"Heydar Aliyev was a real statesman. There were very few statesmen at his level in the Soviet Union," Yuri Nikolayevich Solodukhin, assistant to Heydar Aliyev who served as First deputy chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers in 1983-85, said in an interview to APA's Moscow correspondent.
Sharing his memories about the National Leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev, Solodukhin said Heydar Aliyev was a wise politician, leader and statesman: "I have a great life experience. Fate has led me to be an adviser and assistant to many statesmen and political leaders in this life experience. It covers the period of both the Soviet Union and the modern Russian Federation. I would call the period in which I worked with Heydar Aliyev a special period. A large-scale statesman like Heydar Aliyev invited me to work as his assistant. A great statesman like Heydar Aliyev invited me to work as his assistant. When Heydar Aliyev arrived in Moscow, he was looking for an assistant for a long time. My colleagues and friends recommended me to him. I met with Heydar Aliyev. He spoke with me for a long time, and I was hired as his assistant. Honestly, I was very excited. Because before that I had never worked with such a great, real statesman. Looking back today, I can say that it was definitely a great school for me. Before that, I thought I knew a lot. However, after meeting with Heydar Aliyev and working with him, I realized that I was lucky to work with a person with such great state experience. A statesman should be a leader, have the skills of public administration and many other qualities. Wisdom is a quality that allows a leader to see the future. In my opinion, Heydar Aliyev was a leader, a statesman with all these qualities. The word politician is a word that fully suits Heydar Aliyev. I would say that he was more than a politician. In the twentieth century in the Soviet Union, there were very few leaders and statesmen of such a scale as Heydar Aliyev. From the 1960s to the beginning of the 2000s, Heydar Aliyev was one of the three leaders in the region. One can add to this the period of the leadership of Heydar Aliyev as an independent Azerbaijan."
Y. Solodukhin emphasized that Heydar Aliyev was a very responsible person: "When he was appointed to a high post in Moscow, he was entrusted with a large amount of work. As the first deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, Heydar Aliyev was entrusted with transport, including rail, road, air, and sea, as well as the social sphere as a whole. Important areas of the USSR, such as education, science, and culture, were also supervised by Heydar Aliyev. I was an assistant to Heydar Aliyev in the social sphere. Once, out of curiosity, I found out with which government agencies we worked. It became clear that Heydar Aliyev coordinates the work of more than 40 state enterprises. Can you imagine what that means ?! Another of his qualities was a detailed study of each case. It was not enough to bring him a statement, paper, or document related to the case. He was deeply interested in every problem, held discussions, and repeatedly weighed all the solutions. He treated his employees well. Meeting with officials in the corridors of the Kremlin was not an easy task. His staff and the people around him appreciated this. Heydar Aliyev was a real statesman. He not only looked at the present, but also thought about the future. Today's Russian state and people still benefit from projects implemented as a result of its visionary policies. Although Heydar Aliyev led the socio-economic sphere in the government of the USSR, we also discussed international politics with him. I felt that these problems worried him. I want to remind you of one point. I lived in the same house in Moscow with the family of Heydar Aliyev’s son Ilham Aliyev. It was the end of the 80s. When Heydar Aliyev came to visit his son, he called me and we met. At that time, Heydar Aliyev told me what would happen in the near future. He even then said that national republics would be created on the territory of the Soviet Union. He said that only republics with strong state power would retain their independence. History and his activities showed that Heydar Aliyev was right to the end.
Y. Solodukhin also noted that the political line of Heydar Aliyev is successfully continued by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev: “Today, President Ilham Aliyev successfully continues the modern Russian-Azerbaijani relations established by Heydar Aliyev. I am very pleased that successful relations between Moscow and Baku today are developing on an ascending line. I am also pleased with how Azerbaijan and its capital Baku are developing. I have been to Azerbaijan a lot in recent years. Such a development is impossible not to see. Of course, Azerbaijan is the most dynamically developing country in the post-Soviet space. Today, Baku is one of the most beautiful cities on the Eurasian continent."