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Live updates: Day 26 of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh

22 October 2020

Fighting is continuing for the 26th day over Nagorno-Karabakh.

[The news as it happened: 27 September, 28 September, 29 September, 30 September, 1 October, 2 October, 3 October, 4 October, 5 October, 6 October, 7 October, 8 October, 9 October, 10 October, 11 October, 12 October, 13 October, 14 October, 15 October, 16 October, 17 October, 18 October, 19 October, 20 October, 21 October]

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 For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

22 Oct 2020, 22:08

Pashinyan: Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh an acceptable ‘compromise’

In an interview with Russian news agency, Interfax Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that the introduction of peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh is ‘acceptable’ to Armenia. He added that the ‘the presence of Russian peacekeepers can also become a compromise version’, as ‘the Russian Federation has good relations with both Azerbaijan and Armenia’. 

Previously, speaking with Nikkei Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated that while ‘in principle’ Azerbaijan Azerbaijan ‘did not reject’ the possibility of peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, they would only be allowed if Azerbaijan’s ‘conditions’ were met which they would give ‘when the time will come’. 

22 Oct 2020, 21:24

Putin mentions Armenian Genocide and ‘brutal crimes’ against Armenians in Sumgait and Nagorno-Karabakh

‘We must certainly never forget what happened in the fate of the Armenian people during WWI, the tragedy of the Armenian people’, the Russian President said at the Valdai discussion club. 

‘This conflict did not begin as a conflict just between two governments over territory, it began with interethnic confrontations’, he continued. ‘Sadly, this is a fact, when first in Sumgait and then in Nagorno-Karabakh brutal crimes were committed against the Armenian people.’ 

‘At the same time, we understand that a situation in which a significant portion of Azerbaijan’s territory is lost cannot continue indefinitely.’

22 Oct 2020, 20:33

Putin: Nearly 5,000 people have died in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting

Speaking at the Valdai discussion club, Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that ‘nearly 5,000 people’ have died since the fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh began on 27 September.

He said that Moscow treats Baku and Yerevan as ‘equal partners’ and that ‘with both we want to build a full-fledged relationship’. 

The Russian President also condemned the fighting, and said that though there was a lack of progress made in negotiations in the last 30 years, ‘that does not mean that the shooting has to start’.  

22 Oct 2020, 18:56

Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijani military controls border between Iran and Azerbaijan 

Today, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced that, in addition to taking control of a series of villages, the Azerbaijani military has taken control of the full length of the border with Iran in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. 

22 Oct 2020, 18:16

Defence Ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh: Military fatalities rise to 840

Officials in Nagorno-Karabakh have confirmed that the number of fatalities among Armenian military personnel has risen to at least 840. Azerbaijan does not release the number of military fatalities.

22 Oct 2020, 17:58

Russian officials: Zatulin’s comment on Russian military, Armenia, and Nagorno-Karabakh unauthorised

Andrei Krasov, first deputy chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee stated that Russian MP Konstantin Zatulin’s comments ‘on the use of Russian armed forces in Nagorno-Karabakh’ was not authorised and ‘has nothing to do with the official position’ of the Russian parliament or the parliament’s Committee on Defence, RIA reports. 

‘The measures being taken to achieve a positive result in resolving the conflict are sufficient’, Krasov reportedly said.

22 Oct 2020, 17:45

Russian MP: ‘Georgia must calmly accept’ if Russia chooses transfers military personnel and material by air to Armenia 

The first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Konstantin Zatulin has said that troops and military equipment may have to be transported by air over Georgia, reports Russian news organisation NSN.

‘[Georgia] should calmly accept that the necessary forces and means will be sent to Armenia through its airspace’, he reportedly said. 

He also stated that Russia must oppose any attempt to establish a new order in the region in which ‘Turkey is the arbiter of destinies’ and that he believes ‘no one has the right to take away the right to self-determination from Nagorno-Karabakh’.

He added that he believes Russia should take action ‘in the form of a demonstrative strengthening of the military potential of Armenia’ and to possibly stage the airborne transfer of military power that ensures the protection of ‘not Nagorno-Karabakh’s, but Armenia’s territory’. 

22 Oct 2020, 15:48

Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of targeting water pipeline

Azerbaijan’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office has accused Armenian forces of targeting the Oghuz-Gabala-Baku water pipeline, which they said supplies drinking water to the Absheron Peninsula where Baku is located.

The Prosecutor’s office stated that the missile was neutralised but that parts of it fell near the pipeline. 

They also accused Armenia of firing Scud ballistic missiles at Gabala, Kurdamir, and Siyazan districts of Azerbaijan, located more than 150 km from the frontline. 

According to the report, one civilian was injured and several houses were damaged. 

Armenian Defence Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan called the claims ‘utter nonsense and a cynic lie’. 

‘No missile has been fired from the territory of the Republic of Armenian in the direction of Azerbaijan’, she said. 

22 Oct 2020, 15:33

Turkey: If Azerbaijan requests troops, we will send them

Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay has said Ankara will not hesitate to send soldiers and provide military support for Azerbaijan if such a request is made by Baku, according to Turkish state media.

He added that there was no such request at the moment.

22 Oct 2020, 15:10

Aliyev: ‘There will be no referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh’

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said that Azerbaijan will never agree to a referendum on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh, in an interview with Japanese newspaper Nikkei

‘We did not agree to this during the negotiations, and now that we have taken back a large part of the territory, it is out of the question’, Trend quoted him as saying.

‘As for self-determination, Armenians have already determined their own destiny. They have an independent state of Armenia. Imagine what would happen if Armenians determined their own destiny wherever they lived, how many small Armenias there would be in the world’, he added. 

Aliyev said that while self-determination was an ‘important factor in international law’, it must not violate the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. 

He suggested Nagorno-Karabakh could be granted ‘cultural autonomy’. 

‘As in any part of Azerbaijan, of course, Armenians living in Azerbaijan can have such connections. However, we will never allow the establishment of a second Armenian state on the territory of Azerbaijan. This is out of the question. In short, there will never be a referendum’, he concluded.

22 Oct 2020, 14:36

Aliyev said he is ‘open’ to holding negotiations with Pashinyan but at present ‘negotiations senseless’

In an interview with Nikkei Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said that he is open to meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Moscow, however, he added that ‘counterproductive and provocative statements’ by the Armenian leadership make negotiations ‘senseless’. 

Additionally, he said that he has not been invited to Moscow by Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

22 Oct 2020, 14:12

Sputnik: Armenia’s Security Service confirms Azniv Baghdasaryan is Armenian citizen, states she ‘was captured on 7 October’

Russian-owned Sputnik Armenia reports that Armenia’s National Security Service has informed them that Azniv Baghdasaryan, shown in a video ‘welcoming’ Azerbaijani soldiers ‘was captured by the Azerbaijanis on October 7’. 

Baghdasaryan also gave a press conference in Baku in which she stated that she had been unconscious for three days, before being found and rescued by Azerbaijani soldiers. Sputnik reports that Armenia’s NSS told them Baghdasaryan had been forced to act under duress. 

22 Oct 2020, 13:05

US representative to NATO: ‘Sovereign boundaries’ of Azerbaijan and status of Armenians within them must be settled

Responding to a question during a press briefing on 21 October, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict ‘can end’ if it is settled ‘where are the sovereign boundaries of Azerbaijan and what can accommodate the Armenian population within those boundaries’.

She added that the question of Nagorno-Karabakh ‘cannot be settled in a military conflict’. 

22 Oct 2020, 12:44

Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of firing rockets at civilian population, Armenia denies accusation

Azerbaijani Presidential Aide Hikmet Hajiyev has reported that Armenian forces fired rockets from the territory of the Republic of Armenia at the cities of Gabala, Kurdamir, and Siyazan. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence has stated that the rockets were intercepted and that one civilian was injured. 

Armenian Ministry of Defence spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan has denied the allegation. ‘No rockets were fired from the territory of the Republic of Armenia in the direction of Azerbaijan’.   

Fighting on the frontline between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continues. 

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