Armenia Refuses Exchange of Azeri Saboteurs for Slain Pilots

Armenia's Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian

YEREVAN—Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian assured reporters Thursday that Armenia would not exchange the two Azeri commandos in custody for the bodies of the three pilots killed in last week’s downing of an Artsakh helicopter Azeris. The minister said the raiders are criminals and must be punished according to the law.

Seyran Ohanian informed reporters that Yerevan is actively working on a diplomatic management of the crisis around the downed Mi-24 helicopter.

“If this option fails, we have other means to use,” Ohanian said.

The Armenian military is still unable to approach the wreckage of the Mi-24 helicopter and the three members of its crew presumed dead, despite that a week has passed since the incident.

Azerbaijan also failed to provide security guarantees to the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman Andrzej Kasprzyk, who wished to approach the helicopter wreckage earlier on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, an unarmed Mi-24 helicopter belonging to the Artsakh Air Force was shot down by the Azerbaijani armed forces while conducting an exercise flight. The area where the helicopter was shot down has been under fire from Azerbaijani forces since the downing of the aircraft, making it impossible to retrieve the bodies of the pilots or to inspect the wreckage. The Commander of the staff was the Major Sergey Sahakyan, accompanied by Senior Lieutenant Sarkis Nazaryan and Lieutenant Azat Sahakyan. The Azeri officer who shot the helicopter has been awarded a medal.


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  1. HRAIR TEJOKHK said:

    I say the Artsakh leadership should exchange “azeri saboteurs” with our heros. I say kill them and exchange.

  2. GeorgeMardig said:

    Now the West can see with what kind of people Armenians are dealing with.

  3. edward demian said:

    I’d like to express a nagging thought. Why was that helicopter that close to the enemy line, and why unarmed? But then, that does not justify the enemy action.

  4. Josef said:

    BRAVO!!!! Mr. Ohanian can you please bomb Azerbaijans oil fields next time they try to kill our boys ?
    P.S. take that big noise Aliev out whiloe your at it for us thanks!