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Russia begins withdrawal of peacekeepers from Nagorno-Karabakh

17 April 2024
Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh. Photo via Telegram.

The Kremlin has confirmed reports that Russia is withdrawing its peacekeeping contingent stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov confirmed the withdrawal on Wednesday.

‘Yes, it’s true’, Peskov told journalists when asked about reports of the contingent’s withdrawal from the region.

Azerbaijani pro-government news agency APA first reported the withdrawal on Tuesday night, reporting that Russian troops had withdrawn from the medieval Armenian monastery of Dadivank, located in Kalbajar.

The medieval Dadivank Monastery. Located in Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar district.

APA reported that the peacekeepers had already left Dadivank several days prior, and that the monastery was currently being guarded by Azerbaijani police.

OC Media has reached out to Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence for comment.

Footage purported to be of Russian peacekeepers leaving their positions were also posted on social media on Tuesday, with Meydan TV reporting that the footage was captured in Tartar and Barda, outside of the contingent’s mandate.


The peacekeepers’ mandate was set to expire in 2025. Around 2,000 of them were deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh as part of the ceasefire agreement that brought an end to the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020. They were meant to provide security for the region’s roughly 100,000 ethnic Armenian population.

In September 2023, Azerbaijani troops took control of the areas under the peacekeepers’ control, with the peacekeepers declining to intervene. This led to the mass exodus of the region’s entire population.

[Read more: The last bus out of Nagorno-Karabakh]

 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.