Russian Peacekeepers Take Control of Captured Artsakh Village

Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh
Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh

Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh

  • 6 Artsakh Soldiers were Injured, According to Armenia’s Defense Ministry
  • Armenia’s Foreign Ministry Calls on OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to “Unequivocally” Call out Baku
  • An Emergency Session of Armenia’s National Security Council Was Held Sunday

Russian peacekeeping forces have taken over the control of Hin Tagher village in Artsakh’s Hadrut, after Azerbaijani forces captured and the area during an attack on Saturday that also saw their forces advancing toward other settlements under Armenian control.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry on Sunday confirmed that Azerbaijani forces had captured the village of Hin Tagher in Artsakh’s Hadrut region after Azerbaijan launched an attack on those positions beginning Saturday morning. The ministry also reported that six Artsakh soldiers had been injured.

Russian peacekeeping mission in Artsakh published a map on Sunday showing their positions in the Old Taghlar village

Russian peacekeeping mission in Artsakh published a map on Sunday showing their positions in the Old Taghlar village

The Azerbaijan advance was a clear violation of the November 9 agreement signed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan. The agreement ended the military hostilities in Karabakh, but stipulated the surrender of Armenian territories to Azerbaijan. Per the agreement, the two villages that were attacked on Saturday were under the control of Armenians.

It took the ministry more than 24 hours to make an announcement, while reports of Azerbaijani capturing Hin Tagher was confirmed by local residents, as well as Artsakh Armed Forces on the ground.

The lack of official information by Yerevan compounded the complexities of the issues, said Edmon Marukyan, the leader of the parliamentary opposition Bright Armenia Party while speaking to reporters on Sunday after an emergency session of Armenia’s National Security Council.

Marukyan told reporters that Azerbaijan’s attack was a clear violation of the first point of the November 9 agreement, which stipulates that the new line of contact between Artsakh and Azerbaijan will be the positions each side occupied at the end of the war. The two villages that were attacked were under Armenian control, although Azerbaijan seems to have other plans in the region.

According to Armenia’s defense ministry, Azerbaijani forces were also advancing toward the nearby Khtsaberd village, will military operations continuing well into Saturday.

Russia’s defense ministry acknowledged the ceasefire violations and official Baku announced that four of its soldiers were killed during the operation.

Russian peacekeepers deployed to Artsakh to monitor the ceasefire were not stationed at the line of contact between Artsakh and Azerbaijan in Hadrut. Hours after the attack, Russian peacekeepers arrived in the region.

According to Armenia’s Defense Ministry, the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian military are currently negotiating the return to the former positions in Hadrut region

“The Ministry of Defense of Armenia strongly condemns the provocation carried out by the Azerbaijani armed forces. The current situation, which has nothing to do with the key demand of the statement signed by Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan – the cessation of hostilities – endangers the fragile peace achieved through the direct efforts of the Russian President,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

It added that “the actions of the Azerbaijani side immediately became a subject of discussion with the leadership of the Russian peacekeeping contingent stationed in Artsakh.”

Minister of Defense Vagharshak Harutyunyan, who is in Moscow on a working visit, discussed the issue during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu.

Statement by the Foreign Ministry of Armenia on the violation of the ceasefire regime by Azerbaijan

“While strongly condemning this gross violation of the commitments by the top military-political leadership of Azerbaijan under the trilateral statement on the cessation of hostilities and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers,” said Armenia’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday, adding that Azerbaijan’s attacks were “aimed at undermining the presence of the peacekeepers of the Russian Federation in the conflict zone.”

The foreign ministry pointed out that the attacks took place while the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs were in Baku meeting with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, who said that the international mediators were not invited to Baku and told the co-chairs that, “If Armenian fascism raises its head once again, we will smash it with an iron fist …. we will destroy them completely this time.”

“This challenge to the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries is a continuation of the warmongering and unacceptable statements of the leaders of Turkey and Azerbaijan addressed to the Armenian people during the recent parade in Baku. Such behavior once again demonstrates the Turkish-Azerbaijani expansionist policy, which continues to undermine regional security and stability and threatens to expand into neighboring regions,” said the foreign ministry.

“The actions of official Baku further underline the imperative to eliminate the consequences of the recent Azerbaijani aggression, including the de-occupation of the territories of Artsakh and the return of the Armenians of Artsakh to their places of residences,” added the foreign ministry in its Sunday statement.

Taking into consideration the impunity with which Azerbaijan violates its international obligations through the use of force and consequences of such actions, we call on the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries to unequivocally and clearly address Azerbaijan’s actions aimed at violating the ceasefire regime, pursuing its policy of ethnic cleansing and occupying the Armenian settlements,” said the foreign ministry.

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