10:17 a.m.: The Armenian government launches an additional financial assistance program for forcibly displaced Artsakh Armenians. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that displaced persons will receive an additional 50,000 drams ($125) each in November and December in addition to the previously announced housing and utility support payments.
7:09 a.m.: Argentina delivered 11 tons of humanitarian cargo to Armenia supplied by the Argentine-Armenian community for displaced Artsakh Armenians.
“We remain committed to advancing a lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan based on mutual recognition of sovereignty, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity. We urge Azerbaijan to ensure the rights and security of those who remain in Nagorno-Karabakh as well as for those who wish to return to their homes. We also call for all parties to adhere to the principle of non-use of force and threat of use of force.”
12:26 p.m.: The EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid reports that shelter equipment and vital medical supplies offered by Lithuania and Austria via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism are on their way to Armenia to support the newly arrived refugees.
12:21 p.m.: At Artsakh’s office of representation in Yerevan, Artsakh President Samvel Shahramanyan addressed protesters in the first public appearance since the fall of Artsakh. He said he takes responsibility for his actions, but added that “we cannot jeopardize the fate of our Motherland, the Republic of Armenia.”
He insisted that the Republic of Artsakh (NKR) has not been disbanded. “No document can dissolve a republic created by the people,” he said.
Shahramanyan said the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan was necessary because if the war had lasted an hour longer, Azerbaijani forces would have entered Stepanakert and massacred civilians.
11:44 p.m.: The Austrian Parliament unanimously passed a resolution condemning Azerbaijan’s military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh. It calls for support for Armenia, protection of Armenian cultural and religious heritage, and ensuring international access to Nagorno-Karabakh.
11:36 a.m.: In a statement, the ICRC says its teams are “visiting communities in Karabakh in their search to provide help to people after the huge exodus which followed the recent escalation of hostilities.”
“A small number of people remain in their homes, either by choice or because they were unable to leave by themselves. Some require medical help or food and water. Others are requesting assistance in contacting loved ones or securing transport to leave. Our teams have also assisted in the careful removal of people who have died, onwards to mortuary facilities for appropriate and dignified care.
“Teams in the city are in contact with a small number of residents who remain in their homes and we are constantly finding new individuals. Homes, shops and offices have been left abandoned and many dogs and cats can be seen in the streets.
“We recently met a man who was staying inside a small kiosk in a shopping center. Others are grateful to receive bread and water or make use of ICRC phones in order to try to contact family or friends.
“An ICRC team was approached by a man who lives with his 92-year-old father in a very remote mountain community. He was not aware that so many people had fled the region as he has been without electricity for several weeks, with no access to TV or radio.”
“I saw from afar that you arrived. I was going to collect water and saw you are there,” said Aharon Chazaryan when talking to the ICRC team.
“When people were fleeing I couldn’t leave with my father, because he is a very old man. Thank God that you came, we saw you, and got information about what is going on right now.”
11 a.m.: In a cabinet meeting, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that more than 3,000 forcibly displaced people from Artsakh have left Armenia, although it remains unknown how many of them have left permanently. He said his government’s policy is to do everything possible for Artsakh Armenians to stay in Armenia.
8 p.m.: In their daily bulletin, Russian peacekeepers report that since September 19, they have dismantled eight (permanent) observation posts and 16 temporary observation posts in Artsakh’s Askeran, Martakert, Martuni, and Shushi districts.
To ensure traffic safety, they have set up 14 checkpoints along the roads, including eight jointly with Azerbaijan.
6:30 p.m.: At the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, the EU delegation made the following statement on Artsakh. A number of non-EU countries (Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino) supported the statement.
“The European Union continues to follow with concern the extremely difficult situation arising from the mass exodus of Karabakh Armenians following Azerbaijan’s military operation on 19 and 20 September and the nine months-long blockade on the Lachin corridor. Nearly the entire population of Nagorno-Karabakh, over 100,600 persons, have found refuge in Armenia.”
“It is imperative to ensure continuous unimpeded humanitarian support to those who are still in need in Karabakh, as well as to those who have left. The European Commission last week announced an additional package of humanitarian aid of EUR 10.45 million on top of the EUR 20.8 million already provided since 2020.”
“Azerbaijan has to ensure the human rights, fundamental freedoms and security of the Karabakh Armenians, including their right to live in their homes in dignity, without intimidation or discrimination, as well as to create the conditions for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons to Nagorno-Karabakh with due respect for their history, culture and human rights. In addition, the cultural heritage and property rights of the local population need to be effectively protected and guaranteed.”
“In this regard, we remind that Azerbaijan must comply with the interim measures indicated by the European Court of Human Rights on 22 September, i.e. to refrain from taking any measures which might entail breaches of their obligations under the Convention, notably Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment).”
“We took note of President Aliyev’s public remarks about willingness to live in peace with Karabakh Armenians and preserve their rights. Azerbaijan has a clear primary responsibility for the fate of the population. Tangible, concrete and transparent guarantees must be provided. As an important confidence-building measure, we expect a comprehensive amnesty for all Karabakh Armenians, including their representatives, and restraint by all sides from harsh rhetoric.”
“International access to Karabakh is crucial when it comes to providing much needed assistance and ensuring an independent monitoring of the situation on the ground. The European Union has taken note of the two recent UN visits. We praise the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees, who provides support and assistance to the Armenian authorities in handling this massive exodus on its territory, and look forward to the Council of Europe fact-finding mission led by Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović and its subsequent recommendations.”
“The EU reiterates its support to the sovereignty, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity of both Azerbaijan and Armenia. We call on Azerbaijan to reaffirm its unequivocal commitment to the territorial integrity of Armenia, in line with the 1991 Almaty Declaration.”
“The EU remains committed to facilitating dialogue between both sides in order to ensure a comprehensive and sustainable peace for the benefit of all populations in the region.”
“At the time when a hundred of thousands of Armenians fled from Nagorno-Karabakh to the Republic of Armenia, our allies in the security sector not only did not help us, but also made public calls for a change of power in Armenia, to overthrow the democratic government.”
“It is sad, extremely sad, that despite hundreds of alarms, decisions of the International Court of Justice, resolutions of the European Parliament, PACE and the parliaments of individual countries, appeals of executive bodies, the international community, we all were unable to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“The Government of Armenia and the European Parliament have repeatedly warned about the imminent ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Government of Armenia has sent many calls to the UN, OSCE, EU to send a fact-finding team to the illegally blocked Lachin Corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh, but no organization made a relevant decision. We initiated three discussions related to the issue in the UN Security Council, but the discussions did not have any practical results and here, Nagorno Karabakh is already depopulated.”
“In the conditions of inactivity of the Russian peacekeeping force, more than 100 thousand Armenians left their homes and homeland in Nagorno Karabakh within a week, another 20 thousand had been forced to abandon Nagorno Karabakh immediately after the 44-day war, and a part of them had no chance to return to Nagorno Karabakh due to the illegal blocking of the Lachin Corridor, which started in December 2022.”
“And today some pretend that they do not understand why the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh left their homes en masse. This is cynicism in itself, because the answer is more than clear. Azerbaijan clearly and unequivocally demonstrated its decision to make the life of Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh impossible.”
“Since December 2022, we have alerted dozens of times about Azerbaijan’s plan: close the Lachin Corridor, starve people, increase military, informational and psychological pressure, then open the Lachin Corridor, forcing all Armenians to leave.”“We talked about such a scenario in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August of 2023, we talked loudly and publicly. And I do not accept the surprised faces of some international officials over the depopulation of Nagorno-Karabakh that took place in September. At the same time, I must thank the European Parliament for naming what happened in Nagorno-Karabakh by its name. This is important in terms of protecting the future rights of people who have been deprived of their motherland.”
2:43 p.m.: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev visited Stepanakert and raised the Azerbaijani flag in the central square. He also delivered a speech, calling it a “historic day”.
In that expansive speech, he said: Exactly 20 years ago, the people of Azerbaijan showed great confidence in me by electing me the President in the elections. At that time, I addressed my people and promised that I would defend the national interests of the Azerbaijani people and the Azerbaijani state and that I would protect the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. I took an oath with my hand on the Constitution and the Holy Quran. I am glad that all the promises I made during the last 20 years and all the tasks I set before myself have been fulfilled.”
Referring to the detention and arrest of Artsakh’s state officials, Aliyev said: “The three clowns who used to sit here and call themselves ‘president’ await their deserved punishment today. I wonder if the man who used to sit in one of these buildings and call himself a ‘prime minister’ will ever dare to threaten us again. His tea is being served in the detention facility as we speak. A separatist who called himself a ‘foreign minister’ once sarcastically said that Azerbaijan should open an embassy in our country if it wanted to raise its flag in Khankendi. Now, his tea is also served there in the detention facility. Our flag is flying high here. This should be a lesson to them.”
7:12 p.m.: Hunan Tadevosyan, spokesperson of Artsakh’s Interior Ministry, told Azatutyun that around 500 people died in the Azerbaijani attack of September 19-20 and the fuel depot explosion of September 25, while hundreds were injured.
Of the confirmed 220 dead in the explosion, around 150 bodies are unidentifiable. There are further 50 people missing in the aftermath of the explosion.
According to Tadevosyan, there are 8 to 10 people remaining in Artsakh.
5:18 p.m.: In a press briefing, Armenia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Khachatryan, who is in charge of the Humanitarian Center responding to the forced displacement of Artsakh Armenians, stated that countries and international organizations have so far pledged a total of €35 million in assistance for Armenia through the ICRC to meet the needs of the forcibly displaced, while an additional €35 million has already been allocated, including €15 million as budgetary support to the Armenian government.
9:03 a.m.: In a statement, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry “resolutely reject[ed] and strongly condemn[ed]” the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) resolution on Artsakh [see October 12, 9:21 p.m.].
“This institution on another occasion fails to display unbiased approach in relation to Azerbaijan. Instead of welcoming the measures carried out by Azerbaijan to eradicate the major threat to its security and territorial integrity emanating from Armenia’s separatist regime and illegal Armenian armed forces in its territory, the PACE continues to demonstrate an approach based on groundless rumors and insidious policy of certain countries in our region aimed at denigrating Azerbaijan,” the Azerbaijani MFA said.
3:18 p.m.: Ani Badalyan, spokesperson of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, reacted to Vagif Khachatryan’s trial:
“Sham ‘trial’, show of complete disregard of any norms in Baku against Armenian civilian, 68-year-old resident of Nagorno-Karabakh who under the ICRC protection was being transported to Armenia for heart surgery and was abducted at an illegal checkpoint weeks before ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh. Illegal abduction, in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, is now followed by publication of videos and photos showing the suffering of a 68-year-old civilian. As requested by numerous international human rights organizations and institutions, Armenian POWs and civilians still kept hostage in Baku should be released.”
12:21 p.m.: A Baku court held a preliminary hearing in the show trial of Vagif Khachatryan, a senior citizen from Artsakh who was kidnapped by Azerbaijani border guards during his medical evacuation on July 29, 2023 by the ICRC.
9:21 p.m.: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution calling on Azerbaijan to “create a climate of trust and the material conditions” for Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh to be able to return to their homeland – including active steps to encourage and reassure them to do so.
The resolution, adopted following an urgent debate, regretted the “long-standing and continuing failure on the part of the authorities of Azerbaijan to reassure the Armenian population of the region of their safety and the full respect of their rights.”
It said almost the entire Armenian population of the region fled to Armenia “out of a genuine threat of physical extinction, a long-standing policy of hatred in Azerbaijan towards Armenians, and a lack of trust in their future treatment.”
“It is not too late for Azerbaijan to redress the situation and prove its goodwill,” the resolution said, noting Azerbaijan’s promises that the rights and freedoms of Armenian residents will be ensured, and its plans with respect to the reintegration of Armenian residents.
The Assembly also said the massive exodus of almost the entire Armenian population from the region had led to “allegations and reasonable suspicion that this can amount to ethnic cleansing”. Noting Azerbaijan’s strong statements refuting such allegations and suspicions, it called on the authorities to “spare no efforts in proving in deeds and words that this is not the case.”
It asked the Azerbaijani authorities to provide full and detailed information on the measures which have already been taken, and that are planned, to protect and enhance the rights and freedoms of the Armenians from this region under the European Convention on Human Rights.
It also called on Azerbaijan to avoid expressions of intolerance or revenge for past events, to protect the Armenian cultural heritage of the region, to release all detained representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh as well as all Armenian prisoners of war currently held in Azerbaijan, and to allow access to the region for Council of Europe institutions and bodies.
Should Azerbaijan fail to fulfill its obligations, PACE shall have “no other alternative than to call for the initiation of a complementary joint procedure between the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly in response to a serious violation by Azerbaijan of its statutory obligations, and challenge the credentials of the Azerbaijani delegation at its first part-session of 2024,” it concluded.
8 p.m.: In their daily bulletin, Russian peacekeepers report that since September 19, they have dismantled seven permanent and 15 temporary observation posts in Artsakh’s Askeran, Shushi, Martuni and Martakert districts.
12:07 p.m.: During his meetings in Yerevan, U.S. Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations Louis Bono discussed “support for displaced persons from Nagorno-Karabakh and underscored that the United States remains committed to work with Armenia and Azerbaijan to pursue a dignified and durable peace.”
Pashinyan added that his government had no contingency plan for the mass exodus of Artsakh Armenians because the “depopulation of Nagorno-Karabakh was never in our plans or political desires, even in the logic of crisis management.”
Pashinyan also noted that the Armenian government has provided more than $100 million in total for the forcibly displaced Artsakh Armenians.
8 p.m.: In their daily bulletin, Russian peacekeepers report that they have dismantled six observation posts and 15 temporary observation posts in the Askeran, Shushi, Martuni and Martakert districts.
They also report that “efforts to restore electricity and gas supply to the settlements of Nagorno-Karabakh continue.”
6:38 p.m.: Speaking at the French Senate, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna stated that France has initiated a new discussion in the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution to create the conditions for the return of the forcibly displaced population of Nagorno-Karabakh. Colonna said that the conditions must include strong guarantees for the rights of the Armenians, including for the preservation of historical-cultural rights, which requires a permanent international presence on the ground.
3:35 p.m.: At the UN Human Rights Council, France delivered a joint statement, on behalf of 35+ countries, on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“We are extremely concerned by the dire humanitarian and human rights crisis in Nagorno- Karabakh and the situation of the population who have fled from there in the past weeks.
“According to the report of the UN Mission to the region, nearly the entire ethnic Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh has fled to Armenia – more than 100,000 people. Their report rightly notes the suffering this experience must have caused.
“This massive displacement of ethnic Armenians from their homes stems from Azerbaijan’s military operation launched on September 19th and a nine-month long blockage of the Lachin corridor leading to dire humanitarian conditions.
“We appreciate that High Commissioner Turk’s statement of September 26 urged safeguarding the rights of ethnic Armenians, protection of civilians, and observance of international law. We wholly agree that ‘reported violations of human rights or international humanitarian law require follow-up, including prompt, independent and transparent investigations.’
“We believe the appropriate next step is for the OHCHR to closely monitor the situation of human rights in Nagorno-Karabakh, meet refugees and displaced persons and those who remain, and to keep this Council informed. We therefore urge Armenia and Azerbaijan to invite the OHCHR to provide them with such technical assistance as soon as possible.
“At this time, we urge Azerbaijan to ensure the rights and security of those Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians who remain and to promptly create conditions for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of those who wish to go home. Their cultural and religious heritage should also be guaranteed and protected.
“We further urge Azerbaijan to comply with the interim measures issued by the European Court of Human Rights on 22 September and the provisional measures of the ICJ adopted on 7 December 2021, 22 February 2023 and 6 July 2023.
“We urge Armenia, with the support of the international community, to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those displaced by the crisis.
“International access to Nagorno-Karabakh is crucial to provide assistance and independent monitoring, including to report on the human rights situation.
“Furthermore, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Armenia and Azerbaijan should be fully respected. We strongly support dialogue among all parties to secure a comprehensive and lasting peace.
“We will continue to follow the situation closely and consider any and all appropriate further steps by the Council.”
1:43 p.m.: In a meeting with U.S. envoy Louis Bono, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan “exchanged [views] on addressing current humanitarian challenges and rights of more than 100,000 forcibly displaced Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Mirzoyan “emphasized that Nagorno-Karabakh was factually subjected to ethnic cleansing, despite numerous targeted appeals of international partners, including the USA” and that the “international failure to prevent the mass displacement of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh from their homeland in the 21st century once again testifies the imperative of clear steps of international actors in such situations.”
10:55 a.m.: In a speech at the meeting of CIS Council of Heads of Security Agencies and Special Services, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated:
“Today, the process of cleansing the territories from bandit gangs is underway. According to our information, there are still certain groups hiding in this territory. After September 20, there were armed provocations in Karabakh. The territory is quite large, with mountains and forests, so we will need time to clear the territory from these gangs completely. This is basically the history of the issue.”
“I call on all efforts to be made to ensure the protection and human rights of the ethnic Armenian population who remain in the area and of those who have left, including the right to return, which should be prioritized,” she stated, adding that she “encourage[s] the Government of Azerbaijan to take steps towards putting in place a comprehensive plan in this regard, including measures to ensure the right to return of those who have fled, as well as concrete steps for ensuring the rights and protections of minorities, which is a cornerstone of international human rights law.”
12 a.m.: In a press briefing, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller stated that the only goal of the U.S. in the South Caucasus and in the relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan is to “ensure a lasting peace and stability and of course to ensure that the humanitarian needs and rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh are protected.”
5 p.m.: In a press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated that “in the wake of the mass exodus of the population following the hostilities on September 19-20, the activities of our peacekeepers will be adapted. Several stationary and temporary observer posts of the Russian peacekeeping contingent have already been dismantled. Fundamental issues related to our peacekeepers are being discussed with Baku.”
3:46 p.m.: The U.S. embassy in Yerevan reports that two “seriously injured young people from Nagorno-Karabakh were evacuated to the United States to receive specialist medical care” this weekend.
11:54 a.m.: UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund, reported that refugee children from Artsakh show “signs of severe psychological distress, according to reports from UNICEF-supported social workers providing specialized care to children and families who have fled their homes in recent weeks.”
11:08 a.m.: Armenia’s Human Rights Ombudsman’s office has published a report on their fact-finding activities conducted (from September 24-29) at the registration centers of forcibly displaced persons from Artsakh. The report documents the crimes committed by Azerbaijani Armed Forces including targeting civilians, ambulances, and civilian infrastructure; violations of the rights of women and children and presents evidence confirming Baku’s policy of ethnic cleansing and presents recommendations.
10:37 a.m.: Ahead of being elected as Mayor of Yerevan today, Tigran Avinyan stated that 31,350 persons (8,076 families), out of the total 100,632 forcibly displaced from Artsakh, have registered in Yerevan.
11:26 a.m.: ICRC Armenia reports that its teams in Artsakh continue their search for people who were left behind, including the elderly, sick and disabled.
“Over the past days, during our visits we distributed food and hygiene parcels. We also managed to restore family links for three people with their loved ones in Armenia. They were relieved to speak with their families, who had no information about their whereabouts. Our doctors also participate in the visits: they have conducted assessments of the health conditions of vulnerable individuals, ensuring that their medical needs are addressed,” it said in a statement.
11:02 a.m.: The Tatoyan Foundation Center for Law & Justice, led by Armenia’s former Human Rights Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan, reports that 18 civilians, including 6 children, were killed by the Azerbaijani attacks on Artsakh on September 19-20.
10:45 a.m.: Azerbaijani media reports that a UN mission has visited Artsakh.
12 a.m.: The European People’s Party (EPP) Group, the largest in the European Parliament, tweeted: “The EPP Group is clear. Ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh is unacceptable, and we’ll hold Azerbaijan accountable!”
8 p.m.: The Russian Defense Ministry reported that “in connection with the disarmament and withdrawal from the contact line of the parties, two observation posts were dismantled in the Martuni and Martakert districts.”
2:03 a.m.: UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, with UN agencies and NGO partners, appealed for $97 million to provide urgent humanitarian aid and protection to refugees from Armenia and those hosting them in Armenia.
UNHCR launched the Armenia Emergency Refugee Response Plan (RRP), that brings together 60 partners, including 43 national NGOs, and covers relief efforts for a six-month period, until the end of March 2024. The joint plan aims to support some 231,000 people including 136,000 refugees and 95,000 members of local host communities. The plan also takes into account the upcoming, harsh winter months, when critical support will be required.
9:56 p.m.: A humanitarian aid flight organized by the EU landed in Armenia with 50 tons of humanitarian supplies.
8:43 p.m.: European Council President Charles Michel spoke with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in preparation of an Armenia-Azerbaijan meeting in Brussels.
“Expressed EU’s commitment to the Armenia-Azerbaijan normalization process. Reiterated the need for mutual respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty, and for advancing on border delimitation. Stressed also need to ensure Karabakh Armenians’ security and rights, also over the long term,” Michel tweeted.
Aliyev said “including Azerbaijan in the quadrilateral statement without the participation of Azerbaijan in Granada was not the right approach.” He said Azerbaijan did not participate in the summit “due to the known position of France” and stressed that the “provision of weapons by France to Armenia was an approach that was not serving peace, but one intended to ignite a new conflict, and if any new conflict occurred in the region, France would be responsible for causing it.”
Aliyev criticized the European Parliament resolution as “xenophobic and chauvinistic” which expresses “unacceptable” opinions and “does not serve to ensure peace and stability in the region.”
Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan “fully restored its sovereignty by using the right of self-defense in accordance with international law and the UN Charter, neutralizing illegal military formations existing in its territory”. He added that Azerbaijan has provided “humanitarian assistance to the Armenian residents of Karabakh and the process of their registration has started” and that it was the “so-called regime [i.e. Artsakh authorities] that forced Armenians to leave the territory and move from there.”
Aliyev claimed that Armenia continues to “occupy” eight villages of Azerbaijan and “stressed the importance of liberating these villages from occupation.”
6:25 p.m.: European Commision President Ursula von der Leyen had a meeting in Bordeaux, with the France-Armenia friendship group of France’s National Assembly.
“We are intensifying humanitarian efforts to assist Armenia in accommodating displaced individuals. We are planning a support meeting for Armenia with the USA. The EU stands alongside Armenia,” she tweeted.
French parliamentarian Guillaume Kasbarian tweeted after the meeting: “Europe has been slow to provide clear and unequivocal support to Armenia. However, it is evident that it is undergoing a radical shift in its stance. Humanitarian aid, economic cooperation, protection of internationally recognized borders… as Russia has abandoned Armenia, Europe is backing Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the Armenian people. Thanks to all those who are working, starting with the French, to strengthen and accelerate this movement, to ‘write a new chapter in the shared history between Europe and Armenia’.”
Nathalie Loiseau, Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defense, tweeted: “In Bordeaux, we gathered as concerned majority party deputies about the fate of the Armenian people, and we had signed an open letter to persuade the President of the European Commission to do more. She listened to us. We will soon know if she has heard us.”
5:05 p.m.: Romania sent two planes of humanitarian aid to Armenia for refugees from Artsakh.
12:34 p.m.: Armenian government spokesperson Nazeli Baghdasaryan reported that the number of forcibly displaced people from Artsakh have crossed to Armenia remains the same (100,632) and that 99.3% of them have registered with the government.
2:05 p.m.: Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management tweeted: “Almost the entire Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh has now fled to Armenia. Today I am in Yerevan to express steadfast EU solidarity with all the people who have had to leave their lives behind as well as with Armenia and its host communities, welcoming the people in need.”
12:37 p.m.: Russian state-run TASS agency reports that according to its diplomatic source a delegation from the Russian Defense Ministry will visit Yerevan to discuss the “specific timeline for the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping contingent from Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Armenian Defense Ministry spokesperson Aram Torosyan said that the Ministry “doesn’t have any information” on the visit and “no such meeting is planned.”
10:30 a.m.: Japan’s Foreign Ministry announced that it is extending an “emergency grant aid” in the amount of $2 million for the “displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh in Armenia and Azerbaijan.” The aid will be provided through the ICRC and the UNHCR, in areas such as “non-food Items, health, protection and water.”
11:59 p.m.: U.S. Senator Gary Peters led a bipartisan group of his colleagues, including Senators Marco Rubio, Jeanne Shaheen, Bill Cassidy, Chris Van Hollen, Pete Ricketts and John Kennedy, to introduce legislation that would prevent the U.S. from providing security assistance to Azerbaijan until it has been determined that they are not taking offensive action against the Armenians. They introduced the legislation in response to the “unilateral seizure, by force of arms, of Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan.”
“The Azerbaijani government has made it clear – it will use its military resources to eliminate the presence of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Senator Peters. “The United States cannot be complicit in Azerbaijani violence against the Armenian people. We must pass this legislation to block additional American aid to Azerbaijan until it puts an end to its aggression in the region.”
“It’s absurd that our nation has provided security assistance to Azerbaijan for decades, despite existing law requiring the President to certify that Azerbaijan is not taking offensive action against Armenians,” said Senator Rubio. “This bill is an important first step, as would be sanctioning Azerbaijani officials under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.”
10:50 p.m.: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry criticized the European Parliament’s resolution as a “symbol of irresponsibility, prejudice, bias and ignorance.”
It said Turkey “exerts an intensive effort in establishing peace, stability and prosperity in the South Caucasus, conducts a normalization process with Armenia” and “makes concrete contributions to the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”
9:36 p.m.: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan issued a joint statement:
“We reiterated our condemnation of the military operation by Azerbaijan against the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh and reaffirmed the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Armenia and Azerbaijan, on the basis of the 1991 Almaty declaration and the understanding that Armenia’s territory covers 29,800 km2 and Azerbaijan’s 86,600 km2. We also stressed that opening of regional connectivity links should be based on full respect of countries’ sovereignty and jurisdiction, as well as on the principles of equality and reciprocity.
“As we discussed earlier this week, our immediate focus is to attend to the humanitarian needs of the over 100,000 Karabakh Armenians that have fled to Armenia. We discussed how to ensure maximum effectiveness of the humanitarian aid and other immediate support provided by the EU which will reach 10.45 million euros.
“President von der Leyen also announced that the Commission is mobilizing funding to allocate 15 million euros from its annual programme for Armenia to be used as budget support. This will allow the government of Armenia to address urgent socio-economic needs and support purchasing food and fuel.”
8:28 p.m.: In a press briefing, Armenian government spokesperson Nazeli Baghdasaryan reported that out of the 100,632 forcibly displaced persons from Artsakh 99,342 have registered with the government and 73,453 have received accommodation in Armenia’s regions.
8 p.m.: In its daily bulletin, Russian peacekeepers report that the temporary observation posts along the former contact line in the Askeran, Martakert, and Shushi districts have been dismantled.
It also reported that in compliance with the previously reached ceasefire agreements, “armed groups of Nagorno-Karabakh” have turned in 84 armored vehicles, 121 vehicles, 121 air defense weapons, 105 artillery weapons, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars, one UAV, over 7,000 firearms and anti-tank weapons, around 58.5 million ammunition rounds.
7:13 p.m.: Armenia has submitted a request to the European Court of Human Rights to ensure the protection of the rights of all representatives of the former and current leadership of Artsakh and oblige Azerbaijan to release them immediately.
7:08 p.m.: After their meeting, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia, President Michel of the European Council, President Macron of France and Chancellor Scholz of Germany issued a joint statement.
They “underlined their unwavering support to the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of Armenia” and “expressed their support to the strengthening of EU-Armenia relations, in all its dimensions, based on the needs of the Republic of Armenia.”
The statement said the European leaders “agreed on the need to provide additional humanitarian assistance to Armenia as it faces the consequences of the recent mass displacement of Karabakh Armenians. They stressed that these refugees must be free to exercise their right to return to their homes and their places of living, without any conditions, with international monitoring, and with due respect for their history, culture and for human rights.”
They remain committed to all efforts directed towards the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, based on mutual recognition of sovereignty, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity of Armenia (29,800 km2) and Azerbaijan (86,600 km2), as mentioned in President Michel’s statements of 14 May and 15 July 2023. They called for the strict adherence to the principle of non-use of force and threat of use of force. They stressed the urgent need to work towards border delimitation based on the most recent USSR General Staff maps that have been provided to the sides, which should also be a basis for distancing of forces, and for finalizing the peace treaty and addressing all humanitarian issues.
The European leaders also called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to release all detainees, and to “cooperate to address the fate of missing persons and to facilitate demining work.”
6:10 p.m.: In a meeting with a delegation led by Mohan Ramesh Rajasingham, Head and Representative of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva and Director of the Coordination Division, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan “expressed Armenia’s disappointment with the factual inaction of the UN for several months regarding the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as strong dissatisfaction with the visit of the delegation led by the UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan to Nagorno-Karabakh on October 1 and the press release on its ‘results’.”
Ararat Mirzoyan emphasized the concerns and main points that were included in the comment made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Armenian MFA issued a separate statement noting that the visit of the delegation of the UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan “cannot be considered an interagency mission which has nothing to do with the expectations of the Armenian side and the international community.”
“Moreover, the visit of the delegation took place only when Nagorno-Karabakh was completely deprived of its indigenous Armenian population as a result of ethnic cleansing. As an objective assessment, the UN delegation could only record the fact of the displacement of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh, witnessing how the people of Nagorno-Karabakh left behind their homes, the graves of their relatives and centuries-old cultural and religious heritage,” it said.
It further notes that the “press release published after the visit of the UN team is very biased and does not reflect the situation on the ground: it does not mention the numerous killed and wounded resulting from Azerbaijan’s large-scale attack, the targeting of civilian infrastructure, more than 9-month-long blockade of the Lachin corridor and the resulting humanitarian crisis, the abduction of citizens by the Azerbaijani special services from the illegal check point located at the Hakari bridge and other facts known to international partners.”
It concludes that “Armenia expects a clear reaction from the UN to the ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh, gross violations of international humanitarian law and the fundamental human rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, in accordance with the fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter.”
6:06 p.m.: At the European Political Community summit in Granada, Spain, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with European Commision President Ursula von der Leyen and discussed “issues related to the situation resulted by the forced displacement of Armenians from NagornoKarabakh, the regional situation and the Armenia-EU cooperation.”
4:35 p.m.: Azerbaijan’s State Security Service reported that Artsakh’s former presidents Arkadi Ghukasyan and Bako Sahakyan and parliament speaker Davit Ishkhanyan have been arrested and charged with several criminal offenses, including “forming and organizing illegal armed units”, “provision of weapons, ammunition, explosives, military equipment and military supplies to those illegal armed groups that carry out raids on offices, organizations and individuals that cause the death of people and other serious consequences.” Earlier, Artsakh’s former President Arayik Harutyunyan was charged with similar offenses.
3:25 p.m.: Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Granada, Spain today.
“Armenia needs our support and assistance to deal with the current humanitarian crisis caused by thousands of people leaving Nagorno-Karabakh,” she tweeted.
6:06 p.m.: At the European Political Community summit in Granada, Spain, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with European Commision President Ursula von der Leyen and discussed “issues related to the situation resulted by the forced displacement of Armenians from NagornoKarabakh, the regional situation and the Armenia-EU cooperation.”
3:25 p.m.: Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Granada, Spain today.
“Armenia needs our support and assistance to deal with the current humanitarian crisis caused by thousands of people leaving Nagorno-Karabakh,” she tweeted.
2:42 p.m.: In a press briefing before the European Political Community summit in Granada, Spain, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stated that the EU “strongly support[s] Armenia and support[s] it in its humanitarian needs.”
“We have already allocated 5.2 million euros. I will tell the Prime Minister [Nikol Pashinyan] today that I’m happy that we double this amount to 10.4 million euros and that we are providing 15 million euros of direct budget support under the country’s annual program. We will discuss what else we can do to support Armenia in this difficult situation,” she said.
When asked whether the EU “will take action against Azerbaijan for a military operation that has triggered the exodus of 100,000 ethnic Armenians,” von der Leyen responded: “We have immediately, end of September, issued a very strong statement of condemnation of the military operation of Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh and called strongly on a resuming of dialogue and a peaceful solution this is what we are working on. Important for us is to support Armenia.”
Talking to reporters, European Council President Charles Michel stated: “We are shocked by this decision taken by Azerbaijan to use the military force.” He noted that the EU “will help Armenia to face the consequences of this military operation started by Azerbaijan.” He added: “There are a lot of refugees in Armenia and we need to support [them] with humanitarian assistance.”
2:30 p.m.: The European Parliament adopts, by a vote of 391 in favor and 9 against, a non-binding resolution on the “situation in Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijan’s attack and the continuing threats against Armenia.”
The resolution “condemns in the strongest terms the pre-planned and unjustified military attack by Azerbaijan against the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh,” which it says “represents a gross violation of international law and human rights and a clear infringement of the trilateral ceasefire statement of 9 November 2020 and of the commitments that Azerbaijan made in the negotiations mediated by the EU.”
It further “expresses its solidarity with the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh who have been forced to flee their homes and ancestral lands” and describes the situation as “amount[ing] to ethnic cleansing.”
It urges the EU and its member states to adopt “targeted sanctions against the individuals in the Azerbaijani Government responsible for multiple ceasefire violations and violations of human rights in Nagorno-Karabakh” and “calls for investigations into the abuses committed by Azerbaijani forces that could constitute war crimes.”
The resolution “expresses disappointment at the way in which the first UN mission to Nagorno-Karabakh in 30 years was organized and conducted” and called for the “urgent replacement of the Russian peacekeeping forces with a UN peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to effectively protect the safety and security of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
It also “warns Azerbaijan against any potential military adventurism against Armenia proper, and calls on Türkiye to restrain its ally Azerbaijan from undertaking any such irresponsible actions.”
It calls for a “comprehensive review” of the EU’s relations with Azerbaijan and on the European Commission to “quickly reconsider the ‘strategic partnership’ with Azerbaijan in the field of energy.” It further calls for the EU’s dependency on gas exports from Azerbaijan to be reduced and expresses serious concern about Azerbaijan’s import of Russian gas and the notable Russian share in the production and transportation of Azerbaijani gas for the EU, which “contradicts the EU’s objective of undermining Russia’s capacity to continue its war of aggression against Ukraine by cutting its revenues from oil and gas exports to the EU”.
It condemns the “inaction of Russian ‘peacekeepers’ and the overall role played by Russia, which for decades has fuelled the conflict and used it for its own political gains” and condemns Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for “exploiting the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh to promote an imperialistic agenda and for encouraging further attacks against Armenia’s sovereignty.”
The resolution expresses “deep dissatisfaction at the fact that regular alerts by Parliament regarding the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the risks of a catastrophic outcome have been disregarded by the [European] Commission and the [European] Council” and “demands that the EEAS [European External Action Service] reconsider its action in the South Caucasus and replace dedicated staff.” It also expresses regret about the “slow response by the EU institutions, with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy only releasing a statement two days after Azerbaijan launched its attack against Nagorno-Karabakh.”
10:20 a.m.: Azerbaijan’s State Security Service reported that Artsakh’s former President Arayik Harutyunyan has been charged with several offenses.
8:50 a.m.: Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement saying that governments involved in facilitating talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia “should secure concrete commitments from Azerbaijan’s president on respecting, protecting, and implementing the right to return of ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh.”
The statement said Azerbaijan’s plan for reintegration of the region and its residents should “set out how, in both the short and long-term, it will respect human rights, in particular those of ethnic minorities; and it should welcome an independent mission for sustained international monitoring of these commitments” and Azerbaijan’s partners “should insist on an international monitoring mission to report publicly on conditions facing ethnic Armenians who have remained in Nagorno-Karabakh, and to identify human rights violations, particularly those that would undermine ethnic Armenians’ right to return to their homes.”
12:04 a.m.: U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a statement on the need to support Armenia and reevaluate military assistance and security cooperation with Azerbaijan after using “military power to exert control over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, effectively erasing its Armenian population and rich history.”
8:10 p.m.: In a press briefing, Armenian government spokesperson Nazeli Baghdasaryan reported that 100,632 forcibly displaced individuals from Artsakh have crossed to Armenia and 98,216 have registered with the government.
7:04 p.m.: The Russian Federal Agency for the CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation’s office in Armenia has sent one ton of humanitarian aid to the displaced people from Artsakh.
It delivered another batch of humanitarian cargo to Syunik. About 1,000 kg of products, including blankets, bedding, food, detergents, toys and hygiene products for adults and children, were delivered to border villages.
7:01 p.m.: Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan told parliament that he considered the UN response to the events in Artsakh “too little, too late”. He added that he has been told from the UN that there will be additional statements.
6:38 p.m.: Azerbaijani media reports that 15 Armenians have applied to Azerbaijan’s State Migration Service to join the “reintegration process” in Artsakh.
5:29 p.m.: Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis stated that Lithuania is sending €350,000 humanitarian aid to Armenia to help address the immediate needs of those who fled from Artsakh.
“We support Armenia’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and the path of democracy chosen by the Armenian people,” he stated.
4:59 p.m.: The UK Ambassador to Armenia John Gallagher visited Goris, Syunik, to “learn more about the situation on the ground related to the vulnerable population displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh”
4:15 p.m.: In a press briefing, Armenian government spokesperson Nazeli Baghdasaryan reported that 100,632 forcibly displaced persons from Artsakh have crossed to Armenia and 96,940 have already registered with the government.
4:08 p.m.: In a press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated that Russia is receiving information that some residents of Karabakh who have left the region earlier are planning to return. She added that Russia will “assist these processes” in cooperation with Azerbaijan.
1:47 p.m.: Artsakh parliamentarian Davit Galstyan told Tert.am that Artsakh’s President Samvel Shahramanyan is in Armenia.
1:46 p.m.: In a press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova responded to EU President Charles Michel’s remarks that Russia betrayed Armenians.
“When Russian peacekeepers acted as intermediaries to achieve a ceasefire, the European Union also observed this from the sidelines, not considering any practical assistance. Representatives of our country organized the delivery of humanitarian aid to Nagorno-Karabakh after the unblocking of the Lachin corridor and accompanied residents of Karabakh traveling to Armenia. The European Union watched all of this in silence, from the sidelines. Well, not exactly in silence, they were quietly inciting and telling Armenian citizens falsehoods about how Russia had allegedly betrayed them. What was agreed upon through Moscow’s mediation, Yerevan refused to implement, and it was the European Union that betrayed the Armenians.”
1:28 p.m.: Azerbaijani media reports that Baku has refused the five-way meeting scheduled for October 5 at the European Political Community summit in Granada, Spain between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, France, Germany, and the EU.
“Azerbaijan proposed Turkey’s participation in the meeting and insisted on it. However, this was not allowed, France and Germany showed special zeal in this matter. An anti-Azerbaijani atmosphere has been formed in the five-way format proposed to Azerbaijan,” Apa.az said.
“Against the background of the pro-Armenian statements of French officials (Minister of Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs, etc.), the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to Armenia and military cooperation, statements about the provision of arms and ammunition, and yesterday’s accusation against Azerbaijan by the President of the EU Council, Charles Michel, Azerbaijan did not see the need to participate in the negotiations in this format,” the outlet continued.
It said “Baku does not see the need to discuss the problems of the region with countries far from the region” and instead can be “discussed within the regional framework.”
1:25 p.m.: The ICRC reports that the “most vulnerable – including the elderly, sick, and disabled – are unable to easily leave” Artsakh. ICRC teams have been in the streets with megaphones, to find those who need help or wish to be evacuated. They found Susanna, an elderly cancer patient, in her 4th floor apartment. She was alone and unable to get out of her bed. Neighbors left her food and water, but could not bring her when they fled. After being ensured stable, she was evacuated by ambulance.
1:11 p.m.: Belgium’s Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib states that Belgium, through B-FAST, a government structure that is activated when providing emergency aid abroad, has decided to respond positively to the Armenian request to help burn patients of the fuel depot explosion.
“A medical team specializing in severe burns is traveling to Yerevan today. Made up of volunteers from the FPS Public Health and Defence, this team will be in contact with several hospitals in the Armenian capital in order to exchange know-how and best practices. It will be responsible for preparing the medical evacuation of seriously burned patients to Belgium. After arrival in Belgium, they will receive treatment at the burns center of the Queen Astrid Military Hospital in Neder-over-Heembeek (Brussels),” the Belgian Foreign Ministry said.
12:15 p.m.: U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Kristina A. Kvien tweeted: “Critical work by USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) in Goris where they work with Armenian and international partners to coordinate U.S. humanitarian response to those affected by the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
12:10 p.m.: In a press briefing, Armenian government spokesperson Nazeli Baghdasaryan reported that 100,625 forcibly displaced persons from Artsakh have crossed to Armenia and 95,711 have already registered with the government.
She also reported that 345 patients from Artsakh are currently being treated in Armenian hospitals. 102 are in critical condition, while 37 are in extremely critical condition.
10:44 a.m.: Armenia’s Foreign Ministry issues a statement condemning the arrest of Artsakh officials Arkadi Ghukasyan, Bako Sahakyan, Arayik Harutyunyan, Davit Ishkhanyan, Ruben Vardanyan and others.
It said that despite the dialogue with Artsakh representatives, Azerbaijani law enforcement continue “arbitrary arrests.” Armenia “will take all possible steps to protect the rights of illegally arrested representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh, including in international courts.”
The Armenian MFA called on international partners to follow up on all their messages addressed to Azerbaijan regarding the protection of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and to address the issue.
9:19 p.m.: In a press briefing, U.S. State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel stated that the U.S. continues to believe that there is a “strong desire and a need for a longer-term, independent international monitoring mission in Nagorno-Karabakh. We think that that will provide transparency; we think that it will provide the appropriate reassurances for the various rights and securities that we continue to be deeply concerned about.”
9:11 p.m: The Armenian government reports that 100,625 people have been forcibly displaced from Artsakh. Of those, 94,724 or 95%, are currently on the government registry.
8:32 p.m.: The European Parliament discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijan’s attack and the continuing threats against Armenia. Tigran Balayan, Armenia’s Ambassador-designate to the European Union, noted that European Parliament members are “unanimous in condemning ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh; Aliyev regime must face consequences for its actions; multifaceted EU support for Armenia; Armenians should return to Nagorno-Karabakh under international guarantees and presence.”
8:19 p.m.: Artsakh’s former President Arayik Harutyunyan has been arrested by Azerbaijan’s State Security Service and brought to Baku.
7:52 p.m.: Azerbaijani media reports that former presidents of Artsakh Arkadi Ghukasyan and Bako Sahakyan and ARF (Dashnkatsutyun) leader and parliament speaker Davit Ishkhanyan have been detained by Azerbaijan’s State Security Service and brought to Baku. There are also reports that former President Arayik Harutyunyan is also in Azerbaijani custody.
6:23 p.m.: Czech ambassador to Armenia, Petr Piruncik, stated that the Czech Foreign Ministry will provide Armenia with an “extraordinary humanitarian contribution” of 5 million Czech koruna (over $210,000).
“The money will go straight to organizations that directly ‘on the ground’ help forcibly displaced Armenian citizens,” he tweeted.
5:59 p.m.: The Swiss Foreign Ministry announced that Switzerland is “stepping up its support for civilians in Armenia and the region” by donating almost 1.5 million Swiss francs ($1.6 million) in funding, to be shared among the main humanitarian actors on the ground. It said 500,000 francs will be allocated to the ICRC, while the remainder will be divided among the main UN actors on the ground in the next few days.
4:52 p.m.: Artsakh’s Interior Ministry spokesperson Hunan Tadevosyan told Armenia’s Public TV that police and rescue workers have already moved to Armenia as search efforts in recent days were fruitless. Interior Minister Karen Sargsyan remains in Stepanakert with a small group of people. They will leave Artsakh in the coming days.
2:09 p.m.: Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu stated that the Russian peacekeepers, through their “selfless and professional actions” helped prevent a higher number of casualties in Artsakh. “Peacekeepers have provided comprehensive medical assistance to the injured and those in need,” he added.
2:08 p.m.: Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said that Russia has a heartfelt concern for Karabakh Armenians. He said Pashinyan’s recognition of Azerbaijan’s 1991 borders in October 2022 in Prague was the “precursor to the current situation.”
1:13 p.m.: In an interview with Euronews, European Council President Charles Michel said that “It is clear for everyone to see that Russia has betrayed the Armenian people.”
“Russia wanted to have soldiers on the ground to guarantee this peace and security agreement. But we see that the military operation was launched without the slightest reaction from the Russian peacekeeping forces in the territory. The European Union, on the other hand, had no force or military presence on the ground,” Michel added.
He also stated that he is “extremely disappointed by the decision that was taken by Azerbaijan” and has “expressed that very firmly to President Aliyev.”
Armenia Ratifies Rome Statute
Armenia’s parliament ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court by a vote of 60 in favor and 20 against. The process was launched on December 29, 2022 by the Armenian government to be able to hold Azerbaijan accountable for war crimes it committed during its invasions into Armenian territory in May 2021 and September 2022. The ratification of the Rome Statute is an additional and powerful international tool for Armenia that can serve as a deterrent for the commission of war crimes against its nationals and others on its territory. It is also an act of sovereignty: Armenia now joins a very important international club, demonstrating its real commitment to international legal order, peace and security.
Although Armenia had signed the statute in 1999, it was not ratified. In 2004, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled it unconstitutional according to the 1995 constitution. On March 24, 2023, the Constitutional Court ruled that the statute complies with the Constitution of Armenia. It was sent to parliament for ratification on September 1. On September 28 the parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs approved the bill. Yeghishe Kirakosyan, Armenia’s Representative on International Legal Matters, told lawmakers that the forced displacement of Artsakh Armenians is within the statute’s jurisdiction.
12:20 p.m.: Germany’s Foreign Ministry stated: “It is a positive step that Azerbaijan has allowed UN observers into Nagorno-Karabakh for the first time. They need a permanent presence, as only transparency can build trust in Azerbaijan’s promise to protect the rights of all residents and returnees to the region.”
12 p.m.: In a press briefing, Armenian government spokesperson Nazeli Baghdasaryan reported that 100,617 forcibly displaced people from Artsakh have crossed to Armenia. 91,918 people have registered with the government.
1:26 a.m.: U.S. Representative Anna G. Eshoo and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi led 75 bipartisan House Members in writing to President Biden in support of strong U.S. action to alleviate the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and hold Azerbaijan accountable for engaging in ethnic cleansing against Artsakh’s Armenian population.
The members wrote: “In light of the unfolding mass displacement of Artsakh’s population, it is clear that our country’s response to this crisis has not been commensurate with the scale of the devastation. We believe the United States must make clear to Azerbaijan that its unprovoked aggression against Artsakh is unacceptable and will be met with an appropriate response.”
In the letter, the members urge the Biden Administration to provide robust humanitarian aid to support Artsakh’s displaced population; hold Azerbaijan accountable for violating human rights through targeted sanctions and the suspension of U.S. military aid; send observers to the Lachin Corridor to ensure the safe evacuation of Artsakh’s population; and engage with Azerbaijan to secure amnesty for Artsakh’s leaders.
1:08 a.m.: Armenian Ambassador-at-Large Edmon Marukyan tweeted in response to the UN mission to Artsakh: “The so-called UN mission in Nagorno-Karabakh did their best to legitimize the ethnic cleansing, arbitrary detentions, destructions of the civilian infrastructure and other crimes committed by Azerbaijan. These guys are discrediting the UN as an institution. I look forward to the UN investigation on the activities of these ‘representatives’.”
9:50 p.m.: Norway’s Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt conveyed to her Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan “Norway’s serious dismay over mass displacement of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians to Armenia.”
“Norway’s focus is now on humanitarian support for NK civilians and supporting Armenia in its tremendous efforts,” she said.
9:29 p.m.: In a press briefing, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller made several remarks about Artsakh.
When asked whether the U.S. thinks what happened there is ethnic cleansing, Miller responded: “We take allegations of ethnic cleansing, genocide, or other atrocities seriously. We are in touch with contacts on the ground about the situation. We won’t shy from taking appropriate actions to respond to allegations of atrocities and promote accountability for those responsible for atrocities when we see evidence that they’ve taken place. But as always, a determination regarding genocide or ethnic cleansing is based on a deliberate, evidence-based process. It’s not something I can speak to with any degree of finality from this podium.”
When pressed that the region has been “emptied of its civilian population”, Miller added: “It is certainly true that a hundred thousand, or I should say around a hundred thousand, ethnic Armenians have departed Nagorno-Karabakh for Armenia. Now, we don’t know – I don’t think any of us can say whether – what percentage of those plan to remain in Armenia permanently, what percentage of them may want to come back, if the conditions allowed, if they felt sufficient assurances about their treatment if they would return, which is why we are reiterating our call for an independent international monitoring mission that would provide transparency and reassurance to the population of Nagorno-Karabakh that the rights and securities of ethnic Armenians would be protected, particularly for any of those that wish to return. Azerbaijan has made those assurances. We think there ought to be an international monitoring mission there to observe and guarantee them.”
He went on to welcome the UN mission to Artsakh and added that the U.S. continues to work with “allies and partners about what a more long-term mission ought to look like.”
9:15 p.m.: In a meeting with the diplomatic corps, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan presented the “current situation created as a result of Azerbaijan’s ongoing policy of Armenophobia towards the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and, in particular, the large-scale military attack carried out on September 19. The Minister reminded that Azerbaijan’s actions were accompanied by targeting of the civilian population and infrastructure, resulting in hundreds of casualties and wounded.”
He emphasized that the “continuous warnings from the Armenian side that Azerbaijan, with its deliberate actions, was planning to subject Nagorno-Karabakh to ethnic cleansing, did not lead to effective steps by the international community to prevent Baku’s policy.” He said the UN mission to Nagorno-Karabakh was “much overdue” and the “only result of this mission could be stating the fact of ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population from Nagorno-Karabakh.”
8:12 p.m.: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, tweeted: “The EU stands with Armenia in assisting displaced people, I told Nikol Pashinyan on the phone. We have activated the Civil Protection Mechanism and mobilized humanitarian aid worth €5.2 million. Commissioner [for Crisis Management] Janez Lenarčič will travel to assess further needs on Friday.”
8:03 p.m.: The UN team has completed its mission to Karabakh and issued the following statement:
“A United Nations mission, led by Vladanka Andreeva, UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan, visited the Karabakh region in Azerbaijan on Sunday, 1 October.
“The team also included Ramesh Rajasingham, the Director of the Coordination Division of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as well as representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Refugee Agency, UNICEF and the World Health Organization, as well as a technical team from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office and the UN Department of Safety and Security.
“Traveling from Aghdam, the mission visited the city of Khankendi [Stepanakert], where the team met with the local population and interlocutors and saw first-hand the situation regarding health and education facilities. In parts of the city that the team visited, they saw no damage to civilian public infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and housing, or to cultural and religious structures. The mission saw that the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan was preparing for the resumption of health services and some utilities in the city. The mission saw that no shops were open.
“The mission saw very few local population remaining in the city. The team heard from interlocutors that between 50 and 1,000 ethnic Armenians remain in the Karabakh region.
“The mission was struck by the sudden manner in which the local population left their homes and the suffering the experience must have caused. The mission did not come across any reports – neither from the local population interviewed nor from the interlocutors – of incidences of violence against civilians following the latest ceasefire.
“With limited access to rural areas, no information was available on livestock and farming, including whether the farmers have access to or are ready for wheat sowing in the upcoming season. The mission did not observe any destruction of agricultural infrastructure or dead animals from the road.
“From the conversations that the team was able to have, it is difficult to determine at this stage whether the local population intends to return. What was clear is that there is a need to build trust and confidence, and this will require time and effort from all sides.
“The mission then drove down the Lachin road to the border crossing, a journey taken by more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians in recent days. The mission did not come across civilian vehicles traveling towards Armenia, while in Khankendi, the mission saw a bus with a dozen or so passengers heading to Armenia.
“While driving through Aghdam, which is part of the territories regained in 2020, the mission observed destruction and mine action needs, as well as the reconstruction efforts that are being made by the Government.
“The mission thanks all the interlocutors and the local population who shared their views. The UN in Azerbaijan plans to continue to regularly visit the region.
“The mission calls for all efforts to be made to ensure the protection of the rights of the local population. The UN in Azerbaijan stands ready to support the remaining local population and those who wish to return, in support of the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and in partnership with other stakeholders and partners.”
8 p.m.: In its daily bulletin, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that an “unidentified” individual opened fire with sniper weapons on a joint Russian-Azerbaijani patrol in Stepanakert.
7:21 p.m.: At a press briefing, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, stated that the UN mission to the “Karabakh region of Azerbaijan” was a “day trip, but they got to see quite a bit.” He said the UN team “plans to continue to regularly visit the region.”
5 p.m.: ICRC Armenia told Azatutyun that it has received hundreds of calls from Artsakh residents about their missing relatives. Additionally, the ICRC transported 33 bodies of dead individuals from Artsakh to Armenia.
4:14 p.m.: Azerbaijan’s presidential administration unveiled what it calls a plan of “reintegration of Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region.”
Legal and Governance sphere:
Governance in areas inhabited by Armenian residents is carried out through the offices of special representatives of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Residents may be involved in the work of the offices of the special representatives.
According to the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, municipalities are formed through elections.
Citizenship issues of residents are addressed based on relevant procedures and in accordance with the Constitution and legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The process of disarmament and disbandment is completed, and all weapons are collected from residents.
The internal affairs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan are responsible for ensuring public order and security of residents in the area. Residents may be recruited to internal affairs bodies.
Over a certain period of time, the provision of physical and social infrastructure (education, healthcare, energy, gas, water, roads, communications, irrigation, etc.) in areas populated by residents is brought in line with the average level across the country.
The incentive package related to the special economic regime and introduced for the purpose of accelerating economic development in Karabakh and East Zangezur economic regions, including tax and customs concessions, applies to areas populated by residents.
Full circulation of the national currency of the Republic of Azerbaijan is ensured.
Support measures are implemented to encourage entrepreneurial activity in areas populated by residents. Low-interest loans, interest subsidization, loan guarantees, and other financial instruments utilized to enhance business access to finance in the country also apply to areas populated by residents.
Farmers are provided with subsidies and exemptions from all taxes except for the land tax.
Property issues are regulated in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Residents are covered by a system of remunerations and social payments existing in the country.
Residents are entitled to social benefits, social services and employment programs for Karabakh and East Zangezur economic regions.
Residents can benefit from field services (Mobile ASAN and Mobile DOST).
Cultural, educational and religious spheres:
The right of residents to preserve and develop their culture and ethno-cultural peculiarities is guaranteed.
The freedom of religion and protection of cultural and religious monuments are guaranteed.
Opportunities are created for the use of the Armenian language.
Contacts with representatives of Armenian residents regarding reintegration will be continued.
4 p.m.: In a press briefing, Armenian government spokesperson Nazeli Baghdasaryan reported that 100,520 forcibly displaced people have crossed to Armenia through the Hakari bridge, up only by six from yesterday. 89,167 people have registered with the Armenian government.
She noted that the flow of people has largely stopped and the only people in Artsakh are officials and civil servants and a small number of civilians.
Armen Ghazaryan, head of Armenia’s Migration Service, reported that among the 89,167 registered individuals 46,139 are females, while 43,028 are males; 10,700 are senior citizens, while 27,000 are under 18. Among the displaced are 230 pregnant women and over 2000 people with disabilities.
Among the registered, over 45,000 are from Stepanakert, more than 15,000 from Martuni district, over 13,000 from Martakert district, and over 10,000 from Askeran district.
3:26 p.m.: Armenia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs reports that 20 children and 216 elderly from Artsakh, without caretakers, are currently under its care.
12:37 p.m.: In a press briefing, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani stated that “Iran supports full return of this occupied region [Nagorno-Karabakh] to Azerbaijan.” He said the details of Iranian humanitarian aid to forcibly displaced Armenians will be released by the Iranian Red Crescent Society.
12:18 p.m.: The preliminary investigation into the criminal case of Vagif Khachatryan, a 68-year old resident of Artsakh, who was abducted from the checkpoint on the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan on July 29, has been sent to the Baku military court, according to Azerbaijani media.
9:39 p.m.: According to the Artsakh Infocenter, President Samvel Shahramanyan of Artsakh will stay in Stepanakert with a group of officials until the search and rescue operations for the remains of those killed and those missing following Azerbaijan’s large-scale attack on September 19-20 and the explosion of a fuel depot in Askeran region on September 25 are completed.
“We also inform you that the government continues to focus on the issue of those citizens who want to move to the Republic of Armenia, who may be in the territory of the Republic for various reasons,” the statement read.
9:21 p.m.: Catherine Colonna, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit Armenia on October 3. She will meet with the country’s leadership and “the Armenian refugees who fled Nagorno-Karabakh, after the military offensive launched by Azerbaijan on September 19 and nine months of illegal blockade, under the complicit gaze of Russia.”
According to the press release, Colonna will reiterate France’s commitment to Armenia and reaffirm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia and recall “France’s mobilization in favor of a just and lasting peace in the Caucasus and respect for the rights of the Armenian populations in Nagorno-Karabakh” that includes “tripling of humanitarian aid provided by France for the benefit of Armenia and the populations of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
9:11 p.m.: In a press briefing, Armenian government spokesperson Nazeli Baghdasaryan stated that 100,514 people and 21,106 vehicles have crossed the Hakari bridge. 85,975 people have already registered with the government; 49% are males and 51% females. These include 22,650 families/households.
48,649 people have received accommodation by the government, including 2,305 in Aragatsotn, 12,445 in Ararat, 4,461 in Armavir, 3,996 in Gegharkunik, 2,686 in Lori, 11,630 in Kotayk, 2,275 in Shirak, 4,592 in Syunik, 1,937 in Vayots Dzor and 2,322 in Tavush.
Among the registered, there are 222 pregnant women, 2,105 disabled and 283 wounded persons.
She added that, according to the Health Ministry, 363 patients from Artsakh are currently being treated in hospitals in Armenia, including 214 who were wounded in the fuel depot explosion on September 25, and 114 wounded during the Azerbaijani attack of September 19-20.
7:53 p.m.: Artsakh’s Human Rights Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan reports that the last bus from Stepanakert has reached Goris with 15 passengers and said that a small team of dedicated people went door to door to evacuate the helpless.
He noted that if there are those that have been left alone or “helpless people” still remaining in Artsakh, they can be transported to Armenia by the ICRC.
3:47 p.m.: Azerbaijani presidential adviser Hikmet Hajiyev stated that if Artsakh Armenians accept Azerbaijani citizenship, Azerbaijan “will protect and ensure their rights and their security” and will “establish a municipality system so that they can govern their affairs at a local level, and religious and cultural rights will be assured.”
3:26 p.m.: Toivo Klaar, the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, tweeted: “UN mission in Karabakh now underway. We look forward to findings and recommendations.”
12:25 p.m.: Armenian government spokesperson Nazeli Baghdasaryan reported that 100,483 forcibly displaced persons from Artsakh have arrived in Armenia; 84,408 persons have registered with the government and 45,516 have already accepted accommodation offered by the government.
11:08 a.m.: Azerbaijan has announced an international search for Artsakh’s former President Arayik Harutyunyan, and the former commander of the Defense Army, Jalal Harutyunyan.
10:03 a.m.: Azerbaijani media reports that a UN mission has arrived in Artsakh.
“The members of the mission passed through Aghdam in the morning and moved in the direction of Asgaran-Khankandi [Askeran-Stepanakert]. The purpose of the mission is to familiarize with the situation on the ground and to determine the humanitarian needs of the residents. The mission includes representatives of various UN agencies,” Azerbaijan media said.
EVN Security Report
The Russo-Azerbaijani Trap and the Collapse of the Artsakh Republic
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EVN Report's Editor-in-Chief Maria Titizian speaks with Dr. Nerses Kopalyan, author of the monthly series "EVN Security Report" about how the status quo established by the Russo-Azerbaijani tandem in Nagorno-Karabakh completely broke down after Baku, coordinating operations with Russian forces, launched a massive invasion, culminating in the collapse of the Artsakh Republic.Read more
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EVN News Watch
The humanitarian crisis in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) has reached a tipping point. For almost nine months, the Lachin Corridor has been under a blockade and since June, delivery of humanitarian aid by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Russian peacekeepers, has also been blocked by Azerbaijan. Live updates from the month of September 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 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