The biggest youth movement in Azerbaijan dissolves itself

Yesterday, on 9th December, “Ireli” (“Forward”) Countrywide Youth Movement – the biggest and strongest such organisation in Azerbaijan unexpectedly dissolved itself. The news was so out of the blue that, not only ordinary “Ireli” members, but even local news portals were caught unprepared to it. So what happened? Why a movement so carefully and painstakingly built during four years, was dissolved in a moment? Who dissolved it and why many “Ireli” members weren’t aware of this decision? And why no reasons were given to such abrupt action? All these questions still remain unanswered.

The official site of the movement ( is down, except for the homepage which displays a declaration announcing movement’s dissolution. No reasons are provided for such decision except for a vague phrase about “accomplishing all the goals”. However, the website of “Ireli”, now available through Google cash, didn’t show any signs of forthcoming dissolution.

“Ireli” Countrywide Youth Movement was a very controversial organisation from the beginning. Founded on the eve of 2005 Parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, when there were widespread speculations about another orange revolution in another post-Soviet country, a pro-government movement managed to attract hundreds of active young people to its rows, and formed a strong force both loyal, and useful to the current leadership of the republic. During four years of its existence (2005-2008), “Ireli” mobilized hundreds of its members to numerous projects – all aimed at strengthening the support for the government. At the time of the dissolution movement claimed 6 thousand members.