By Ulkar Natiqqizi
BAKU (Eurasia.net) – Najmaddin Sadikov had been Azerbaijan’s top military officer since 1993, the chief of general staff of the armed forces and a deputy defense minister. But in the middle of last year’s war with Armenia, on the cusp of the victory for which the armed forces had prepared nearly all those 27 years, Sadikov mysteriously disappeared.
Rumors had long swirled around Sadikov, a career Soviet army officer who joined the Azerbaijani armed forces in 1992 during the first war with Armenia. Many Azerbaijanis considered him a “traitor,” a word they often used in social media posts about him. Insinuations were made about his ties with Russia and claims that his brother was a senior officer in the Armenian armed forces.
The rumors reached a peak during fighting in July, when a well-known and respected senior officer, Major General Polad Hashimov, along with Colonel Ilgar Mirzayev, were killed. On social media, many Azerbaijanis accused Sadikov of giving their coordinates to Armenia.
Sadikov attended the funeral, acting as a pallbearer along with Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov.