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Live updates: Day 44 of war in Nagorno-Karabakh 

9 November 2020

Fighting is continuing for the 44th day over Nagorno-Karabakh, despite three ceasefires being agreed.

Read all of our coverage of the war including our Voices for Peace series.

Latest stories: 

 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.

10 Nov 2020, 04:21

Convoy of Armenia’s Speaker of Parliament attacked

The convoy of Ararat Mirzoyan, Armenia’s speaker of parliament, has been attacked by protestors. Mirzoyan was reportedly dragged out of the car and beaten. At the moment there is no news of his current whereabouts and condition.

10 Nov 2020, 03:49

Russian peacekeepers have departed for Nagorno-Karabakh

Russian state-owned news outlet Sputnik reports that Russian peacekeepers have departed for Nagorno-Karabakh. They are departing from the Ulyanovsk airport in Russia.  

10 Nov 2020, 03:51

Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev have signed an agreement to end the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia will hand control of several territories to Azerbaijan but the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh is undefined. Russian peacekeepers will oversee the deal.

Read the full story: Armenia and Azerbaijan sign peace deal in Nagorno-Karabakh.

10 Nov 2020, 03:36

Major unrest in Yerevan

Protestors opposing the peace deal have flooded into the streets of Yerevan, a group of them have reached the residence of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The whereabouts of the Armenian Prime Minister are at present unknown.  

10 Nov 2020, 02:55

Protestors have broken into Armenia’s Government Building

Protestors who oppose the recent peace deal have broken into Armenia’s government building in Yerevan. They are presently searching for Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is reportedly not in the building.

There is a large demonstration outside of the government building.  

10 Nov 2020, 02:05

Nikol Pashinyan: ‘I have a signed a statement on the end of the Karabakh War’

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has announced that he has signed a statement ‘on the end of the Karabakh war’. The agreement was also signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

His statement, translated from Armenian, is reproduced below in its entirety: 

‘Dear compatriots, sisters and brothers.’

‘I made a very difficult decision for myself and for all of us.’

‘I signed a statement with the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan to end the Karabakh war at 01:00.  The text of the already published statement is inexpressibly painful for me personally and for our people.’

‘I made this decision as a result of an in-depth analysis of the military situation and an assessment of the people who know it best.  Also based on the belief that this is the best possible solution for the current situation. I'll tell you about all this in detail in the coming days.’

‘This is not a victory, but there will be no defeat until you admit that you are defeated. We will never admit that we are defeated, and this should be the beginning of our period of national unity and revival.’

‘We need to analyse the years of our independence in order to plan our future and not to repeat the mistakes of the past.’

‘I kneel before all our martyrs. I bow to all our soldiers, officers, generals, volunteers who defended and defend the Motherland with their lives. They selflessly saved the Armenians of Artsakh.’

‘We fought to the end.  And we will win.  Artsakh stands.’

‘Long live Armenia!  Long live Artsakh!’

09 Nov 2020, 21:56

Azerbaijan admits to shooting down Russian helicopter

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has admitted that Azerbaijani forces shot down a Russian helicopter earlier this evening near the Armenian border with Nakhchivan, stating that it was a mistake. 

‘The helicopter flight took place in close proximity to the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border, while active military clashes continue in the zone of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’, their statement said.

‘The flight took place in the dark, at low altitude, outside the air defense radar detection zone.’

‘[Russian] Air Force helicopters have not previously been seen in the specified area.’

‘In the context of these factors and in the light of the tense situation in the region and increased combat readiness in connection with possible provocations of the Armenian side, the duty combat crew decided to open fire to kill.’

The ministry apologised to Russia over the ‘tragic incident’, which they said was ‘accidental and was not directed against the Russian side’.

They expressed condolences to the families of those killed in the incident and offered to pay ‘appropriate compensation’.

The Azerbaijani side expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the killed crew members and wishes the injured people a speedy recovery.

09 Nov 2020, 20:41

Armenian opposition parties call for Pashinyan’s resignation

In a joint statement, 17 opposition parties in Armenia have called for Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation due to his handling of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.  

‘In order to avoid irrecoverable losses, political forces demand the unauthorised and peaceful departure of Pashinyan and his government, the urgent formation of power from forces capable of making a turning point (in the war)’, the statement reads.

Only one of the 17 parties, Prosperous Armenia, has seats in the Armenian parliament. It is the largest opposition party in the country. The list also includes the Republican Party and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, who Pashinyan ousted from power in the 2018 Velvet Revolution.

09 Nov 2020, 20:33

Russian Defence Ministry confirms downing of helicopter

The Russian Defence Ministry has confirmed that a Russian helicopter has been shot down, RIA reports. Two helicopter crew members were reportedly killed, and one has sustained moderate injuries.

The Russian military is reportedly investigating the identity of the shooters. 

09 Nov 2020, 19:47

Russian helicopter reportedly shot down over Armenia

Russian state-owned news outlet Sputnik reports that a source within Russia’s security forces has informed them that a Russian helicopter has been shot down by Azerbaijani forces based in Nakhichevan. It reportedly crashed on Armenian territory. 

09 Nov 2020, 19:18

Nikol Pashinyan: ‘The battle for Shushi continues’

On Facebook, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has stated that ‘the battle for Shushi continues’, contradicting an earlier statement by Nagorno-Karabakh Presidential spokesperson Vahram  Poghosyan.

09 Nov 2020, 19:00

Armenian MP: ‘Shushi is under our control’

Armenian MP Nikolai Baghdasaryan has written on Facebook that Shusha (Shushi) was under the control of Armenian forces, contradicting a claim from Nagorno-Karabakh presidential spokesperson Vahram Poghosyan. 

‘Shushi is under our control’, the post reads. ‘Do not panic.’

There has been speculation that Poghosyan’s Facebook account had been hacked after he said that the city was ‘completely out of our control’, however, Poshosyan reportedly told Armenian news publication Aysor that ‘nobody hacked my page’. 

09 Nov 2020, 18:24

Crisis Group Analyst: Eye-witnesses describe killing of civilians and burning of homes by Azerbaijani military

Olesya Vartanyan, Senior South Caucasus Analyst at the International Crisis Group, has written about eyewitness accounts of Azerbaijani forces killing civilians and burning homes.

‘My list confirmed by at least 3 sources currently consists of 5 civilians, all males, killed with guns within one week. Females and kids left these villages days before these events’, she wrote on Twitter. ‘Two residents of Taghavard village told me their houses were set on fire before current intense fighting.’ 

She has written that the names of the civilians who have been reported killed have not yet been published ‘in the official lists of either civilian or military casualties’.

09 Nov 2020, 18:00

Azerbaijani control over Shusha (Shushi) confirmed

Nagorno-Karabakh presidential spokesperson Vahram Poghosyan has announced on Facebook that the Azerbaijani military has taken control of Shusha (Shushi). 

‘Today, unfortunately, we have to confess to failures’, the post reads. ‘The city of Shushi city is completely out of our control’. 

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence earlier posted footage showing the city’s streets and Azerbaijani soldiers standing in front of one of the city’s central buildings.

‘It is time to tighten our belts because the adversary is in the vicinity of Stepanakert and the existence of the capital is already in danger’, Poghosyan said.

‘If we want Shushi to be ours again and preserve Artsakh then we have to use all our capabilities and organise a reliable defense of Stepanakert and other directions of the front line. This is the real and hopeful guarantee of success. False calls of victory and Facebook speculations will lead us to losing everything bit by bit.’

‘And history will not forgive us for that. We are fighting till the end.’

09 Nov 2020, 13:11

Aliyev: military action will stop if Armenia vacates surrounding territories 

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said that military actions would stop if Armenian Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan announced the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the surrounding regions outside of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In an interview with the BBC, President Aliyev mentioned a possibility of ‘some forms of self-governance’ but that Armenia’s ‘opportunities to compromise are shrinking’. 

Aliyev also stated that in the face of a humanitarian crisis with winter approaching, Azerbaijan would take care of the civilians cut off from Armenia by providing humanitarian necessities. 

The interview was recorded before he announced the capture of Shusha (Shushi) on 8 November, a claim the Armenian Ministry of Defence has refuted.

Aliyev also denied any deliberate attacks on churches and civilian infrastructure. He called reports in the media, including those by BBC correspondents, ‘fake news’ and a result of bias against Azerbaijan.

09 Nov 2020, 11:01

Fighting around Shusha continues

According to the Armenian Ministry of Defence, battles continued in the southeast, south, and southwestern directions of the frontline overnight with the most intense fighting around Shusha (Shushi).

The Armenian Unified Infocenter stated that Stepanakert was under continuous fire throughout the night, they also accused Azerbaijani forces of targeting civilian areas, noting that there was no military infrastructure in the areas hit. 

Azerbaijani’s Defence Ministry reports that fighting took place throughout the night near Martakert (Aghdara), Aghdam (Akna), Martuni (Khojavand), and Gubadli (Kashunik). They accused the Armenian armed forces of firing at civilian infrastructure.

They also accused the Armenian armed forces of firing at villages in the Tovuz and Gadabay districts from the ‘direction of Berd and Chambarak regions of Armenia’. No civilian deaths have been reported.