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Live updates | Stepanakert under fire as Azerbaijan launches assault on Nagorno-Karabakh

19 September 2023
Stepanakert on 19 September 2023. Photo: Siranush Sargsyan.

Azerbaijan has launched ‘anti-terrorist measures’ in Nagorno-Karabakh to ‘restore the constitutional structure of the Republic of Azerbaijan’.

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.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

We are closing our live updates for today. You can read a summary of today’s events here.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Red Cross calls for respect of humanitarian law

The Red Cross has called for all sides to respect international humanitarian law

‘Following today’s escalation of hostilities, we are extremely concerned about the humanitarian impact on civilians in the coming hours and days’, they said in a statement.

‘We call on all military authorities to do their utmost to protect civilian life and to respect the principles of distinction, proportionality, and precaution in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law.’

19 Sep 2023, 22:13

Nagorno-Karabakh: 23 soldiers and two civilians killed 

Gegham Stepanyan, Nagorno-Karabakh’s human rights defender, stated that 23 soldiers and two civilians had been killed as of 20:00.

He added that 138 people, among them 29 civilians, were injured so far.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Iran says conflict should be resolved through dialogue

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has said that ‘while Iran considers Karabakh part of the Republic of Azerbaijan […]  the problem and the rights and security of its residents should be resolved through dialogue."

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

US calls on Azerbaijan to ‘cease these actions immediately’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on Azerbaijan to immediately end its offensive.

‘The United States is deeply concerned by Azerbaijan’s military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh and calls on Azerbaijan to cease these actions immediately’, he said in a statement

‘These actions are worsening an already dire humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and undermine prospects for peace. As we have previously made clear to Azerbaijan, the use of force to resolve disputes is unacceptable and runs counter to efforts to create conditions for a just and dignified peace in the region.  We call for an immediate end to hostilities and for respectful dialogue between Baku and representatives of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh.’

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Frontline villages reportedly evacuated

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Human Rights Defender, Gegham Stepanyan, has said that the civilian populations of six villages near the frontline, Khramort (Pirlar), Khnabad (Khanabad), Sarnaghpyior (Aghbulag), Nakhchevanik (Nakhchivanly), Machkalashen (Jutju), and Chankatagh (Janyatag) had been evacuated.

Stepanyan did not say where the civilians were evacuated to.

The Russian peacekeeping mission has stated that Russian that they have evacuated 469 citizens, including 185 children, in areas that were under Azerbaijani fire. The peacekeeping mission also provided medical treatment to nine wounded civilians, including four children.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Scholz: Baku must immediately stop 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said that the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh must end immediately. 

The situation between Azerbaijan and Armenia is very critical. The government in Baku must immediately stop the attacks and return to diplomacy to reach a peaceful solution.’

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Erdoğan says ‘Karabakh is the land of Azerbaijan’

In his speech at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that ‘Karabakh is the land of Azerbaijan; no other status will be accepted’.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Clashes with police in Yerevan

RFE/RL has reported that clashes with the police have taken place near the government chancellery in Yerevan as protesters attempt to break into the building.

Infocom, an Armenian news outlet, reported that at least one protester was injured in confrontations with the police.

The protesters are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. 

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Ankara praises Baku for taking ‘rightful measures in its sovereign land’

In a statement of support to Azerbaijan, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said that Azerbaijan’s offensive on Nagorno-Karabakh was based on ‘legitimate and justified concerns it has constantly expressed […] since the end of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War’. 

‘Azerbaijan has had to take the measures it deems necessary on its own sovereign territory’, read the statement.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Azerbaijan claims to have broken through defences 

Azerbaijani presidential advisor Hikmat Hajiyev stated that Azerbaijan had broken through Nagorno-Karabakh’s defence ‘in several places’ and was determined to achieve its strategic goals.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Baku: ‘the further away France is from the region, the better’

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has criticised France for its condemnation of the Azerbaijani offensive on Nagorno-Karabakh, accusing it of being ‘anti-Azerbaijani’ and of interfering in Azerbaijan’s internal affairs.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Russian Defence Committee chair says peacekeepers can only act in self-defence

Andrey Karapolov, chair of the Duma’s defence committee, has stated that Russian peacekeepers stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh ‘have no rights to use weapons as long as they are not themselves threatened’.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Russia doubles down on blame on Armenia

Russian officials and commenters have continued to suggest that Pashinyan and Armenia are to blame for Azerbaijan’s attack on Nagorno-Karabakh. 

Former President Dimitry Medvedev, who is deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, implied on Telegram that Pashinyan was responsible for his ‘fate’.

‘He lost a war, but in some strange way managed to stay in place. Then he decided to lay the blame for his mediocre defeat on Russia. Then he renounced part of the territory of his country. Then he decided to flirt with NATO, and his wife demonstratively travelled to our enemies with biscuits.’

Guess what fate awaits him…’

RT editor and prominent propagandist Margarita Simonyan has repeated similar rhetoric, following criticism of Pashinyan earlier in the day. 

Writing on Tuesday evening, Simonyan claimed that Pashinyan ‘demands (!) that Russian peacekeepers protect Karabakh’, and asked rhetorically if NATO ‘does not protect [you]’.

She later added that Armenians had ‘woken up’, in calling Pashinyan a ‘traitor’. 

‘An Armenian who comes to power with anti-Russian slogans is a traitor by definition. A traitor to Armenian interests, not Russian ones. Russia will manage without Armenia. Armenia without Russia — no’, wrote Simonyan. 

‘Nobody has ever helped Armenia except Russia. And no one will ever help. Not knowing this means not wanting to know. Reluctance to know is voluntary idiocy. And voluntary idiocy, as a rule, is severely punished by history.’

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Fighting engulfs the entirety of contact line, Nagorno-Karabakh army reports

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Defence Army has reported that Azerbaijan is employing artillery, rockets, drones, and combat aviation in its assault on the region. The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry earlier posted footage purportedly of drone strikes on Nagorno-Karabakh positions. 

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Freedom House condemns Azerbaijan’s ‘violent attacks’ in Nagorno-Karabakh

The Washington-based human rights organisation Freedom House has stated they ‘strongly condemn the Azerbaijani government’s violent attacks in Nagorno-Karabakh’, warning that there was a risk of ethnic cleansing in the region.

‘Any attempt to forcibly change the region’s demographics is illegal and unacceptable’, read the organisation’s statement. 

‘We urge the international community to protect the civilian population in Nagorno-Karabakh, prevent crimes against humanity in the region, & hold the Azerbaijani govt accountable for the wellbeing of Armenians in the region’, they continued.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Azerbaijan dismisses EU calls for peace

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has rejected a statement by the EU calling on it to cease its offensive. 

In a statement, they said Azerbaijan was ‘fully committed to […] restoring its constitutional structure on the territory of Azerbaijan.’

‘We regretted the European Union’s statement that deliberately misrepresents the reasons for the current military escalation, as well as the steps taken by Azerbaijan to end the illegal activities of the Armenian armed forces against both the civilian population and the military in the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan’, they said.

19 Sep 2023, 19:41

Baku vows to continue war ‘until the end’ unless Nagorno-Karabakh surrenders 

Azerbaijan’s Presidential Administration has announced it will continue the war ‘until the end’ unless the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities surrender, hand over all weapons, and agree to dissolve the government.

‘The Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan states that our country is ready to meet with representatives of Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region in Yevlakh.’

Yevlakh is a city in central Azerbaijan, almost 100 kilometres from Stepanakert.

‘However, in order to stop the anti-terrorist measures, the illegal Armenian armed groups should raise the white flag, all weapons should be handed over, and the illegal regime should dissolve itself’, their statement said.

‘Otherwise, anti-terrorist measures will be continued until the end.’

19 Sep 2023, 19:35

Village reportedly surrounded by Azerbaijani forces

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Human Rights Defender Gegham Stepanyan, has reported that the village of Yeghtsahogh (Sarybaba) in the Shusha (Shushi) region has been completely surrounded by Azerbaijani forces, with its population of 150 trapped inside.

Stepanyan said the local school had also been destroyed as the village came under fire and that y there was ‘no opportunity to evacuate the residents’.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

German Foreign Ministry calls for Azerbaijan to ‘immediately stop’

The German Foreign Ministry has called on Azerbaijan to stop its offensive, accusing them of breaking their promise.

‘Azerbaijan must immediately stop the shelling and return to the negotiating table, this is the only way lasting peace is possible. We support the negotiations led by EU’, they said

‘In the last few days there have been intensive negotiations between inter alia the EU & USA with Armenia & Azerbaijan on de-escalation. Baku’s promise to refrain from military action was broken’, they continued.

19 Sep 2023, 18:51

Former NATO Secretary General calls for sanctions on Azerbaijan

Former NATO Secretary General and former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called for sanctions on Azerbaijan if they refuse to end their offensive.

‘The world cannot be silent when ethnic cleansing occurs’, he tweeted.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Pashinyan phones Macron and Blinken

Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan has held phone conversations with French President Emmanuel Macron and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

In his call with Macron, the French president informed Pashinyan that France has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss the military escalation.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

EU Foreign Affairs chief calls on Azerbaijan to halt offensive

The EU High Representative on Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrel, has called on Azerbaijan to stop its military activities and for the immediate cessation of hostilities.

He urged Azerbaijan not to use this military escalation as a ‘pretext to force the exodus of the local population’.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Protesters attempt to storm Armenian government chancellery

Photo via Tert.am

Several hundred protesters gathered in front of the Armenian government offices in Yerevan, blocking streets adjacent to Republic Square. They have demanded that the Armenian authorities intervene.

Gevorg Tosunyan, a CivilNet correspondent, has reported that the protesters are trying to break through police cordons surrounding the chancellery building. Hetq reports that the number of protesters is gradually increasing along with police presence in the area.

Protests have also broken out in front of the Russian Embassy and the UN headquarters in Yerevan.

19 Sep 2023, 18:23

Number of civilians reportedly injured in Nagorno-Karabakh rises to 23

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Human Rights Defender Gegham Stepanyan has stated that the number of wouned civilians has risen to 23. So far, two civillians in Nagorno-Karabakh have been reportedly killed as well as one Azerbaijani civilian in Shusha (Shushi)

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Russia ‘did not inform’ Armenia of Azerbaijani attack in advance

Russia did not inform Armenia about the start of military operations by Azerbaijan in Nagorno Karabakh, the Armenian PM’s office told Public TV.

Pashinyan also commented on the issue in his address, stating:

‘It was strange and puzzling for us the information that Azerbaijan officially informed Russia about the start of those operations, of course this is Azerbaijan’s version, but the fact is that we did not receive any information about that operation from our Russian partners’.

The Azerbaijani foreign ministry earlier stated that they had informed the Russian peacekeeping mission of their operation.

19 Sep 2023, 18:08

Hikmat Hajiyev: ‘The illegal separatist puppet regime must dissolve itself’

Azerbaijani presidential advisor Hikmat Hajiyev has called on the government in Stepanakert to ‘dissolve itself’.

‘[The] Illegal separatist puppet regime must dissolve itself, and the armenian armed forces stationed in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan must be disarmed’, he tweeted.

‘Azerbaijan applies precision guided munitions against legitimate military targets and, by all means, avoids collateral damage to civilians. Rights and security of civilians of Armenian descent in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan will be provided under the Constitution and international obligations of Azerbaijan. Dissolve and disarm!’

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

France condemns Azerbaijani and calls for emergency UN Security Council meeting

France’s Foreign Ministry has called on Baku to immediately cease its offensive, stating that Azerbaijan will be ‘solely held responsible for the fate of the civilian populations of Nagorno-Karabakh’.

The ministry called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting, and stated that France was working closely with its Western partners ‘so that a strong response is provided to this unacceptable offensive’. 

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Nagorno-Karabakh Defence Army reports ‘decreased intensity’

‘As of now, the intensity of fire on the line of contact has decreased significantly’, the Nagorno-Karabakh Defence Army has reported.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Nagorno-Karabakh calls for ceasefire

Nagorno-Karabakh has appealed to Azerbaijan for an immediate ceasefire and to sit down at the negotiation table with the aim of settling the situation.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Yerevan calls on UN Security Council, Russian peacekeepers to take action

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry has called on the UN Security Council and the Russian peacekeeping contingent stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh to ‘undertake clear and unequivocal steps to put an end to Azerbaijan’s aggression’.

In their statement, the ministry also denounced Azerbaijan’s dissemination of ‘false information […] about mining and sabotage activities, which indicates the planning of the attack’.

It also stressed that Armenia does not have any armed forces or military equipment deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh.

19 Sep 2023, 17:52

Pashinyan says Armenia will not intervene militarily

Nikol Pashinyan. Photo via Facebook.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has suggested that Armenia will not intervene militarily to defend Nagorno-Karabakh.

‘At this moment, we should not carry out any unplanned, drastic action, any adventurous action’, Pashinyan said in a statement following the meeting of the Armenian Security Council.

The PM said that the ‘main and key target and purpose’ of the Azerbaijani attack was to draw Armenia into a military confrontation.

He said that Azerbaijani media was reporting that Azerbaijan was fighting units of the Armed Forces of Armenia in Nagorno Karabakh.

‘I want to go on record that the Republic of Armenia is not involved in military operations and I want to go on the record once again that the Republic of Armenia does not have an army in Nagorno-Karabakh’, Pashinyan said.

He also criticised the international community for suggesting Armenian forces were involved. 

‘Unfortunately, this same information is repeated by a number of our partners who say that we call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to stop military operations.’

The Prime Minister also claimed that certain internal forces within Armenia wanted to involve Armenia in the war.

‘It is visible and we record with our position that attempts to involve the Republic of Armenia in a military escalation are unacceptable for us and we will manage this process, as much as we understand that there are feelings, emotional and other problems for all of us in this situation’, he said.

‘We should not allow some people, some external and internal forces to question the statehood of Armenia’, he concluded.

The PM also said that the situation along the Armenia–Azerbaijan border was ‘relatively stable’ and that there was no visible and significant change in the situation.

19 Sep 2023, 17:44

Azerbaijani civilian reportedly killed in Shusha (Shushi)

An Azerbaijani civilian has reportedly died as a result of shelling in Shusha (Shushi).

 

The Azerbaijani Prosecutor’s Office said they had opened an investigation on terror charges.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Nagorno-Karabakh: Azerbaijan is attempting to advance its positions along the contact line

Nagorno-Karabakh’s army has stated that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are employing ‘various types of weaponry’ on the line of contact in an attempt to advance its position into the region. It also accused Azerbaijan of using ‘large-scale information and psychological influence measures’ through social media.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Damage to civilian buildings in Stepanakert

Stepanakert-based journalist Siranush Sargsyan has posted photos online appearing to show damage to residential buildings and vehicles in the capital.

Sargsyan also posted photos appearing to show civilians hiding in bomb shelters.

Photo: Siranush Sargsyan.
Photo: Siranush Sargsyan.
Photo: Siranush Sargsyan.
Photo: Siranush Sargsyan.

 

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Armenian PM convenes an Armenian Security Council 

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has held a meeting with Armenia’s Security Council to discuss Azerbaijan’s attack on Nagorno-Karabakh.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Armenia’s ambassador-at-large: it is the US’ turn to stop Azerbaijani aggression

Edmon Marukyan, Armenia’s ambassador-at-large called on Washington to decide on measures to stop Azerbaijan’s attack on Nagorno-Karabakh.

He cited Yuri Kim, acting assistant secretary of state for European affairs, who said on 14 September that ‘the United States will not tolerate any attempts to “ethnically cleanse” Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh’. 

19 Sep 2023, 16:41

Azerbaijan peace activists speak out

Several Azerbaijani peace activists have already spoken out against the war.

Political analyst and peace activist Bahruz Samadov said the goal was the ethnic cleansing of the region’s Armenian population.

‘The ultimate goal is to de-Armenianize Nagorno-Karabakh. The constant ontological insecurity that Azerbaijan preserves in [Nagorno-Karabakh] is the policy that has a destination — to destroy Nagorno-Karabakh’s agency. The same policy of blockage and bombardment already took place in the 1990s.’

He also argued that the Azerbaijani government’s use of force precluded it from being democratic.

‘Azerbaijan has once again launched an attack against Nagorno-Karabakh. Instead of dialogue, Azerbaijan still uses the strategy of force and attack. A state that sees no other way than bloodshed can never be democratic and free’, he said.

Sevinj Samadzade, another analyst and peace activist, also spoke out against what she suggested was the Azerbaijani government’s instrumentalisation of the conflict.

‘Yet another September, yet another attack by Azerbaijan under the name of anti-terror. With every “anti-terror operation” they are terrorising people of this region — our bodies, lands, resources — reminding us that war is a perpetual state of nightmare and it will not end soon.’

Peace and democracy activist Giyas Ibrahim warned that the war could also pose a risk to the Azerbaijani government.

‘In any case, this operation could be a risk even for the Azerbaijani regime if it was not requested by the Americans’, he said.

19 Sep 2023, 16:38

Several children reportedly wounded

The Arevik children’s hospital in Stepanakert confirmed that 6–7 children were transferred to them, CivilNet has reported. The hospital did not provide details about their condition.

Gegham Stepanyan, the Human Rights Defender of Nagorno-Karabakh, tweeted photos of children reportedly wounded in the fighting. He suggested that two civilians, including one child, had already been killed.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Armenia denies having armed forces stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenia’s Defence Ministry has accused Azerbaijan of ‘[disseminating] false statements’ about the presence of Armenian Armed Forces units in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Following the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, Aremenia said they had withdrawn all of their forces. Nagorno-Karabakh maintains its own army.

19 Sep 2023, 16:31

Azerbaijan’s State Security Services reportedly summon peace activists

Two Azerbaijani peace activists, Amrah Tahmazov and Javid Ahmadov, have allegedly been summoned by Azerbaijan’s State Security Services for posting anti-war content on social media.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

OSCE calls for ‘immediate de-escalation’

North Macedonian Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani, the current chair of the OSCE,  has called for an ‘immediate de-escalation’.

‘I am deeply concerned by reports of military operations and the related danger for civilians in Stepanakert/Khankendi’, he said. ‘I call for an immediate de-escalation. Peaceful dialogue should be the only option and humanitarian concerns must prevail.’

He added that he would meet the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan later today at the UN General Assembly in New York.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

EU Council President calls on Azerbaijan to halt military actions

EU Council President Charles Michel has urged Azerbaijan to halt its military actions against Nagorno-Karabakh to allow for ‘genuine dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians’.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Turkey ‘stands by Azerbaijan’

Turkish Minister of National Defence Yaşar Güler has expressed support for Azerbaijan.

Güler held a phone conversation today with Azerbaijani Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov.

Hasanov reportedly informed his Turkish counterpart ‘about local anti-terrorist measures in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.’

Güler said that ‘Turkey stands by Azerbaijan today as always.’

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

TikTok reportedly restricted in Azerbaijan

TikTok users in Azerbaijan have reported they are unable top access the social media platform, though there is no official confirmation of restrictions.

Several suggested accessing TikTok through a VPN.

19 Sep 2023, 15:40

Nagorno-Karabakh officials warn of Genocide

Two senior officials in Stepanakert have warned of an impending genocide.

Gegham Stepanyan, the Human Rights Defender of Nagorno-Karabakh, tweeted that civilian communities were being targetted.

Foreign Minister Sergey Ghazaryan appealed to the international community to intervene in a comment to CivilNet.

‘Now we are witnessing how Azerbaijan, in the implementation of its genocidal policy, moves to the physical annihilation of the civilian population and the actions of destroying civilian objects.’ 

‘We have repeatedly informed the international actors that it is impossible to restrain such a bellicose and criminal attitude of Azerbaijan with appeals. We demand that the international community take effective steps in a very short period of time to stop Azerbaijan’s aggression’, he said.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Azerbaijan opposition split

The two most prominent Azerbaijani opposition parties are split on support for the war.

Ali Karimli, chair of the Azerbaijani Popular Front, came out against the war. 

‘Azerbaijani authorities should do everything possible to avoid a Third Karabakh War’, he said. ‘The interested party in the war is Russia.’

Musavat Party Chairman Arif Hajili, however, said it was ‘the exclusive right of the Azerbaijani state to implement the necessary measures under our constitution and laws, as well as international legal norms.’

19 Sep 2023, 15:22

Azerbaijan calls for dissolution of Stepanakert government 

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has demanded the complete withdrawal of ethnic Armenian troops and the dissolution of the government in Stepanakert.

‘The only way to achieve peace and stability in the region is the unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the Karabagh region of Azerbaijan and the dissolution of the puppet regime’, they said in a statement.

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

EU Representative for South Caucasus calls for immediate ceasefire

Toivo Klaar, the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, has called for an immediate ceasefire ‘to allow for genuine dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians’.

He also expressed regret for the loss of Azerbaijani lives in mine explosions in Azerbaijan-controlled territory.

Two Azerbaijani nationals and four policemen were killed in apparent landmine explosions in Khojavand today.

19 Sep 2023, 15:15

Russian Foreign Ministry: Russian peacekeepers continue to fulfil their tasks

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has stated that Russia is in contact with Azerbaijan, and added that a formal statement from the ministry was likely to be made soon, according to Russian State News Agency TASS

Writing on Telegram, Zakharova stated that Russia is ‘deeply alarmed’ by the escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh, but noted that Russian peacekeeping forces ‘continue to fulfil their tasks’ in the region. She added that their commanders are in ‘constant contact’ with representatives of both Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians and Azerbaijani authorities, ‘with the aim of a ceasefire’. 

21 Feb 2024, 14:54

Attacks along ‘whole line of contact’

The Nagorno-Karabakh defence army said that Azerbaijani forces had attacked along the entire line of contact at around 13:00. 

19 Sep 2023, 14:40

Azerbaijan directs Nagorno-Karabakh residents to Lachin Corridor through SMS messages

Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence reports sending SMS messages and distributing leaflets to residents of Nagorno-Karabakh directing them to ‘shelters’ they claimed to have created on the Lachin Corridor, which connects Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.

‘Women, children, the elderly, as well as physically disabled persons and patients will be provided with necessary medical and other assistance, they will be provided with drinking water and food. In order to ensure the evacuation of the population from the dangerous area, humanitarian corridors and reception points have been established on the Lachin road and in other directions.’

They also said they had warned people to ‘stay away from the military facilities and not to support the units of the Armenian Armed Forces’.

19 Sep 2023, 14:37

Simonyan claims Armenia is responsible for the attack

Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Russian state media RT, blamed Armenia for the attack.

‘Karabakh. Tragic, hopeless, and predictable’, she wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

‘The Armenian authorities personally handed over Armenia’s sacred place.’

‘All that remains to be done is to announce that there was no genocide of Armenians, and Pashinyan’s mission on this earth will be complete.’

‘The fate of Judas is unenviable.’

19 Sep 2023, 14:35

Communication to Nagorno-Karabakh reportedly cut

Communication with Nagorno-Karabakh experiences difficulties.

Andranik Shirinyan, Freedom House representative in Armenia tweeted that attacks were targetting communications infrastructure. 

Armenian media outlet Hetq also reported that they could not contact residents of Nagorno-Karabakh: ‘there is no connection with Artsakh’.

19 Sep 2023, 14:25

Footage shows gunfire and explosions in Stepanakert

Footage posted online by local journalist and OC Media contributor Marut Vanyan shows heavy gunfire and the sound of explosions in Stepanakert.

  

Nagorno-Karabakh under fire

19 Sep 2023, 14:17

Azerbaijani strikes reported in Martakert (Aghdara)

Infocom, a news outlet based in Armenia, has cited sources in Nagorno-Karabakh as saying that Martakert, in the northeast, is also under attack.

19 Sep 2023, 14:17

Yerevan: border with Azerbaijan ‘relatively stable’

The Armenian Defence Ministry has stated that the situation on the Armenia–Azerbaijan border is ‘relatively’ stable as of 14:00.

19 Sep 2023, 14:03

Former State Ministers of Nagorno-Karabakh report ‘massive attack’

Former State Minister of Nagorno-Karabakh Artak Beglaryan reports explosions in Stepanakert.

‘Azerbaijan is using heavy artillery in some directions of Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh]. I have no additional info yet’, he tweeted.

Ruben Vardanyan, another former State Minister tweeted that Azerbaijan had begun a massive artillery attack against Nagorno Karabakh, targeting cities and civilians on a large scale. 

‘After imposing an 8-month total blockade on 120,000 Armenians, subjecting them to starvation and enduring moral and psychological hardships, they are now deliberately targeting them for elimination. This serves as perfect proof that inaction and mere calls and appeals to Aliyev are ineffective. He has disregarded all warnings, which will inevitably lead to numerous human tragedies. The international community bears responsibility for the events unfolding in Nagorno Karabakh’, he wrote.

19 Sep 2023, 13:55

Azerbaijan moves to ‘restore constitutional order’

In a statement, the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry said that ‘in order to restore the constitutional structure of the Republic of Azerbaijan, local anti-terrorist measures have been started in the region.’

The Defence Ministry further claimed that ‘units of the Armenian armed forces’ in Nagorno-Karabakh were opening fire with artillery on Azerbaijani units in the Aghdam region, and that they were taking ‘retaliatory measures’.

The Ministry of Defense claims to have informed ‘The command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent and the management of the Turkey-Russia Joint Monitoring Center were informed about the anti-terror operation.’

19 Sep 2023, 13:45

Stepanakert under fire

Air raid sirens and explosions can be heard in Stepanakert as Azerbaijani forces have launched an attack on Nagorno Karabakh.