11:07 p.m.: Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aykhan Hajizada commented on the U.S. State Department statement on Artsakh:
“Azerbaijan took note of the press statement of the U.S. State Department on the situation in the region.
“First of all, against the backdrop of the proposals put forward by Azerbaijan to meet the needs of Armenian residents, including the proposal of intensification of usage of the Lachin road in parallel with the use of the Aghdam-Khankendi road, as well as passage of dozens of Armenian residents in both directions on a daily basis, allegations of ‘blockade’ in the region are unacceptable.
“Efforts of some representatives of Armenian residents through the Russian peacekeeping contingent deployed in the territory of Azerbaijan to block the trucks of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society, which are awaiting passage to Khankendi [Stepanakert] and blockage of the road prove that the allegations of ‘tense humanitarian situation’ in the region unfounded.
“Azerbaijan’s repeated invitations to Armenian residents to hold talks on the issues of reintegration of Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, the delivery of humanitarian cargo to the Karabakh region by various routes, the organization of meetings between the special representative of Azerbaijan and representatives of local Armenian residents, as well as backstepping of Armenia from the agreements on organization of the meetings in this direction through its illegally installed puppet regime are well-known to the U.S.
“Constant rejection of the proposals of Azerbaijan once again demonstrates that the situation is not at all humanitarian, but rather political in nature.
“Republic of Azerbaijan is committed to the establishment of peace, security and stability in the region on the basis of respect to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the states, as well as the reintegration of Armenian residents within the framework of the legislation of our country.”
9:35 p.m.: At a press conference after the Informal Foreign Affairs Council meeting, EU High Representative Josep Borrell stated:
“Then, we went to study other issues: the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh. We call on the Azeri authorities to guarantee the safety and freedom of movement along the Lachin corridor.”
9:03 a.m.: Artsakh’s Foreign Minister Sergey Ghazaryan met with the delegation headed by Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo on August 30. Ghazaryan expressed his “deep gratitude to the people of France, represented by Anne Hidalgo, for taking active steps to support the people of Artsakh, who have been under siege for almost nine months, and for consistently raising at various levels the issue of humanitarian crisis in Artsakh caused by Azerbaijan’s illegal actions.”
“It is noteworthy that French politicians with different, sometimes opposite political stances, have taken a united position on the issue of supporting the people of Artsakh,” he said.
8:02 p.m.: Elected officials and local authorities in France issued a joint declaration to the President of France to request France’s support for the Armenians of Artsakh:
“We, elected representatives of French territorial collectivities, in response to the call of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) and the authorities of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, have mobilized emergency humanitarian aid in support of the Armenians of Artsakh.
“Since December 12, 2022, Azerbaijan has unilaterally and in violation of international law blocked the Lachin corridor, which connects Artsakh to Armenia and the rest of the world. This situation has created a major humanitarian crisis, isolating a civilian population of 120,000 people, including 30,000 children, depriving them of vital access to essential goods, healthcare infrastructure, energy resources, and water. The Armenians of Artsakh have been living in a state of unprecedented food shortage and despair for over 9 months, constantly threatened by Azerbaijani forces stationed at the border. Thousands of innocent lives are at risk, with humanitarian organizations themselves prevented from intervening despite widespread famine and a looming healthcare crisis.
“In response to the call by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, we have decided to transport a humanitarian convoy coordinated by the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) to Armenia, consisting of non-perishable essential goods, especially infant formula, electric generators, solar panels, and water heaters.
“Comprising 10 trucks, this convoy meets the needs expressed by the authorities of the Republic of Artsakh to enable the civilian population to survive and prepare for the particularly harsh winter conditions in the region, as well as the growing threat of child malnutrition.
“Alerted by international calls since this summer, including the United Nations Security Council, which held an emergency meeting on the humanitarian situation on August 16, the time for action has come. According to a report by Luis Moreno Ocampo, former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the actions of Azerbaijan partially constitute genocide: famine, deprivation of vital resources, and obstruction of emergency humanitarian interventions.
“The report emphasizes that the genocidal threat of ethnic cleansing is imminent. We cannot remain indifferent to such a situation that recalls the darkest hours of Armenian history. Many voices around the world are sounding the alarm and urging Azerbaijan to immediately lift this blockade.
“The time for diplomatic statements is over. This is why around twenty elected officials, representing the entire French territory and coming from different political backgrounds, have chosen to accompany this humanitarian convoy to the border to demand the opening of the Lachin corridor. Given the Azerbaijani authorities’ refusal to allow the convoy to reach the trapped Armenian population of Artsakh, we call on the President of the Republic to take the initiative of a resolution at the United Nations Security Council, demanding the immediate and unconditional opening of the Lachin corridor to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and the free movement of goods and people.
“Beyond this concerning humanitarian situation, the peace process, as endorsed in the latest agreements of 2020, must be respected, as well as the recognition of the Armenians of Artsakh’s right to self-determination, which is a prerequisite for their survival, especially at a time when Azerbaijan is attempting to conceal its genocidal ambitions.
Signatories: Paris, Strasbourg, Marseille, Lyon, Île-de-France Region, Hauts-de-France Region, Pays de la Loire Region, Occitanie Region, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region.”
7:56 p.m.: The U.S. State Department issues a statement on the humanitarian situation in Artsakh:
“We are deeply concerned about deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Nagorno-Karabakh resulting from the continued blockage of food, medicine, and other goods essential to a dignified existence. The United States has worked continuously with the sides over the past several weeks to allow humanitarian assistance to reach the population of Nagorno-Karabakh. We reiterate our call to immediately re-open the Lachin corridor to humanitarian, commercial, and passenger traffic. Further, officials from Baku and representatives from Stepanakert should convene without delay to agree on the means of transporting critical provisions to the men, women, and children of Nagorno-Karabakh – including additional supply routes – and resume discussions on all outstanding issues. Basic humanitarian assistance should never be held hostage to political disagreements.”
4:19 p.m.: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has given Azerbaijan until September 7 to provide information on the three civilians abducted from the Lachin Corridor on August 28. Azerbaijan is obliged to inform the court about the whereabouts, conditions of detention, health condition, received medical care and steps taken towards the return of these persons.
4:17 p.m.: The ICRC has facilitated the transfer of 10 patients from Artsakh to Armenia.
3:38 p.m.: Artak Beglaryan, adviser to the Artsakh State Minister, has resigned. Beglaryan said he considers his resignation a political necessity in light of the resignation of the Artsakh State Minister and the pending resignation of the president.
2:02 p.m.: Azerbaijani presidential advisor Hikmet Hajiyev told journalists on the Aghdam-Stepanakert road:
“The opening of the Lachin road can be ensured in the next few days, that is, within certain conditional times, as the next component of this process [of opening of the Aghdam-Stepanakert road]. The factor of territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan is very important in the matter of opening the road to Lachin. At the same time, these should be ensured by fully complying with the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan and relevant laws related to border control and border security in this regard, as well as the rules of the customs regime.”
2:12 p.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry refutes the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s statement claiming that on August 31 at around 10:55 a.m. the Artsakh Defense Forces carried out fortification works in the Shushi region that allegedly were prevented by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.
12:48 p.m.: Azerbaijani presidential advisor Hikmet Hajiyev tweeted: “Rejecting wheat flour delivered by Azerbaijan Red Crescent because of its origin of production (Azerbaijan) is racism pursued by the illegal puppet regime. Azerbaijan can no longer tolerate the ‘gray’ uncontrolled zone on its soil. Illegal regime must be dissolved and disarmed.”
12:48 p.m.: Artsakh President Araryik Harutyunyan announces that he will resign tomorrow. Harutyunyan says he made the decision two days ago after recent discussions with political actors and the wider public.
Harutyunyan stated that he has dismissed State Minister Gurgen Nersisyan and replaced him with Samvel Shahramanyan, who was previously secretary of the Security Council.
In his resignation letter, Harutyunyan stated:
“Today’s unstable geopolitical situation in the world, regional events and forecasted developments, phenomena happening in and around Artsakh, the internal political and social atmosphere in Artsakh directly suggest that there is a need to change approaches and steps, to show flexibility. In order to achieve the above, it is necessary to change the main actors in Artsakh, starting with me.
“My biography and Azerbaijan’s attitude towards it artificially create a number of conditions that cause significant problems from the point of view of building our next steps and conducting a flexible policy. In addition, the defeat in the war and the subsequent difficulties in the country have significantly reduced the trust in the authorities, especially the President, which has seriously hindered the further course of proper governance. Therefore, the change must start with me. Tomorrow I will present my resignation from the post of President of the Republic of Artsakh to the people and the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh. I made this final decision two days ago, taking into account my interactions with all internal and external actors and the general public in recent weeks. This is a considered decision made solely by me based on the results of the analysis of the information I have.
“Dear compatriots, I will continue to live in Artsakh with the members of my family in Artsakh. This step of mine is also aimed at ensuring internal stability and strong public order in Artsakh. Against all odds, our internal stability and public solidarity is a prerequisite for all success, from which any deviation or attempt to deviate must be excluded.
“Peace, prosperity and eternity to the Artsakh world and the Armenian nation.”
12:27 p.m.: General-Major Kirill Kulakov has been appointed commander of the Russian peacekeeping force in Artsakh. He was previously commander of the Kazan Higher Tank Command School.
Kulakov is replacing Colonel General Aleksandr Lentsov, who was appointed on April 26.
12:03 p.m.: Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ani Badalyan responded to her Russian counterpart Maria Zakharova’s remarks on Artsakh [see August 30, 3:53 p.m.], saying it has “caused bewilderment and disappointment.”
“We are compelled to publicly remind of the well-known chronology of events and significant circumstances:
- The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has never been a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan; by its nature, it has always been and remains a question of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
- In August 2022, the Armenian side approved a Russian proposal for the settlement of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which postponed discussions on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh indefinitely. Azerbaijan rejected this proposal, simultaneously stating (on August 31 in Brussels) that it would not discuss anything related to Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. A few days later, on September 13, 2022 Azerbaijan resorted to military aggression against the sovereign territory of Armenia.
- After Azerbaijan’s refusal, the Russian side not only lacked consistency on this matter but also displayed complete indifference to the aggression against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. The official letter from the Armenian side offering support to the Republic of Armenia based on a bilateral contractual and legal framework remained unanswered. Moreover, the absence of a reaction to the attack on Armenia and the resulting inaction was justified by the Russian Federation with the pretext of the lack of demarcation of the interstate border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which is a false pretense. Thus, Russia aimed to either support knowingly false and highly dangerous claims or not.
- Similarly, Armenia’s similar request within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) also did not receive the appropriate reaction. Against this backdrop, on October 6, 2022, in Prague, Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed their commitment to the Alma-Ata Declaration, which was signed by former Soviet republics, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia, in 1991, recognizing each other’s territorial integrity with administrative borders that existed between the republics during the Soviet Union. Therefore, nothing new was decided in Prague: as of October 2022, the Alma-Ata Declaration had been in effect for about 31 years. The agreements reached in Prague did not introduce anything new into the text of the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020. The only novelty was that following the meeting in Prague, the EU decided to deploy an observation mission on the Armenian side of the interstate Armenian-Azerbaijani border to contribute to stability on the border.
- The Russian Federation repeatedly, including after the signing of the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020, recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan. The most recent and significant development was that through a document establishing strategic relations with Azerbaijan, Russia recognized the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
- On December 12, 2022, in the zone under the control of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in the Lachin corridor was blocked as a result of false protests organized by Azerbaijani authorities. By April 2023, the Azerbaijani side established an illegal checkpoint in the Lachin corridor in the presence of Russian peacekeepers. Despite these actions being a clear and blatant violation of the Trilateral Statement, no countermeasures were observed from the Russian Federation. Instead, on June 15, 2023, Russian peacekeepers effectively supported Azerbaijan’s attempt to place the Azerbaijani flag on sovereign Armenian territory, which goes beyond the scope of their mission and geographical area of responsibility. This was immediately followed by a complete blockade of the Lachin corridor, bringing the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh closer to a humanitarian catastrophe.
- In the face of such permissiveness in the presence of Russian peacekeepers, the Azerbaijani side at the illegal checkpoint in the Lachin corridor resorts to actions such as kidnapping residents of Nagorno-Karabakh. For instance, Vagif Khachatryan was abducted on July 29, and on August 28, three students were abducted.
- Unfortunately, such practices by the Russian peacekeeping contingent are not new: the violation of the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh on December 11, 2020, the illegal capture of the villages of Khtsaberd and Hin Tagher, and the capture and transfer of 60 Armenian servicemen to Baku all took place in the presence and with the acquiescence of representatives of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. At that time, there were no agreements as of October 6, 2022. The same applies to the events in the village of Parukh on March 24, 2022, and in Saribab on August 1, 2022, when Azerbaijan once again violated the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh. Shelling of individuals engaged in agricultural work by Azerbaijani armed forces, even in the presence of Russian peacekeepers, including an incident that resulted in the killing of a tractor driver from Martakert, intimidation of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh with searchlights and loudspeakers, again in the presence of Russian peacekeepers, and thousands of violations of the ceasefire regime by Azerbaijani armed forces, also in the presence of Russian peacekeepers, all fit into this pattern.
We advise the representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to refrain from maneuvering with the circumstances of the situation and thereby further complicating it, especially in the absence of actions by Russian peacekeepers to prevent the blockade of the Lachin corridor or to reopen it afterwards.
We also consider it necessary to reiterate that the Republic of Armenia remains committed to its obligation to establish stability in the region based on mutual recognition of territorial integrity and borders. At the same time, we believe it is absolutely essential to resume the functioning of the Lachin corridor in accordance with the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020, and the decisions of the International Court of Justice. Additionally, we call for the prevention of a humanitarian catastrophe in Nagorno-Karabakh and the resolution of all existing issues through dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert under international auspices.
11 a.m.: In his opening speech at a cabinet meeting, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made several remarks on the situation in Artsakh.
He said Azerbaijan continues its policy of subjecting the Armenians of Artsakh to genocide through starvation in the presence of Russian peacekeepers.
“The main goal of their policy is to get rid of Armenians from the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. As I said previously, one of the scenarios of developing this monstrous plan is the following: Azerbaijan plans to open the Lachin Corridor only in one direction at the most severe phase of the humanitarian crisis, to only allow people to leave Nagorno-Karabakh and not return. This policy of genocide and dispossession is taking place in the 21st century, before the eyes of the international community,” he stated.
He added that the situation could be resolved through Baku-Stepanakert dialogue under an international mechanism.
10:51 a.m.: The French Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Anne Bouillon was summoned to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, which protested the sending of vehicles to the Lachin Corridor, accompanied by the leaders of several French cities, including the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and those persons making “provocative statements against Azerbaijan.”
Azerbaijan “demanded France to put an end to the actions that are directed against Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity protected by international law, and that endanger the fragile normalization process promoted by the active efforts of international actors in the region.”
10:45 a.m.: In press briefing at an informal gathering of EU foreign ministers in Toledo, Spain, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made the following remarks on Artsakh:
“The third topic I would like to briefly address is the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, which my French colleagues and I have also added to the agenda. The situation for the people there is catastrophic—supermarkets without food, pregnant women who urgently need medication that they cannot obtain. Explicit aid is only sporadically available. Therefore, our urgent appeal is directed to Azerbaijan and Russia as well: the people in Nagorno-Karabakh must finally receive what they need to survive. The Lachin corridor must be open for humanitarian assistance, and we will discuss this today. At the same time, we have also been in contact with our American friends and partners for days, working through numerous conversations to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
10:04 a.m.: Azerbaijani presidential advisor Hikmet Hajiyev escorted diplomatic corps and an international group of journalists to the “entrance of Agdam-Askaran [Askeran]-Khankandi [Stepanakert] road” to “see the functionality of the road and two trucks of food cargo consisting of flour delivered by the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan.”
3:04 a.m.: Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Yuri Kim met with Armenian Ambassador to the U.S. Lilit Makunts.
“Reinforced our countries’ shared commitment to resolve the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and advance the U.S.-Armenian bilateral relationship,” the State Department said.
6:21 p.m.: Michael Roth, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag, tweets: “Since mid-June, Azerbaijan has been blocking all humanitarian deliveries to Nagorno-Karabakh through the Lachin Corridor. A humanitarian catastrophe and ethnic cleansing are looming. Azerbaijan is jeopardizing the fragile Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process and the security in the South Caucasus. The EU and Germany must not remain silent on this:
- Azerbaijan must immediately lift the blockade.
- We need a fact-finding mission by the Council of Europe in Nagorno-Karabakh.
- The EU Monitoring Mission in Armenia (EUMA) should be strengthened and extended onto Azerbaijani territory.”
4:35 p.m.: Nathalie Loiseau, President of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defense, tweets: “In Nagorno-Karabakh, the humanitarian catastrophe is upon us. It is time to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan.”
3:53 p.m.: In a press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova made remarks on the situation in Artsakh. She said the current situation in the Lachin Corridor is a “consequence of Armenia’s recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan’s territory” in October 2022.
“We consider placing responsibility in this context, on the Russian peacekeeping contingent as inappropriate, incorrect, and unjustified. We see the task of the contingent as providing all possible assistance on the ground in ensuring the rights and security of the Karabakh Armenians in the new conditions that have emerged as a result of Yerevan’s recognition and the recognition by the Armenian authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh belonging to Azerbaijan,” Zakharova said.
3:45 p.m.: In a press conference in Syunik, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo called on French President Emmanuel Macron to use France’s permanent membership at the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution to respect the rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. “What is happening today in Karabakh is like genocide,” she said.
2:49 p.m.: Speaker of Artsakh’s Parliament Davit Ishkhanyan, during a press conference said that Artsakh authorities have an “unambiguous decision” to keep the Aghdam-Stepanakert road closed and not accept the Azerbaijani “humanitarian aid.” He said that the Artsakh police and Russian peacekeepers have outposts on the road.
He dismissed the Azerbaijani government’s decision to send trucks to the road as a “provocation” aimed at misleading the world that the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh is its domestic issue.
2:44 p.m.: Armenian authorities have set up a humanitarian headquarters near Kornidzor, close to the entrance of the Lachin Corridor as a venue for foreign journalists and dignitaries.
1:34 p.m.: Armenia has submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the protection of the rights of three civilians abducted from the Lachin Corridor on [see August 28, 2:20 p.m. and 5:14 p.m.] with the request to apply an interim measure against Azerbaijan.
1:18 p.m.: Canadian Senator Leo Housakos tweeted: “Over 120,000 ethnic Armenians are trapped in desperate circumstances by Azerbaijani dictator Ilham Aliyev whilst the West twiddles its thumbs and gives him a wink. This is shameful!”
11:28 a.m.: Azerbaijani media reports that Russian peacekeepers have installed barbed wire and traffic spikes near their outpost on the Aghdam-Stepanakert road to prevent the entry of Azerbaijani “humanitarian aid” to Artsakh.
11:10 a.m.: Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry thanks the Mayor of Paris: “Our heartfelt gratitude to Paris and the various regions of France for their steadfast support of Artsakh and its people. Initiative led by Anne Hidalgo and other elected officials holds the promise of uniting the international community in a strong solidarity for Artsakh.”
10:33 a.m.: Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan met with Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic in Slovenia. The sides discussed the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh due to the blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the harsh conditions and human rights violations of the population, and the urgency of overcoming the situation. Mirzoyan welcomed Mijatovic’s statements on Artsakh and emphasized the implementation of the Commissioner’s mandate and possible steps within the framework of the Council of Europe toolkit.
10:06 a.m.: Protesters in Artsakh continue to block the Aghdam-Stepanakert road to prevent the entry of “humanitarian aid” from Azerbaijan.
9:49 a.m.: Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo tweeted: “In Armenia, with Parisian officials and officials from other local authorities. For the past nine months, 120,000 Armenians from Artsakh, including 30,000 children, have been isolated, starved, deprived of everything. Faced with this humanitarian disaster, we are providing them with emergency assistance. Time is running out.”
9:32 a.m.: A French humanitarian convoy for Artsakh is heading to the Armenian village of Kornidzor near the entrance of the Lachin Corridor. Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo is personally leading the convoy, which consists of ten trucks and started the trip from downtown Yerevan. The humanitarian aid was sent by Paris, and the French regions of Île-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Hauts-de-France, Occitania and Pays de la Loire. Previously sent Armenian and French aid convoys have been blocked by Azerbaijan.
10:08 p.m.: French President Emmanuel Macron and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev spoke on the phone to discuss the situation in the region. Aliyev’s office said the issue of the “opening of the Aghdam-Khankendi [Stepanakert] and Lachin-Khankendi [Stepanakert] roads were discussed.”
The Azerbaijani press release reads:
“The head of state said that Armenia and the puppet regime, which it created and supports in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, are deliberately creating artificial obstacles for the use of the Aghdam-Khankendi road, and are exploiting this for political manipulation.
“The President of Azerbaijan noted that Armenia and the puppet regime refused the initial agreement reached on the transportation of goods via the Aghdam-Khankendi road through the mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Armenian leadership also brought goods, which it claimed were for humanitarian purposes, in the direction of the state border without the Azerbaijani side’s agreement, and the purpose here is political speculation.
“The head of state underlined that Azerbaijan invited representatives of the Armenian population of Karabakh to the capital Baku and other cities of Azerbaijan to discuss reintegration issues, but they refused and purposefully made allegations about the tense humanitarian situation. President Ilham Aliyev noted that following the opening of the Aghdam-Khankendi road, the Lachin-Khankendi road can be used by observing the customs and border regime rules of Azerbaijan.
“President Ilham Aliyev also pointed out that a car convoy loaded with food cargo has today left to that area via the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society.
“President Emmanuel Macron said that France is ready to contribute to the stabilization of the situation and the elimination of the current tension, and proposed to continue contacts between the relevant authorities of France and Azerbaijan.”
9:53 p.m.: Stepanakert-based photojournalist David Ghahramanyan reports that Hamlet Apresyan, head of the Askeran region, met with the Russian peacekeepers, who assured him that they will not allow Azerbaijanis to proceed on the Aghdam-Stepanakert road.
Ghahramanyan had earlier reported that hundreds of local residents had blocked the Aghdam-Stepanakert road to prevent the possible entry of Azerbaijani “humanitarian aid” to Artsakh.
9:40 p.m.: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has rejected Armenia’s request to apply a new temporary interim measure against Azerbaijan in the case of Vagif Khachatryan, who was abducted by Azerbaijan on July 29 while being transferred by the ICRC to Armenia.
“At the same time, the Court noted in its decision that the decision to apply an interim measure applied on September 29, 2020 and extended on November 3, by virtue of which Azerbaijan undertakes to fulfill its convention obligations, remains in force. The European Court has also obliged to inform Azerbaijan about the general condition of Vagif Khachatryan and the ongoing criminal proceedings,” Armenia’s representative on international legal issues stated.
8 p.m.: In their daily bulletin, Russian peacekeepers report a ceasefire violation by the Azerbaijani side in the Shushi region.
7:31 p.m.: Azerbaijan’s Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) Sabina Aliyeva visited the three Armenian young men who were abducted and apprehended at the Lachin checkpoint (Alen Sargsyan, Vahe Hovsepyan and Levon Grigoryan).
7:29 p.m.: Azerbaijani media reports that representatives of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society are setting up tents on the Aghdam-Stepanakert road, near the outpost of the Russian peacekeepers. “At the initial stage, four tents will be installed, which will accommodate 20 people,” Trend.az says.
Jeyhun Mirzayev, general secretary of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society, said that discussions with the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent are ongoing to “create conditions for the delivery of the humanitarian cargo” to Stepanakert.
7:19 p.m.: Due to shortage of wheat, only one loaf of bread will be sold to each family in the coming two days in Stepanakert.
6:15 p.m.: A meeting was convened at Artsakh’s parliament on President Arayik Harutyunyan’s initiative, which was attended by parliamentarians, cabinet members, former presidents Arkadi Ghukasyan and Bako Sahakyan, leaders of political parties, and representatives of civil society. The main topic of discussion was the blockade of the Lachin Corridor and the situation in Artsakh.
5:16 p.m.: At a panel discussion on the sidelines of the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan made the following remarks on Artsakh:
“As we are speaking, at this very moment, there are 120,000 people who are under real medieval siege due to the blockade of the Lachin corridor which was established to ensure the link between the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and to ensure free movement for people. This is the only lifeline, the only road that could connect this region to the outer world. It’s been already 8 months that Azerbaijan has blocked this Lachin corridor and since June 15th, it has completely closed the corridor, and now no food, no medicine, no fuel, nothing passes through this corridor to Nagorno-Karabakh.
“So, once again to make sure that you really understand the situation: approximately 2,000 pregnant women, 30,000 children, 20,000 elderly, people with diseases are left without food, medicine and fuel. Azerbaijan has already cut gas and electricity supply to this region. And there are numerous reactions to this situation by the international organizations, individuals, independent experts, we have the statements of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, we have statements by the UN special experts, Special Rapporteurs, we have statements of reputable organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and many others. We have voices of independent experts such as the former Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court, we have the Council of Europe. There are so many institutions, so many reputable organizations, bodies, individuals, who stated very clearly that Azerbaijan blocked the Lachin corridor, and, as a result, we have a humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh and the risk of having a humanitarian catastrophe there.
“So what’s next? Nothing. We have two Orders of the International Court of Justice, the highest legal body. We all united as nations and we created the United Nations, and within it or in parallel to it we created this highest legal body, International Court of Justice, and this Court issued two Orders, according to which Azerbaijan should ensure access through this corridor and what happened? Nothing.”
3:11 p.m.: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Pashinyan’s office said he emphasized the day-by-day deepening of the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of the illegal blocking of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan and stressed the need to take steps to overcome and solve it. They emphasized the importance of consistent efforts to ensure stability and peace in the region.
12:45 p.m.: Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry welcomes Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic’s initiative [see August 28, 2:09 p.m.] and “appreciate[s] her efforts aimed at restoration of free movement along the Lachin Corridor. Artsakh stands ready to host Dunja Mijatovic and engage with all international actors to find dignified settlement to the humanitarian crisis.”
12:17 p.m.: In an address to French ambassadors, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna made the following remarks on Artsakh:
“We are mobilizing ourselves to facilitate the emergence of conditions for a just and lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, enabling a demarcation of borders between the two countries and offering the populations of Nagorno-Karabakh the possibility to live there, respecting their rights, culture, and history. The suffocation strategy aimed at provoking a massive exodus of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh is illegal, as established by the ICJ; it is also immoral.”
11:37 a.m.: Artsakh’s presidential spokesperson Lusine Avanesyan said Azerbaijan’s dispatch of “humanitarian aid” via Aghdam was not agreed with Artsakh and is thus aimed at deepening the existing problems, not solving them.
11:21 a.m.: Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan stated that he has been considering stepping down. He said that his possible resignation was discussed during his latest emergency meeting [see 10:52 a.m.].
“Tomorrow or the day after we will have another meeting in a narrow format, and in the event of a decision being made that I shall resign, I will go and serve in the outposts with the militia as early as this Sunday,” he said.
10:52 a.m.: After the abduction of three Artsakh students from the Lachin checkpoint [see August 28, 2:20 p.m. and 5:14 p.m.] a protest erupted in Stepanakert demanding an emergency meeting of parliament. It was attended by former presidents of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan and Arkadi Ghukasyan. After five hours of deliberation, Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan addressed the crowd gathered in front of the parliament, saying that he has good news regarding the three abducted students, which he will communicate to their parents.
Harutyunyan insisted that only the opening of the Lachin Corridor was being discussed. “We are alone. We have no friends and support[ers],” he told the crowd.
10:45 a.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry refutes Azerbaijani claims that its forces fired upon Azerbaijani outposts in the Martuni region at around 11:50 p.m. on August 28.
9:46 a.m.: Novruz Aslan, Chair of Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society and Azerbaijani MP, stated that a “humanitarian convoy will move along the Aghdam-Khankandi [Stepanakert] road” today. He said, initially, it is planned to send 40 tons of flour to Stepanakert.
Armenpress called it an “apparent effort [by Azerbaijan] to whitewash its lengthy record of human rights violations and disregard for international law” by sending “humanitarian aid” to the “victims of their own actions.”
2:38 a.m.: Senator Bob Menendez, Chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted: “Deeply troubled that Azerbaijan continues its outrageous behavior aimed at intimidating Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, withholding humanitarian access, and undermining the critical work of the ICRC. This is unacceptable.”
12:46 a.m.: Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Aykhan Hajizada responded to the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s statement:
“In order to continue its insidious policy, the Armenian side is once again spreading false and deceitful statements by distorting information about the situation in the region.
“Dissemination of allegations about kidnapping of three Armenian citizens, who were detained at the Lachin border checkpoint on August 28, following a criminal case opened in line with Azerbaijani legislation for incitement of ethnic and racial enmity, as well as insulting the national flag of Azerbaijan, along with questioning the legitimacy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia of the checkpoint established on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, demonstrates that Armenia does not respect its international obligations.
“With this, we would like to remind the Armenian side, which claims that Azerbaijan violated the decisions of the International Court of Justice, that there is a court’s decision to prevent acts of hatred on ethnic and racial grounds, and instead of preventing these acts, Armenia delivers statements against Azerbaijan, which counters such acts.
“Notwithstanding the secession of the criminal prosecution by Azerbaijan against the mentioned three persons based on the principle of humanism, and taking into account their age, and expressed regret sincerely admitting their actions, the fact that the Armenian side is trying to cover up the committed crimes and accusing Azerbaijan of ethnic cleansing indicates the true intention of this country.
“It is impossible to find more absurd idea than accusation against Azerbaijan in aggression by Armenia, which occupied the territories of Azerbaijan for nearly 30 years, expelled Azerbaijanis from these territories and from the territory of present-day Armenia, carried out ethnic cleansing, and currently does not fully withdraw its armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan, contrary to all its obligations, while encouraging separatism.
“We once again would like to remind the Armenian side that its policy of aggression promoted in the region will not have any practical results, and it would be more useful for Armenia to support Azerbaijan’s initiatives to establish peace.”
10 p.m.: Azatutyun cites the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan reporting that Alen Sargsyan, Levon Grigoryan and Vahe Hovsepyan [see 5:14 p.m.], arrested today at the Lachin checkpoint, will be subjected to ten-day administrative detention, after which they will be deported from Azerbaijan. Baku accuses them of publicly disrespecting the flag of Azerbaijan.
9:50 p.m.: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin tweets: “Azerbaijani President Aliyev must end this inhumane blockade of the Nagorno-Karabakh that has prevented the delivery of food and medical supplies and led to the troubling detention of Armenian students.”
9:16 p.m.: Armenia’s Foreign Ministry issues a statement on the abduction of persons transported from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia:
“Today, on August 28, at the illegal checkpoint in the Lachin corridor, residents of Nagorno-Karabakh Alen Sargsyan, Vahe Hovsepyan and Levon Grigoryan were abducted by Azerbaijan’s law enforcement agencies. The transportation was agreed in advance and was carried out accompanied by the Russian peacekeeping forces, which, in accordance with point 6 of the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020, were obliged to monitor the uninterrupted connection between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh through the Lachin corridor. These people were going to Armenia to continue their studies/education.
“Azerbaijan’s step, which follows the abduction of 68-year-old Vagif Khachatryan on July 29, who was being transported to Armenia for immediate medical assistance, accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross, is a gross violation of the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020, legally binding Orders of the UN International Court of Justice and open contempt for the unequivocal and targeted calls of the international community, including voiced by members of the UN Security Council.
“These incidents that took place under various false pretexts cause reasonable concerns that Azerbaijan is openly planning to subject the entire population of Nagorno-Karabakh to collective punishment, who during the 90s of the previous century and in 2020 faced the large-scale aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan and had to defend their right to peaceful life in their homeland.
“This policy of mass deprivation of all fundamental rights of the entire population of Nagorno-Karabakh regardless of age, gender and health status as well as starvation, blockade of the medical supplies, essential goods, gas and electricity, targeting civilians by snipers and terrorizing the entire population by abductions, blockade of the Lachin corridor shows the real intention of the Azerbaijani leadership by all means to avoid dialogue with Nagorno-Karabakh and instead continue its policy of ethnic cleansing. Instead of supporting the steps to establish peace and stability in the region, Azerbaijan has put all its efforts into failing them.
“Prevention of mass atrocities with the use of all available tools is the direct obligation of all actors who can have influence on the situation and, in general, of the civilized world.”
8:34 p.m.: At the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly and President of the European Council Charles Michel discussed, among other things, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
7:46 p.m.: President of the Artsakh Republic Arayik Harutyunyan invited a Security Council meeting regarding steps to be taken to find out the fate of the citizens of Artsakh abducted by the Azerbaijani side today and to return them to their homeland.
The situation in Artsakh, possible developments and what the authorities should do in order to deal with the deepening humanitarian disaster and to solve the security issues were also on the agenda.
6:20 p.m.: His Serene Highness Prince Michael of Liechtenstein, has expressed readiness to lead a humanitarian airlift to besieged Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and to be on board that flight to the region, bringing much-needed food and medication arranged by the Aznavour Foundation. This according to Ruben Vardanyan who notes that Impact Investing Solutions from Switzerland, “together with H.S.H. Prince Michael, other World leaders, current and former heads of state are also ready to lead necessary airlifts to Nagorno-Karabakh, where 120,000 people, including 30,000 children, are deprived of food and medication for more than 8 months already.”
5:14 p.m.: Artsakh’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s office reports that Alen Sargsyan was forcibly abducted to an “unknown direction” from the illegal checkpoint [see 2:20 p.m.]. Another two individuals, who were on the pre-agreed lists to be transferred to Armenia – Vahe Hovsepyan and Levon Grigoryan – have not crossed the checkpoint and it has not been possible to establish contact with them. All three (Sargsyan, Hovsepyan, and Grigoryan) are students in Armenian universities. Another five individuals, during the transfer, were taken to booths at the checkpoint for interrogation.
5:10 p.m.: Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry responds to French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks, criticizing his “biased views” that “undermine the peace process” and create the “wrong impression on the current situation in the region and unilaterally defending Armenia.”
“Once again, expression of opinion by the French President based on the allegations regarding the humanitarian situation in the region attests to the erroneous policy of this country,” Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aykhan Hajizada said.
“Expressions such as ‘Lachin humanitarian corridor’ by the French President, as well as coercive narrative is unacceptable, and is disrespectful for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan,” the statement added.
4:16 p.m.: Armenia’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s office states that “abduction by Azerbaijan of persons being transferred to Armenia through the mediation of international actors, including the Russian peacekeepers, is condemnable and unacceptable.”
“The Human Rights Defender of Armenia emphasizes once more that this situation underscores gross violations of human rights by the Azerbaijani authorities, taking into consideration that international legal guarantees and standards universally recognized in the modern civilized world regarding interference with fundamental human rights are not observed,” the office said.
3:07 p.m.: In a meeting with French ambassadors at the Élysée Palace for an annual speech on his priorities for the country’s foreign policy, French President Emmanuel Macron stated:
“I will have the opportunity to exchange views this week with Prime Minister Pashinyan and with President Ilham Aliyev. We will demand full respect for the humanitarian corridor of Lachin and we will once again take a diplomatic initiative in this direction on the international level to increase pressure.”
3:05 p.m.: Tigran Petrosyan, Chair of the Anti-Crisis Council under the Artsakh president, stated that besides having abducted the 22-year-old Alen Sargsyan, Azerbaijan is also “interrogating” another student from Artsakh.
3 p.m.: Artsakh’s Human Rights Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan told Tert.am that it is unknown how many Armenian youth Azerbaijan has apprehended.
Azerbaijani media reported that three Armenian men had been arrested at the Lachin checkpoint for disrespecting the Azerbaijani flag.
2:20 p.m.: Artsakh authorities report that Alen Sargsyan, a 22-year-old student, has been abducted by Azerbaijani forces while he was being transferred to Armenia by the Russian peacekeepers through the illegal checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor.
2:09 p.m.: Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, made the following statement:
“I remain seriously concerned about the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the human rights of its population following the blocking of the road running through the Lachin Corridor since December 2022. I reiterate the call I made at that time to restore free movement along that road.
“Despite my calls and those of numerous other international stakeholders, the humanitarian and human rights situation in the area has reportedly further deteriorated, affecting particularly the most vulnerable, due to the prolonged disruption in the movement of people and access to food supplies and urgent medical care. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is for the moment the only international humanitarian organization operating across the Lachin Corridor, indicated that the population was facing a lack of life-saving medication and essentials.
“The relevant stakeholders should immediately find a solution to avoid any further deterioration of the very dangerous situation the local population is facing and guarantee safe and free passage to those providing humanitarian assistance and those ensuring human rights protection. As indicated in my 2021 Memorandum, efforts should be made by Armenia and Azerbaijan to move forward on the path towards reconciliation and ensure lasting peace for all people.
“I confirm my commitment and readiness to engage with all the relevant interlocutors and to travel to Nagorno Karabakh to assist in overcoming the existing human rights challenges.”
1:41 p.m.: Artsakh police have apprehended two suspects, aged 40 and 42, who attacked the Presidential Residence in Stepanakert at around 3:05 a.m. Police said they were intoxicated and had fired shots in the direction of the building and on-duty security guards.
12:33 p.m.: Artsakh’s Health Ministry reports that the ICRC has facilitated the transfer of six patients from Artsakh to Armenia.
8 p.m.: In their daily bulletin, Russian peacekeepers report one ceasefire violation in the Shushi region.
7:17 p.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry refutes Azerbaijani claims that its forces were engaged in fortification works near Karvachar (Kelbajar) at around 12:30 p.m., which were allegedly stopped by Azerbaijani forces.
12:26 p.m.: The ICRC has facilitated the transfer of 10 patients from Artsakh to Armenia. Eight patients from Artsakh who have received treatment in Armenia are expected to return later today.
11:02 a.m.: Andrzej Kasprzyk, the personal representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, visited the Kornidzor border area, where for more than a month, vehicles loaded with humanitarian aid sent by the Armenian government to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh have been waiting to enter the Lachin Corridor.
Kasprzyk was dispatched to visit the “Lachin area” by OSCE Chairman-in-Office
Bujar Osmani on August 16 to report on the “current situation on the ground.” [see August 16, 2:13 p.m.]
Azerbaijani media reports that Kasprzyk planned to visit Azerbaijan along with Armenia, but Baku “did not see the need for his visit, considered it a waste of time and did not agree.”
1:53 a.m.: Armenia’s Mission to the UN reports that on August 23, the humanitarian situation in Artsakh was discussed at the UN in the context of the risks of atrocity crimes and the preventive mechanisms. Attended by delegations representing the UN Security Council Member States and stakeholders of multilateral humanitarian cooperation, the meeting featured presentation of the preliminary report by Professor of Human Rights Law Juan Mendez, who is former Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide.
Armenia’s Permanent Representative Mher Margaryan recalled that, at the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, which was convened at Armenia’s request on August 16, the majority of the Council’s member states reiterated the imperative of complying with the ICJ orders and ensuring free and unimpeded humanitarian access to Nagorno-Karabakh.
Mendez focused on the prevention duty of the international community and highlighted that the facts constitute sufficient reason to proffer an early warning to the international community that the population of Artsakh is at risk of suffering “serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group” as defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.
“The lack of compliance with a binding interim measure issued by the ICJ to protect a population at risk is at least as severe an early warning than refusal to cooperate with judicial investigations,” Professor Mendez concluded, pointing out to Azerbaijan’s defiance of the legally binding order of the International Court of Justice as an indication that necessitates the exercise of the UN’s early warning and prevention capacities.
The briefing was followed by a discussion, during which Professor Mendez and Ambassador Margaryan reflected on the questions and comments from the delegations.
9 p.m.: The University Network for Human Rights releases a report titled “The Tip of the Iceberg: Understanding Azerbaijan’s Blockade of the Lachin Corridor as Part of a Wider Genocidal Campaign against Ethnic Armenians”.
The report notes: “Today, the population of Nagorno-Karabakh, sequestered by Azerbaijan’s total prohibition on movement along the Lachin Corridor, may not even have the luxury of choosing escape. As the humanitarian crisis in the Lachin Corridor reaches a boiling point, the door is closing on the chance to prevent another genocide against ethnic Armenians.”
7:58 p.m.: After a phone call with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Wlachovsky tweeted: “Slovakia strongly supports EU efforts to avoid the worsening of humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan all work towards this goal.”
4:29 p.m.: Jean-Christophe Buisson wrote in Le Figaro that France is “preparing to submit a resolution to the UN Security Council to come to the aid of the 120,000 inhabitants of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh on the verge of starvation due to the blockade of Azerbaijan.”
2:59 p.m.: The Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC), a State-led network of states, civil society and academic institutions committed to preventing atrocities worldwide, issued a statement on the blockade of the Lachin Corridor and its humanitarian consequences for the population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“GAAMAC draws attention to the current dire humanitarian situation in the Nagorno Karabakh region. The Lachin corridor has been blocked since December 2022.
“The blocking is leading to a serious humanitarian crisis. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warns that it is unable to bring assistance to tens of thousands of people depending on the humanitarian aid that reaches them through these routes.
“The United Nations and other organizations involved in the situation, such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), have issued statements and press releases informing of developments in the region that deserve urgent attention.”
11 a.m.: In a cabinet meeting, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that Azerbaijan intends to re-open the Lachin Corridor only in one direction to allow outbound transit.
9:40 a.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry reports that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces violated the ceasefire in the Martuni region overnight using small arms. There are no casualties.
9:07 a.m.: Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry issued the following statement on the possibility of a Baku-Stepanakert meeting in Barda, Azerbaijan:
“We would like to stress that the Artsakh side has always acted in a peaceful way, sticking to the position of a comprehensive settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict through negotiations. At the same time, such negotiations should proceed within the framework of the international format agreed between the parties, which will…guarantee that they are held in accordance with the norms and principles of international law. The Artsakh side has repeatedly made proposals for meetings via mediators, but the Azerbaijani side has rejected them.
“We’d also like to note that any meeting in the territory of Azerbaijan, moreover, without the involvement of international mediators, is greatly risky, especially considering the fact of [the] kidnapping Vagif Khachatryan, who was under the mandate of the ICRC, in the presence of the Russian peacekeepers.”
8:59 p.m.: U.S. Representative Judy Chu tweeted: “What Azerbaijan is doing to the Armenian people in Artsakh is unconscionable.”
“I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Armenian Caucus to call for an end to the blockade and for the U.S. to halt all assistance to Azerbaijan until it is lifted,” she added.
8:40 p.m.: The HALO Trust, the only international NGO removing explosive hazards in Artsakh, issued a statement:
“The Lachin corridor, which provides the vital link between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia, has been under blockade since December 2022. The continued food shortages and lack of access to fuel and other essential supplies have created a dire humanitarian situation for the residents of Nagorno Karabakh, and significant challenges for our national staff on the program. The movement of provisions as well as humanitarian medical evacuations have halted.
“Despite these challenges, HALO has continued its life-saving work. With the rationing of fuel also suspended, our focus has shifted to tasks in the vicinity of Stepanakert to conserve this limited resource. We remain dedicated to deploying our clearance teams to eliminate the threat of deadly contamination in the region. Through our efforts, we continue to enhance the lives of families and children in Nagorno Karabakh, allowing them to live freely without fear, safely tend their gardens, and sustain themselves during times of scarcity.”
8 p.m.: The Russian peacekeepers reported four ceasefire violations in the Martuni and Shushi regions.
2:47 p.m.: Artsakh’s presidential spokesperson Lusine Avanesyan has denied media reports claiming that President Arayik Harutyunyan has decided to accept Azerbaijan’s proposal to use the Aghdam-Stepanakert road for commercial transit.
She said that Harutyunyan held meetings on August 22 and 23 with various politicians and public figures to discuss the humanitarian and security issues resulting from the Azerbaijani blockade, the Artsakh government’s upcoming actions and the proposals received from various mediators aimed at resolving the situation.
“No decision was made, and the discussions continue, and soon President Harutyunyan will personally present the information on the situation and the approaches of the authorities,” she added.
12:38 p.m.: In a phone call, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Jean Asselborn, his counterpart frօm Luxembourg, discussed the “worsening humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“Luxembourg calls on Azerbaijan to guarantee safety and freedom of movement along the Lachin Corridor, in line with Orders by the ICJ to reopen it,” Luxembourg’s Foreign Ministry tweeted.
10:46 p.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry refutes Azerbaijani claims that at around 7 p.m. the Artsakh Defense Forces carried out fortification works in the Askeran region that were allegedly stopped by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.
8 p.m.: Russian peacekeepers report two ceasefire violations in the Martuni and Shushi regions.
3:21 p.m.: In a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Belgium’s Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said her country supports the position of the European Union, according to which Azerbaijan should ensure the free movement of people and goods through the Lachin Corridor and implement the decision made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
3:20 p.m.: Bob Rae, the Canadian Ambassador to the UN, tweets on the blockade of the Lachin Corridor: “This blockade must be broken.”
1:08 p.m..: Artsakh’s Defense Army reports that at 12:30 p.m. Azerbaijani Armed Forces opened fire on a combine harvester working in the fields of the Sarushen community in the Askeran region.
12:49 p.m.: Artakh’s Defense Ministry refutes Azerbaijani claims that technical means were installed by the Artsakh Defense Forces to observe and control Azerbaijani positions and communication channels, and which were allegedly suppressed by Azerbaijani Armed Forces units on August 21.
12:12 p.m.: The ICRC has facilitated the transfer of seven patients from Artsakh to Armenia. Currently, 113 children and adults are receiving treatment in Stepanakert hospitals.
8:57 a.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Army reports that between 6-7 a.m. the Azerbaijani Armed Forces violated the ceasefire in the Martakert and Martuni regions by using small arms.
11:14 p.m.: Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aykhan Hajizada responded to his Armenian counterpart’s remarks about the UN Security Council meeting [see 7:06 p.m.] on the Azerbaijani MFA website:
“Recently, Armenia is taking many groundless steps with manipulations including, but not limited to, the UN Security Council, all the while having ignored the UNSC resolutions passed as a result of the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan for almost 30 years, and continuing the blatant violations of the norms and principles of international law following the 44-day war.
“However, after all these illogical steps failed and have not yielded any results whatsoever, Armenia tries to substantiate its failures with lies, various excuses and drawn-out groundless statements, as well as tries to justify its destructive actions.
“The Armenian Foreign Ministry must normalize relations with neighboring states on the basis of international law and refrain from disrupting behavior obstructing the peace efforts in the region, instead of creating false expectations in society and issuing statements full of deceit.”
11:01 p.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry refutes Azerbaijani claims that at 7:45 p.m. its forces “tried to improve their positions” in the Shushi region, which were allegedly prevented by Azerbaijani units.
“By spreading disinformation on a regular basis, the Azerbaijani MoD tries to justify the ceasefire violations by its own units and prepares an informational ground for further provocations,” Artsakh’s MoD said.
8 p.m.: Russian peacekeepers recorded a ceasefire violation in the Shushi region.
7:53 p.m.: In a phone call, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Portuguese counterpart João Cravinho discussed the worsening humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Following targeted statements by international partners, [I] emphasized the importance of taking clear steps to end blockade of the Lachin Corridor,” Mirzoyan tweeted.
7:06 p.m.: In response to media inquiries, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Ani Badalyan made several remarks regarding the UN Security Council meeting of August 16 [see 11 p.m.]. She said Armenia “highly appreciate[s] the principled positions voiced so far by our partners, international bodies” during UNSC meetings (including in December) and other international platforms.
On why no document was adopted, Badalyan said:
“Procedurally, the format of the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council is a discussion, it does not directly imply adoption of a document (resolution or statement). In addition, the 15 (permanent and non-permanent) members of the UN Security Council have the right to submit and initiate voting of draft resolutions of the UN Security Council. Not being a member of the UN Security Council, Armenia does not have such authority.
“The discussion in the format of the UN Security Council provides an important platform, an opportunity to focus the attention of the international community on the possible catastrophic consequences of the situation, to activate the Council’s efforts to address it and to foster their possible coordination and to outline the further steps.”
On whether it is the “end of the process”, she stated:
“By no means. This is an ongoing process. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia continues its activities in the UN and other platforms. Today, the international community, the members of the UN Security Council interested in real, lasting stability in the region must take clear steps, unite efforts in order to lead the developed understanding regarding the importance of reopening the Lachin corridor and the immediate resolution of the problem with effective use of existing mechanisms.”
2:44 p.m.: Russian peacekeepers have facilitated, for the first time since June 14, the transfer of civilians from Artsakh to Armenia. They include 41 citizens of Russia and Artsakh.
According to Artsakh authorities, the Russian citizens had been waiting for their transportation for a long time, while the citizens of Artsakh are students who have enrolled in universities in Armenia and abroad. There is also a “preliminary agreement” with the peacekeepers that the transfer of students and Russian citizens will continue in the coming days.
The Artsakh authorities note that there are further 333 people with medical conditions requiring urgent and planned intervention on the ICRC waiting list for their transfer to Armenia.
1:44 p.m.: Artsakh authorities refute Azerbaijani accusations that the Artsakh military has jammed the GPS system of a civilian aircraft flying from Fizuli to Baku.
“As noted previously, the aircraft flying in the abovementioned airway doesn’t cross the air borders of the Republic of Artsakh. By spreading such false statements Azerbaijan seeks to divert the international community’s attention from the daily deteriorating humanitarian disaster resulting from the illegal blockade of Lachin Corridor,” the Artsakh Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
1:20 p.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry reports that Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire in four directions (Martakert, Askeran, Martuni, and Shushi regions) by opening fire from small arms.
9:08 a.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Army reports that between 5:50 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., Azerbaijani Armed Forces violated the ceasefire in the regions of Martakert, Askeran, Martuni, and Shushi by using small arms. There are no casualties on the Armenian side.
7:11 p.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry refutes Azerbaijani claims that its forces were engaged in fortification works in the Kashatagh region which was supposedly stopped by Azerbaijan.
11:22 a.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry refutes Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s claims that it has stopped fortification works in the Askeran region.
7:31 p.m.: Aleksandr Lentsov, the commander of the Russian peacekeepers, told the relatives of Helen Dadayan [see 11:37 a.m.] that Russian peacekeepers will try to transfer her body if the ICRC is unable to do so. If they do not succeed, they will try to negotiate for her parents to attend her funeral.
6:27 p.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry refutes Azerbaijani claims that its forces have engaged in fortification works in the Askeran region around 4 p.m., which were halted by Azerbaijani intervention.
11:37 a.m.: Ani Badalyan, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, reports that Azerbaijan refuses to allow the repatriation through the ICRC of the body of Helen Dadayan, a 21-year-old resident of Artsakh who died in a car crash on August 14 in Armenia.
3:55 a.m.: The Socialist International issued a statement on the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh:
“The Socialist International is deeply concerned about the growing humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh. The continuous blockade of the Lachin corridor by Azerbaijan has caused an unbearable situation and humanitarian crisis for several months. The deprivation of food, medicine, gas, and electricity supply from Armenia is fast resulting to a situation of starvation and a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.
“The Azerbaijani policy towards closure of the Lachin corridor since 12 December 2022, the interception of the operation of the only high-voltage power line feeding Nagorno Karabakh from Armenia since 9 January 2023 and the interception of gas supply since 21 March 2023 and moreover the total blockade since 15 June of 2023 has disastrous impact on life conditions of the indigenous Armenian population of the Nagorno Karabakh.
“We note that since June 15, 2023 supplies of food, medicines, and other essential goods, previously carried out by the Russian peacekeeping forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross have been halted due to the blockade of the Lachin corridor by Azerbaijan. This continuous blockade violates the legally binding decisions regarding the Lachin corridor adopted by the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.
“The Socialist International is also extremely worried about the reports and alerts about the imminent threat of genocide of the population of Nagorno Karabakh, raised by international prominent experts and relevant institutions, such as Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention and Luis Moreno Ocampo, the first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
“The Socialist International urges the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan to open the Lachin corridor to ensure the transportation of people and goods from both directions immediately in accordance with its international obligations and legally binding decisions adopted by the international courts. We also urge our member parties from Armenia and Azerbaijan to work together to ensure a sustainable resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“We further call on the international community to expedite its efforts in calling on the Azerbaijani authorities to end the blockade of the Lachin Corridor.”
1:55 a.m.: The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention issues an Active Genocide Alert for Artsakh:
“The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention is distressed by the news of the death of K. Hovhannisyan, 40, who died of starvation on August 15, 2023, as a direct result of the Azerbaijani blockade of Artsakh, as evidenced by reports from both the coroner and the medical examiner of the Republic of Artsakh. The Artsakh blockade, which has been ongoing since the 12th of December, 2022, is the cause of increasing malnutrition, miscarriages, and medical complications related to people being unable to access proper food and medical care. Now, the blockade has begun to cause the direct death of Armenian citizens of Artsakh through starvation.
“This blockade is genocidal in its intent, which is to eliminate the Armenian population of Artsakh, either through mass displacement or mass starvation. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has himself said as much on several occasions, including in his statement on May 29th, 2023, when he threatened: “There will be no third invitation. Either they themselves will come to us humbly, or events will develop in a different direction. We have every opportunity to carry out any operation in that region. Therefore, the “parliament” must be dissolved, the element calling itself “president” must surrender, all “ministers,” “deputies,” and others must already leave their posts. Only in this case can we talk about any kind of amnesty.
“The Lemkin Institute wants to make clear that leaders such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, U.S. President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and all other leaders who have created the impunity with which President Aliyev now operates, are directly responsible for the death of this man, as well as any others who may die as a result of this blockade. They also may be complicit in the crime of genocide.
“The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention wants to once again make clear that any individual and/or state enabling Azerbaijan in the blockade of Artsakh, whether directly through foreign aid or indirectly by refusing to use all the diplomatic tools at their disposal, is complicit in this genocide of the 120,000 citizens of the Republic of Artsakh, and could be held responsible for complicity in a court of law. It is urgent that international leaders take immediate action against Azerbaijan to prevent further deaths in the Republic of Artsakh.”
6:52 p.m.: Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan held a meeting with the Command of the Defense Forces and “gave instructions aimed at ensuring the security of the civilian population of Artsakh amidst the challenges of a complete siege.”
6:18 p.m.: In a statement, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) states that it remains the only humanitarian organization operating across the Lachin corridor to respond to growing humanitarian needs. The latest deliveries of medical supplies occurred July 7, while the latest delivery of food occurred June 14.
“The ICRC is urging decision-makers to find a compromise and make it possible to resume urgently needed humanitarian deliveries,” the statement reads.
4:11 p.m.: Artak Beglaryan, advisor to Artsakh’s State Minister, reports that the fiber-optic cable has been repaired in the Lachin Corridor and the internet connection has been restored in Artsakh.
1:16 p.m.: Armenia’s Foreign Ministry issues the following statement on the UN Security Council meeting:
“The urgent meeting of the UN Security Council, convened on August 16 at the request of the Republic of Armenia, once again showed that, despite the false propaganda of Azerbaijan, the international partners are clearly aware of the fact of the dire humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and realize the importance of addressing it. During this second discussion in the format of the UN Security Council, the assessments and targeted appeals addressed to Azerbaijan, in essence, complemented the clear positions expressed so far by various governments, international structures, and human rights organizations.
“Noteworthy were the statements of the members of the UN Security Council and the EU representative reiterating that Azerbaijan is obliged to lift the illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor in accordance with the Trilateral statement of November 9, 2020, and the legally binding Orders of the UN International Court of Justice of February 22 and July 6. It was unequivocally emphasized that the ongoing 8-month-long severe humanitarian situation created for the population of Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of the blockade should be resolved.
“It is evident that Azerbaijan continues to distort the appeals of the international community, to look for false pretexts, not corresponding to reality, to avoid fulfilling its obligations and, by prolonging the humanitarian crisis, including through starvation to subject the indigenous people of Nagorno-Karabakh to ethnic cleansing. Moreover, Azerbaijan tries to manipulate any “balanced” approach of international actors, interpreting it as an explicit permission to continue its adopted policy.
“We emphasize the urgency of using all available international tools to eliminate the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh and restore unimpeded movement in both directions through the Lachin corridor and ensure unhindered access of international humanitarian organizations to Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, highly appreciating the principled and fair positions of the UN Security Council members that remain faithful to their mandate to advance international security and peace, will continue to work on various platforms, including in the UN Security Council, taking consistent steps to unblock the Lachin corridor and resolve the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
11:09 a.m.: Artak Beglaryan, advisor to Artsakh’s State Minister, reports that at 5:55 p.m. on August 17, Azerbaijan cut off the internet fiber-optic cable near its checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor, disrupting Artsakh’s internet access. Specialists from Artsakh attempted to approach the area with Russian peacekeepers and restore the cable, but were refused by Azerbaijani authorities.
Belgaryan said it occurred just prior to a press conference on the situation in Artsakh. Speakers from Artsakh joined it “using unstable and alternative communication.”
Belgaryan said internet access is now limited in Artsakh “through unstable radio communication, which is also continuously under Azerbaijani jamming.”
11:01 a.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry reports that at 9:20 a.m. Azerbaijani forces fired shots on a tractor working in the fields of Myurishen in Artsakh’s Martuni region.
“It is obvious that by consistently obstructing agricultural works, Azerbaijan aims to further deepen the humanitarian disaster caused in Artsakh as a result of the blockade,” the ministry said in a statement.
8:55 p.m.: In a meeting in New York, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Rosemary A. DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, discussed the situation in the region.
“Briefed on the worsening of the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, consequences for 120,000 people, for efforts aimed at overall stability and peace. Stressed need for steps by responsible actors of the international system,” Mirzoyan tweeted.
4:33 p.m.: Wopke Hoekstra, the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, tweets: “The Netherlands fully supports the EU’s statement at the UNSC yesterday. I share the great concerns regarding the serious humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Lachin corridor must be reopened immediately in accordance with the trilateral agreement of November 2020 and the order of the ICJ. The Netherlands also calls for dialogue between the parties involved.”
12:05 p.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry reports that at around 11:30 a.m. Azerbaijani Armed Forces opened fire, using small arms, at a combine harvester working in the fields of Sarushen village of the Askeran region.
11 a.m.: In a cabinet meeting, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that the UN Security Council meeting emphasized that the Lachin Corridor is blocked and “affirmed the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh and that the lives and safety of the 120,000 population of Nagorno-Karabakh are in question.”
“Now we can note that the truth about the illegal blockade of Lachin Corridor and the resulting humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh has been voiced in the highest international body. And the international community made a collective call upon Azerbaijan to end the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor,” Pashinyan said.
10:55 a.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Ministry reports that Azerbaijani forces breached the ceasefire by using small arms in the Martakert region at around 10:10 p.m. on August 16. 6:20 a.m.: U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told Associated Press after the UN Security Council meeting that “there were strong statements in the council from everyone that the Lachin Corridor needed to be reopened,” which she called the “main accomplishment.”
5:28 a.m.: Vaqif Sadıqov, the Azerbaijani ambassador to Belgium and the EU, tweeted that Azerbaijani diplomats have “prevented another attempt by Armenia to instrumentalize the UN in pursuing her policy of derailing the negotiated peace process.”
“Another failure for Amenia and her accomplices,” he said. He added that he suspects that “some wise men in the UN explained to their Armenian colleagues that there is no need to push forward too much, it won’t change the inevitable. Therefore, there is neither a coveted resolution, nor even any statement, there is nothing at all after the UNSC meeting.”
4:37 a.m.: Melanie O’Brien, the President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), tweets: “Two years ago I co-wrote about the risk of genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh. Warning signs that we noted have been ignored by the international community. The escalation of activity on the ground by Azerbaijan now demonstrates that we are well beyond risk.”
2:14 a.m.: Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry issues a statement regarding the discussions at the UN Security Council.
“Armenia’s attempt to instrumentalize the UN Security Council in its campaign of blackmailing failed for yet another time. Such a manipulation and exploitation of this august body by Armenia is not only counter-productive but also utterly destructive in terms of taking forward the post-conflict normalization agenda.
“Azerbaijan hopes that it will be finally realized by Armenia that the way towards the solution lies in constructive engagement and good-faith implementation of international law, and commitments undertaken within this framework. As it was emphasized by numerous UN Security Council members the basis for peace and stability in the region is a recognition of sovereignty and territorial integrity both in words and deeds.
“Azerbaijan highly appreciates the statements made by several Security Council member states, as well as Türkiye on the need for genuine dialogue and good-faith engagement with regard to operationalization of all routes offered by Azerbaijan, especially Aghdam-Khankendi road, for the delivery of goods to meet the needs of the local Armenian residents of the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan.
“The debate manifested for yet another time that Azerbaijan’s offer on the use of the Aghdam-Khankendi road is positively received by the international community and Armenia’s obstructions in this regard need to be finally abandoned to allow law-based and transparent delivery of goods to the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan.
“Moreover, acknowledgment of legitimate security concerns of Azerbaijan by some member states is a promising step towards overcoming certain challenges in the region.
“As it was mentioned by Azerbaijan during the debates, Azerbaijan has offered peace to Armenia on the basis of mutual recognition of and respect for each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders, and on another track, pursues the policy of reintegration of ethnic Armenian residents of the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan as equal citizens guaranteeing all the rights and freedoms envisaged in the Constitution of Azerbaijan, and all relevant international human rights mechanisms that Azerbaijan is a signatory to. Our adherence to both these tracks is solid, while we are firm to protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity by all legitimate means enshrined in the UN Charter and international law.
“Azerbaijan remains committed to constructive engagement with all those who bear sincere interest in taking forward the normalization agenda and thus, is willing and able to contribute to attaining long-awaited peace and stability in the region.”
1:30 a.m.: In an op-ed in the Boston Globe, Ardem Patapoutian, the 2021 Nobel Prize laureate in medicine, and Vicken Cheterian, a lecturer in history and international relations, write:
“A clear message is necessary to stop Azerbaijan and put Aliyev on notice that the country’s oil exports and bank accounts could be sanctioned if he persists in his crimes against humanity. We urge the US and European governments to respond effectively and efficiently. The United States should lead the democratic world by threatening severe sanctions against Azerbaijan’s hydrocarbon exports, and by freezing its bank accounts if it continues its blockade. An emergency airlift like in the times of the Berlin Wall is another step to be considered. The UN Security Council is one arena where multilateralism and international law can be put into a new test.
“At this stage of global geopolitical upheaval and reshuffling of alliances, the survival of a small democracy in the Caucasus very much depends on whether Western states decide to act instead of expressing their “concern” while watching this humanitarian crisis unfold in slow motion from afar.”
11 p.m.: A UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Artsakh convened. In attendance were the five permanent and ten non-permanent members of the UNSC, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, and the permanent representatives of Turkey, and the EU.
No statement or resolution was produced during or immediately after the meeting.
See EVN Report’s roundup of the speeches during the meeting.
10:39 p.m.: The editorial board of the Washington Post calls on Azerbaijan to “reopen the Lachin corridor — and avert another war.”
“Azerbaijan should realize its move to block the Lachin Corridor will achieve little beyond provoking more conflict. […] Mr. Aliyev should grasp that starving the Armenians of Karabakh will get him nothing; lifting the Lachin corridor blockade can help negotiations progress and avert yet another war,” the editorial states.
8:19 p.m.: Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan spoke with his Brazilian counterpart Mauro Vieira about the “violation of fundamental rights of 120,000 people of Nagorno-Karabakh”.
“Minister Mirzoyan stressed the urgency of eliminating the humanitarian crisis, which is worsening in Nagorno-Karabakh by the hour, by restoring unimpeded movement in both directions through the Lachin corridor. Ararat Mirzoyan expressed confidence that the UN Security Council can take a decisive role in the context of preventing the humanitarian catastrophe in Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Armenian MFA said.
Brazil is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
7:30 p.m.: In a press briefing, U.S. National Security Council (NSC) Coordinator for Strategic Communication John Kirby stated:
“On Azerbaijan, I think, as we’ve said many times, we certainly remain deeply concerned about the continued closure of that corridor in Nagorno-Karabakh to commercial, humanitarian, and private vehicles. We want to see that corridor opened up again. We continue to urge the Government of Azerbaijan to restore free transit of commercial, humanitarian, and private vehicles through the corridor expeditiously.”
7:06 p.m.: In a phone call, Armenian and Russian Foreign Ministers Ararat Mirzoyan and Sergei Lavrov discussed the situation in Artsakh.
“Ahead of the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Ararat Mirzoyan emphasized the need for effective use of the existing mechanisms and clear steps aimed at lifting the blockade of the Lachin corridor in accordance with point 6 of the Trilateral Statement signed by the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan on November 9, 2020, and the Orders of the International Court of Justice of February 22 and July 6, 2023,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov “noted the priority of the task of resolving the acute humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh as soon as possible, taking into account the work done to implement the set of tripartite statements of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan at the highest level in 2020-2022, as well as the agreements between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the confirmation Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991.”
“It was emphasized that in the interests of settlement it is fundamentally important to focus on agreeing on mutually acceptable practical steps on the ground. In this vein, an exchange of views took place on the prospects for debates on the Karabakh issue in the UN Security Council,” the Russian MFA said.
5:27 p.m.: Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aykhan Hajizada responded to OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Osmani’s statement:
“Mr. Minister, on a daily basis dozens of Armenian residents of Azerbaijan are passing through the Lachin border checkpoint in both directions. Like in any country, the passage through the border in Azerbaijan is well-regulated, and ‘free passage’ is not envisaged anywhere. As far as the large quantity supply to the region is concerned, Azerbaijan has provided Aghdam-Khankendi road for these purposes, which could be used if no breach of agreement would happen by Armenians 10 days ago.”
2:13 p.m.: Bujar Osmani, the Foreign Minister of Northern Macedonia and Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE 2023 Chairpersonship, states that following his phone conversations from last week with Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers [see August 10, 7:58 p.m.], he has requested his personal representative Andrzej Kasprzyk to “visit the Lachin area and to report back on the current situation on the ground.”
“I am reiterating my call to grant free passage through the Lachin corridor. Other routes should open in parallel. Humanitarian aspects must always prevail. Dialogue on political issues shall continue and the OSCE stands ready to facilitate,” he tweeted.
12:33 p.m.: Artsakh police reports that Azerbaijani forces fired at a combine harvester working in the fields of Avdur, in the Martuni region, at around 7:30 p.m. on August 15.
11:49 a.m.: Diplomatic corps in Azerbaijan, along with Azerbaijani presidential adviser Hikmet Hajiyev, visited the entrance of the Aghdam-Stepanakert highway.
“Only [the] highway’s daily capacity is 17,000 vehicles. Azerbaijan is building roads not walls for reintegration of Armenian residents of Karabakh but they put road blocks and barriers,” Hajiyev tweeted.
11:25 a.m.: Russian peacekeepers have forcibly removed the car parked by Artsakh activists at the entrance of the Stepanakert Airport, which has served as their headquarters since 2020. Artur Ospiyan, a Stepanakert-based activist, reported that the entrance is now blocked by a Russian armored personnel carrier. Ospiyan had led a protest against Russian peacekeepers on the evening of August 15, with the demand to lift the blockade of the Lachin Corridor.
10:14 a.m.: In an open letter, a group of writers, politicians and rights defenders from Turkey called on the international community to take action and “end the blockade of Karabakh.”
“For months, the Baku regime, backed by the Ankara regime, has been imposing a blockade on the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh that raises the possibility of genocide. The Stepanakert-Goris road, which should have been open for humanitarian aid, emergency services and peacekeepers after the last Karabakh war in which the Turkish Armed Forces were involved, has been under siege and closed since December 12, 2022.
“For months, the United Nations, European Union and the Council of Europe have called on Azerbaijan to end the blockade of 120,000 people living in Karabakh, but the Baku regime has ignored, rejected or denied the blockade. Yet everyone knows that no basic necessities can enter Karabakh and no Karabakh resident can leave the region, even to meet the urgent health needs.
“In the face of the deepening crisis and confirming the concerns of the international community, Baku dictator Ilham Aliyev continues to publicly and repeatedly threaten Karabakh residents. So much so that the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, published an important report characterizing Aliyev’s actions in Karabakh as conducive to genocide.
We, the undersigned from Turkey, see that the international community is not sensitive enough to the developments and we are watching the situation with concern. Preventing genocides does not mean waiting for them to happen and then intervening. It means taking active steps to prevent such a danger now!
“We call on all states, international organizations, especially the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, and international public opinion to take an active stand.
“Just as the Berlin blockade was broken in 1948-49, we call for breaking the blockade of Karabakh through airlift and thus putting an end to this human tragedy.”
9:51 a.m.: Anahit Manasyan, Human Rights Ombudsman of Armenia, reports that a pregnant woman from the village of Haterk in Artsakh’s Martakert region suffered a miscarriage because she “could not reach the hospital on time because of fuel shortage for emergency vehicles.”
10:01 p.m.: U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Menendez and Senator Alex Padilla sent a letter to Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, “urging her to work with all UNSC members to pressure the Azerbaijani government to lift the blockade and prevent what the evidence suggests is a coordinated effort to ethnically cleanse the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“We write to urge you to take a strong stance at today’s UN Security Council emergency meeting on the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh to address the humanitarian crisis.
“Azerbaijan’s actions are nothing short of an attempt of ethnic cleansing of the Armenian community that has lived there for centuries. Indeed, earlier this month, former Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno Ocampo issued a report stating that there is “a reasonable basis to believe that a genocide is being committed.”
“We are encouraged that the United States supported the call for convening the meeting. In your capacity as the President of the UN Security Council for August 2023, we ask that you work with all UNSC members to pressure the Azerbaijani government to lift the blockade and prevent what the evidence suggests is a coordinated effort to ethnically cleanse the people of Nagorno Karabakh. Specifically, we urge you to introduce a resolution calling for an immediate end of the blockade and unfettered humanitarian access to the region.”
8:29 p.m.: Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry responded to French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna’s remarks during her call with her Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan: “We categorically reject the groundless allegations made against Azerbaijan.”
The Azerbaijani MFA said France is “well aware that if the Armenian residents are really in need of daily necessities, for this purpose the Azerbaijani side has offered ‘Aghdam-Khankendi’ [Stepanakert] and other alternative routes. Despite the fact of support by the European Union and the ICRC to use these roads, it is regrettable that the French side, following Armenia’s manipulations, does not support these agreements.”
8:09 p.m.: In a press briefing, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Vedant Patel stated that the U.S. “remain[s] deeply concerned about the continued closure of the Lachin corridor, specifically its closure to commercial, humanitarian, and private vehicles.”
“The halting of this kind of humanitarian traffic, in our opinion, worsens the humanitarian situation and it undermines the efforts that have been in place to build confidence in the peace process. And so we urge the Government of Azerbaijan to restore free transit of commercial, humanitarian, and private vehicles through this corridor. We’re also aware that the UN Security Council has a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, and we expect further discussions to take place there as well,” he added.
When asked about the U.S. position at the UN Security Council on the issue, Patel responded: “I’m not going to get ahead of the meeting, but we have consistently emphasized and reiterated the fact that direct dialogue is essential to resolving this longstanding conflict, and we think that any engagements that ultimately bring peace and stability to the people of South Caucasus would be a good thing and a positive step forward.”
8:02 p.m.: The Artsakh Foreign Ministry said the UN Security Council meeting on August 16 will be a “test for efficiency of international actors.”
7:59 p.m.: Armenian ambassador-at-large Edmon Marukyan tweeted about the death by starvation in Artsakh: “We were warning about this on a daily basis for already 8 months.” He called on presidents Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron, Charles Michel to take action to “stop ethnic cleansing and the genocide in Nagorno Karabakh.”
7:17 p.m.: The Human Rights Defender’s Office of Artsakh has reported a death by starvation.
According to the information received by the Human Rights Defender’s Office and the research conducted by its staff, a resident of Stepanakert, K. Hovhannisyan, born in 1983, died as a result of chronic malnutrition, protein and energy deficiency.
The Ombudsman’s office reports that according to the forensic medical examination and the death certificate of K. Hovhannisyan, his death resulted from: “Severe alimentary dystrophy (general exhaustion due to prolonged and incomplete intake of nutrients, edema, disorder of all forms of metabolism with organ changes and their functional disorders), cachexia, protein-energy deficiency, kwashiorkor (a specific severe type of eating disorder that develops with insufficient protein content in food, the development of the disease is promoted by severe living conditions, low standard of living), bilateral polysegmental pneumonia with a predominance of the croup element on the right, pulmonary edema, mixed metobolia, hypoxic encephalopathy, dystrophy of internal organs-kidneys, anemia, septic condition, right hydrothorax, chronic malnutrition.”
The report says: “The catastrophic consequences of the ongoing 8-month-long blockade of Artsakh by Azerbaijan are more than noticeable and tangible in the public health sector, which primarily affect the health situation of the most vulnerable groups of the society – children, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, people with disabilities and older persons.”
6:18 p.m.: In a phone call with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed regional issues, including the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Special emphasis was placed on the need for practical implementation of previously agreed-upon steps aimed at a swift de-escalation of the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh, including the unblocking of humanitarian routes, including the Lachin corridor,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
5:53 p.m.: In a phone call with her Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, ahead of the UN Security Council meeting, discussed the “extremely severe humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh resulting from Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor.”
The French Foreign Ministry said: “The Minister expressed France’s deep concern as the population of Nagorno-Karabakh has been enduring the consequences of this situation for over eight months. She deplored the ongoing blockade by Azerbaijan, which goes against the commitments made within the framework of ceasefire agreements and hampers the negotiation process. She emphasized that the outstanding issues can only be resolved through negotiation to achieve a just and lasting peace, as she had underscored during her visits to Azerbaijan and Armenia on April 27 and 28.
“The Minister reiterated her call for the restoration of free movement of goods, people, and commodities along the Lachin corridor in both directions, as well as continuous supply of gas and electricity to the population. She reminded that Azerbaijan must adhere to its international obligations, particularly implementing the provisional measures indicated by the International Court of Justice in its order of February 22, which have binding force.
“The Minister assured her counterpart of France’s full commitment to supporting the population of Nagorno-Karabakh, including an additional contribution of 3 million euros to the humanitarian efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross.”
5:13 p.m.: German Chargé d’Affaires in Armenia Erik Tintrup held talks with the EUMA head of mission Markus Ritter on the “situation at the border and in the Lachin corridor.”
“Germany, in parallel with the ICJ ruling, supports free, open travel through the Lachin corridor in order to achieve supplies for the people in NK,” the embassy said.
11:49 a.m.: Ten patients from Artsakh on dialysis have been transferred to Yerevan by the ICRC.
9:17 a.m.: The UN Security Council will convene an emergency meeting on August 16 at the request of Armenia [see August 12, 3:02 a.m.] regarding the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of total blockade by Azerbaijan. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan will be in New York to participate in the meeting.
3:19 a.m.: U.S. Representative Adam Schiff tweeted: “The crisis in Artsakh demands immediate U.S. action.” In a letter, he urges President Joe Biden to “use every tool available to support the people of Artsakh and stop another genocide from occurring.”
Schiff writes that Azerbaijan has ignored all calls by the U.S., the EU, UN experts, and Russia to lift the blockade. “The U.S. Department of State and USAID have tried to use diplomacy to put an end to Aliyev’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor, but the time for statements and such calls has clearly long passed. The United States must take concrete actions and immediately use other tools to press Azerbaijan to return to compliance with international law and order,” Schiff argues.
He calls on Biden to take the following steps:
- “Convene an emergency session of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the crisis in Artsakh while the United States holds the presidency. This situation aligns with our country’s intention to focus this session on combating food insecurity and defending human rights and is an urgent matter demanding UNSC attention.”
- “Direct the U.S. Mission to the UN to lead a UN Security Council resolution calling on Azerbaijan to immediately comply with the orders of the International Court of Justice, providing for the deployment a team of UN experts to Artsakh to gather information and produce an independent report on the human rights and humanitarian situation, and sanction Azerbaijan for its flagrant violations of international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
- “Direct USAID and the Department of Defense to assess options for the United States to assist in the delivery of aid to Artsakh by land or airlift to prevent the very real threat of starvation and avoid the preventable deaths of innocent civilians.”
- “Personally call Aliyev and urge him to lift the blockade. Warn him that there will be consequences, including the implementation of sanctions, visa restrictions, and cutting off U.S. foreign assistance, should the blockade continue. Many of us in Congress believe that Azerbaijan should have been cut off from U.S. aid a long time ago.”
“We have pledged ‘never again,’ Mr. President, but today the people of Artsakh face the real threat of ethnic cleansing and genocide at the hands of an autocratic Azerbaijani regime. [… ] Mr. President, you have been on the right side of history, have spoken truth to power, and now is the time to uphold this pledge and stand with the people of Artsakh and stop another Armenian Genocide from occurring,” he wrote.
7:42 p.m.: In a statement, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry notes that Azerbaijan has “significantly increased the dissemination of false information” about Armenia.
“The most recent example is the disinformation regarding the accumulation of troops and ammunition along the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia. The spreading of this false information indicates Azerbaijan’s intention to aggravate the situation in the region.
“Despite several refuting statements by the Republic of Armenia, Azerbaijan continues to spread false claims about the presence of the Armenian army in Nagorno-Karabakh, which absolutely do not correspond to reality.
“We draw the attention of the international community to the fact that the proposal of the Republic of Armenia to send an international fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh to clarify this issue has been repeatedly rejected by Azerbaijan. In the context of Azerbaijan’s ongoing assertions, such a mission is clearly becoming more urgent.
“It is also evident that one of the objectives of Azerbaijan’s disinformation campaign is to divert the international community’s attention from the escalating humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is intensifying day by day, and from its steps to implement ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh through provoking a humanitarian catastrophe.”
6:22 p.m.: Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry issues a statement:
“In recent days, the activity of illegal Armenian armed detachments and the remains of the Armenian armed forces in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, where the Russian peacekeeping forces temporarily stationed has been observed.
“Strengthening of combat positions in terms of military personnel and ammunition, as well as the preparation of new defense lines, trenches, long-term fortification equipment, and planting of mines in the area by the illegal Armenian armed detachments and the remains of the Armenian armed forces were observed.
“Moreover, the facts of deployment of various military equipment, in particular air defense and radio-electronic means of struggle in several settlements of the Karabakh economic region, and mass armament of the civilian population by Illegal Armenian armed detachments were also known. Planned firing positions are often located near residential buildings.
“Despite the fact that the demands of the Azerbaijani side on the cessation of these activities have been repeatedly communicated to the Armenian side through the Russian peacekeeping contingent further activation of illegal Armenian armed detachments and preparatory work for new provocations by carrying out intensive combat training measures in the territory of Azerbaijan is observed.
“Considering the fact that such illegal provocative actions have led to an increase in tension in the region, we inform that all responsibility for any incident that may occur lies with the military-political leadership of Armenia.”
6:01 p.m.: In a phone call, Armenian foreign minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Estonian counterpart Margus Tsahkna discussed the Lachin Corridor.
“The blockade and humanitarian situation of the local population are concerning. Humanitarian access must not be politicized by any actors. Azerbaijan has to guarantee safety & freedom of movement according to the trilateral statement of 2020 & ICJ order,” he tweeted.
6 p.m.: The European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA) reports that “based on information on the ground, we see no unusual military movement or buildup, especially at the entrance to Lachin corridor.”
5 p.m.: Turkey’s foreign ministry issued a statement on the “Lachin road”.
“Türkiye has been closely following the longstanding disputes over the Lachin Road and understands Azerbaijan’s legitimate concerns regarding this issue. Unfortunately, Azerbaijan’s concerns which have been clearly expressed so far were not taken into consideration and as a result of this, Azerbaijan took measures it deemed appropriate within the framework of its sovereign rights.
“Türkiye is of the opinion that there is no legitimate ground for criticisms against Azerbaijan concerning the Lachin Road. The fact that medical evacuations through Lachin Road are currently secured and other routes convenient for large-scale cargo transportations are allocated, indicates that Azerbaijani side exerts maximum effort in good faith.
“Our expectation from Armenia is to avoid provocative steps, to recognize territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, to support both the usage of Aghdam-Khankendi and other alternative roads for supplying the needs of the Armenian population in Karabakh as well as to support Azerbaijan’s efforts to reintegrate the Armenian population.
“For achieving peace and stability in the South Caucasus, Türkiye believes that sovereignty, territorial integrity and humanitarian efforts of the friendly and brotherly Azerbaijan need to be supported and it is necessary to refrain from actions which might further aggravate the situation.”
3:01 p.m.: Armenia’s ambassador to Russia, Vagharshak Harutyunyan, and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin discussed bilateral ties and the situation in the Lachin Corridor and in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The importance of strict adherence to the comprehensive set of agreements between the leaders of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan from 2020-2022 regarding the normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations has been reaffirmed,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.
2:22 p.m.: The Stepanakert city hall states that it has partially resolved the problem of water supply in Artsakh’s capital.
2:14 p.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Army reports that “Azerbaijani media spreads fake videos and false information that the Artsakh Defense Forces are accumulating military equipment in different directions of the contact line.”
“By spreading such disinformation, Azerbaijan is preparing a ground for another provocation,” it states.
11:20 a.m.: A group of Armenian civil society organizations appeal to the member states of the UN Security Council to commit to protect the Armenian people from genocide and ethnic cleansing organized by Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The risks of these crimes are real and ongoing, as evidenced by independent international criminal law experts, genocide scholars, and specialized organizations,” the statement reads.
They called on the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution condemning the blockade and calling for the immediate opening of the Lachin Corridor to the unhindered movement of people, vehicles and cargo.
They also urged the UNSC to take “urgent measures to ensure an international peacekeeping mission” in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin Corridor to ensure the security of the Armenian population after November 2025 (when Russian peacekeepers may leave), until the lasting settlement of the conflict is ensured. They also called for a UN fact-finding mission to the region to assess the situation on the ground and the appointment of a special representative of the Secretary General on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to ensure a long-term presence in the region.
10:46 a.m.: Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry issues a statement on Armenia’s request to discuss the blockade of Artsakh in the UN Security Council:
“Despite its first failure in December 2022, Armenia once again attempts to instrumentalize the UN Security Council for its political, military and informational manipulation campaign.
“Moreover, Armenia is a country that had for almost 30 years brazenly disregarded the four resolutions of 1993 and series of Presidential Statements of the Security Council demanding full, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of occupying forces from the territory of Azerbaijan.
“Armenia’s appeal to the Security Council on groundless allegations of ‘worsening humanitarian situation’ and ‘continued blockade’ in the region yet again comes at a time when Armenia itself deliberately and intentionally obstructs all the efforts made through international partners to find a balanced, law-based and reasonable solution on the ground.
“Armenia did not reconcile with the reality of being deprived of the means to supply and sustain its not fully withdrawn armed forces in the territory of Azerbaijan, and illicitly extract Azerbaijan’s natural resources. Therefore, Armenia has started a propaganda campaign worldwide, imposing a series of military and other obstructions for the normal functioning of the border check-point, as well as for the use of other routes, such as Aghdam-Khankendi road for the delivery of goods to the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan.
“Recently, following the series of intensive consultations and shuttle diplomacy efforts, agreement was finally reached with respect to delivery of humanitarian cargo to the Garabagh region through various routes, as well as the organization of the meeting between the Special Representative of Azerbaijan and representatives of local Armenian residents.
“On the first case, concrete blocs and all other physical barriers imposed by the Armenian side on the use of Aghdam-Khankendi road should have been removed to allow the delivery of humanitarian cargo by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to meet the needs of local residents. This should have been followed by intensification of usage of the Lachin road by the ICRC within 24 hours. All the involved parties, including the Russian peacekeeping contingent and the ICRC, were prepared to realize this deal in practice.
“On the second, a meeting between Azerbaijan’s Special Representative and representatives of local Armenian residents was agreed to take place in Yevlakh.
“Regrettably, on August 5, 2023, Armenia, through its illegally installed puppet regime, backstepped from both agreements at a last moment by introducing politically motivated and illegitimate preconditions and various pretexts.
“In other words, what Armenia cynically seeks from the international community in general, and the UN Security Council in particular, was indeed within reach days ago in the result of active support of partners, including the members of Security Council. This did not materialize only due to the refusal by Armenia itself.
“Had Armenia and its subordinate illegal structure honor the agreement, the situation would have been solved in early August providing a reasonable framework for the delivery of humanitarian cargo to the residents of the Garabagh region, and facilitation of routes for the passage of persons, goods and vehicles.
“Therefore, there should be no doubt that notwithstanding the intensive engagement by Azerbaijan with the Russian Federation, the United States, European Union and ICRC for finding ways out of the situation, Armenia is deliberately obstructing diplomatic efforts.
“Appeal to the Security Council is a part of this campaign and is a serious blow to the efforts being made by involved actors, among them the members of Security Council.”
6:13 p.m.: The water shortage problem in besieged Stepanakert has exacerbated as the city receives three times less water than it needs. Due to the lack of fuel, pumps do not operate as they usually would and water cannot be supplied to residents in trucks. Authorities have called on residents to use water sparingly.
10:47 a.m.: Kenneth Roth, an American attorney and former director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), tweets: “Azerbaijan’s blocking of Lachin Road, now in its 8th month, is causing a humanitarian emergency, suffering and hardship in Nagorno-Karabakh. It should urgently implement ICJ rulings and stop blocking road access for essential goods and freedom of movement.”
7:33 p.m.: Artsakh Defense Army reports that Azerbaijani units opened fire on the communication infrastructure equipment and at 2:15 p.m. on civilians doing agricultural work in the fields of Sarushen community.
12:27 p.m.: The ICRC facilitated the transfer of 10 patients from Artsakh to Armenia, while nine patients are expected to return to Artsakh from Armenia later today.
11:59 a.m.: Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib and her Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan had a phone call to discuss the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, specifically the Lachin Corridor.
“It is urgent to lift the blockade for humanitarian reasons. I will elaborate this issue among others during my upcoming visit to the Caucasus,” she tweeted.
3:02 a.m.: Armenia’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Mher Margaryan, has sent a letter to Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the UN and President of the UN Security Council (UNSC), requesting an urgent meeting concerning the blockade of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan and the “deterioration of the humanitarian situation” in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Today, the people of Nagomo-Karabakh are on the verge of a full-fledged humanitarian catastrophe,” he wrote. He noted that Azerbaijan’s actions constitute a flagrant violation of the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020 and the international humanitarian law and are in direct breach of the Orders issued by the International Court of Justice on February 22 and July 6, 2023, according to which Azerbaijan should “take all measures to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.”
He continued: “The deliberate creation of unbearable life conditions for the population is nothing but an act of mass atrocity targeting the indigenous people of Nagorno-Karabakh and forcing them to leave their homes and homeland. Such an infliction of collective punishment upon the people of Nagorno-Karabakh constitutes an existential threat to them should they be left alone vis-a-vis the Azerbaijani aggressive policy.
“Under current circumstances, the Government of Armenia requests the intervention of the UN Security Council as a principal body of safeguarding global security and preventing mass atrocities including war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide.
“With reference to my letter dated 13 September 2022 addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2022/688), and in follow up to the meeting of the Security Council held on 20 December 2022, I would like to request that an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council be convened based on Article 35 (1) of the UN Charter.
“I also ask that the delegation of Armenia be allowed to participate in the Council’s meeting in accordance with the relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter and pursuant to rule 37 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council.”
8:54 p.m.: Jim McGovern, a U.S. Congressman, tweets: “Blocking food, water and medicine for the Armenian people in Azeri-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh is a violation of international law. POTUS [the President of the U.S.] must use all leverage on Azerbaijan, including suspending military aid, to end the blockade of the Lachin Corridor.”
7:11 p.m.: Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin spoke on the phone with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan on the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and reiterated the EU call to “reopen the Lachin corridor without delay to facilitate ICRC aid access.”
“Ireland calls for engagement from all to negotiate a comprehensive sustainable peace,” he tweeted.
5:24 p.m.: In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, journalist David Ignatius writes that “U.S. officials believe that Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh are managing to survive only because of backyard gardens and other home-produced food. They fear that within two months, as winter approaches, the population could face starvation.”
3:38 p.m.: In a phone call with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan, Constantinos Kombos, the Foreign Minister of Cyprus, discussed the “dire humanitarian crisis following the blockage of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan” and “reiterated Cyprus’s full support to Armenia and called on Azerbaijan to lift the blockage in line with 2020 ceasefire statement and ICJ decision.”
Mirzoyan said Armenia appreciates “strong appeals made by partners so far” and “emphasized the need for joint international efforts to reach immediate lifting of the Lachin Corridor blockade as result of which 120,000 lives are endangered and face real threat of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
3:19 p.m.: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tweets: “Armenia reiterates its commitment to the peace process and calls on Azerbaijan to refrain from taking steps aimed at abolishing the historic opportunity to establish peace and for this purpose to lift the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor.”
1:57 p.m.: A group of academics, journalists, intellectuals, and activists from Israel wrote a letter to Israeli president Isaac Herzog asking him to “exercise his influence and relations” to prevent a mass starvation of the people of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). Among the signatories are genocide scholars Yair Auron and Israel Charny, historian Michael E. Stone, rabbi and former minister Michael Melchior, rabbi and the International Director of Interreligious Affairs at American Jewish Committee (AJC) David Rosen.
“We, the undersigned, academics and spiritual and cultural leaders from a variety of fields, turn to you out of our grave concern regarding the severe humanitarian crisis that poses a clear and present danger to 120,000 men, women and children in Nagorno Karabakh (referred to by residents as the Republic of Artsakh). The State of Israel enjoys close ties with Azerbaijan, the state which is responsible for this crisis, and has the ability to resolve it. These ties obligate the State of Israel to take a clear stand, and not to stand idly by.
“Eight months ago (on December 12, 2022), government-supported Azerbaijani activists laid siege to the only road that connects Armenia to the Armenian enclave of Nagorno Karabakh. In April, the Azerbaijani army itself established a military checkpoint on the road, despite the fact that according to the terms of the cease-fire they had signed, the responsibility to maintain access to this area was entrusted to the Russian forces. The ongoing siege has prevented critical supplies to residents for months, and last week, many organizations and international bodies, including a number of UN experts, as well as Anthony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, warned of the real danger to the lives of residents of the area should the siege continue, and expressed the urgent need that Azerbaijan allow humanitarian assistance to enter.
“Azerbaijan’s blockade of the road is a violation of the Russian-brokered November 2020 ceasefire that it signed with Armenia, ending fighting that placed most of the surrounding territory under Azerbaijani control. This agreement had left a single road, the Lachin corridor, that connected Armenia with the Armenian enclave in Nagorno Karabakh, and its closing caused the residents of the area tremendous suffering. Should the siege continue, masses of people are likely to die of starvation and disease.
“Israel’s relationship with Azerbaijan has significantly improved in recent times, as expressed by the opening of an Azerbaijani embassy in Tel Aviv, and the stream of visits by many Israeli dignitaries, including by the President himself. This warming of the relationship is thanks in no small part to the significant defense support that Israel provides to Azerbaijan, which was a deciding factor in the hostilities in the fall of 2020.
“While Azerbaijan acts in defiance of the ceasefire agreement that it signed at the end of those hostilities, thus creating a severe humanitarian crisis, the aid that we provided means that we have a special responsibility not to be a bystander, and also gives us an important opportunity to have a positive impact. We cannot remain silent, especially in light of our historic and multilayered connection with the Armenian people. Both Jewish history and Armenian history can attest to the political excuses that come to justify inaction and apathy in the face of lives that hang in the balance.
“Has Israel achieved what it has just so that it can provide the same excuses we heard from other nations, Mr. President?
“Our history and our identity as a nation committed to the Jewish value of humanity created in the image of God obligates you, as it obligates all of us, to act.
“Therefore, we implore you, Mr. President, to make a personal appeal to your counterparts in Azerbaijan and demand their immediate removal of the blockade of the Lachin corridor. This is not a request to take a side in the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but simply a humanitarian plea to save lives that are in danger, and to allow basic freedom of movement and the provision of sufficient supplies in order to live. We would be happy, if you are willing, to meet with you to present the dire situation in Nagorno Karabakh in greater detail.”
11:47 p.m.: Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Yuri Kim spoke separately with Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov to “underscore US support for the two countries’ efforts to secure a durable peace in the region.”
“She urged leaders to keep the momentum moving forward, beginning by enabling free transit of commercial, humanitarian, and private vehicles through the Lachin corridor as soon as possible, noting in particular humanitarian concerns,” the State Department stated.
8 p.m.: Russian peacekeepers recorded a ceasefire violation in the Askeran district. There are no casualties.
7:58 p.m.: Bujar Osmani, the Foreign Affairs Minister of North Macedonia and Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE, held two separate telephone conversations with Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov.
“Minister Osmani expressed his concerns about the situation around the Lachin corridor and the impact on the civilian population, in particular vulnerable groups, including women and children. While emphasizing that he is following the situation carefully, he reiterated his call for constructive and productive dialogue as an avenue for sustainable solutions, for the benefit of the conflict-affected population.
“Chairman Osmani underscored that the humanitarian considerations and people’s immediate needs should prevail. He offered his good offices and the OSCE`s tools and confidence-building measures as part of the solutions for normalizing relations and trust-building between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“Recalling his past meetings with both ministers and visits to both capitals, OSCE Chairman-in-Office Osmani conveyed his readiness to continue his personal and active engagement with the sides. In this vein, he repeated that the OSCE Chairpersonship stands ready to facilitate dialogue to advance sustainable and peaceful resolve.”
4:07 p.m.: In a letter to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Anahit Avanesyan, Armenia’s Minister of Health, addressed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, including the risks of evolving hunger, paralyzed social and healthcare services, the obstruction of the ICRC work, the increase in health-related incidents, and the resolute response from the WHO.
6:01 p.m.: Artsakh’s Interior Ministry reports that at around 10:50 a.m. Azerbaijani forces fired in the direction of civilians working in the wheat fields of the village of Sarushen in Artsakh’s Askeran district. There were no casualties, but a van was damaged by Azerbaijani fire and all agricultural work was suspended.
3:24 p.m.: Greek Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis held a phone conversation with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan to whom he emphasized that Greece “firmly stands for the peaceful resolution of disputes and the respect for and implementation of international law.”
“Greece supports initiatives that can prevent humanitarian crises,” he tweeted.
3:09 p.m.: Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aykhan Hajizada responded to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister’s statement [see August 9, 1:35 p.m.]:
“Mr. Minister Landsbergis, it is better not to be deceived by false Armenian propaganda. The Lachin road has been misused by Armenia for the last 3 years. Unfortunately, all these years Lithuania has demonstrated a silence […] It would be more appropriate to urge Armenia to demonstrate more constructive approach, rather than undermine the peace process,” he tweeted.
2:58 p.m.: Several French regions have allocated humanitarian aid for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. A truck carrying the French humanitarian aid of over 20 tons of food joined the stranded Armenian humanitarian convoy in Kornidzor.
The humanitarian aid is allocated by the city of Paris and the regions of Île-de-France, Auvergne, Rhône-Alpes, Hauts-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Pays de la Loire, and Grand Est.
1:38 p.m.: The ICRC has facilitated the transfer of 10 patients from Artsakh to Armenia for treatment. It plans to transfer another nine patients who have completed treatment in Armenia back to Nagorno-Karabakh later today.
1:35 p.m.: Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis spoke with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan and “expressed concern about the dire humanitarian consequences of the blocking of the Lachin corridor.”
“Crucial to ensure unimpeded movement as ordered by ICJ. Reiterated firm belief in absolute necessity of working towards comprehensive and lasting peace,” he tweeted.
10:25 p.m.: Luis Moreno Ocampo, an Argentine lawyer who served as the first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) from 2003 to 2012, has released a report on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
He argues that the blockade of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijani security forces “impeding access to any food, medical supplies, and other essentials should be considered a Genocide under Article II, (c) of the Genocide Convention: ‘Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.’”
“There are no crematories, and there are no machete attacks. Starvation is the invisible Genocide weapon. Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks,” he writes.
“State parties of the Genocide Convention assumed the duty to prevent and punish Genocide. The International Court of Justice ruled that state parties should ‘not wait until the perpetration of Genocide commences,’ and ‘The whole point of the obligation is to prevent or attempt to prevent the occurrence of the act.’”
9 p.m.: Ani Badalyan, spokesperson of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry, tweeted: “As we value the ICRC’s humanitarian role in Nagorno-Karabakh, we stress: its continuous obstruction by Azerbaijan and abduction of a patient under its protection is unacceptable and should be condemned. Over 1,760 persons are deprived of medical treatment, many thousands lack medicine.”
8:45 p.m.: Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh have recorded a ceasefire violation in the Askeran region.
8:20 p.m.: In an appeal to the international community, Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan called for immediate measures to prevent the genocide of the Artsakh Armenians and to lift the siege. He said that the blockade of the Lachin Corridor “should be regarded as part of a planned, large-scale and coordinated policy by Azerbaijan aimed at the destruction of the people of Artsakh as a whole.”
On the Azerbaijani proposal to deliver humanitarian cargo via Aghdam, Harutyunyan said it is “yet another means of realizing Azerbaijan’s criminal agenda, which will lead to imposing its own will, violating the human dignity and other criminal consequences of subjugating the people of Artsakh to Azerbaijan.”
He also criticized the “fabricated agenda of dialogue between Stepanakert and Baku promoted by the Azerbaijani authorities” as an “attempt to legitimize Azerbaijan’s criminal actions” and insisted that “calls encouraging Artsakh’s participation in such dialogue without international mediators and effective guarantees is perceived as support for the implementation of Azerbaijan’s genocidal policy.” Harutyunyan said that for the” effectiveness and legitimacy of negotiations it is necessary to ensure at the very least that the parties adhere to the norms of international law” and added that an “international mechanism with a relevant international mandate should be established to define the criteria for the negotiation process.”
Harutyunyan went on to call for specific steps that different actors should take to “prevent the crime of genocide against the people of Artsakh”.
He called on Armenia to present the situation at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in order for it to adopt a resolution; to raise awareness of the issue by informing the international community; to engage with international partners to discuss and impose sanctions against Azerbaijan in order to halt its international crimes. He also urged the authorities of Armenia, public figures and political leaders to “exercise caution in their public statements and assessments of the situation: no statement or action should cast doubt on the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination or contribute to further aggressive actions by Azerbaijan.”
He called on the Armenian diaspora to consolidate efforts with the aim of drawing the attention to the blockade and to demand immediate and effective measures to stop it; to ensure that their governments “strongly condemn and take specific measures to increase pressure on Azerbaijan to lift the blockade of Artsakh”; to ensure that governments, human rights organizations, media outlets and other actors “provide direct legal and political assessments of Azerbaijan’s crimes against Artsakh”; and to ensure that governments “consider and impose sanctions against Azerbaijan to halt its international crimes.”
He called on Russia to “intensify its efforts” for the immediate lifting of the unlawful blockade.
He urged OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs (Russia, the United States, and France) to fulfill their “primary obligation by taking effective measures for the immediate cessation of the illegal blockade”; to exert “individual and joint efforts to establish a robust negotiation format endowed with an appropriate international mandate, which would ensure that the negotiation process”; to “demonstrate consistency in pursuing a peaceful and comprehensive settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict and will actively work towards reactivating the negotiation mechanism empowered with an international mandate for the resolution of the conflict.”
He called on the UN Security Council members states to immediately convene a UNSC meeting to “discuss the genocide and humanitarian catastrophe caused by the blockade of Artsakh”; to adopt a resolution “obligating Azerbaijan to promptly unblock the Lachin Corridor and restore its functioning.” He reminded that “preventing genocide is not only an erga omnes obligation but also a collective responsibility of the international community.”
He urged that Secretary-General of the UN to “demonstrate moral and political responsibility and leadership by engaging the entire UN system to prevent further international crimes committed by Azerbaijan in Artsakh” and the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide to “activate the early warning mechanism” within their mandate and “dispatch a fact-finding mission to the Republic of Artsakh to assess the consequences” of the blockade. He called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other UN structures responsible for the protection of human rights to “provide a legal assessment of the crimes committed by Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh, document the widespread violations of human rights and provide member states of the UNSC and other international entities with detailed factual and legal information about the escalating human rights crisis in Artsakh.”
He urged the International Committee of the Red Cross, as the sole international organization present in Artsakh, to “provide all actors of the international community and, in particular, the UN Security Council member states, with detailed factual and legal information about the situation in Artsakh.”
He further called on the Council of Europe to “take effective and decisive measures to ensure the immediate implementation” of the December 21, 2022 ruling issued by the European Court of Human Rights and for “measures to be taken regarding the flagrant and severe violation by Azerbaijan of the ‘three pillars’ of the Council of Europe, including a potential exclusion of this member state from the organization.”
Harutyunyan urged the European Union to utilize “available resources and tools”, including the imposition of sanctions, to intensify pressure on Azerbaijan to lift the blockade and “remain faithful to the values and principles proclaimed by the European Union, refraining in particular from prioritizing energy partnership with Azerbaijan over human rights and freedoms.”
Harutyunyan called on human rights organizations to “actively engage in campaigns to raise awareness” about the blockade and the media to “remain true” to its mission and “break the unacceptable silence by providing the international community with objective information about the mass crimes taking place in Artsakh, thereby breaking the vicious cycle of injustice and impunity.”
2:58 p.m.: Two staffers of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, dispatched by Senator Bob Menendez, chair of the committee, visited the village of Kornidzor and witnessed the Azerbaijani blockade of the Lachin Corridor. They inspected the Armenian humanitarian convoy stranded near the Hakari bridge.
2:47 p.m.: Artsakh’s Health Ministry reports that for the first time in 11 days, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has facilitated the transfer of 11 patients from Artsakh to Armenia for urgent medical care. Nine of these patients are receiving scheduled dialysis, while two have cancer.
The ministry reports that, in total, 30 children are currently receiving inpatient treatment, including eight at neonatal and intensive care units, while an additional 80 patients receive inpatient treatment at the Stepanakert hospital, including eight in intensive care units, of which four are in critical condition.
10:10 a.m.: Artsakh’s Health Ministry reports a significant surge in mortalities due to the ongoing blockade, which has caused a shortage or absence of medicines and medical supplies, malnutrition of the population, stress, suspension of planned surgeries, and medical assistance from Armenia and abroad.
In January-July 2023, deaths from circulatory system diseases more than doubled, including a 66% increase in deaths from acute and chronic heart failure, 20.8% increase in deaths from acute myocardial infarction, and 8.8% increase in deaths from strokes.
In the same period, cases of stroke and acute myocardial infarction have increased by 26% and 9.7%, respectively.
In July alone, deaths from circulatory system diseases increased by a factor of 2.6 compared to July 2022, including a 2.5 time increase in deaths from acute heart failure, fourfold increase in deaths from acute myocardial infarction, and a threefold increase in deaths from stroke.
In the same time period, deaths from cancerous tumors increased by 15.9%, while discoveries of tumors have increased by 24.3%.
Anemia among pregnant women has reached about 90% due to insufficient food and lack or absence of appropriate medicines. Although there was no increase in the number of total abortions during the first half of the year, terminations for medical reasons (TFMR) quadrupled in July.
Compared to July last year, emergency calls for cases of fainting have increased by 91%. In July, there was also a sharp increase by a factor of 5.6 in emergency calls due to high blood pressure cases.
1:10 a.m.: Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry responded to the statement of the UN experts [see August 7, 8:44 p.m.].
“Claims of some special rapporteurs and the independent expert of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Azerbaijan’s alleged blockade of the ‘Lachin corridor’, as well as the ‘tense humanitarian situation’ in the ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’ region are both regrettable, as well as indicative of the attempts to turn UN bodies into a tool for political manipulations.
“UN special rapporteurs and experts getting deceived by the manipulations of Armenia and issuing biased statements all the while turning a blind eye to the 30 years of occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan, the human rights violations against almost 1 million refugees and internally displaced persons, the presence of Armenian armed forces in the territories of Azerbaijan in the last three years, as well as obstruction of the return of IDPs to their homes is extremely worrying. Furthermore, the usage by the persons in question of expressions such as ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’ in clear disrespect of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, the interference in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan, as well as the double standards against it in the statement are unacceptable.”
10:09 p.m.: Rachel Denber, Deputy Director of the Europe and Central Asia division at Human Rights Watch (HRW), tweets: “Important statement by UN experts urges Azerbaijan to lift Lachin blockade and end humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
9:19 p.m.: At a press briefing, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller stated that U.S. Special Envoy Louis Bono traveled to the region last week and engaged directly with Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“We believe, despite any comments from other countries who are not a party to this matter, that an agreement remains within reach, and we will continue to work with them to pursue it,” he said.
8:44 p.m.: A group of UN experts—including special rapporteurs on the right to food, the right to education, on the rights of persons with disabilities, and an independent expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons—expressed alarm over the ongoing blockade of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan, which has led to a dire humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The blockade, obstructing the sole road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia for the past seven months, has left the population facing acute shortages of food staples, medication, and hygiene products, impacted the functioning of medical and educational institutions, and placed the lives of the residents – especially children, persons with disabilities, older persons, pregnant women, and the sick – at significant risk,” the press release published on the UN website reads.
“The blockade of the Lachin Corridor is a humanitarian emergency that has created severe shortages of essential food staples including sunflower oil, fish, chicken, dairy products, cereal, sugar and baby formula,” the experts said.
The experts warned that the region was rapidly depleting its medical reserves, and hospitals were struggling to provide care as the operation of ambulances has been hampered due to declining fuel supplies. They urged authorities in Azerbaijan to immediately restore the free and secure movement of persons, vehicles, and cargo moving along the Lachin Corridor in both directions, in accordance with the ceasefire agreement of November 2020. They also called on Russian peacekeeping forces deployed in the region, to protect the corridor under the terms of the ceasefire agreement.
“By lifting the blockade, the authorities can alleviate the suffering of thousands of people in Nagorno-Karabakh and allow for the unimpeded flow of humanitarian assistance to the civilian population,” the experts said. “It is essential to ensure the safety, dignity, and well-being of all individuals during this critical time,” they said.
“We urge the Government of Azerbaijan to uphold its international obligations to respect and protect human rights, including the right to food, health, education and life. We also emphasize the importance of cooperation and dialogue among all parties involved to find a peaceful and sustainable resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the experts said.
7:16 p.m.: Azerbaijan’s Human Rights Ombudsman visited Rashid Beglaryan, a resident of Artsakh, who is being held in Baku. Beglaryan was arrested by Azerbaijani border guards on August 1 [see August 1, 8:38 p.m.].
4:47 p.m.: The ICRC visited 68-year-old patient Vagif Khachatryan, abducted by Azerbaijan on July 29 while he was being transferred to Armenia for medical treatment under the care of the ICRC. Khachatryan handed over a note to his family.
3:49 p.m.: UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Director Octavian Bivol told Armenia’s Public TV that it calls on all parties to ensure humanitarian access in Nagorno Karabakh:
“UNICEF echoes the appeal of the United Nations Secretary General. In line with the principles enshrined in international humanitarian law and child rights, UNICEF calls on all parties to ensure humanitarian access for the distribution of critical supplies to children and their families. We urge all parties involved and those who have influence over them to place children’s safety and survival above all other considerations.”
2:07 p.m.: Russian peacekeepers have refused to escort the bus convoy to the Hakari bridge organized by a group of activists in Artsakh.
8:47 p.m.: In an interview with Artsakh’s Public TV, President Arayik Harutyunyan stated that Artsakh is a “big concentration camp where Azerbaijan is carrying out genocide.” He said there is a serious shortage of medicines and deaths from circulatory system diseases have doubled in the first six months of 2023. Harutyunyan said he had warned about Azerbaijan’s genocidal policy to Armenia, Russia, and other international actors about a year ago. He also said that it “seems that they have recorded everywhere that there is a problem and the situation [in Nagorno-Karabakh] is getting worse day by day,” but there are no results.
On the prospects of a Baku-Stepanakert dialogue, Harutyunyan stated that dialogue should not be forced. “It seems that there is a tacit agreement to leave us all alone with Azerbaijan. And Azerbaijan uses the pressure method. We are in a situation where we are on the verge of genocide. That is, this cannot be called a ‘dialogue,’ they are only pushing us to accept Azerbaijan’s conditions, demands, which are unacceptable to us. Any dialogue should be within the framework of equality, dignity, and rights. Those three principles have been violated, that’s why we will continue to insist on the international community to respect our rights,” he said. Harutyunyan said the West had proposed holding Baku-Stepanakert talks in a third country, which was accepted by Artsakh, but refused by Azerbaijan.
He said any vital decision should be made by consensus of Artsakh’s political forces.
The President said Russian peacekeepers have brought “certain stability” to the region, but fail to secure free movement along the Lachin Corridor. “That’s why I have many letters addressed to the leadership of Russia, the president – requests, appeals. We have what we have,” he said, adding that the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is affected by the Russo-Ukrainian war.
He concluded the interview by saying that the authorities and the people will continue the struggle for self-determination: “We are obliged to respect the people’s will to fight. We will continue the struggle for self-determination. For the sake of Armenian Artsakh, our people’s right to self-determination, the memory of our martyred grandfathers, brothers and sisters, and our future, we must endure hardships.”
11:42 a.m.: Petr Piruncik, the Czech Ambassador to Armenia, tweeted: “In the Lachin corridor. I wanted to see with my own eyes a place that I hear a lot about and I also often talk and write about.” He added: “The area around the Hakari Bridge is now a popular place. Official delegations come here almost every other day. And that’s actually a good thing.”
10:39 a.m.: Olivier Decottignies, the French ambassador to Armenia, tweeted: “France calls for the restoration of the free movement of goods, people and goods, along the Lachin corridor, in both directions, and of a continuous supply of gas and electricity to the population.”
7:46 p.m.: At around 3 p.m., a 40-year-old farmer, a local of Khnapat, came under Azerbaijani fire from military outposts while working his combine harvester in the wheat fields of the village of Nerkin Sznek. He was not harmed, but agricultural work was suspended.
4:32 p.m.: Paul Gavan (Ireland), a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) rapporteur on “Addressing the humanitarian consequences of the blockade of the Lachin corridor”, tweeted: “What we are witnessing now is a deliberate attempt to ethnically cleanse the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
3:57 p.m.: Javier Colomina, NATO’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, tweeted: “Deeply troubled by the deteriorating situation surrounding the Lachin Corridor. Key to ensure freedom of movement and address pressing humanitarian needs. NATO encourages all stakeholders to redouble efforts towards reaching a negotiated Armenia-Azerbaijan agreement.”
1:53 a.m.: Global Affairs Canada tweets: “Canada is concerned with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. We call on Azerbaijan to comply with the order of the ICJ to allow the free transit of people and goods in the Lachin corridor and urge all sides to continue peaceful dialogue.”
8:26 p.m.: At the UNSC open debate on conflicts and food security, Switzerland’s representative stated: “We deplore the fact that humanitarian actors such as the ICRC are not always able to carry out their operations, as is currently the case across the Lachin corridor in the South Caucasus.”
In her speech, the representative of France called “for the lifting of the obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian and food aid for the population of Nagorno-Karabakh, through the Lachin corridor, as well as obstacles to movement, in accordance with the ICJ order of February 22, 2023.”
8:11 p.m.: At an open debate at the UN Security Council on “Famine and Conflict-induced Global Food Insecurity”, Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vahe Gevorgyan addressed the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Gevorgyan noted that starvation has been “repeatedly used as a method of warfare and perpetration of genocide throughout history,” but he is bringing an example not from the past, but a “situation which is happening right now, a situation wherein people do not know whether today they will be able to find milk formula for their babies, loaf of bread for their children or provide medicines to critically ill relatives.”
“As we meet, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh face threat to their very existence resulting from the complete blockade, imposed by Azerbaijan,” Gevorgyan stated.
He said the “dire humanitarian situation” and “risks of evolving hunger” require “efficient and timely response by the international community to ensure full and unconditional implementation of the ICJ decisions and full respect of international human rights and international humanitarian law.”
He expressed hope that the statement of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres [see August 3, 4:51 a.m.] “will be the first step towards full UN engagement on the ground,” which is “as needed as ever.”
“The cost of inaction is too high to be sustained and this mass atrocity being perpetrated through starvation should and can be prevented and stopped. We call on the UN and its Security Council to undertake urgent measures to ensure full adherence of Azerbaijan to its legally binding obligations under the ICJ orders and the international humanitarian law, immediately restore the freedom of movement across the Lachin corridor and allow safe and unimpeded humanitarian access of the UN agencies and the ICRC to Nagorno-Karabakh,” Gevorgyan concluded.
7:49 p.m.: The European Court of Human Rights has given Azerbaijan until August 10 to provide information on Rashid Beglaryan, who was apprehended by Azerbaijani border guards on August 1 [see August 1, 8:38 p.m.]
6:27 p.m.: Davit Knyazyan, an Armenian Foreign Ministry official, stated that Armenia has great expectations that international pressure on Azerbaijan will allow it to reopen the Lachin Corridor and deliver humanitarian aid:
“We have positive developments in this regard. There’ve been numerous statements from the EU, the Council of Europe, most recently the UN and partner countries. The issue is widely covered by the international press. We continue to work to strengthen the international community’s pressure on Azerbaijan, to achieve our goal, which is exclusively humanitarian.”
15:44 p.m.: Representatives of the UN office in Armenia visited the border section of Kornidzor, the starting point of the Lachin Corridor, where the convoy of trucks trying to transport humanitarian aid from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh has been stranded for nine days.
Nanna Skau, acting permanent coordinator of the United Nations in Armenia, made a short statement:
“Twenty-one humanitarian trucks are waiting in Kornidzor, and a few kilometers away from here, people are simply dying of hunger. Today, the Secretary General of the United Nations also issued a statement, referring to the need to immediately open the Lachin Corridor and the worsening humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Unfortunately, at this time I cannot say more than the statement that was released this morning. We expect that this statement will lead to positive results.”
1:18 p.m.: Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry responded to Pashinyan’s remarks [11:35 a.m.], noting that his speech attempts to mislead the international community and “indicate[s] the intention of the Armenian side to aggravate the situation instead of making a positive contribution to the normalization process between the two countries.”
11:35 a.m.: In a cabinet meeting, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called on Azerbaijan not to block the access of the Armenian humanitarian aid convoy carrying 361 tons of aid to Nagorno-Karabakh as a step showing commitment to the peace agenda.
4:51 a.m.: UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement on the Lachin Corridor:
“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the reports of continued challenges related to the freedom of movement along the Lachin Corridor.
“He recalls his previous statement on the need for the Parties to implement the Orders of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), including the Orders issued on February 22, 2023 and reaffirmed on July 6, 2023, related to measures to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.
“He is particularly concerned about reports of the deteriorating humanitarian situation on the ground and calls for urgent steps to facilitate access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need.
“He urges both parties to intensify efforts towards the long-term normalization of relations for the benefit of peace and security in the region.”
12:30 a.m.: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell tweeted: “Important call with Armenian FM Ararat Mirzoyan on humanitarian situation affecting Karabakh Armenians. Reiterated EU support to reopen the Lachin corridor without delay to enable humanitarian aid delivery. Key to return to dialogue in good faith, including between Baku and Karabakh Armenians.”
11:18 p.m.: In a phone call, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell discussed the “worsening humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh resulting from the illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor by Azerbaijan.”
“Ararat Mirzoyan emphasized the imperative of immediately lifting the blockade of the Lachin corridor in line with the Orders of the International Court of Justice of February 22 and July 6, as well as the urgency of delivery of food, medicine and other basic necessities to Nagorno-Karabakh. The need to ensure full and uninterrupted functioning of the ICRC, the only humanitarian organization having access to Nagorno-Karabakh, was stressed. Foreign Minister described the case of abduction by the border guard service of Azerbaijan of Vagif Khachatryan, who was being transported from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia for medical treatment, as a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.
“Minister Mirzoyan reiterated the position of the Armenian side on the importance of addressing the issues of rights and security of Nagorno-Karabakh people under an international mechanism. It was emphasized that international partners should take clear steps to prevent the actions of Azerbaijan aimed at ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
11:02 p.m.: In its Atrocity Alert, a weekly publication highlighting situations where populations are at risk of, or are enduring, mass atrocity crimes, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P), a non-governmental organization, included Nagorno-Karabakh:
“Deprivation of resources indispensable to survival imposes excessive burdens upon civilians that may eventually result in immense suffering and loss of life. Under International Humanitarian Law, all sides must allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need, including medical supplies and essential food. The intentional and unlawful denial of humanitarian assistance may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“Azerbaijani authorities must immediately lift the blockade of the Lachin corridor and allow for unhindered and safe passage of civilians and goods along the corridor, as well as guarantee unimpeded humanitarian access in line with international law and the order by the ICJ. States must engage in further dialogue with all parties, as well as support calls from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to establish an independent fact-finding mission to assess the humanitarian situation.”
5:16 p.m.: Armenia has applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with a request to indicate interim measures against Azerbaijan to protect the rights of Rashid Beglaryan, a resident of Nagorno-Karabakh who got lost and accidentally crossed into Azerbaijani-controlled territory and was arrested by Azerbaijani authorities [see August 1, 8:38 p.m.].
3:14 p.m.: In a press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated that Russia supports talks between Baku and Stepanakert
“This topic is on the agenda of our contacts with stakeholder parties. Russia isn’t making any preconditions and is diligently working in the direction of bringing the approaches of the parties closer to each other, which currently seriously differ from one another on the backdrop of the increasing tension in Nagorno-Karabakh,” she said.
11:30 a.m.: In response to Swedish journalist Rasmus Canbäck’s inquiry whether the EU is considering “any hard measures/consequences against Azerbaijan for not being compliant with the ICJ order,” the European External Action Service, the EU’s Foreign & Security Policy Service, responded:
“At this stage, the EU is focusing on finding mutually acceptable solutions and compromises through intense dialogue and negotiations with all sides.”
11:57 p.m.: In an interview with Euronews (conducted on July 26), Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also talked about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh:
“There is a humanitarian catastrophe in Nagorno-Karabakh. What is a humanitarian catastrophe? No food is being supplied to Nagorno Karabakh. There is no external supply of food. A number of essential commodities are not being supplied, baby food is not supplied, medication is not available, no hygiene supplies, no other essential goods are there, natural gas supply to Nagorno-Karabakh was interrupted by Azerbaijan, electricity supply to Nagorno-Karabakh was interrupted by Azerbaijan, the supply of fuel was interrupted by Azerbaijan. So in this sense, there is a real threat of hunger, we are facing health problems there as well, and so on and so forth.”
When asked about the Aghdam road proposed by Azerbaijan, Pashinyan replied:
“I don’t know what you are referring to, because I am speaking about the document that I signed, which has the status of an international document. It reads clearly that the Lachin Corridor, which is under the control of the Russian peacekeepers, and that’s not just a road but a 5-km wide area, must be out of Azerbaijan’s control and it must ensure a link between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia.”
10:11 p.m.: Artsakh’s National Security Service reports that the resident of Nagorno-Karabakh who was arrested by Azerbaijani authorities [see August 1, 9:14 p.m.] accidentally crossed into Azerbaijani-controlled territory while intoxicated.
10:05 p.m.: An Armenian humanitarian aid convoy carrying 360 tons of aid for Nagorno-Karabakh [see July 26, 10:15 a.m.] remains blocked by Azerbaijan at the entrance of Lachin Corridor for already a week. Vardan Sargsyan, an Armenian government spokesperson, told reporters that there’s been an increasing level of concern and attention by the international community about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“We see statements and calls from the United States, various EU institutions, international human rights organizations, various French political parties. These statements very clearly call upon Azerbaijan to open the Lachin Corridor, which has been blocked for nearly eight months, and not impede the transport of humanitarian cargo,” he said.
10 p.m.: In an interview with Euronews (conducted on July 22), Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was asked about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and calls to reopen the Lachin Corridor, to which he responded that traffic was never interrupted along the corridor.
He complained that the ICRC office in Karabakh is “subordinated not to Baku office, but to Yerevan offices,” which he called unacceptable. “Because the whole world recognizes Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan. [..] That is our legitimate request as to why the Red Cross Khankendi office is not subordinate to the Baku office but to the Yerevan office,” he stated.
Aliyev stated that he does not believe that the issue of the Lachin Corridor is an obstacle for peace.
On the Armenians of Artsakh, Aliyev stated:
“So for Armenian community, I think they should not oppose peace initiatives of international community. They should understand that if they don’t sign peace agreement with Azerbaijan, the situation in the future will be unpredictable. Geopolitical situation in the world and in the region is changing as we see very dramatically. And part of their hopes for their security vanished completely. Now they’re looking for new security guarantors. Who is ready to have a standoff with Azerbaijan on the battlefield in this area, especially after what we demonstrated during the war and after we increased our defense capability after the war? Is there anyone ready to fight for Armenians against us? I doubt it.”
He continued: “Armenians in Karabakh should not follow their so-called leaders. These ‘leaders’ were lying to them all the time — current and previous — before the war, during the war that they were winning. Even when we took control of Shusha, they were telling that Shusha was under their control. They knew it very well. They should not become a hostage of today’s clique, which captured power in Karabakh, and whose main objective is to provide their own interest.”
“So, the Karabakh Armenians should understand that being part of the Azerbaijan society with security guarantees, we understand it, with their rights, including educational, cultural, religious, municipal rights, they will live normal life. They will stop to be a hostage of manipulation. And also, they should understand that situation, which they are in now today, will not change in their favor, if they continue to ignore us, if they continue to behave like we do not exist or live in so-called country, which has ‘president’, ‘ministers’, ‘parliamentarians’. This is all fake. We offer them normal life. I think if they listen to me, they should understand and they know that I mean what I say.”
9:37 p.m.: Vardan Sargsyan, the Armenian government’s representative for the humanitarian crisis management task force, refuted Azerbaijani social media reports that Rashid Beglaryan, detained by Azerbaijani border guards [see August 1, 8:38 p.m.] is connected to the humanitarian convoy stranded at the entrance of the Lachin Corridor.
9:25 p.m.: At a press briefing, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller reiterated that the U.S. believes that a peace agreement is within reach.
“It’s why we continue to engage both at the seniormost levels of this department and at subcabinet levels with leaders in Armenia and Azerbaijan to urge them to reach the difficult compromises that are necessary to reach a full peace agreement,” he said.
9:14 p.m.: Artsakh authorities reported that the man arrested by Azerbaijani border guards for allegedly violating the border is actually a citizen of Nagorno-Karabakh who accidentally crossed into Azeri-controlled territory after getting lost.
The arrested citizen, Rashid Beglaryan is a local of Shushi who was displaced as a result of the 2020 Artsakh War and was living in the village of Hin Shen of the Shushi region.
8:48 p.m.: Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan had a phone call with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Mirjana Spoljaric Egger to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh resulting from the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan.
A statement by Armenia’s Foreign Ministry notes: “Ararat Mirzoyan stressed the imperative to immediately lift the blockade of the Lachin corridor and the urgency of delivery of food, medicine and other basic necessities to Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Minister Mirzoyan stressed the importance of ensuring under current circumstances the proper and continuous functioning of the ICRC, the only international humanitarian organization with access to Nagorno-Karabakh and described Azerbaijan’s attempts to hinder the humanitarian activities of the ICRC and discredit it as condemnable. In this context, Minister Mirzoyan touched upon the abduction of Vagif Khachatryan by the Azerbaijani border service on July 29, who, having serious health issues, was being transported from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia for medical treatment. The minister called this act perfidious and unacceptable, running counter to the norms of international humanitarian law and aimed at ethnic cleansing of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
8:38 p.m.: Azerbaijan’s Border Service reports that its personnel detailed Begleryan Rashid Aramayis, a citizen of Armenia born in 1962, who supposedly violated Azerbaijan’s border in the village of Zabukh (Aghavno) of the Lachin district.
7:19 p.m.: Nagorno-Karabakh’s foreign ministry has reiterated its readiness to discuss reasonable proposals on organizing meetings between Stepanakert and Baku.
“We would like to emphasize that the authorities of the Republic of Artsakh have always been open to discussing reasonable proposals aimed at facilitating dialogue between representatives of Artsakh and Azerbaijan. Moreover, Artsakh, for its part, has consistently put forward initiatives and proposals aimed at arranging meetings between representatives of Artsakh and Azerbaijan, with the involvement of mediators. We firmly believe that the success of any dialogue relies on the sincere willingness and good faith of both parties to resolve their differences.
“There is such willingness on our part. If the Azerbaijani side also shows it, this will pave the way for the beginning of the dialogue. At the same time, we reiterate our position that dialogue between Artsakh and Azerbaijan should take place within an agreed international format, supported by an appropriate mandate. This approach will facilitate increased engagement of the international community in the negotiation process, bolster its legitimacy and sustainability, and ensure reliable guarantees for the implementation of potential agreements between the parties.”
2:54 p.m.: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) gave Azerbaijan time until August 8 to provide information about Vagif Khachatryan, a resident of Artsakh kidnapped on July 29 while being transferred by the ICRC to Armenia.
2:14 p.m.: The Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the South Caucasus Marina Kaljurand, and the Parliament’s Standing Rapporteurs on Armenia and Azerbaijan Andrey Kovatchev and Željana Zovko made a joint statement on Armenia and Azerbaijan on the serious humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh:
“We are deeply worried by the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh due to Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade of the Lachin Corridor in violation of its commitments under the ceasefire statement of 9 November 2020 and of the legally binding ruling of the International Court of Justice of 22 February 2023, reaffirmed on 6 July 2023.
“For almost eight months already, the local population of Nagorno-Karabakh has been suffering the consequences of the blockade, surviving only thanks to local production and to essential humanitarian supplies, notably by the ICRC. Azerbaijan’s extension of the blockade to humanitarian supplies in recent weeks has now led to the scarcity of basic foodstuffs, life-saving medical products and other essential goods, while the shortage of fuel has disrupted local production and distribution. Medical evacuations by the ICRC have been disrupted as well. The estimated 120 000 inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh are facing a humanitarian crisis that requires urgent attention from the international community.
“We fully support and subscribe to the statement of the EU High Representative Josep Borrell of 26 July 2023. We condemn the ongoing blockade of humanitarian supplies and the politicization of humanitarian access, which further aggravates the already dire situation in the region. Azerbaijan’s offer of providing aid via Aghdam is separate to its existing obligations regarding the Lachin Corridor which must be respected. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to the region and any impediment to access constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law. Opening additional routes can only be encouraged, but it is a separate issue, which should be mutually agreed in the context of direct negotiations between Baku and Stepanakert.
“We fully support diplomatic efforts by President of the European Council Charles Michel to find a sustainable and long-term solution to the decades-long conflict and the ongoing crisis in the region by facilitating negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. During the latest meeting held in Brussels on 15 July 2023, both sides agreed, along with other pressing issues, to facilitate humanitarian access to the region in order to alleviate human suffering. Sadly, the ongoing blockade runs contrary to the objective of peace negotiations and much-needed confidence-building efforts.
“We recall that on 15 March 2023, the European Parliament called on the Council, ‘if the International Court of Justice’s order of 22 February 2023 is not immediately implemented, to impose targeted sanctions against Azerbaijani government officials’. We also recall that, at the European Parliament plenary sitting of 13 June 2023, the EU High Representative committed to raising in the Council the option of imposing such sanctions. We reiterate our call on Baku to end the blockade immediately and commit to the respect of international obligations and norms in order to prevent a humanitarian disaster.”
4:49 a.m.: Samantha Power, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), tweets: “Food insecurity & shortages of medical supplies in Nagorno-Karabakh are very troubling. The Lachin corridor is critical for getting lifesaving supplies to the people of NK. I join Secretary Blinken’s call for the free transit of commercial & humanitarian supplies through the corridor.”
1:06 a.m.: Sam Brownback, former U.S. Senator, Governor of Kansas, and U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, tweets: “It is getting progressively worse for Christians in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Lachin Corridor is closed, in spite of an agreement to keep it open. Azerbaijan must be sanctioned for their humanitarian abuses before it gets even worse.”
The Week in Review
In EVN Report’s news roundup for the week of August 4, 2023: Despite calls from around the world to lift the blockade of Artsakh, Baku continues to strangulate 120,000 people; the abduction and arrest of a 68-year-old resident of Artsakh during a humanitarian transfer raises fears of deepening the already acute crisis in the region; diplomats accredited to Armenia and UN agencies visit Kornidzor where trucks of humanitarian aid continue to be blocked by Baku.Read more
In EVN Report’s news roundup for the week of August 11, 2023: Luis Moreno Ocampo, the founding prosecutor of the International Criminal Court releases report, says blockade of the Lachin Corridor should be considered a genocide; international media coverage of the siege of Artsakh begins ramping up; Artsakh faces potential critical water shortages as mortality rates spike because of a lack of medicine and medical services and more.Read more
In EVN Report’s news roundup for the week of August 18, 2023: The UN Security Council convenes emergency meeting to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh where the first case of death by starvation was recorded; Azerbaijan cuts Internet supply to the population of Artsakh for several hours; eleven people are killed in a tragic car crash on the Yerevan-Gyumri highway and more.Read more
In EVN Report’s news roundup for the week of August 25, 2023: Baku refuses to repatriate the body of a young woman to Artsakh who was killed in a car crash in Armenia; an Armenian serviceman is shot dead by Azerbaijan on Armenian territory; Azerbaijani president snubs Belgium’s Foreign Affairs Minister for her “pro-Armenian stance”; Yerevan City Election Campaign kicks off and more.Read more
EVN News Watch
On August 16, the UN Security Council convened a meeting to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) at the request of Armenia. For the public record, we present the transcripts of all the speeches.Read more
State-backed Azerbaijani “eco-activists” shut down the Lachin Corridor back in December 2022 placing Artsakh in a blockade. This was followed by the installment of an illegal Azerbaijani checkpoint on the Hakari Bridge on the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border, further strangulating the Armenian population. Live updates from the month of July as the siege of Artsakh continues.Read more
State-backed Azerbaijani “eco-activists” shut down the Lachin Corridor back in December 2022 placing Artsakh in a blockade. This was followed by the installment of an illegal Azerbaijani checkpoint on the Hakari Bridge on the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border, further strangulating the Armenian population. Live updates as the siege of Artsakh continues.Read more
A group of Azerbaijani “environmental activists” blocked the Lachin Corridor on December 12, effectively isolating the population of Artsakh. Later, Azerbaijani authorities shut off the natural gas supply to the Republic triggering a pending humanitarian catastrophe. The blockade of Artsakh continues. Live updates on the unfolding situation.Read more
Since the end of the 2020 Artsakh War, Azerbaijan’s warmongering has extended to the borders of Armenia proper through incursions and provocations bringing about human and territorial losses. Follow live updates from Armenia’s security situation in EVN Report’s Border Watch.Read more
EVN Security Report
Examining the Context
As the security environment in Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) continues to be critical, Dr. Nerses Kopalyan (UNLV) speaks to EVN Report’s Maria Titizian about the July 2023 Security Report and explains why any rearticulation of Armenia’s new security architecture must integrate strategic intelligence.
Related articles from July
On July 29, Azerbaijani border services kidnapped and detained an elderly man who was being transferred from Artsakh to Armenia by the ICRC for medical treatment. Baku may now target and detain every male in Nagorno-Karabakh, writes Sossi Tatikyan.Read more
What are Azerbaijan’s real intentions in relation to Nagorno-Karabakh? In this in-depth analysis, Sossi Tatikyan presents a number of similar scenarios, from the evacuation of Finnish Karelia during WWII to integration as a means of subjugating the people of Artsakh.Read more
Ignoring the obvious political, moral and legal realities in addressing the plight of the people of Artsakh is tantamount to watering the seeds of further instability with proliferating effects, writes Armenia’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.Read more
This article looks at the Wagner Group’s role in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the timeline of events that transpired in Rostov Oblast on June 23-24, and the implications of the Rostov Mutiny on the wider Armenian-Russian security partnership.Read more