Artsakh civilian killed by Azeri forces

Russian peacekeepers monitor road entering Stepanakert (Photo: Ministry of Defense of Russia)

An Armenian civilian was killed in Artsakh by Azerbaijani forces on the eve of the anniversary of the ceasefire agreement ending the 2020 Artsakh War.

The incident took place on November 8 near the Lachin-Stepanakert road connecting Artsakh and Armenia. Twenty-two year-old Martik Yeremyan was killed by Azerbaijani troops while repairing a water pipeline near the Azerbaijani-controlled city of Shushi. Gevorg Melkumyan, Gagik Ghazaryan and Armen Sargsyan were injured in the shooting. 

The government of Azerbaijan did not deny that an Armenian civilian was killed by Azerbaijani soldiers. Yet it blamed the Armenian side for provoking the shooting, because the utility workers were not accompanied by Russian peacekeepers. 

“Also, on this date, an event was held in Shusha with the participation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and state officials, and it is known that in such cases, enhanced security measures are taken in the area,” a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan reads

The US State Department condemned the killing in a statement posted on the Twitter page of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. 

“We condemn the violence that caused the death of an Armenian civilian. We urge Armenia and Azerbaijan to intensify their engagement including through the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to resolve all outstanding issues related to or resulting from the N-K conflict,” the statement reads

The US State Department also released a statement recognizing the one year anniversary of the ceasefire declaration between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The statement calls for the “return of all remaining detainees, a full accounting of missing persons, the voluntary return of displaced persons to their homes, comprehensive humanitarian demining of conflict-affected areas, and access by international humanitarian organizations to those in need.” 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said that the commitments recorded in the trilateral ceasefire agreement are “generally being implemented” in its own November 9 statement. “We will do our best to contribute to a normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and support peace initiatives aimed at expanding contacts at all levels on a wide range of issues related to ensuring stability, security and economic development in the South Caucasus,” the statement reads

A trilateral meeting between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia did not take place on November 9, despite conflicting information in the media.

Rumors have been circulating in Armenian and Russian news outlets of a trilateral meeting and agreement between Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for early November.

On October 23 Russian state-run RIA Novosti reported that Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia would sign a new agreement during the first 10 days of November, according to an anonymous source “familiar with the matter.” 

Armenian journalist and political analyst Tatul Hakobyan reported in Aliq media on October 22 that the leaders of the three countries would sign two new agreements on November 9, citing “reliable diplomatic sources.” 

The first agreement concerns the delimitation and demarcation of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. Under the terms of the agreement, Armenia and Azerbaijan would recognize each other’s territorial integrity, according to Soviet-era maps from the 1920s. 

The second agreement addresses the opening of regional transport and communication links. It would secure a route connecting Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic. 

A trilateral working group launched to oversee the creation of a transportation route connecting Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan through Armenia, as well as Armenia and Iran through Azerbaijan, holds regular meetings. The Armenian PM has repeatedly decried demands from President Aliyev for an Azerbaijani-controlled corridor passing through Syunik, the southernmost province of Armenia. During a visit to Yerevan on November 5, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk said that the roads will “remain under the jurisdiction of the countries through which they pass.” 

On November 7, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that a videoconference between Aliyev, Pashinyan and Putin is being planned for early November. However, later that day, PM Pashinyan said that “at this moment there is no agreement to hold a meeting on November 9” during an interview with Public TV. 

On November 8, Peskov told the press that while “work is underway to prepare for such a meeting,” there are presently “no clear agreements and understandings about when such a video conferencing can take place yet.” 

On November 9, the anticipated day of the trilateral meeting, Peskov confirmed that a videoconference between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia would not take place that day.

“As for communication between the three of us, if such an agreement is reached sometime, we will inform you. Currently, there are no specific understandings,” he said

The Armenia Alliance hosted a rally in Yerevan on November 8 to protest against possible territorial concessions arising from a new trilateral agreement. Thousands of supporters of the opposition parliamentary faction gathered in Freedom Square to hear speeches by heads of the Armenia Alliance, including former President Robert Kocharyan and Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) member of parliament Ishkhan Saghatelyan. 

Supporters of the Armenia Alliance gathered in Freedom Square on November 8 (Photo: Armenia Alliance)

The coalition announced the launch of a “national resistance” to oust PM Pashinyan and his administration, who they blame for Armenia’s defeat in the war. The resistance campaign, which could “last for a week or months,” aims to eliminate foreign threats, including the “Turkification of Armenia,” “eviction of Armenians from Artsakh” and “surrender of Syunik.”  

“Our presence in the National Assembly will serve to strengthen the resistance. As soon as conditions are ripe, we will move our struggle only to the streets and squares,” a statement by the Armenia Alliance reads. 

“We are going to fight. Rest assured that we will oust them through barricades or elections or in other ways. And I will be with standing with you, leading you on those barricades,” Kocharyan said

Former president Robert Kocharyan speaks at an Armenia Alliance rally in Yerevan on November 8 (Photo: Armenia Alliance)
Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian is a staff writer for the Armenian Weekly. Her writing has also been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hetq and the Daily Californian. She is pursuing master’s degrees in Journalism and Near Eastern Studies at New York University. A human rights journalist and feminist poet, Lillian's first poetry collection Journey to Tatev was released with Girls on Key Press in spring of 2021.

4 Comments

  1. Condemnation ISN’T ENOUGH. Its time to UNITE. Its time to rid the incompetent traitor pretending to be the PM whose only course is that hes ‘not the past thieves’. What aloser. Its also time to say NO to the past useless Karabakh thieves, who were self installed and did NOTHING but pretend, did nothing but plunder and promote emigration for purely self gain. Equally useless traitors in my eyes. Its time for competent leadership that promotes UNITY for all of us. Leadership that doesn’t steal and rob the nation’s wealth as policy. One that promotes the diaspora’s DIRECT INVOLVEMENT and AND UTILIZES DIASPORA RESOURCES to create a potent military, security, political and financial bonanza for Armenia, Karabakh and all Armenians. NOTHING LESS WILL WORK. Not the current, not the past.

  2. World-first Drone war took place by the world’s most aggressive rogue countries such as Russia, Turkey, Israel to demonstrate the power of their arsenal in the future of world order, victimized our brave soldiers who fought till the end is not forgivable.

    On Nov 9-th, the day Nicole who was supposed to sign an important traitorous insulting document in front of Tsar Putin, and his programmer Lavrov, who unleashed a professional killer and was sent from a “secret” location against four poor Armenian ground workers of Artsakh as a deadly reminder to Nicole.

    I am sure high-tech 24 hrs active Russian satellites around the world, especially surrounding little Artsakh, would have been part of recorded deadly killing activities, which have been deleted by Putin’s middle figure.

    The way I see Putin neutralizing all Armenian Western allies including Iran, one by one and I wonder how Armenia can get out of the Russian yoke.

    World Armenians should get ready for the 3-rd Artsakh war, otherwise, the Armenian Defense minister would have never gone for the first time to visit the Artsakh military outpost without Putin’s agreement.

  3. The Diaspora has its own problems of self centred politics by the parties involved and limitations of action dictated by the politics of the host country and our blind adherence to those pressures. Any change should come from within Armenia with the concent of the local population. Any Armenian wishing to help our homeland from Diaspora can do so by offering economic, technical and political support form outside. Any Armenian, in a position to do so, should emmigrate to Armenia and help from within. We need constructive criticism and not just mud slinging.

    • @ LAz The diaspora already does offer major economic and political support in their respective countries. The diaspora’s main and only concern is the total well being of Armenia and Artsakh. That is a fact. The diaspora is Armenia’s ONLY true brethren. Its not Russia. Its not Iran. Its not any other country. Yet for some reason, Armenia completely ignores the diaspora with its massive resources. And even worse, views the diaspora as a threat. Why is that? Lets not forget that the diaspora was formed as either a remnant of the genocide or the need to escape to a better life abroad, brought on by the greed, plunder and self enrichment of past treasonous Armenian rulers. Unfortunately, the idea of now moving back for most, is not realistic. What is realistic is having ONE unified, world wide organization working together, with representatives in Armenia, working DIRECTLY, hand in hand, WITH Armenia’s ruling government, coordinating a massive world wide effort to provide for Armenia’s current and future needs by strengthen Armenia’s economic, political, military and technological abilities. The diaspora can do just that. Armenia, with a population of 3 million, currently has 17 different political parties which is absurd. This tribal mentality has been OUR collective disaster and needs to end. The answer is TOTAL UNITY. No mud slinging here. One Armenia, Artsakh and diaspora working as one IS THE ONLY ANSWER.. Further, why not offer and encourage diaspora youth the ability to come to Armenia and train in the Armenian, Artsakh army? Israel does just that. They oblige their diaspora a sort of mandatory military duty by creating a world wide army of sorts, focused only on the betterment of Israel. Why is Armenia proper not open to this idea? Diaspora army units would A. Bring the youth in. B. Would create a massively trained ready army in case of another war, (which BTW saw a horribly mismanaged war costing 4500 Armenian lives, losing historical lands and the real possibility of losing more. This is unacceptable to ALL ARMENIANS) C. Many would stay after service and repopulate Armenia/Artsakh. D. Imagine the motivation and support like nothing else when their kid are on the front lines? It would be massive. This idea is a win, win, win. Armenia needs to utilize the diaspora DIRECTLY in all phases NOW!.. The diaspora is and has been ready. Is Armenia proper ready? That is the question.

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