While Armenian soldiers and volunteers are waging fierce battles for the defense of Artsakh, as tens of thousands of women, children and the elderly from Artsakh have been forcibly displaced, as fierce battles for the defense of Shushi continue, domestic opposition forces today issued a statement demanding the resignation of the country’s Prime Minister and Government.
Here is a chronology of official updates.
9 a.m.: Armenian Unified Infocenter: Peaceful settlements, aside from Stepanakert, were relatively calm overnight. After midnight, Azerbaijani forces targeted Stepanakert using long-range cluster missiles, causing damage to civilian infrastructure. No casualties were reported.
9:50 a.m.: Artsakh’s State Service of Emergency Situations: Azerbaijani forces are continuing war crimes by keeping peaceful civilians and civilian settlements under constant fire. Stepanakert was attacked by long-range missiles. They are targeting apartment buildings, civilian neighborhoods and businesses. There are no military installations in these areas.
10:10 a.m: President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan wrote the following on his Facebook Page:
“Early in the morning, I visited the military defense positions of Stepanakert, and spoke with the soldiers of the Defense Army and civilian militias who have been repelling the enemy’s attempts to attack Stepanakert from Shushi for more than a day.
“During my tour, I also met with General Mnatsakanyan. The large-scale and invaluable service he is rendering to the homeland on these days will be made public after the war.”
10:25 a.m.: Defense Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan wrote the following on her Facebook Page:
Units of Artsakh’s Defense Army fought defensive battles in the southeastern, southern and southwestern directions of the front line overnight. Intensive battles were waged against Azerbaijani units near Shushi-Karin Tak; they retreated after losing large numbers of forces.
Defense Army units have improved their positions along the front line. Armenian forces managed to destroy one Azerbaijani tank, four vehicles and eight drones. In the southeast, Armenian forces also confiscated Azerbaijani artillery and one tank. Throughout the military operations, the adversary has continued targeting peaceful settlements in Artsakh using missile and artillery systems as well as their air force. In the morning, Azerbaijani forces resumed their offensive in the main directions of the front line. The operative-tactical situation is under the control of Defense Army units.
10:25 p.m.: The Artsakh Defense Army has published the names of another 44 Armenian servicemen killed in battle:
Grigoryan, Karen [Arbeni], b. 2001
Sahakyan, Armen [Armani], b. 2000
Dadamyan, Armen [Valerii], b. 1980 (reservist)
Tsatryan, Albert [Arturi], b. 1991 (reservist)
Gagreyan, Gor [ Styopayi], b. 1996 (reservist)
Avetisyan, Martun [Papishi], b. 1960 (reservist)
Grigoryan, Artur [Volodyayi], b. 1977
Hovhannisyan, Vardan [Gevorgi], b. 2001
Hovhannisyan, Garnik [Kareni], b. 2001
Galstyan, Tigran [Garniki], b. 2000
Sukiasyan, Styopa [Sardari], b. 2001
Kirakosyan, Hayk [Artsviki], b. 1986
Barseghyan, Robert [Varazdati], b. 1998 (reservist)
Yeganyan, Garnik [Feliksi], b. 2001
Zakaryan, Garnik [Sisaki], b. 1976
Galstyan, Vagharshak [Seryozhayi], b. 1989
Manukyan, Ararat [Gagiki], b. 1983
Vardanyan, Artak [Husiki], b. 1986
Khachatryan, Kim [Simoni], b. 1995 (volunteer)
Arshakyan, Ruben [Samveli], b. 1983
Karapetyan, Hmayak [Grishayi], b. 1979
Chobanyan, Harutyun, [Sargsi], b. 1993
Grigoryan, Davit [Kamoyi], b. 1996 (volunteer)
Galstyan, Artur [Sureni], b. 1964
Asatryan, Karen [Gevorgi], b. 1980
Adamyan, Genadi [Georgii], b. 1956 (reservist)
Hakobyan, Karapet [Nshani], b. 1997
Poghosyan, Artur [Sisaki], b. 1997
Babajanyan, Gevorg [Davti], b. 2001
Minasyan, Armen [Smbati], b. 2001
Meliksetyan, Karen [Armeni], b. 2001
Karapetyan, Hrahat [Paylaki], b. 1983
Babayan, Ashot [Manaseri], b. 1983
Gabrielyan, Gagik [Avetisi], b. 1952 (reservist)
Petikyan, Karen [Vardani], b. 1998
Tigranyan, Arakel [Tigrani], b. 2002
Sukiasyan, Hayk [Artushi], b. 1996
Soghomonyan, Artak [Soghomoni], b. 1990
Sukiasyan, Harutyun [Armeni], b. 1997
Margaryan, Seryozha [Hmayaki], b. 1991
Shahinyan, Hakob [Artaki], b. 1987
Harutyunyan, Grigor [Levoni], b. 1984 (reservist)
Padunc, Sos [Mushegi], b. 2001
Harutyunyan, Hovhannes [Zhorayi], b. 1991 (reservist)
The Battle for Shushi Continues
10:45 a.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan of the Defense Ministry wrote: “Battles near Shushi are continuing. The units of the Defense Army are successfully carrying out their tasks, depriving the opponent from initiating attacks.”
12:05 p.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan of the Defense Ministry said that Artsakh Defense Army units neutralized Azerbaijani forces near Karin Tak, using missile and artillery systems. The adversary sustained significant losses.
12:37 p.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan of the Defense Ministry said that, besides Shushi, there are battles in other directions which are also crucial: “The attempts by the adversary towards the direction of Martuni, Martakert, Taghavard and other places have been suspended.”
1:30 p.m.: According to RIA Novosti, in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan proposed creating a working group to resolve the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“As the diplomatic source of the television channel confirms, Putin welcomed the offer of the Turkish leader. It was said that negotiations over the Karabakh crisis might soon return to a bilateral format that will be outside the scope of the OSCE Minsk Group,” RIA Novosti wrote, adding that following the conversation, the Kremlin confirmed "mutual readiness for cooperation."
4:55 p.m.: Defense Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan announced that Armenian forces repelled an attack by Azerbaijani forces in the direction of Karmir Shuka at 2:20 p.m. The battles in the southeastern direction continue and three Azerbaijani UAVs were downed between 12:10 p.m and 2:50 p.m.
Artsakh Presidential Spokesperson Says Armenian Forces Have Lost Control of Shushi
5:15 p.m.: Vahram Poghosyan, the Spokesperson of Artsakh’s President wrote the following on his Facebook Page:
“Today, the President made a statement which precipitated a heavy mood in public circles. It is natural, because war is a series of acts of heavy struggle, where neither success nor failure is guaranteed. Unfortunately, we have to admit that, to this day, the chain of failures continues to haunt us: the city of Shushi is completely out of our control and all kinds of propaganda and reassurances do not give us anything, other than a false sense of reality.
“It is time to tighten our belts because the adversary is at the gates of Stepanakert and the existence of the capital is already endangered.
“If we want Shushi to be ours again and preserve Artsakh, we have to use all our capabilities to organize a reliable defense in Stepanakert and other directions of the front line. This is the real and reliable guarantee of success. False calls of victory and Facebook speculations will lead us to losing everything bit-by-bit.
“And history will not forgive us for that...
“We are fighting till the end.”
17 Political Parties Demand Resignation of Nikol Pashinyan and the Government
6:30 p.m.: The following is a statement made by 17 political parties in Armenia:
The Armenian people, parliamentary and extra-parliamentary political forces, have combined their capacity to resist the Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression against the two Armenian states.
In these days of war, we have made numerous proposals to the authorities, urging them to make a breakthrough on the political, diplomatic and military fronts, including proposals for meetings aimed at resolving the situation, which have remained unanswered and unfulfilled.
The war is fierce, the losses are heavy and irreversible. As a state, we, the people, are facing a crucial milestone that requires decisive actions. Meanwhile, the steps taken by the political authorities are not commensurate with the threat to the survival of our people.
During this period, the government has shown its obvious inability to meet internal and external challenges. The human and territorial losses, the deficient relations of Armenia's allies, most of all with the Russian Federation, make the bankruptcy of the current government obvious.
The entire responsibility for this situation lies with the political authorities, who did not get rid of their complex of infallibility, putting the two Armenian states in dire straits, and Artsakh in the face of serious territorial losses. Therefore, the authorities have been deprived of the political and moral foundation to represent the Armenian people.
To prevent irreversible losses, we demand:
1. The immediate and voluntary removal of Prime Minister Pashinyan and his government responsible for the catastrophic situation;
2. The urgent creation of a new executive body with the ability to make a breakthrough in the situation, solving military-political problems.
At this crucial moment, our demand is dictated by the imperative of the existence of the two Armenian states, with the confidence that, in the new situation, the unbreakable Armenian army and the united Armenian people are able to ensure a victorious breakthrough on the battlefield.
1. Freedom Party
2. National Security Party
3. National Agenda Party
4. National Democratic Union Party
5. National Accord Party
6. Alliance of Progressive Centrists Party
7. Prosperous Armenia Party
8. Democratic Alternative Party
9. Yerkir Tsirani Party
10. Armenian Revolutionary Federation Party
11. Solidarity Party
12. Democratic Liberal Union of Armenia Party
13. Republican Party of Armenia
14. Christian-Democratic Union of Armenia Party
15. Homeland Party
16. One Armenia Party
17. Constitutional Law Union Party
In related news, the leaders of the two opposition factions in Armenia’s parliament, Gagik Tsarukyan of Prosperous Armenia and Edmon Marukian of Bright Armenia, demanded an immediate meeting with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. In a joint statement, the leaders “reminded the Prime Minister about the request they made in late October for an urgent meeting of the Security Council with the participation of opposition lawmakers. They said Pashinyan gave no official response to that request.”
Azerbaijani Forces Shoot Down Russian Military Helicopter
6:40 p.m.: According to Sputnik Armenia, a Russian helicopter was shot down by Azerbaijani forces based in the Nakhichevan exclave. At approximately 6:39 p.m., the Crisis Management Center of Armenia’s Ararat region received a call that a helicopter had crashed, bursting into flames in a gorge near the villages of Yeraskh and Paruyr Sevak. First responders and three fire trucks from Armenia’s Ministry of Emergency Services were dispatched to the scene.
Artsakh President’s Message to the Armenian People
7:07 p.m.: President Arayik Harutyunyan of Artsakh wrote the following:
“Military operations continue along the entire length of the front line. The Artsakh Defense Army and the civilian militia stand firmly on the homeland and we will fight against the adversary till the end.
“Our united struggle can change the situation; we can throw the enemy out of our Artsakh because the outcome of the war will be decided by the strong will of the people. The Armenian people can still express that will and determination. Each one of us must stand firmly in our positions and the positive outcome will be guaranteed.
7:15 p.m.: Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote on his Facebook Page: The battles for Shushi continue.
7:35 p.m.: Masis Mayilian, the Foreign Affairs Minister of Artsakh, wrote in a Facebook post: Battles continue in the direction of the city of Shushi in the Republic of Artsakh. Shushi has and will be Armenian. It is time for a breakthrough.
7:40 p.m.: The Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed that a Russian Mi-24 helicopter was shot down over Armenia near the border with Azerbaijan killing two crew members, and injuring a third. The helicopter crashed in a mountainous area in Armenia. According to the announcement, the helicopter was shot down by a portable surface-to-air missile (MPADS).
"On November 9, at about 17:30 Moscow time, while escorting a convoy of the 102nd Russian military base through the territory of the Republic of Armenia in the air space near the Armenian settlement of Yeraskh, near the border of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic (Republic of Azerbaijan), the Russian Mi-24 helicopter was subjected to fire from the ground from MPADS,” the Russian Defense Ministry statement read.
8:30 p.m.: Ministry of Defense representative Artsrun Hovhannisyan is undergoing medical examinations after he experienced blood pressure fluctuations, MoD spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan told Armenpress. Stepanyan said Hovhannisyan is feeling well and that news about him having had a heart attack are not true.
Azerbaijan Admits Shooting Down Russian Helicopter
8:30 p.m.: Azerbaijan admitted that it accidentally shot down a Russian Mi-24 helicopter. This was reported by the country's Foreign Ministry. The Ministry explained that the error occurred because the helicopter was flying in close proximity to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, while active military clashes were taking place. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said the flight took place in the dark, at low altitude and outside the radar detection zone of air defense systems, adding that Russian helicopters have not previously been seen in the area where the incident occurred.
Due to the tense situation in the region and heightened combat readiness in connection with "possible provocations of the Armenian side," the crew on duty “decided to open fire to kill,” the Foreign Ministry said. "The Azerbaijani side apologizes to the Russian side in connection with this tragic incident, which is of the nature of an accident and was not directed against the Russian side.” Baku expressed readiness to pay compensation in connection with the incident and conveyed condolences to the families and friends of the crew members killed.
8:55 p.m.: Defense Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan: Units of the Artsakh Defense Army are waging fierce battles for Shushi. The adversary is coming under intense fire. Two Azerbaijani soldiers have been taken into captivity.
9:20 p.m.: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said today that there is no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and that Moscow does not share Ankara's views on the issue.
"We have formulated our approach very clearly, saying that we do not see a forceful, military solution to this problem. As you have probably heard many times, other statements have been made from Ankara in this regard,” Zakharova said. “I can reaffirm Russia's position that our country does not support a forceful solution to this issue, and we seek and urge the parties to cease hostilities as soon as possible."
Ministry of Defense Press Briefing
10 p.m.: During a live press briefing, Colonel Suren Sarumyan of the Artsakh Defense Army said that, during the past three days, Azerbaijani forces have concentrated their efforts on Shushi. During those three days, tense battles took place and units of the Artsakh Defense Army have persistently continued protecting one of the symbols of Artsakh - the ancient fortress city of Shushi - and are ready to fulfill their task with honor. During the day, Azerbaijani forces again launched attacks in the direction of Shushi, but they were detected by Armenian forces and suffered significant losses. Sarumyan noted that two Azerbaijani soldiers have been taken into captivity by Defense Army units. Azerbaijani forces also waged military operations in other directions of the front line. In certain directions, Armenian forces managed to improve their positions. At the same time, Armenian forces managed to destroy one Azerbaijani tank, four vehicles and eight drones. In the southwest, Armenian forces managed to confiscate Azerbaijani artillery and one tank. At the moment, military operations in the direction of Shushi continue. Sarumyan stressed that the logic of combat operations presupposes development of those operations and time is required for that to happen. “It is possible to speak about the efficiency of military operations when they have already completed or are close to being completed,” he said, noting that the geography of military operations is oftentimes confidential information and it is often not expedient to speak about improvements of military positions. Sarumyan also urged everyone to follow and trust only official sources and stressed that they have nothing to hide from the people.
Sarumyan said that, in certain directions, the Azerbaijani side has managed to infiltrate into the territory of Artsakh. Retreat of Armenian forces in areas which are considered to be a security zone, was due to tactical considerations. He reassured that the Armed Forces “will destroy the adversary, to suppress aggressive aspirations.” Armenian troops are in a combat ready position and soldiers are ready to protect their homeland till the end. Sarumyan explained that Azerbaijani forces try to compensate for their losses on the battlefield by targeting the civilian population, which is a war crime, and that today was no exception. The operative-tactical situation is under the control of the Defense Army units, he said and assured that the victory will be ours.
While answering reporters’ questions, Sarumyan said that, when the military-political leadership of a country, in this case Azerbaijan, sets a symbolic task and is ready to fulfill it at the cost of the lives of its servicemen, then it is possible for them enter a settlement for one or two minutes and to raise a flag [in reference to a video published by the Azerbaijani military of them entering Shushi], and this usually costs them their lives, said Sarumyan.
Speaking about the Russian helicopter that was shot down by the Azerbaijani side, Sarumyan said that it was accompanying the convoy of the Russian military base and was hit by a missile from Azerbaijani forces in the Nakhichevan exclave.
Sarumyan also talked about Artsrun Hovhannisyan’s prediction about an anticipated possible turning point in the battles for Shushi today and said that the results of military operations can be foreseen based on certain data but, since contemporary military operations are dynamic, there can be circumstantial changes of the situation which are not always predictable.
French Foreign Ministry on Military Advance Toward Shushi
10:30 p.m.: The French Foreign Ministry issued the following statement:
France expresses its very strong concern over the military advance toward the town of Shushi as the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh continues. The continued shelling of urban areas is unacceptable, given the risk of civilian casualties.
As President Macron and his Russian counterpart agreed this morning, we expect the parties to immediately resume their implementation of the humanitarian ceasefire commitments made repeatedly before the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, most recently on October 31 in Geneva.
10:50 p.m.: The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia expressed its condolences to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the death of the pilots of the helicopter of the Russian 102nd military base, targeted over the territory of the Republic of Armenia today.
#NagornoKarabakh— France Diplomacy🇫🇷 (@francediplo_EN) November 9, 2020
France expresses its very strong concern over the military advance toward the town of #Shushi. The continued shelling of urban areas is unacceptable, given the risk of civilian casualties.
Read our full statement: https://t.co/36ua6yklE0 pic.twitter.com/TWvqNaxggB
The official communication said that the Russian pilots were unfortunately killed while fulfilling their duty to protect Armenia’s security as mandated by the alliance between the two countries. Therefore, with the consent of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, they will be posthumously presented with the state awards of the Republic of Armenia.
11:54 p.m.: Artsakh’s Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan on the damage to civilian infrastructure in Stepanakert:
#Azerbaijan today also continued committing #WarCrimes with targeting civilian objects & population of #Artsakh/#Karabakh.— Artak Beglaryan (@Artak_Beglaryan) November 9, 2020
There are enormous destructions in different communities, including capital #Stepanakert.
No data on human casualties yet. pic.twitter.com/jBkb29aXMd
German Lawmakers Urge Government to Ban Turkish Grey Wolves
German lawmakers from opposition parties are urging the government to ban the Turkish far-right nationalist group Grey Wolves organization. German Green Party lawmaker Cem Özdemir believes that the group is the largest right-wing extremist organization in Germany, with up to 20,000 members. He noted that Grey Wolves were responsible for hundreds of murders in Turkey but did not limit their activities to Turkey alone.
“Surely, it cannot be that Turkish right-wing extremists in the middle of Berlin, Dortmund or Hamburg intimidate, beat up or threaten the lives of peaceful citizens. The German state must protect these people,” he added. German lawmakers' move came after the French ban of the Turkish far-right nationalist group.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Statements by Azerbaijani President in an Interview With BBC
Anna Naghdalyan, the spokesperson of Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement:
“In this interview, Ilham Aliyev confirms the absence of any justification for the deliberate targeting of the civilian population and civilian infrastructure of Stepanakert and other peaceful settlements in Artsakh, which have been documented by many eminent international media outlets and human rights watchdogs.
“Realizing that, sooner or later, he will bear the responsibility for the war crimes he has committed, Ilham Aliyev made a desperate attempt to deny the truth, by labelling it ‘fake news.’
“This statement by Ilham Aliyev, full of hatred, voiced out amid the continuous targeting of the civilian infrastructure of Artsakh by the Azerbaijani armed forces under his command, once again proves that under no circumstances can the people of Artsakh be put within Azerbaijan’s jurisdiction.”