The Last of Sovetski

Author: Ismayil Nur

There was a street called "Sovetski" in the center of Baku

In recent years, the rapidly changed and modernized appearrance of Baku is incompatible with the spirit of this street.

Despite that there were old, low-rise small houses, the inhabitants of "Sovetski" were happy to live here.

Children of Sovetski. Unaware of the future.

It is easy to understand how historically "sovetski" is, just enough to look at the doors.

Evening rest in Sovetski

It was told that for one 1sq meter, they would receive 1500 Azn compensation for their houses.

They lost not only their houses and their lovely street but also their working places as well. Many of them had small business here: shops, beauty salons, shoe repairs and etc.

Even after the demolishing of houses started, local people could not take it seriously. They did not think that the place where they lived for decades could be easily destroyed. Previously, strangers avoided to enter this street, now bulldozers are destro

The residents of Sovetski organized a protest against demolishing of their houses in March, 2013. Their requirements were simple. Either put a stop to the demolishing or increase the amount of their compensation.

"What do the people say?" was the most popular question in this street. Before doing something, people first thought what other people would say or think about it. Now this question is written in the walls of Sovetski as a piece of humour.

Despite of their meetings with the mayor's office it did not give any results and demolishing is still going on.

The message on the wall written by Sovetski residents

"We are not moving out,” Sovetski.

On one of the central streets of Baku, named “Sovetski," approximately 10,000 families have lived. Starting from 2013, the process of demolishing their houses started, and people were moved from there. The offer of meager compensation, combined with their unwillingness to be moved from the center became the cause for protests. Yet, despite the organization of protests, and their efforts to apply to the official bodies, the conclusion resulted only in the administrative arrest of some activists.


Urban Development


Chai-khana Survay