new manifestation of Jacobinism or freethinking of the sceptic Rzayev. But to take and release a poisonous arrow into your country from the editorial office of a great-power jingoistic newspaper with Armenian shades leads to the motive of the author's sincere desire to vile, slander his own country. What the lines from his story speak eloquently about.

From the very first lines, Shahin notifies the state-nomenclature Russian reader (and 'NG' simply does not have others) about the upcoming group stage and quarterfinal games of the European Football Championship in Baku. And here it is stipulated that Azerbaijan has extensive experience in holding large sports events, listing the planetary sports games held in Baku in recent years - from the European Games to Formula 1. And in these very first lines, an Azerbaijani journalist puts the first drop of poison into a glass of fragrant delicious oriental tea. The football tournament in Baku is taking place in the light of the Karabakh conflict, corruption in UEFA and the pandemic. That is, the historical victory of Azerbaijan in the war with Armenia, according to the general recognition of the entire Armenian political establishment, including the liberals with Ter-Petrosyan and the ANC, in Shahin's view is something negative, pathetic and vicious, similar to corruption and a pandemic. And immediately after the dirty comparative link, Rzayev casts doubt on the transparency of the international competitions held in Baku.

'There is no open expense report, and tourism revenues could not recoup the costs of hosting large-scale competitions. For example, the next stage of Formula-1 this year passed without spectators at all,' laments the author.

Excuse me, who is to blame for the spread of the coronavirus? Is it really the Azerbaijani authorities? And what should Tokyo journalists write in this case in response to the Japanese government's complete determination to hold the Summer Olympics this year without spectators? What income and what expenses does Rzayev demand in the context of a global pandemic, when the entire world economy has gone to hell, the world's chobols are counting some losses, and the governments in Japan or Azerbaijan are obliged to fulfil their obligations.

Azerbaijani journalist on the pages of Russian media laments that the matches of the European Championship will be held in Baku

But Shahin Rzayev continues to develop criticism, delving into the history of sports achievements of Azerbaijan. The journalist is swarming in the dust of the archives, voicing criticism of the opposition 6-7 years ago, moreover, those critics of the authorities who recently joined the government camp. Why did the authorities build an expensive Olympic Stadium in the centre of Baku? Rzayev's criticism is somewhat reminiscent of the accusations of Russian liberals against Putin about the construction of sports facilities on the eve of the Sochi Olympics, which neither NG nor other pro-Kremlin media would dare to publish. Moreover, signed by Rzayev. It is strange that Shahin himself did not muster up the courage to remind Russian readers of familiar and seemingly similar problems according to his logic. The journalist is offended by only one question - what profit does the stadium promise? In Europe and Russia, magnificent stadiums are being built, ready to receive tens of thousands of spectators. Are any European journalists wondering about the future profitability of the stadium? And suddenly, for some reason, Rzayev jumps from questions about grandiose sports facilities to a concert of the world famous Lady Gaga in Baku. You see, 7 years ago Lady Gaga was invited to Baku, and the world star was paid $2 million for the concert. So what? But Kanye West gave a concert in Yerevan in 2015. What explains Lady Gaga's concert in Baku or West's concert in Yerevan? Shahin Rzayev is almost sure that Alla Pugacheva or Philip Kirkorov should have been invited to Baku? The journalist is outraged and offended by another fact. But Azerbaijan, among other things, applied for the Olympic Games-2024 in Baku. But the journalist is unable to restrain his sincere joy, which seeps into his own petty lines, he only needs to catch his breath: 'Ugh! Nevertheless, Paris' bid won...'

And, of course, it is necessary to explain the new success of Azerbaijan - the holding of matches of the European Football Championship in Baku - by insurmountable corruption, the source of all our troubles. And Shahin found the culprit of another victory of Azerbaijan - Michel Platini. After all, the star of European football, the legendary Platini, was accused of corruption addiction to Qatar, so why not bring the same thin invisible thread to Azerbaijan? Rzayev has no doubts that Platini's choice is an undoubted corruption deal with oil Baku. Continuing his strange and unsubstantiated idea, the journalist cannot hide his curses against brotherly to Azerbaijan Turkey - 'in such a miraculous way, Turkey will play two group stage games in Baku.' The author also cannot conceal his sincere dislike for the Azerbaijani-Turkish unity. He snorted in displeasure: 'In Azerbaijan, that is, at home.' At home, Shahin Rzayev speaks exclusively in the Tat language, not hiding his sincere dislike for everything Turkic. But Tat origin, belonging to the Caucasian Persians does not at all oblige Shahin Rzayev to publicly, on the Russian platform, express hostility and irritation with the closeness of the Azerbaijani and Turkish peoples, allied countries. Moreover, Rzayev is still a citizen of Azerbaijan.

But Rzayev speaks in the spirit of Armenian journalists about the 'football-political problems' of Azerbaijan, recalling the story of footballer Mkhitaryan, who refused to come to Baku as part of the Arsenal club for the final match of the Europa League. And here he somehow indirectly, treacherously subtly, with his ugly and dirty tentacles, points towards the Azerbaijani authorities, revealing, to put it mildly, the undemocratic atmosphere in Baku, where the police 'stopped visiting Arsenal fans in T-shirts with the word "Mkhitaryan" to check documents.' Of course, it is not Mkhitaryan who is to blame, but the police regime in Baku, the Baku liberal complains. And then he begins to attack the press-secretary of the football club 'Karabakh' Nurlan Ibrahimov, who, as Sh.Rzayev writes, 'under the impression of the rocket attack on the Azerbaijani city of Barda, called on the social network to kill Armenians.' The journalist mentions the rocket attack on Barda somehow fleetingly, between times, without going into the tragic circumstances of the horrific war crime of the Armenian military, who opened fire on the civilians of Barda from howitzers and anti-aircraft missile systems! No, he is not interested in this, this is an ordinary scene of a war, in which unfamiliar Azerbaijanis, alien to him, perish. He is outraged by the incontinence of impressionable Nurlan Ibrahimov, who called on the air to kill Armenian soldiers. Oh, what a criminal this Ibrahimov is! This naive Nurlan has seen enough of all sorts of bloody scenes on the streets of Barda, where the bloody bodies of innocent children, women, old people were lying...

As if an Armenian journalist would write about the Barda tragedy

Our colleague is also afraid of possible provocations by fans during the upcoming football matches. There will be both anti-Azerbaijani and anti-Turkish slogans. After all, there were such provocations from the fans, as Shahin Rzayev writes, of the 'Nagorno-Karabakh republic' in Europe, while neatly adding a protective word for himself - unrecognised, but still 'Republic.'

Rzayev's nihilism manifests itself in the assessment of the epidemiological situation. Sh.Rzayev is confident that the coronavirus is still raging in Baku, and the authorities have softened the quarantine on the basis of political considerations. The authorities are to blame for everything!

A journalist from Azerbaijan extended a fly into the ointment of Russian-Azerbaijani relations. Sh.Rzayev warns Russians that fans in Baku may react negatively to the Russian team, because there are many nationalists in Azerbaijan, and they all do not like Russia. If this assessment of Shahin was addressed to the situation in Armenia, the journalist could be believed. After all, anti-Russian sentiments in Yerevan have reached a climax after the historic defeat. Public opinion in Armenia accuses Russia of betrayal and collaboration, open military-political support of Azerbaijan. After the victory in the second Karabakh war, Russian flags were fluttering in Baku, and the politically conscious part of society understood the grandiose role of Moscow in a just solution of the Karabakh problem, applauding the statements of Vladimir Putin. But Shahin Rzayev threatens Russia with ephemeral 'Azerbaijani nationalists.' There is complete political calm in Azerbaijan. And the authorities, which have sealed the alliance with Russia, have never enjoyed such absolute and consolidated support of the Azerbaijani society in the entire history of their rule. Rzayev depicts and gives out some other image of Azerbaijan that he longed for. Which he painted in his inflamed and phantom mind.

Of course, Rzayev and patriotism are incompatible things, and it is difficult to make another person fall in love with his country. But Rzayev lost not only a natural sense of justice, but also a human conscience. Because he began to lie. With a sense of contempt for his own country.

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