Yerevan, Armenia – The AP News Agency served the world with footage showing the thaw in the Armenian army, which could not find soldiers to send to the front. With the advance of the Azerbaijani army, the escapes from occupied Nagorno-Karabakh accelerated.
Armenia, which was defeated in the Nagorno-Karabakh war in a month and lost most of its weapons, is having trouble finding soldiers to send to the front.
Azerbaijani army armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UCAV / SIHA) made a difference again with Bayraktar TB2s, images of Grad missile systems destroyed by UCAV were shared.
During the night, clashes continued around Agdere, Khojavend, Zangilan and Gubadli, another image released by the Azerbaijani army showed missiles.
The video shows missiles launched from the Israeli-made Kamaz multi-rocket system targeting Armenian positions. The Azerbaijani army also shot down a drone belonging to Armenia this morning.
News of the defeat from the front line accelerated the escape from Nagorno-Karabakh, which was occupied by Armenia.
Civilians leaving Karabakh are on a journey to the capital Yerevan, while Mher Grigoryan, an aide to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, says they are trying to co-ordinate the migration.
The Yerevan administration is working on a plan to host those from Nagorno-Karabakh in hotels or hostels, with some migrants reportedly settling with relatives.
The American Associated Press (AP) news agency reports that explosions on the front line, where fighting continues, were heard from Khankendi, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Reuters news agency photographed destroyed buildings and owners of houses in Terter, one of the cities attacked by the Armenian military.
Houses that were hit by the rocket were shattered, while Terter residents are trying to clear buildings that have turned into rubble.
With the murder of Arthur Sargsyan, Deputy Defense Minister of the occupying Nagorno-Karabakh administration, the thaw in the Armenian army became even more noticeable.
The American Associated Press (AP) News Agency, which last week served up photos of military training given to volunteers, passed the much-talked-about frames around the world this time.
It is worth noting that most of the soldiers who were taken under arms in the wooded area of Nagorno-Karabakh and baptized by priests were children.
Priests affiliated with the Armenian Apostolic Church wear wooden crosses around soldiers ‘ necks after the baptism ceremony. Armenia has so far declared 1,177 soldiers dead.
But international observers say the losses of the occupying forces, who lost four cities and close to 200 villages, are in the thousands.
It has been confirmed by Armenia that the Azerbaijani army killed Colonel Arthur Sargsyan, Deputy Minister of defense of the occupying Nagorno-Karabakh administration.
The ceasefires, which have been declared four times, broke down within minutes, while the Azerbaijani army came within five kilometers of the historic city of Shusha at the strategic point. Shusha is located on the road connecting Khankendi, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, to Armenia.
By liberating Shusha from occupation, the Azerbaijani army will have achieved its most important victory in Nagorno-Karabakh since the start of the fighting on September 27.
The BBC’s Russian team posted a very striking photo from Lachin, another strategic point. Russian flags and Russian soldiers are seen on a hill on the Armenian side of Lachin, located on the border.
Speaking live, Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for an end to the war in Nagorno-Karabakh as soon as possible: all the territory of Azerbaijan must be liberated from occupation, and the security of Armenians must be protected.
The conflicts must stop, one of the main conditions of this is that Armenia returns the territory of Azerbaijan occupied. This must be done strictly and the limits set out in international law must be respected. International borders should not be invaded and terrorists should not approach our borders.”
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who has lost thousands of troops since September 27 and has not stopped the defeat, once again asked Russian leader Vladimir Putin for help. Pashinyan, who sent a long letter to Putin, asked for the start of consultations in which the support that the Russian administration can offer Armenia will be discussed. In his letter, Pashinyan cited the second article of the Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance Agreement of 29 August 1997 as the justification for the assistance.
But Russia’s response to Armenia was not at the level of the head of state, but through Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov, who has twice declared a ceasefire before, told Pashinyan that they would help if the clashes were moved directly to Armenia.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), signed by Armenia, Russia and three other states, predicts that when any attack is carried out on these countries, others will step in. However, according to international law, Nagorno-Karabakh is not Armenian territory and is under occupation.
The response to Pashinyan’s letter literally caused an earthquake in Yerevan, Armenia’s former leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan says Russia politely showed the door.
Speaking to local media, Ter-Petrosyan said: “Putin responded to Pashinyan through the Russian Foreign Ministry. Don’t you understand what you’re saying? If you don’t understand that, shame on us today…. Putin said with complete sincerity and generosity, ‘I am obliged and ready to ensure the full security of Armenia, but in the end I understand – I am not the one who will solve the Karabakh conflict for you.'”
Sunday (September 27th) clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh began in the morning with Armenia violating the ceasefire. Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized as part of Azerbaijan by the United Nations (UN) and the international community. However, some areas in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, which accounts for about 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory, have been under Armenian occupation since the early 1990s. The region was declared a ‘Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’ in 1991. But no country, including Armenia, has recognized this place internationally.
Nagorno-Karabakh (Upper Karabakh), which covers an area of 4,400 square kilometers in the South Caucasus, has been waiting for a solution for many years as the biggest problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia. So, what is the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, both countries of the former Soviet Union? The word origin of the’ Nagorno-Karabakh ‘ region consists of a mixture of several different languages. Even a few languages found in its name show how the region has been exposed to the transition between different cultures throughout history.
Nagorny (or Nagorno) in English is Karabakh. The word’ Nagorny ‘means’ mountainous ‘ (нагорный), in Russian. In Azerbaijani, just like in Turkish, it is referred to by the words ‘dağliq’ or ‘yuxarı’, which means ‘mountainous’. Karabakh, on the other hand, is a common word in Turkish and Persian, meaning ‘black garden’.
When Azerbaijan and Armenia joined the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922, Nagorno-Karabakh developed into a structure that seemed accepted, but was not adopted by Armenians. In Nagorno-Karabakh, which was granted autonomous region status under the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1923, the status quo was maintained until the end of the 1980s, when the Soviet system came to a standstill, although ethnic Armenians living in the region raised their discomfort with the Azerbaijani administration from time to time.
Along with the process of openness (glasnost) and reconstruction (perestroika), which Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, initiated in 1985 to pave the way for a blocked system, Nagorno-Karabakh, like all the problem areas of the Caucasus, came to light. Evaluating the ever-weakening authority of the Soviet administration, the Autonomous Administration of Nagorno-Karabakh demanded annexation to the Republic of Armenia in 1988. While this demand was not reciprocated, after Azerbaijan and Armenia declared their independence in 1991, the secession attempts of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh also intensified.
During this period, the Azerbaijani population in Karabakh had fallen by up to 20 percent due to forced migrations. In a referendum held on December 10, 1991, which was boycotted by Azerbaijanis remaining in the region, Armenians voted to leave Azerbaijan. After the referendum, the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh was declared, but this initiative did not find a response in the international community. Tensions between the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, supported by the Armenian army, and the Azerbaijanis living in the region increased with the declaration of independence. In 1992, the conflict turned into a hot war between the Armenian army and the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijani army.
At the end of the war, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh took control of the entire region, as well as occupied seven neighboring regions (Rayons). Thus, the direct contact points of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan were quite limited. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been described in academic circles as a ‘frozen conflict’ for years. Despite the ongoing settlement negotiations at intervals, violations of the mutual ceasefire are frequently repeated both on the Nagorno-Karabakh-Azerbaijan contact line and on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. August 2014 saw the bloodiest clashes in 20 years. 13 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in two days of fighting on the Nagorno-Karabakh border. The Armenian Defense Ministry also announced that 20 soldiers were killed.
Half a million refugees took refuge in Azerbaijan and Armenia, and about a million people were forced to relocate. Some towns and villages that existed before the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were completely abandoned and destroyed. More than 14 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory is still under occupation. Azerbaijanis say that the region has historically been under their control and therefore belongs to them, while Armenians claim that Armenians have always lived in the region and that Azerbaijani rule is illegitimate.
Other states were reluctant to intervene because it was seen as a domestic issue. Since 1992, the conflict has become interstate due to the fact that it took place between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Defense spending in Azerbaijan has increased by about 50 percent every year since 2003. In 2012, defense spending accounted for a fifth of Azerbaijan’s total public spending. Armenia also expanded its arsenal with the help of Russia.
Although the exact numbers are not known, it is believed that the population of Lachin and Kelbajar with small settlements totaled about 14 thousand people. According to the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, there has been no significant increase in the population since 2005. Ethnic Armenians settled in the region have limited access to infrastructure, economic activities and public services. Many of them are also missing identity documents.
The weakest part of the problem is the contact line, which is 175 kilometers long. This line, filled with minefields, resembles the trenches of the first World War. 30 thousand soldiers have been deployed to the contact line by the Armenian side and slightly more than this number by Azerbaijan. The negotiations, conducted through the OSCE Minsk Group, have been difficult, as leaders are approaching a compromise, but are backing down out of concern that their country may not meet the demands of the public. Azerbaijanis and Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh cannot influence the process. Armenian and Azerbaijani public opinion has more influence on the process than the locals of the region.
The Minsk Group Co-Chairs have no spokespersons or media secretaries. For this reason, the talks have little media coverage. Russia, having previously taken a position close to Armenia, now prefers to stand at an equal distance from Azerbaijan and Armenia. This strategy strengthened after the war with Georgia in August 2008. The strategic priority has become the isolation of Georgia. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is less important to the United States than the conflicts in the Middle East. The Armenian Lobby in Congress, the energy security of the Caspian Sea Basin, the ‘fight against terrorism’ and the ability to use Azerbaijani airspace on flights to Afghanistan are priority issues for the United States.