Russia brokers ceasefire after Azerbaijan launches deadly attack on Armenia

Armenian military officials say an unknown number of servicemen have been killed in newly launched attacks by Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces on sovereign Armenian territory.

Armenia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) reports that Azeri forces began shelling Armenian positions along the eastern border on Tuesday afternoon. Armenian officials say a dozen soldiers were captured by Azeri forces, but have yet to confirm the number of casualties. The MoD has only confirmed the death of one contract soldier, Meruzhan Arturi Harutyunyan (born 1991).

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces had reacted to Armenian attacks on Shushi, Lachin and Kelbajar. The MoD of Azerbaijan reported that two Azerbaijani soldiers have been wounded. 

Both sides reported the use of armored vehicles, artillery and mortars in the course of fighting.

While there has been no official confirmation of the exact location of the fighting, residents of Ishkhanasar, Noravan, Aghitu and Sisian in Syunik could hear the sounds of shooting, according to the Human Rights Ombudsman of Armenia. 

The MoD of Armenia reported that the fighting ceased after five hours by means of Russian mediation. 

The attacks follow several days of reported escalation of tensions. On November 15, PM Nikol Pashinyan confirmed that Azerbaijani troops had invaded Armenia along an undisclosed part of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. The PM also announced on Monday that he had relieved Arshak Karapetyan from the post of Minister of Defense and replaced him with his former deputy Suren Papikyan after analyzing Azerbaijan’s incursion over the weekend.

According to a statement released by the Security Council, units of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces accompanied by armored vehicles had attacked and surrounded four combat positions of the Armenian army along the eastern border at 1:00PM local time on Sunday. Azerbaijani forces pulled back following negotiations. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan (MoFA) denied that Azerbaijani soldiers had breached the border, stating that “Azerbaijani servicemen fulfill their duties in the sovereign territories of our country.” 

Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan appealed to Russia to protect its territorial integrity. “Since there’s been an attack on sovereign territory of Armenia, we are applying to Russia with a call to defend Armenia’s territorial integrity within the framework of the existing treaty between Armenia and Russia of 1997 and within the framework of the logic of implementing mutual obligations as part of the treaty,” he said on Public Television on Tuesday afternoon. He also initiated the formal process to apply for Russian assistance. 

During phone calls with Papikyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Zakir Gasanov, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu called on “both sides to stop actions provoking escalation of the situation.” 

Armenian Ambassador to Moscow Vardan Toghanyan told Russian TASS news agency that “consultations are underway via military, diplomatic and other channels” between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

During an extraordinary session of the Security Council on Tuesday evening, Pashinyan called on the international community to condemn continued violations of the territorial integrity of Armenia by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, which have occupied 41 square kilometers of Armenian territory since May. 

“There is no border dispute. There is an act of aggression against Armenia’s sovereign territory,” he said.  “If the problem was a border dispute, Azerbaijan would have long ago accepted our offer to withdraw its soldiers from the Soviet Armenia-Azerbaijan border, deploy international observers and start border demarcation and delimitation.”  

The MoFA of Armenia released a statement calling on Russia, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the OSCE Minsk Group to demand the “unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Azerbaijani armed forces from the territory of the Republic of Armenia.” The Foreign Ministry emphasized that Armenia has “all the rights to repel the use of force against its territorial integrity and sovereignty by all means,” under the UN Charter. 

The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group also released a statement calling on “the sides to take concrete steps to deescalate the situation immediately.” Michel also issued a “call for urgent de-escalation and full ceasefire” on Twitter, writing that the “EU is committed to work with partners to overcome tensions for a prosperous and stable South Caucasus.” 

The Committee of Freedom Fighters of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) has expressed its readiness to “stand by the Armenian soldier,” issuing a call to volunteers who fought in their battalions in the 2020 Artsakh War to prepare for mobilization at any moment. 

The Armenia Alliance, a political coalition including the ARF, said that the resolution to the current crisis is the removal of the present leadership, in a statement blaming Pashinyan’s administration for bringing “casualties, territorial losses, division, chaos.”

“Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation should be followed by the consolidation of all capable forces, the formation of a new government and the provision of a policy for solving foreign and domestic problems,” the statement reads.  

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.

9 Comments

  1. Dear Soviet Educated Magical Hayastantsis,

    Don’t worry about a thing!!

    Your fearless leader, the Manlet Clown you voted for, has promised that the Mother Russia exclave called “Erivan” will stay intact!! Even now, your Prime Minister is working on an important program called “Hakhteluenk 2.0” for the upcoming “Norits Kapitulatzia”. As a bonus, that should teach that silly Dashnak Diaspora a good lesson!!

  2. This weak pathetic coward Nikol must be removed, our nation has lost so much in past 3 years, all under his weak and vengeful rule. He was an average reporter and he proven himself to be a utter complete failure as our leader, giving in to every demand of the turks

  3. As if no one saw this coming. Let me guess, the international community needs to do something? Please. Turks are ultra opportunists. They saw a great opportunity when this incompetent loser traitor came to power pretending. What really happened to the Armenian Army? Really, what happened to it? He absolutely destroyed it by his constant reshuffling. Almost seems purposeful to me. No one can be this stupid can they? Also Turkey today made clear of its unwavering support of Azerbaijan. Our #1 ally Russia, on the other hand, made no such statements. It again froze the situation ,for now, enjoying the fruits of this conflict at Armenia’s expense. Its clear to see this isn’t over by a long shot. More Armenian deaths and land loss to come. When is Armenia going to reach out to the diaspora for its direct support both in manpower, resources, funding, political activism as one potent army all working for one cause? Oh yeah its not ever going to do that but instead will cry to the international community who can care less. It starts by this moron stepping down and then being replaced by a competent non thief who is interested in uniting ALL OF US and securing Armenia’s territorial integrity. Armen Sarkisyan may just be that man..

    • Thanks Joe, I couldn’t have said it better. II agree that President Armen Sarkisyan is the right man for the job. In the first place, Armen Sarkisyan speaks English fluently, and very well, while Nikol Pashinyan stumbles over the words, when he uses the English language. In regards to MP Pashinyan, he simply blundered, made stupid decisions, repeatedly, and for a very long time; furthermore, Pashinyan is now tainted and discredited as a defeated leader, his credibility now bankrupt. His heart is in the right place, but what good does that do when everything Pashinyan touches comes to ruin. So yes, obviously Armenia would’ve been blessed and well served to see Pashinyan deposed and gone; unfortunately, he remains in power.

  4. peace peace and again peace,but armenians is a looser,must give a strong blow ,indifferent to the consequences,financial or anything else

  5. Isn’t it funny how Armenians constantly badmouth Russia/Russians in peacetime, and then beg for Russian help in wartime? Isn’t it funny how even when Armenia is defeated and defenseless in front of the enemy, Armenians still try to act tough and make demands?

    But fret not, Armenia is NOT being invaded. What’s going on is simply part of the process to convince the Armenian side to delineate and demarcate the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azeri side is basically saying, if you do not recognize our internationally recognized borders we will not recognize yours. It’s a pressure tactic to bring Armenians to the negotiations table and finally establish an official border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This is something that the entire international community, including Russia, wants Armenia to do. Nevertheless, I reiterate: There will not be an invasion of Armenia as such a thing will trigger a world war.

    In any case, this is a situation we got ourselves into with our political incompetence and shortsightedness.

    Had we done way with our Western fetish and “complimentary politics” and fully embraced the Russian Bear, at least starting in the summer of 2008, we would not be where we are today. Had we invited Russian troops into Artsakh after 1994, we would not be where we are today. Not only did we not concentrate our lobbying efforts in Moscow, by pursuing “complimentary politics” and flooding Armenia with Western activists and NGOs, we did everything possible to alienate Russia. And our crowning achievement in this regard was putting into power a Western-financed, pro-Turkish regime in 2018. And here we are.

    And we still have dubious characters calling on Armenia to abandon Russia.

    No more feeling bad. No more shedding tears. No more providing help. Armenians need to suffer the consequences of their arrogance, jealousy, tribalism, shortsightedness, irrationality, political illiteracy, Russophobia, Western fetish, “democratic” choice and last but not least abandoning Artsakh. After the spring of 2018 – after June 20, 2021 in particular – we Armenians deserve everything coming to us.

    The fundamental problem with Armenia is its “democratically” elected leader, who is a Western-financed, pro-Turkish degenerate but one that still enjoys great popularity throughout Armenian society. Just couple of days before the latest fighting, the people’s choice sacked the acting defense minister and replaced him with one of his lemmings, someone with NO MILITARY EXPERIENCE. This begs the question: Was Nikol expecting this latest round of fighting? Moreover, Nikol once again did NOT mobilize the nation’s armed forces in face of Baku’s aggression, and instead called on Russia to intervene militarily knowing full well that the fighting on the border does not warrant a military intervention by Moscow? Was this just another attempt at blackmailing Russia? And the final, million dollar question: Why hasn’t there been a popular uprising against Nikol’s incompetent and destructive regime?

    Armenians are the main authors of the historic tragedy we have been witnessing.

    Just like how anti-Russian Elchibey led Azerbaijan to defeat in 1991, anti-Russian Saakashvili led Georgia to defeat in 2008 and the anti-Russian Ukrainian Maidan led Ukraine to defeat in 2014, Nikol and his Western/Turkish financed regime led Armenia to defeat in 2020. Amazingly, Armenians reelected Nikol in 2021. It is therefore no surprise that Russians have very little respect for Armenians these days, and even less for Nikol and his team. What Russians actually care about is strategic Armenia and their presence inside Armenia. This latest round of fighting on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan will serve to speed-up the border delineation/demarcation process (which Armenia desperately needs today) and it will increase Russia’s political and military role inside Armenia. Therefore, it’s a win-win for Moscow. There is a lot of political maneuvering going on between Russians, Azeris and Turks. And Armenia – a failed state run by Western-financed, pro-Turkish imbeciles – is simply caught in the middle.

    The cost of political illiteracy is high, and we have been paying it. It’s no one’s fault but ours. Also, allow me to remind the reader that there are no free lunches in politics. If we are incapable of nation-building and self-defense – in a complicated and violent place like the south Caucasus of all places – we don’t deserve independence. The quicker we therefore give the house keys to Ivan and Natasha (i.e. merge with Russia), the better it will be for Armenia in the long term. The last 30 years proved toxic. We turned a highly developed country into third world wasteland. The only things that developed during the last 30 years were Western financed NGOs, restaurants, casinos and strip clubs.

    Frankly, I no longer care about the plight of Armenians as much of the plight we Armenians suffer are of our making. What I remain concerned about and interested in preserving is Armenia…

  6. One more thing: Where is the accounting for the reasons Armenia lost the war? Cant blame the past thieves in charge that held territory for decades and whose armies were considered some of toughest in the Caucus. That all ended when the loser traitor of all Armenians was installed. Why was the Armenian Army NOT FULLY utilized in the last war? Who gave those orders? HE did. This man is a danger to Armenia and its well being. He cedes historical lands, as if its his to give away, and then blames everyone else. His control needs to be terminated AT ALL COST! Its clear he has artier motives. Hes a pretender. He is a Traitor! WAKE UP!

  7. Why are Armenians complaining that no one came to Armenia’s help? Armenia’s only ally, Russia, did come to Armenia’s aid. That said, it’s the Armenian government that needs to first and foremost come to Armenia’s help. Nevertheless, Russia is the only nation on earth helping Armenia and it is doing so despite the Western/Turkish funded professional Russophobes that are in power in Yerevan today. Maybe this is news for you but the latest round of fighting stopped when Moscow rushed units from its 102nd Base in Armenia to where the fighting occurred. Nikol’s government on the other hand did not even mobilize Armenia’s armed forced when the fighting began. There are credible reports that his officials even ordered Armenian troops to unconditionally release several Azeri soldiers they had captured during the fighting – even though scores of Armenians are thought to have been taken prisoner by Azeris. Moreover, a day before the fighting started, Nikol’s government dismissed the acting defense minister and replaced him with a close political ally with no military experience. In any case, right now there are Russian troops risking their lives holding the line between Armenians and Azeris. And you are still complaining? Would any of you here preferred it if Russians did not stop the fighting? Will you finally understand that Nikol’s regime is the main problem Armenia is facing? Is what Moscow doing for Armenia not enough for your tastes? Besides, what exactly do you want Russians to do, go to war against Baku and Ankara – and do so for a Western funded government that is quite openly in bed with Baku and Ankara? Have any of you given any of this a thought?

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