Azeri forces advance on Syunik

Lake Sev, view from Ishkhanasar (Photo: Albero/Wikimedia Commons)

Officials in Armenia confirmed the advancement of Azeri forces into Armenia’s region of Syunik on Wednesday.

In a late night session with members of the Security Council, acting PM Nikol Pashinyan said Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces crossed 3.5 kilometers into the Republic of Armenia early Wednesday morning and tried to enclose Lake Sev.   

“These actions are intolerable for the Republic of Armenia, because this is an encroachment on the sovereign territory of the Republic, and of course it is a separate topic for discussion how and why such an operation was possible, but it is necessary to note that this is a diversionary tactic,” said Pashinyan.

In the morning, local officials from Syunik reported that Azerbaijani troops had advanced toward residential communities. Deputy mayor of Goris Irina Yolyan wrote on her Facebook that hundreds of Azeri soldiers had approached the village of Verishen, located about five kilometers north of the town of Goris, and encircled Lake Sev. According to Yolyan, Azerbaijan claims control over 30-percent of the lake. 

The Armenian Defense Ministry (MoD) later confirmed that Azerbaijani forces “tried to carry out some works at one of the border sections of Syunik under the pretext of ‘border demarcations’” and retreated following measures taken by Armenian army units. “Right now negotiations are underway to resolve the situation,” the MoD wrote in a statement

Both the PM and the MoD denied reports that gunshots were fired along the border. No casualties were reported.

“Our priority objective is to resolve this issue through negotiations and by diplomatic means,” Pashinyan said. “But this is one of the options.” 

Later in the day, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu held a phone call with his Armenian counterpart Vagharshak Arutyunyan to discuss the “situation in areas where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is on a mission in Nagorno-Karabakh, and also other issues of mutual interest.” 

Acting Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan also spoke with Russia’s Sergei Lavrov about the incident on the state border of Armenia and emphasized the “inadmissibility of such provocations from the Azerbaijani side.” 

Human Rights Defender of Armenia Arman Tatoyan raised the urgent need for a security zone in his statement on Wednesday. Tatoyan said his office received a number of complaints from residents in Goris, Sisian and Tegh who say they witnessed Azeri soldiers in the vicinity. According to Tatoyan’s office, a shepherd from Verishen in Goris says Azeri military threatened him by showing their weapons. “These actions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces grossly violate the rights of Armenia’s border residents, with the aim of intimidating them,” expressed Tatoyan on Facebook. “The presence of the Azerbaijani military servicemen deprives Armenian citizens of the opportunity to raise livestock and use pastures, the only source of income for their families, and poses a real threat to the access of irrigation and drinking water to the communities, their lives and safety.” 

In response to the Azeris’ advancements on Wednesday, Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Supreme Body of Armenia representative Ishkhan Saghatelyan said that enemy forces are trying to take advantage of Pashinyan’s last days in office by making more military advancements. 

While Pashinyan, for his part, is urging calm, he did note on Wednesday that the situation is “near critical, if not critical.”


  1. During the 2020 Karabakh War, Putin claimed that the alliance agreements between Armenia and Russia don’t require Russia to intervene over Armenia’s Artzakn stronghold. Now, Azerbaijan has invaded regions of Armenia which the UN clearly recognizes as Armenian Land; Putting can’t weasel out of this one, with a strait face, because the invaded regions are written into the treaty alliances drawn up between Russia and Armenia. It’s now incumbent upon Russia to intervene on behalf of Armenia: Firstly, Russia must diplomatically demand that Azerbaijan withdraw. Secondly, If Azerbaijan refuses to withdraw, then Russia must militarily intervene. Thirdly, if moderate military intervention fails to dislodge Azerbaijan’s encroachments Iie via Russian units sent into Armenia), then Russia should make a declaration of war, and make inroads into Azerbaijan Ivia air, land and sea)..

    • Russia betrayed Armenians last year by saying and doing nothing as Turkey supplied Azerbaijan with terrorists, Bayraktar drones, and American-supplied F16 jets.

      Now Russia is doing nothing about these continual Azeri assaults and gross violations of the November 9 agreement.

      I hate to say this, but it’s almost getting to the point where an Armenian can trust a Turk more than Putin.

      Of course, Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoygu is (yes, it’s true) half-Tartar so maybe Russia and a Turk are almost the same thing.

      Look on the Web for this French saying: “Scratch at the Russian and underneath you will see the Tatar”.

      It’s something to think about seriously in view of Russian inaction and betrayals.

  2. Give guns to the people of Syunik at least to defend themselves and protect their families , where is the Armenian army????
    The people of Syunick should form a peoples army, like Karekine Nejdeh did.

  3. What is happening with our armed forces? The secutity and defence structure? The so called Russian defence pact? What is happening to our country? Is somebody giving it all away on a plate?

  4. This is just the start of Armenian sovereign territory disappearing.
    Where are our troops? Negotiations? are you kidding me? We should have troops at all our borders repelling any incursions.
    This traitor who calls himself PM is no leader. He is “urging calm”?? Wake up my people!

  5. What a disgrace. The Armenian side has to go beg others (Russians) to convince Azeris to leave its borders. Do they not have an army? Pashinian didn’t even say they demand the Azeri side to back off. He said our wish is for them to leave. How can anyone expect his government to effectively stand up for Armenia? Moreover, how can anyone have faith in what he says?

  6. No, people, WHY hasn’t the ARF carried out a 21-st Century domestic “ Operation Nemesis” to save Armenia from this coward called Pashinyan and his sycophant government subordinates? HAVE ARMENIANS completely lost it??
    There is absolutely no excuse for ANY able-bodied citizen of the Republic of Armenia to refuse to serve his Motherland in arms – take , for reference, the State of Israel: every man and woman at the age of 18, regardless of social rank, is obliged to serve Israel under arms – hasn’t Armenia understood its National Security and the existential threat to its sovereignty as an independent country for all of its near 30 years of independence??
    I call on all Armenians of the Diaspora to join hands and pockets and means to create a Diaspora Armenian military organisation, including Armenian military officers and soldiers in the US Forces, to deal a fatal blow to this Azeri-Turkish aggression ONCE & FOR ALL. Hey, people, we will lose this independent Republic of Armenia, let alone what’s left of Nagorno Karabakh, in no time if this lack of patdiotism and shameful indifference & apathy persists in the hearts and minds of the Armenian people borh in Armenia and in the Diaspora. I appeal to all self-respecting Armenians across the Globe to heed my warning and put aside “ the pursuit of personal wealth and happiness” just for a couple of years and work towards a sacred goal of Saving the Armenian independent Republic. A Call to Arms to All Armenians – NOW!!

  7. France, Italy, Greece, Serbia, and Other Christian Nations need to come help Armenia get there lands back from these non existent nomads call Azerbaijan and Turkey.

    Baku and Naghchevan belong to Armenia give it back.

    • Armenia needs to help itself first, before asking others to do it. If we are not willing to raise enough of a force to capture 200 Azeri soldiers who have advanced into our territory, what moral, ethical, or legal right do we have to ask others to come to our aid?

  8. When Israel got its independence 1948 during the war against a combined military of Egypt, Jordan, Syria the Israelis numbered 500,000. Today the population stands around 9.5 million. When Armenia became independent 1990 it had 3.5m inhabitants. Today Armenia stands at 2.5 million. Israel achieved a brain gain whereas Armenia suffered a brain drain of whatever brains, if any, existed. I visited Armenia numerously and was under the conclusion that the billions of dollars pumped by the diaspora into the economy of Armenia would promote Armenia into a wealthy nation. But thanks to a high grade state of corruption and lack of high academic and educational institutions Armenia today is a third world country at par with nations like Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, El Salvador. Will Armenia still be around by 2050?

    • @Hovagim. And your point is???? Armenia isn’t Israel? You bet it’s not. It hasn’t had US backing it financially and militarily for 70 years. And Armenia hasn’t had its people under existential threat in much of Europe and Middle East, thereby issuing an open call to move to a protected land. It was a closed-off communist country in the years after the genocide. It’s really difficult to see the point of your analogy. Armenia isn’t Israel. And you’re not Einstein. Corruption is no good but money can always be made up. Irreversible loss of land can’t be made up. Diaspora pouring money in…give me a break. At the very least frame the monetary value to compare it to the size of the economy, if you think it was enough money to propel a third world country, which it immediately plunged into after the Soviet Union, into a wealthy country. Putting a plaque on a university door with your name costs a lot less on Armenia than on a bench in Central Park.

  9. By now, it is so obvious that the enemy looks at Pashinian as a weakling who is currently preoccupied with internal affairs and the forthcoming election. The Turkish plan of softening up Putin by agreeing to buy arms from Russia seems to be working alright. He allowed Turkey to help its Azeri brothers to swallow up most of Artsakh last October. Now Putin is facing another test within sovereign territories of Armenia. Who is to say he hasn’t been bribed by Azerbaijani oil, gas, tomatoes or whatever, to turn a blind eye while their soldiers casually walk into Armenian land and claim this bit and that bit as their own territory. Is this a game of cowboys and Indians or what?! I would agree with anyone who says it is time for us to get organised and take a leaf out of Israel’s book to show aggressive neighbours we are serious about defending our Motherland against existential threats. Aggressors understand only the language of force and there are ways to show them we can also come down to their level and speak that language. We need smart individuals to get together, formulate a master plan and organise resources, including material help from friends of Armenia if necessary, to plan and carry out decisive actions to hurt their economy and more if necessary, until they back off. It requires lots of resources and unselfish commitment by all of us, especially financially wealthy companies, groups and individuals. History has shown that we should not rely on Putin’s Russia.

  10. Every time Armenians screw up, it must be Russia’s fault!
    Russia, Russia, Russia!!! Our Russophobes sound like Democrats LOL
    Wake up folks, Armenia won’t survive a single day without Russia.

    • That’s some serious damage control, Gurgen. For years weren’t you and your compatriots here making fun of the 1990-94 volunteers, that diaspora volunteers were a bunch of rag-tag silly backwards fighters, and that now “Artsakh has a professional army in the next war” and we would be laughable if we try the same thing, and that is not for brave Russian Armenia, we would all be a bunch of villagers in Turkey someplace or some similar typically Apparatchik Russia-firster bs claims?

      Yup we saw that “professional army” in action alright. The best display was that photo-op with that silly teddy-bear looking Artsrun or whatever his name is as “head of the army” wearing his construction boots and next to him some clown with flip flops and socks and a toothpick in his mouth having just finished an epic kabob meal.

      We also saw how your amazing “Mother Russia” supported Armenia and Artsakh, by spitting at our faces and laughing while Putin’s buddy sent terrorists and weapons through Russia’s backyard to kill off any Armenians trying to defend the homeland. I guess in your delusional world that is what being an “ally” is. This so-called “ally” never even once even gave ‘moral’ support.

      And here is something you and your ilk never understood about Russia: we are in the mess we are in not because of “Russia doing something” – it because of ****RUSSIAN POLICY**** against Armenia and to the BENEFIT of Turkey and Azerbaijan!!!!

      Yes Armenians are definitely at “fault” – you know who they are? The Apparatchik “Mother Russia is the best” duduk playing people like the types that show up here making excuses for the despicable behavior of Russia. We in the diaspora sat back and trusted you people with your “diplomacy” with “Mother Russia” – and this is what you guys have to show for after 30 years of lies and theft???? At least have some self-respect instead of running under Putin’s skirt at every opportunity with a comical “explanation” of why Armenia got screwed yet again, as has been the case for the past 100 years at the hands of “Mother Russia”. Sad. Really sad. And this delusional incompetent self-serving attitude has cost the people of Artsakh and our nation dearly.

    • Russia sat back and watched as the Turks and Azeris murdered and stole more land. It can care less about Armenia or Armenians. Russia cant be trusted. Its actions are purely self serving. So who’s fault is that? All of ours for not being united as one. For tolerating complete incompetence and or corrupt leadership.

  11. Armenia’s security is gone. any more proof that the useless unqualified, impotent, and i say traitor, clueless, loser Pashinyan needs to rid at all cost? he took a fairly potent army and flushed it with total incompetence. That is first and foremost. And if any one Armenian, or political faction says that we need to complain to some third party organization or country as a remedy to save us, im going to puke. Its up to us. that means ALL ARMENIANS ALL ACROSS THE WORLD. Armenia proper needs to stop ignoring the diaspora as a direct resource, other then begging for money of course, and include it in everything especially military indoctrination. What a loser Pashinyan is. Needs to be rid immediately. Cant trust anything he says. Remember when he said we were winning the Karabakh war? That the protection of Shushi was secure? It was all lies. Every bit of it.. Traitor..

  12. the previous Armenian leadership was not perfect but at least Artsakh was being maintained and the Armenian borders were not invaded. Pashinyan and his group are a disaster for Armenia and need to be removed as soon as possible.

  13. We have to rely on ourselves with the help of Diaspora.
    Since we can not afford buying financially modern military equipments. We have to develop modern time war technology: Cyberattack. Maybe if we can develop on a small scale nuclear arsenal just to protect our sovereignty.
    I would like to your opinion on my twnomproposal.

  14. At Sarkis,
    We have numerous Armenian billionaires around the world, I have counted at least 27 of them (google and you shall discover) . Their total fortune is over $ 60 billion dollars. If these Armenians pitched in a billion each, you will be amazed to see Armenia sitting proud with state-of-the-art modern weapons, and I am not including non-billionaire rich Armenians. But first, we have to get rid of Pashinyan ,that SEWER RAT.

  15. Now we know the reason Azeri forces suddenly jutted into Armenian territory: Pashinian had promised Aliev more concessions at the expense of Armenia. Recall Aliev’s words that if Armenia doesn’t give us our own road through Syunik, we will force them to do it. It was promised by Pashinian, now he’s being forced. This explains why military force isn’t being used to rebuff the Azeris. And no one knew. RISE UP people.

  16. What is going on here? Where is the Armenian army? Why is it not defending the borders and pushing out invaders?

    Has Armenia lost its will to defend itself?

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