In the summer of 1933, Ruben Gukasovich Rubenov (Ռուբեն Ղուկասի Ռուբենով) was replaced by Mir Jafar Bagirov at the position of the first secretary of the Azerbaijani Communist Party. This appointment could not take place without the assistance of Beria and the consent of Stalin.
During his twenty-year rule (1933-1953), Bagirov presented himself as the “father of the Azerbaijani people.” He often stated that the victory over fascism took place thanks to the Azerbaijani oilmen.
Bagirov was also called the “local Stalin”. In the years of his governance in Azerbaijan, tens of thousands of people – mainly Armenians, Kurds, Lezgins, and the Talysh people – were subjected to repression.
After the first secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia Grigor Harutyunyan wrote a letter to Stalin with a proposal to include Nagorno-Karabakh in Soviet Armenia on November 11, 1945, Bagirov wrote a letter to the head of the Central Committee personnel department and secretary of the Central Committee Malenkov:
“I have nothing against the return of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region, with the exception of the Shusha region and with the condition that Azizbeyuk, Vedi, and Karabaghlar regions mainly populated by Azerbaijanis stay part of Azerbaijan.”
The death of Stalin marked the end of the Stalin era, which would be followed by the condemnation of the political tandem of Beria-Bagirov.
I remember the trial of Bagirov which I attended as a representative of the delegation of Artsakh. During the trial conducted by the Chairman of the Military Tribunal (Chairman of the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court A. A. Cheptsov) and prosecutor R.А. Rudenko, it turned out that Bagirov intended to annex Dagestan to Azerbaijan.
In addition, in the summer of 1953, he himself, Stalin, and Beria were going to organize mass resettlement of Armenians, as a result of which the population of the republic had to decline and become less than a million, which would deprive Armenia of the status of a Soviet republic.
“So, Armenia would be divided into parts and appended to its neighbors? Is this how we should understand this?” asked the chairman of the military tribunal.
“Yes,” – Bagirov calmly answered, “The program was upset only because of Stalin’s death.”
“But on what basis? What united your and Stalin’s sentiments?” prosecutor Roman Rudenko asked.
“I was the leader of Azerbaijan and was interested in strengthening the country with any methods. And it was beneficial for the Kremlin in the East, on the threshold of the Muslim world, to have the strong and loyal Azerbaijan as support,” responded the last man of the executioner trio, again calmly.
In 1954, Mir Jafar Bagirov was arrested on charges of complicity in the crimes of Beria. On May 7, 1956, he was sentenced to death. According to some sources, the sentence was carried out in Baku, although there was also a version of his death in exile.
Bagrat Ulubabyan, the Artsakh struggle for existence. Yerevan, 1994 (Բագրատ Ուլուբաբյան, Արցախյան գոյապայքար, Երեւան, 1994)