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AZERBAIJANI MODEL SOLDIER: PINUP, WRITER AND FIGHTER

The Azeri Times

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An elite trooper competing in beauty pageants and posing for risqué photoshoots is not something you see every day, especially in a Muslim country, but Tehrana Bahruzi, a member of Azerbaijan’s special forces, has made a career out of doing just that. Now she has also written a book about her career as a woman in Azerbaijan’s military.

Tehrana Bahruzi has often landed in media spotlight as she grabbed the brass ring on both battle and beauty fronts. The athletically built commando has posed for a number of photoshoots, sporting both camouflage as well as more traditionally feminine outfits. In 2015, she even won a Vice Ms. Top of the World title; in the talent portion of the contest, she showed off her martial arts skills.

Most recently, Bahruzi has attracted attention for a more prosaic accomplishment: her book, “Zakir Hasanov: the Ideal Minister.” The volume, “a real account with fictionalized elements,” describes her path as a woman in the military service and panegyrizes her boss, the defense minister of her militarism and autocracy-prone country.

“Every person thinks of the lodestar that shines as a guiding light on his path. For me this light was Zakir Hasanov,” Bahruzi gushed in her comments to Sputnik. “He was the one to launch a female special force unit in the army of Azerbaijan… and now I just can’t imagine myself outside military service.”

Based on her comments, her book may have some interesting insights on what it is like for women to serve in the military in a country and region where conservative views on gender roles refuse to fade away. But don’t expect the book, meant as a birthday present for Hasanov, to look at the abuses in the army that happened on his watch.

Army bullying and hazing continue to scourge Azerbaijan, as well as its sworn enemy Armenia. Most combat deaths in the two countries are caused by chronic exchanges of fire between them, but Armenia and Azerbaijan also share a persistent problem of noncombat military deaths.

Bahruzi’s book instead focuses on Hasanov’s purported ability to inspire soldiers’ devotion to their country, including in one impressionable “patriotic girl,” and his efforts to make military service accessible to women.

Azerbaijan has been indeed trying to step up female presence in the army, as has its next-door enemy, Armenia.

Azerbaijan takes pride in its Soviet-era history of women in service, which most prominently includes a World War II sniper Ziba Ganiyeva. Now Azerbaijan has a new cohort of female snipers, described as “Fragile but Fearless” in one news article.

Bringing more women into military service opens new avenues for women in the traditionalist societies of both Azerbaijan and Armenia, but women also are becoming more involved in a policy of militarism and constant brinkmanship between the two nations that remain locked in a fierce territorial dispute.

Attempts to question this – or any government policy for that matter – are harshly suppressed in Azerbaijan, while Bahruzi’s laudations for Azerbaijani military and its chief are freely available in hardcover. Her book, if anything, promotes unquestionable loyalty to the authority. Wherever she is, she will remain Hasanov’s loyal soldier, Bahruzi said.

But perhaps she can also inspire a more peaceful trend. Maybe everyone in this conflict-riven region would benefit if soldiers – male or female — were to take a page from her book and do less war, more modeling.

Azerbaijan

New Military Air Base opened near Karabakh Frontline

The Azeri Times

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A new military unit of Azerbaijan’s Air Force has opened in frontline zone, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a message.

According to the instructions of Azerbaijan’s President, activity is underway in the field of increasing the combat readiness and improving the social conditions of the military personnel of the Air Force.

Minister of Defense, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov took part in the opening ceremony of a new military unit of the Air Force in the frontline zone and reviewed the conditions created there for the military personnel.

The minister also reviewed the headquarters building, the soldiers’ barracks, the medical point, the mess hall, the classrooms, the kitchen, the food and clothing warehouses, the laundry room, the parade ground, the checkpoint and other office and administrative premises.

The minister brought to the attention of the personnel the tasks set by the supreme commander-in-chief in the field of army construction and gave concrete instructions to the command staff in connection with the increase of the level of combat training of military personnel.

Then the minister had lunch together with the servicemen.

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Azerbaijan

AZERBAIJAN AND ISRAEL SIGNED MEMORANDUM TO JOINT PRODUCE MILITARY DRONE

The Azeri Times

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A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has opened up the possibility of Azerbaijan co-operating on the Pegasus 120 multirotor UAV made by the Israeli company Aeronautics, although it represents a statement of intent, not a signed contract, Jane’s Defence Weekly reports.

The information clarifies an 11 July announcement by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence Industry, which stated that Deputy Defence Minister Yahya Musayev and Aeronautics chairman Yedida Yaari had signed an MOU for Azad Systems to jointly produce new types of UAVs in the Central Asian country.

Azad Systems already makes Aeronautics’ Orbiter family of UAVs for Azerbaijan’s armed forces, including the Orbiter 1K loitering munition, which it calls the Zarba.

Pegasus 120 manufactured by Aeronautics is the first platform with several rotors of vertical take-off and landing. With a maximum load of up to 75 kg and the ability to carry multiple payloads, including the COMINT, VISINT and Logistics sensors, the Pegasus120 is designed specifically for defence and security tasks. Due to its exceptional media and endurance capabilities, the Pegasus120 is unique in the weightlifting category of the VTOL UAV and is ideally suited for defence, national security and civil missions, as well as for special forces and special missions

The device is equipped with electric motors, which makes it almost silent. They can be controlled using the ground control system of the UAV Orbiter2 and Orbiter3.

Aeronautics’ director of marketing and sales, Dani Ashkhar, at the presentation of this UAV said that the use of Pegasus120 will be very effective in the mountains.

‘We understand that in regional conflicts, units are sometimes far from the front line, and the roads to them are very difficult. This is due to natural causes, such as forest and mountainous terrain, as well as the fact that the enemy mines roads and access paths. In such an environment, these units can be provided by air. With the help of our UAV, water, fuel, food, ammunition and medicines will be delivered to these units,’ he said.

According to Dani Ashkhar, sometimes it is very dangerous to supply units with helicopters. At the same time, the equipment and helicopter crews are exposed to danger. A UAV in this situation will be very useful because of its low cost and the fact that the personnel are not at risk.

Indeed, in potential military operations in Karabakh, taking into account the geographic aspect of the theatre of operations, the Pegasus120 UAV can be very useful for the Azerbaijani Army. With the help of these vehicles in winter, it is also possible to organise the provision of units carrying combat duty on high-altitude posts, and in combat operations with the help of these UAVs, it is possible to organise the supply of operating units.

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AZERBAIJAN PURCHASED NEW MILITARY EQUIPMENTS FROM RUSSIA

The Azeri Times

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According to a mutual agreement between Azerbaijan and Russia, modern Russian-made combat equipment, ammunition and military equipment brought to Azerbaijan on January 19, the Defense Ministry told AzeriTimes.com

A large number of modern military equipment and ammunition delivered to Baku from Russia. According to Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan, military equipments will be delivered to the frontline military units as soon as possible.

It should be noted that this type of military equipment, equipped with high shooting capability in mountainous conditions, was successfully tested during the combat operations in April 2016. The destruction of a large number of Armenian military personnel, equipment, and other means of demonstration demonstrated the high efficiency of these equipments.

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