After an evening of relative calm, or as Defense Ministry spokespeople called “stable tension,” attacks and counter-offensives intensified, primarily in the south and south east of the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact in Hadrut and Martuni. As the Armenian side reported shooting down a number of Azerbaijani military planes, helicopters and UAVs, foreign and Armenian journalists came under fire in Martuni, several of whom were injured and transported to hospital.
Late last night, the Defense Ministry of the Republic of Artsakh released the names of an additional 23 soldiers who were killed in action, bringing the total number of killed to 103. At the moment, the army has not released further information about soldiers killed in action and wounded or about material losses.
Here is a chronology of official updates.
8:15 a.m.: According to MoD spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan, the tension on the Artsakh-Azerbaijan “conflict zone remained relatively stable.” She wrote that there were exchanges of fire using artillery and firearms. With the objective of improving their military positions, “the adversary attempted a number of military exercises and maneuvers which were observed and prevented in time by the units of the Defense Army.”
The operative-tactical situation has not changed, Stepanyan said, adding that the units of the Defense Army stand ready and prepared for future military operations.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: Armenia and Artsakh are Fighting for Global Security
9:40 a.m.: PM Nikol Pashinyan wrote on his Facebook page that Armenian diplomacy has finally recorded “a great victory.” He said that the international community has now clearly registered that the Azerbaijani-Turkish tandem is fighting against Artsakh and Armenia with the help of mercenaries and terrorists: “Thus, the Artsakh front line has become a civilizational front line. Artsakh is fighting against international terrorism, the targets of which are not separated by geopolitical borders. That terrorism equally threatens the United States and Iran, Russia and France and Artsakh, Armenia and the Armenian people are fighting for global security.”
Live Press Briefing by Artsakh President Spokesperson
10 a.m.: During a press briefing, Vahan Poghosyan, the spokesperson of the President of Artsakh, said that for the first time since September 27, when Azerbaijan launched a large-scale offensive against Artsakh, relative calm was observed along the Line of Contact. The war, however, still continues. According to the data gathered by Armenian intelligence, most of the soldiers that died from the Azerbaijani side were national minorities living in Azerbaijan (in one direction alone 148 Lezgi soldiers were killed). This has caused significant dissatisfaction among the national minorities, who will soon start voicing their concerns about Azerbaijani policy, Poghosyan stated. Poghosyan went on to say that Azerbaijan’s practice of using provocations is not only against Armenians, but against people living in Azerbaijan. Similar practices of ethnic cleansing were also practiced against Armenians living in Artsakh, when Artsakh was part of the Soviet Azerbaijan. For example, during World War II, only one in every 19 men went to the war, while in Nagorno-Karabakh, it was one of every three: “Thereby, Azerbaijan’s policy towards its national minorities throughout history was very much discriminatory and was aimed at eliminating them.”
Poghosyan noted that when the bodies of Azerbaijani soldiers were collected, they found syringes in their pockets; this signifies that Azerbaijan is sending soldiers to the war who are under the influence of drugs. This, according to Poghosyan, is a war crime. He also said that the situation is under the control of the Armenian Armed Forces and that all provocative actions of the adversary will receive adequate response.
Defense Army Downs Azerbaijani Plane That Falls in Iran
11:22 a.m: On October 1, near the southern part of the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Contact Line, in the area of Varazatumb (Lele Tepe), the Defense Army units shot down an Azerbaijani military helicopter which fell in the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Artsakh’s Ministry of Defense announced that the incident does not have any intentions (towards Iran) and since the military operations unleashed by the Azerbaijani side are very close to the Iranian order, these kinds of incidents are unfortunately inevitable.
Live Press Briefing, Artsrun Hovhannisyan of Defense Ministry
12 p.m.: During a press briefing, Artsrun Hovhannisyan of Armenia’s MoD, said that the situation on the Line of Contact was relatively calm overnight, however, the situation escalated again in the morning. The Defense Ministry reported earlier that Defense Army units shot down an Azerbaijani military helicopter which fell in the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hovhannisyan said that all military operations undertaken by the Azerbaijani side were pushed back by Armenian forces, causing significant human and material losses. According to estimates, between 360-370 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and 600 wounded. Also, the Armenian Armed Forces destroyed three helicopters, 15 units of military equipment, including tanks, one Smerch and six UAVs. Hovhannisyan said that the military operations have intensified and artillery is being used by the Azerbaijani side.
While answering reporters’ questions, Artsrun Hovhannisyan noted that the international media reports and response of the diplomatic representatives of several leading countries shows that there can be no doubt about Azerbaijan and Turkey hiring mercenaries from international terrorist groups to fight against the Armenian side. He went on to say that evidence has already been presented.
Journalists Come Under Attack in Artsakh
1:30 p.m.: Anna Naghdalyan, the spokesperson of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry announced in a Facebook post that the Foreign Ministry of Armenia has accredited groups of journalists from more than 50 leading international media outlets. Accreditation applications continue with the same intensity. According to Naghdalyan, about 200 foreign journalists have already been accredited and most of them are in Armenia and Artsakh.
1:50 p.m.: According to the Armenian Unified infocenter, two journalists from Le Monde (French citizens) were injured in a bombing in Martuni. They were transported to hospital.
2:10 p.m.: Journalists from Armenia TV’s Zham News Program came under attack in Artsakh. Cameraman Aram Grigoryan was injured in the attack sustaining minor injuries. Also, the Russian TV Rain Channel tweeted that their journalist Dmitry Elovskiy came under fire in Martuni but was able to find shelter in a bunker.
2:40 p.m : 24news.am reported that their journalist Sevak Vardumyan was injured in Martuni. Vardumyan suffered back injury and was transferred to hospital.
3:36 p.m.: The Artsakh Infocenter posted that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces also targeted a car carrying reporters from Agence France-Presse currently covering the situation in Artsakh.
4:30 p.m.: According to the Armenian Unified Infocenter, Allan Kaval, one of the Le Monde journalists who was injured is now in surgery, his condition is critical. Kaval and his colleague were in the building of the Martuni Municipality when the city came under shelling by Azerbaijani forces.
2 p.m.: According to Artsrun Hovhannisyan of the Defense Ministry, Azerbaijani forces are attacking civilian populations. They are firing on Hadrut using artillery.
2:15 p.m.: During the meeting with members of the Security Council of Russia, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia, France and the U.S. will be issuing a joint statement. During the meeting, special attention was paid to the situation to the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact.
2:40 p.m.: According to MoD spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan, the Air Defense units of Armenia’s Defense Army shot down two Azerbaijani planes and one helicopter near the southern and southern-eastern direction of the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact.
3 p.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan from MoD announced that the Artsakh Defense Army shot down another plane bringing the total number to three planes and two helicopters. Earlier Hovhannisyan had posted that the Artsakh Defense Army had also shot down six UAVs.
Presidents of Russia, U.S. and France Issue Statement
3 p.m.: The presidents of Russia, U.S. and France (representing the co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group) issued a joint statement on the situation in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh). The presidents strongly condemned the escalation of violence in the region and called for immediate ceasefire, as well as a restart of the negotiations without any conditions.
“We mourn the victims and offer our condolences to the families of those killed and injured. We call for an immediate end to hostilities between the armed forces of the participating parties. We also urge the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to immediately commit to resuming substantive talks in good faith and without preconditions, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs”
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Turkey’s Motivations in the Conflict Zone
3:30 p.m.: Why has Turkey returned to the South Caucasus one hundred years later? To continue the Armenian Genocide.
However, continuing its genocidal policy for Turkey is not only about reinforcing its Armenophobia, it is also a pragmatic mission. Armenia and the Armenians of the South Caucasus are the last obstacle for Turkish expansion towards the north, towards the south-east and towards the east to continue and realize its imperialistic dream.
This is no longer just about Karabakh, this is not only about the security of the Armenian people. This is now an issue of international security and the Armenian people are fighting for international security, taking upon themselves a new historical mission.
5:10 p.m.: In response to Afghanistan’s statements, which support Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression, the Armenian Parliament officially applied to the Secretariat of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Parliamentary Assembly to deprive Afghanistan of its observer status.
French President Says His Country Has Evidence That Syrian Islamists From Turkey Are Taking Part in Military Activities in Artsakh
5:40 p.m.: At the Council of Europe, President of France Emmanuel Macron said his country has evidence that Syrian Islamists from Turkey are participating in military activities in Nagorno Karabakh [Artsakh]. He said: “We have concrete information that Syrian militants left the battlefield in Gaziantep to join the battles in Nagorno Karabakh. This is very serious and we will discuss it at today’s EU summit.” He also added that France is doing everything to transport their two wounded journalists from Le Monde back.
Child Injured in Iran, Armenian Side Says it Was From Azerbaijani Rocket Fire
5:40 p.m.: According to the Armenian Unified Infocenter, the governor of the Iranian province of Khod Afarin announced that a six-year-old child was injured when rocket fire from an artillery barrage hit a residential building in the village of Parviz Khanlu. The location of the village indicates that the rocket was fired from Azerbaijani forces.
Parviz Khanlu is located in the southwestern portion of the Line of Contact, in the rear of Artsakh Defense Army positions close to the Artsakh-Iranian border and 10-12km from Azerbaijani positions and the Azerbaijani-Iranian border.
6:04 p.m.: According to the Armenian Unified Infocenter, battles with varying intensity are taking place along the entire frontline. The Armenian Armed Forces have the upper hand in the situation; Azerbaijani firing positions are being suppressed.
6:50 p.m.: According to Shushan Stepanyan, MoD spokesperson, Azerbaijani forces have shelled the Vardenis-Sotk highway in the Republic of Armenia.
Fact-Finding Mission of Artsakh Ombudsman
The Republic of Artsakh’s Ombudsman (Human Rights Defender) initiated a fact-finding mission that has determined that from September 27-30, Azerbaijani armed forces targeted Artsakh’s civilian population, which resulted in the death of seven civilians, including a baby girl, two men (24 and 65 years old), four women (ages 59, 61, 63, 79). All, except the 24 year-old man, were killed in the courtyards of their homes, while the young man was killed near a village. Thirty-one individuals (seven females, 24 males) sustained serious injuries; 23 of them were injured at their places of residence (inside or close to their homes) as a result of shelling; six were injured inside a vehicle that was transporting them to a safer location, and two were injured elsewhere. Ten of the serious injuries took place in Stepanakert, five in Hadrut province, six in Martuni, eight in Martakert, two in Karvachar. Three of the injured are under the age of 14; five between the ages of 15-35; eight people between 36-50 and 15 over the age of 50. The Human Rights Defender’s office noted that these figures may not be exhaustive.
Russian Foreign Ministry Statement on Transfer of Foreign Mercenaries to the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict Zone
“According to incoming information, militants of illegal armed groups, in particular from Syria, Libya, are being transferred to the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in order to directly participate in hostilities.
“We are deeply concerned about these processes, which lead not only to an even greater escalation of tension in the conflict zone, but also create long-term threats to the security of all countries in the region.
“We call on the leaderships of the states concerned to take effective measures to prevent the use of foreign terrorists and mercenaries in the conflict and their immediate withdrawal from the region.”
Armenia’s Security Council Holds Emergency Meeting, Chaired by PM Nikol Pashinyan
The Security Council held an emergency meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Apart from the Security Council members, the meeting was attended by President Armen Sarkissian, National Assembly Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan, the Prime Minister’s Chief Staff Eduard Aghajanyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Suren Papikyan, and High-Tech Industry Minister Hakob Arshakyan.
The meeting focused on the operational situation along the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact and discussed further action by Armenian Armed Forces.
PM Nikol Pashinyan Has Telephone Conversation with European Council President Charles Michel
The conversation focused on the developments in Nagorno-Karabakh, on which the parties held a detailed discussion.
Prime Minister Pashinyan highlighted the inadmissibility of Turkey’s involvement in the hostilities. President Michel stressed the importance of immediate reinstatement of a ceasefire and the resumption of the peace process in the OSCE Minsk Group format.
Prime Minister Pashinyan mentioned the cessation of hostilities by Azerbaijan and ruling out Turkey’s involvement in the region as a prerequisite for resuming the peace process.
All-Armenian Fund Raises Almost $13 million
The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has already raised almost $13 million for its campaign “We Are Our Borders/All For Artsakh.”
Names of Killed Soldiers Released
The Artsakh Defense Ministry released the names of another 23 soldiers who were killed in battle. This brings the total number of killed to 103.
Danelin, Valeri, b. 1987
Chitchyan, Hayk, b. 1995
Zurabyan, Sevak, b. 1998
Babayan, Artak, b. 2001
Hovsepyan, Giorgi, b. 1995
Khujoyan, Arshaluys, b. 2001
Benyaminyan, Sergey, b. 1997
Soghomonyan, Sipan, b. 2001
Ghukasyan, Gevorg, b. 2001
Galstyan, Ishkhan, b. 2002
Jilavyan, Erik, b. 2001
Asliyan, Davit, b. 2001
Mkrtchyan, Hovhannes, b. 2001
Sahakyan, Erik, b. 1998
Panosyan, Seryoja, b. 2002
Torosyan, Manuk, b. 2002
Madoyan, Arsen, b. 1986
Galstyan, Edgar, b. 2000
Simonyan, Tigran, b. 2000
Ghazaryan, Grigor, b. 2001
Grigoryan, Hrant, b. 1989
Mkrtchyan, Henrik, b. 1985
Muradyan, Shavarsh, b. 1996 (volunteer)