BAKU (PanArmenian.net)–"I will not fight for Azerbaijan anymore," announced retired Colonel Azer Rustamov–in an interview with Azeri weekly Obozrevatel.net. "I do not wish to fight and others will not go either. They’ll prefer to trade in bazaars."
Rustamov rose to the rank of full colonel and commander of a brigade in the Fizuli district–where he served from 1999 to 2001. He resigned from the military in 2003.
"If war breaks out now–I am not sure whether I’ll fight. I witnessed the attitude showed towards the memory of the killed and those–who remained invalid after the war," said Rustamov. "The army–of course–will fight for a certain period. But what will happen when their depleted ran’s would need to be replenished? Who will go if over two million people now work in Russia?"
Rustamov is also critical of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy rhetoric. At present–he is focused on forming "Combat Brotherhood," a non-government organization that would focus on veterans of Afghanistan and other wars.
A veteran of wars in Afghanistan and Karabagh–Rustamov was decorated by both the Elchibey and Aliyev administrations with the Order of the Red Star–awarded for length of service. A group of 100 Chechen volunteers–headed by Shamil Basayev and Salman Raduyev–significantly helped the Azeri army–according to Rustamov.