Zakir Hasanov

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Zakir Hasanov
Colonel General
Minister of Defence
Assumed office
October 2013
President Ilham Aliyev
Preceded by Safar Abiyev
Minister of Internal Affairs
President Ilham Aliyev
Personal details
Born Zakir Hasanov
(1959-06-06) June 6, 1959 (age 56)
Astara District
Alma mater Baku High Army Commanders School
Profession Politician
Zakir Hasanov
Allegiance  Soviet Union
Service/branch Soviet Army
Azerbaijani Army
Years of service 1990-present
Battles/wars Nagorno-Karabakh War

Lieutenant General Zakir Hasanov (born 6 June 1959)[1] is an Azerbaijani politician who has been the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan since 2013.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born on 6 June 1959 in the Astara District. He graduated from the Baku High Army Commanders School in 1980 as an Artillery officer before serving for five years from 1980 in the Soviet Armed Forces Units in East Germany. He spent the next eight years at the Altay Military registration and enlistment office of the Siberia Military Region as part of the ministry of defense of the USSR. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, he then served for a decade with the Border Troops of the National Ministry of Security of Azerbaijan. He was then promoted to the chief of office of international relations of the State Border Service before being appointed Deputy Minister of Interior and Commander of the Internal Troops by a presidential decree on 17 January 2003, when he was also promoted to the rank of major-general four months later.[1]

Political career[edit]

He was previously the Minister of Internal Affairs.[1]

Defence Minister[edit]

Upon coming into office as the Minister of Defence, he made controversial militaristic statements in regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This included saying that the Azeri army was strong and disciplined as opposed to that of Armenia and that "the situation in the Armenian armed forces is disastrous. In case of war the troops of this country will escape from the field of battle."[2] He also told the European Union that his country would support liberating "its" lands peacefully but he emphasized that Azerbaijan reserves the right to liberate "its occupied lands," this came at the same time as E.U. Special Representative for the South Caucasus Philippe Lefort congratulated him on his appointment.[3] In reaction to his appointment, the head of the Assembly of Armenians from Azerbaijan, Grigory Ayvazyan, said that there would be more provocation between Azerbaijan and Armenia. "Creating an impression of external danger, Ilham Aliyev's regime tries to reduce domestic tensions over the last shameful presidential election. Hasanov has big experience in suppressing mass protests against Aliyev's regime. Safar Abiyev was nominated yet by Heydar Aliyev and was a kind of independent figure, while the new defense minister fully depends in Aliyev junior." He also said that it was regrettable that Safar Abiyev had been replaced as he would not use military aggression against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh due to his defeat during the Karabakh War. He also suggested Hasanov's appointment could mean that the Azeri army may be used to suppress tensions within Azerbaijan.[4]


Political offices
Preceded by
Safar Abiyev
Minister of Defence