Armenia’s Foreign Ministry on the Vandalization of Ghazanchetsots Church in Shushi
The following statement was issued by Armenia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry about the vandalization of the Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Church in Shushi:
Just a few days after the ceasefire regime entered into force, the entire world once again witnessed manifestations of the intolerant and racist attitude of Azerbaijan towards the Armenian people and Armenian religious and historical-cultural heritage. Numerous videos and photos have been published on Azerbaijani social media on the atrocities against the civilian population of Artsakh, acts of vandalism against the khachkars [cross-stones], religious sites and monuments, and their deliberate destruction.
In this regard, the desecration of the Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Church in Shushi, which has become a target of Azerbaijani barbarism, is especially outrageous.
The anti-Armenian atmosphere in Azerbaijan and the actions aimed at the complete annihilation of any trace of the Armenian presence in the territory of Artsakh are a blatant violation of international law, contradict universal values and should be severely condemned.
While strongly condemning this barbarism against the civilizational heritage of humanity, Armenia, in cooperation with the relevant international bodies, will continue to undertake practical steps to hold its perpetrators accountable and to fully prevent such acts.
Search for Missing Servicemen and Civilians; Removal and Exchange of Bodies Underway
A Painful Departure
These past few days, smoke rising from the valleys and mountains of Artsakh's Karvachar region has become a common sight as one family after another burns their house to the ground. Following the November 10, 2020, trilateral agreement among Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia that brought the Artsakh War to a tenuous end, Armenian residents of Karvachar were told they had to leave behind their lives and their homes for good. Initially, residents were given until November 15 to leave; this was later extended to November 25. Many families packed up their belongings, taking what they could with them and before leaving for good, set their houses on fire.
Defense Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan wrote the following on her Facebook Page.
On November 14, late into the night, with the involvement of representatives of the Russian peacekeeping contingent and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the search for missing servicemen and civilians as well as the removal and exchange of bodies of killed servicemen took place in areas where military operations took place. The bodies of the killed servicemen were exchanged on the Line of Contact.
Work resumed on November 15 with the participation of representatives of Armenia’s Defense Ministry, the Artsakh Defense Army and representatives of Artsakh’s State Service of Emergency Situations, and covered a larger geography.
On the initiative of the ICRC, additional teams are being prepared for extensive work in areas where military operations took place.
Civilian Traffic to Artsakh
Armenia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations has informed the public that civilian traffic to Artsakh is allowed only on the Vardenis-Sotk-Karvachar highway.
Artsakh Defense Army Releases More Names of Soldiers Killed in Action
The Artsakh Defense Army has published the names of 51 Armenian servicemen killed in battle. To date, 1431 names of soldiers killed in battle have been released.
Hovhannisyan, Hovhannes [Marzpeti], b. 2001
Manukyan, Mikayel [Eduardi], b. 2001
Grigoryan, Paruyr [Avetiki], b. 1984 (reservist)
Ghukasyan, Mher [Ashkharhabeki], b. 2000
Hovakimyan, Vahe [Seyrani], b. 2001
Musayelyan, Vardan [Samveli], b. 2002
Harutyunyan, Harutyun [Armeni], b. 2001
Arakelyan, Aren [Marati], b. 2000
Selimyan, Argam [Arakeli], b. 2001
Sargsyan, Garegin [Armeni], b. 1996
Stepanyan, Taron [Arseni], b. 1992
Hovhannisyan, Eghish [Maksimi], b. 1989
Manukyan, Ararat [Razmiki], b. 1971 (volunteer)
Ghalayan, Artash [Zhorayi], b. 1978 (volunteer)
Apresyan, Arsen [Vladimiri], b. 1978 (volunteer)
Sargsyan, Maksim [Vileni], b. 1990
Petrosyan, Khachik [Hrachiki], b. 1987
Beglaryan, Alen [Eghishi], b. 2000
Baghdasaryan, Armen [Roberti], b. 1997 (reservist)
Sargsyan, Arsen [Artyomi], b. 2001
Hakobyan, Henrik [Gurgeni], b. 2001
Mkheyan, Vahag [Martiki], b. 2001
Baghdasaryan, Davit [Armeni], b. 1996
Injighulyan, Gevorg [Hovhannesi], b. 1993
Gevorgyan, Albert [Vahagi], b. 1986
Papikyan, Vahagn [Zhorayi], b. 1969
Avetisyan, Artur [Mnatsakani], b. 1972 (reservist)
Martirosyan, Ruben [Razmiki], b. 1972 (volunteer)
Zohrabyan, Armen [Valteri], b. 1972 (volunteer)
Tumasyan, Vahag [Arami], b. 1981 (reservist)
Alishyan, Hovhannes [Armenaki], b. 1998 (reservist)
Khalatyan, Artur [Arshaki], b. 1988 (reservist)
Hovakimyan, Ara [Rubiki], b. 1998 (reservist)
Khachatryan, Harutyun [Roberti], b. 1997 (reservist)
Karapetyan, Hayk [Radiki], b. 1977
Grigoryan, Narek [Arayiki], b. 1992
Manukyan, Gagik [Sargsi], b. 1994
Mkrtchyan, Artyom [Aleksandri], b. 2000
Asiryan, Arkadi [Vahani], b. 2001
Unusyan, Hamlet [Gariki], b. 2000
Eghoyan, Samvel [Varuzhani], b. 2001
Meloyan, Vanush [ Khachiki], b. 2000
Dadamyan, Razmik [Sergeyi], b. 1996
Aghajanyan, Erik [Bashiri], b. 1984 (volunteer)
Vardazaryan, Artsrunik [Vardazari], b. 1958 (volunteer)
Stepanyan, Seryozha [Nikoghosi], b. 1983 (volunteer)
Saghatelyan, Sevak [Musheghi], b. 1977 (volunteer)
Hambardzumyan, Artur [Samveli], b. 1978 (volunteer)
Armaghanyan, Aleksandr [Ashoti], b. 1967 (volunteer)
Matevosyan, Davit [Ghevondi], b. 1960 (volunteer)
Balyan, Aram [Kamoyi], b. 1992 (volunteer)
Sale of Weapons “Blatant Lie”
Shushan Stepanyan, the spokesperson of the Defense Ministry, said that the information circulating on the Internet about the alleged sale of weapons by Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan and other high-ranking officials to Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries is a blatant lie and a manipulation aimed at discrediting the Ministry. The circulated documents on which their thesis is based are mostly false. Any investigative journalist can send inquiries to the relevant bodies of the Republic of Armenia, as well as to the indicated states, to make sure that everything is fabricated. An official explanation will be given soon.
The National Security Service of Armenia (NSS) said it uncovered a plot to assassinate Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in an attempted usurpation of power by a group of men, representatives of political organizations active in Armenia and Artsakh, who were caught with a large cache of weapons and explosive materials. The NSS statement said a resident of the Syunik region by the initials A. M. [believed to be Ashot Minasyan], taking advantage of the war in Artsakh, in collaboration with others, transported ammunition to the Republic of Armenia and stored it in the city of Sisian in Syunik.
A number of people have been detained in connection with the case, including the leader of the Homeland Party and former head of the NSS Artur Vanetsyan, former head of the parliamentary faction of the Republican Party of Armenia Vahram Baghdasaryan, member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Ashot Avagyan, as well as the commander of the Sisian volunteer unit. The investigation is ongoing.
On November 11, 2020, Saghatelyan had declared Pashinyan’s government to no longer be in force and announced the creation of a “Homeland Salvation Committee.” Members of the Prosperous Armenia Party and Bright Armenia Party then tried to call an emergency session of parliament to demand the Prime Minister’s resignation; however, without the participation of MPs from the My Step Alliance, the session did not achieve quorum. Ararat Mirzoyan, the Speaker of Parliament, had been severely beaten by a mob the previous night.
Russian Peacekeepers in Artsakh: Infographics and Information
The Russian Ministry of Defense has presented details about the deployment of Russian peacekeepers' checkpoints in Nagorno-Karabakh as of November 14 in the form of infographics. According to Major General Igor Konashenkov, representative of the Ministry, on November 14, 12 observation posts were set up along the new Line of Contact for a peacekeeping mission.
The deployment of nine observation posts in the southern area of responsibility has been completed. On November 13, the units of the 15th Peacekeeping Brigade deployed another five checkpoints in the area of responsibility. On the same day, the units of the 15th Peacekeeping Brigade deployed three observation posts in the northern area of responsibility in the Martakert region.
Another five observation points in that zone are planned to be installed on November 15. The Russian Defense Ministry also reported that the ceasefire regime is being maintained along the entire length of the new Line of Contact.
Dadivank Under the Control of Russian Peacekeepers
Father Vahram Melikyan, Director of Information Services and the Spokesman of Catholicos of All Armenians at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, announced through a Facebook post that Dadivank is already under the control of Russian peacekeepers and there is no danger. “Right now, there are several clergymen in the monastery who will continue to worship at the sanctuary and perform services regularly,” wrote Father Vahram Melikyan.
Vladimir Putin On the Protection of Christian Heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh
Russian President Vladimir Putin held phone conversations with Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. According to the Kremlin announcement, the sides discussed practical aspects of the implementation of the trilateral agreements adopted on November 9. The maintenance of the ceasefire regime and the calm situation on the new Line of Contact was welcomed.
During a phone conversation with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that there are Christian churches and monasteries
in the regions being returned to Azerbaijan and stressed the importance of maintaining these sanctuaries and ensuring the normal activities of the churches. In response, Ilham Aliyev expressed his understanding and said that the Azerbaijani side will act on that principle.
Artsakh Ombudsman Receives Delegation
Government Ombudsman of Artsakh Artak Beglaryan said in a Facebook post that he received the delegations led by Armenian Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan and member of the UK House of Lords Baroness Caroline Cox.
“I presented them the results of our fact-finding mission about the Azerbaijani atrocities and the current situation in Artsakh, and discussed some issues related to further cooperation,” said Beglaryan.
Beglaryan expressed his appreciation for the extremely effective cooperation with his colleague in Armenia and Baroness Cox’s contribution to the protection of the rights of the people of Artsakh. He also presented them some of the civilian objects damaged by Azerbaijani rockets.
Artsakh President Meets With Baroness Caroline Cox
President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan met with a delegation headed by Baroness Caroline Cox. “I thanked Baroness Cox for her support and humanitarian work in Artsakh during the most difficult moments for the people of Artsakh,” Harutyunyan wrote on his Facebook Page. He said that, during the meeting, they spoke in detail about the large-scale aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh with the direct involvement of foreign armed terrorists, the latest developments in the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, the November 10 statement of the Prime Minister of Armenia and the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, and subsequent developments.
Baroness Cox presented her steps taken on various international platforms during the war to properly condemn the criminal behavior of Azerbaijan and to raise awareness about the just struggle of the people of Artsakh for their rights and freedoms. She underlined the need for steps by the international community to address the humanitarian crisis created by the Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression in Artsakh.
Humanitarian Assistance for Families of First Responders
Major-General Karen Sargsyan of Artsakh’s State Service of Emergency Situations said that humanitarian aid would be provided to the families of Artsakh’s first responders who are currently in Armenia. Due to the war, the families of rescue workers temporarily sheltered in different settlements of the Republic of Armenia received assistance from the Tovmasyan Charitable Foundation.
Human Rights Defenders: Joint Fact-Finding Mission
The ombudsmen of Armenia and Artsakh conducted a joint fact-finding mission in Artsakh, which was also attended by Baroness Caroline Cox of the United Kingdom, who had traveled to Artsakh with international experts and foreign reporters.
Baroness Cox and her team recorded the atrocities of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces since September 27, 2020 and their war crimes which were intended to cause the most gross violations of the peaceful life, health, property and many other rights of the peaceful inhabitants of Artsakh. The results of the joint fact-finding work will be published shortly.
Phone and Internet Connection to Be Restored Soon in Artsakh
The Artsakh State Service of Emergency Situations said that all issues pertaining to communication in the Republic will be restored soon. During the six-week war, Azerbaijani forces had targeted Artsakh’s communication network. In Stepanakert and other regions, repair work is underway to restore telephone and Internet services. Work is also underway to restore other vital civilian infrastructure including water and natural gas supply.
President of Artsakh Meets With Head of Russian Peacekeeping Force
President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan wrote that he met with Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov, head of the Russian peacekeeping force in Artsakh, to discuss issues related to the organization and implementation of the peacekeeping mission. “During the meeting, we discussed a wide range of issues related to the deployment of Russian peacekeeping troops and the observation and humanitarian functions of the peacekeeping mission to ensure security,” Harutyunyan said. Both sides stressed the need to restore civilian infrastructure in Artsakh and create favorable conditions for a return to normal life for the population.
Health Ministry on Number of Killed
Alina Nikoghosyan, spokesperson of Armenia’s Health Ministry, said that information provided by Mikayel Minasyan on his Facebook Page referring to a figure of 4750 Armenian soldiers killed during the Artsakh War is not accurate. Nikoghosyan said that the Health Ministry has conducted forensic examinations on 2317 bodies of servicemen, among whom there are unidentified bodies. The exchange of bodies of Armenian soldiers that were left on the battlefield has just started and it is not possible to know the final number as this process is just now underway. “Trying to gain political dividends by manipulating this sensitive topic with false information is beyond the norms of morality,” wrote Nikoghosyan.
Shushan Stepanyan, the spokesperson of the Defense Ministry, said that the Artsakh Defense Minister and the Commander of the Defense Army Lieutenant General Mikayel Arzumanyan met with Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov, Commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent that is in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone to monitor the ceasefire regime. During the meeting, issues related to the organization and implementation of the mission by the peacekeeping unit were discussed.
Earlier, the President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan also met with Muradov.
Government Discusses Social Guarantees for Families of Servicemen Killed in Battle
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan chaired a consultative meeting to discuss providing social guarantees for the families of killed and disabled servicemen. “Providing social guarantees for the families of killed and disabled servicemen should be one of the key areas of our activities. We have gathered primarily to discuss the state of affairs with the Soldiers’ Insurance Fund, that is, to see what we have, what the current situation is, what needs to be done to ensure the Fund’s effective operation,” said the PM.
The measures carried out within the framework of the Soldiers’ Insurance Fund to provide social guarantees, develop mechanisms of lump-sum and monthly payments, as well as the steps to expand the Fund’s resources were discussed during the meeting.
Hayastan All-Armenian Fund Executive Director Haykak Arshamyan reported on the funds collected as part of the “We Are Our Borders: Everyone for Artsakh” fundraising campaign, specifying the areas and objectives for their use. Reference was also made to those assistance programs and activities aimed at providing relief to our compatriots in Artsakh.
The Premier instructed the officials in charge to carry out the activities in the aforementioned directions in the most organized, purposeful and targeted manner.
Nikol Pashinyan Holds a Phone Conversation with Vladimir Putin
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to the official statement, the two leaders stressed the importance of maintaining stability on the new Line of Contact and observing the ceasefire established under the November 9 trilateral agreement. Pashinyan and Putin discussed issues related to the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.
Candlelight Vigil in Freedom Square
A candlelight vigil was held in Freedom Square in memory of the heroes killed during the 2020 Artsakh War. The vigil was organized by the representatives of 17 parliamentary and extra-parliamentary forces demanding the resignation of PM Nikol Pashinyan. Thousands of citizens lit candles on the steps of Freedom Square.
Opposition Continues to Demand Pashinyan’s Resignation
For a third day now, anti-government rallies continue in Yerevan. Several thousands of protestors gathered in Freedom Square near the Opera House, demanding the resignation of PM Nikol Pashinyan and his government. The series of protests were initiated by 17 parliamentary and extra-parliamentary political parties after the November 10 agreement was reached by Pashinyan and the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia. They say that what Pashinyan agreed to is an “act of surrender.”
Rallies and political gatherings continue to be banned under the martial law that was announced on September 27 and is still in effect. Several opposition leaders, including the leader of the Prosperous Armenia Party Gagik Tsarukyan, leader of the Homeland Party Artur Vanetsyan, leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Ishkhan Saghatelyan, member of Serzh Sargsyan’s Republican Party of Armenia Eduard Sharmazanov and others were released after having been arrested on Thursday for organizing mass disorder.
Russian President Signs a Decree on Establishing a Humanitarian Response Center for Nagorno-Karabakh
According to the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree establishing an interdepartmental humanitarian response center for Nagorno-Karabakh.
Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Security Service will be involved in the Humanitarian Response Center for Nagorno-Karabakh. Organizational issues will be put to the Ministry of Defense.
Russian President Holds a Meeting on Humanitarian Situation in Karabakh
During a meeting on the humanitarian situation in Karabakh with Russian Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Yevgeny Zinichev, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and Russian Minister of Defence Sergey Shoygu, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he has instructed Foreign Minister Lavrov to inform the OSCE and other international partners about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. He also emphasized the importance of returning the civilian population to normal life. According to him, the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is complicated, and civilian infrastructure and cultural objects have been destroyed. The Russian President also said that he has asked Minister Zinichev to report on the possibility of providing additional assistance to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Russia Briefs France and US on Its Efforts in Karabakh
According to TASS, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that Russia has briefed the United States and France (as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group) on its efforts for a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“We briefed our counterparts, in the first place, France and the United States as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. I had a talk with France’s foreign minister to explain in detail the situation and the efforts that we have taken. Also, we talked to our U.S. counterparts,” Lavrov said.
The UN Security Council in New York was also informed in detail about the efforts taken by Russia, which paved the way for the November 9 agreement.
Artsakh President and Commander of Russian Peacekeepers Discuss Exchange of Bodies
President of the Artsakh Republic Arayik Harutyunyan discussed preparations for the exchange of bodies with the Commander of the Russian Peacekeeping Mission, Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov, and the High Representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Pascal Hund.
“I have expressed my readiness to do my utmost to support the rapid implementation of this important humanitarian mission,” Harutyunyan wrote.
Artak Beglaryan On the Process of Exchanging Bodies
Artsakh Government Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan said that the process of exchanging the bodies of the victims started today, coordinated by the Russian peacekeeping mission, with the participation of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the State Emergency Service of the Artsakh Republic.
“I am glad that the process is already underway, and a certain number of bodies have been removed from some areas near Shushi. I hope that the fate of all the missing will be clarified as soon as possible; they or at least their bodies will reach their relatives. I once again express my support to the relatives of all the victims, assure them that their family member is like a member of my own family, their pain is also my pain, their pride is my pride.
We must all be strong and continue the unfinished work left by the martyrs for the sake of their vivid memory and the preservation of the homeland,” Beglaryan said.
Bodies of Servicemen Killed in Action Exchanged
The Artsakh State Service of Emergency Situations reported that, on the initiative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Russian peacekeeping troops in Artsakh who control the ceasefire regime, and with the active participation of the State Emergency Situations Service of Azerbaijan, the bodies of servicemen killed during the war were exchanged today.
The Director of the Artsakh State Service of Emergency Situations, Major-General Karen Sargsyan, emphasized the importance of the mission, noting that the state service is ready for any necessary humanitarian work.
In the second half of the day, several rescue teams were directly involved in the search and exchange of bodies. The humanitarian work of the rescuers was coordinated on the spot by Karen Sargsyan, in cooperation with the commanders of the ICRC mission and the Russian peacekeeping contingent.
Prime Minister Discusses Steps to Address the Problems of People of Artsakh
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan chaired an enlarged consultative meeting attended by cabinet members and heads of public agencies. The meeting began with a minute of silence held in memory of those Armenian servicemen killed in the war.
The Prime Minister said the meeting sought to discuss issues related to our compatriots who moved from Artsakh to Armenia during the war. “In particular, we need to discuss what support programs will be implemented for them. In the meantime, I should state that we need to extend the support to Artsakh. In other words, the program is meant to promote the process of our compatriots’ repatriation back to Artsakh. In this regard, let us first record what we have done during this period, how we have supported them, what programs are going to be implemented in the near future, and how we will implement those programs,” the Prime Minister said.
The officials in charge reported that the process of assisting our Artsakh-based compatriots has been carried out around the clock since the first days of the war in close coordination with their partners from the Artsakh Republic under the direct coordination of the Office of Armenia’s Prime Minister. Volunteer groups were involved, operating both in Artsakh and Armenia. The ongoing efforts seek to provide housing, food, as well as to address Artsakh children’s educational, healthcare-related and other problems. Food and basic necessities were made available to those people who had moved to Armenia through individual donations and state funds.
Some of those who moved to Armenia have been accommodated in the apartments of individuals, in various state-owned institutions, as well as in hotels and guesthouses. The Government will refund their utility bills in the near future. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Zaruhi Batoyan stressed that not a single Artsakh resident was left without a place to stay overnight during these days.
The meeting highlighted the need to develop infrastructure necessary for the people of Artsakh to return to their native settlements, to restore the local housing conditions, to implement social assistance measures and address other priorities.
Prime Minister Pashinyan set up a task force in cooperation with the Artsakh government to deal with these issues and develop proposals for solving the existing problems. The task force was told to report back to the Prime Minister on a weekly basis.
Azerbaijan’s Compliance with Its International Obligations
Armenia’s Representative to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) said that the Republic of Armenia has formally notified the Republic of Azerbaijan to comply with its international obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Armenia Formally Calls Azerbaijan to Comply with Its International Obligations
In a letter dated November 11, 2020, the Republic of Armenia addressed the Republic of Azerbaijan noting that the actions and policies adopted during the last decades are in gross violation of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Among other things, Armenia urgently called on Azerbaijan to cease its discriminatory practices and other continuous violations with regard to Armenia and ethnic Armenians, including but not limited to:
- dissemination of anti-Armenian sentiment
- failure to take effective measures to eliminate anti-Armenian propaganda
- permitting public authorities or public institutions to promote or incite racial discrimination with respect to Armenians
- discriminatory deprivation of the individual rights of ethnic Armenians, such as the right to security of person, the right to property and the rights to access and enjoy cultural heritage
- failure to provide ethnic Armenians with effective protection and remedies through competent national tribunals and other state institutions
- engaging in the practice of ethnic cleansing against Armenians
In its letter, Armenia urged Azerbaijan to comply with its obligations under the Convention and invited the latter to address its violations of the Convention and their consequences through negotiations.
Should the Government of Azerbaijan reject Armenia’s invitation or fail to respond to it within the fixed timeframe, Armenia reserves its right to seek to settle this legal dispute in accordance with the procedure set forth in the Convention.
Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Russia Held a Phone Conversation
Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan held a phone conversation with Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov.
The Foreign Ministers exchanged views on the implementation of the provisions of the joint statement of November 10 made by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, the President of Azerbaijan and the President of the Russian Federation on the ceasefire and deployment of Russian peacekeepers, as well as the issues of the current situation in the region. Minister Mnatsakanyan stressed the priority of ensuring the comprehensive security of the Armenians in Artsakh.
The Foreign Ministers also discussed the steps to be undertaken on the ground by the international community aimed at addressing the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh. They touched upon a number of issues on the Armenian-Russian agenda as well.
Foreign Minister Held a Phone Conversation with the United Nations Secretary-General
Minister Mnatsakanyan and the UN Secretary-General discussed the developments following the joint statement of November 10 made by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the President of the Russian Federation on the establishment of a ceasefire and deployment of the Russian peacekeepers. Minister Mnatsakanyan stressed the need to hold discussions on all issues concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process exclusively within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. In this regard, the UN Secretary-General reiterated his support for the format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan comprehensively presented the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh resulting from the Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression and the measures undertaken by the authorities of Artsakh and Armenia towards addressing this crisis. They also touched upon the involvement of the UN and relevant bodies in addressing the situation resulting from the humanitarian crisis.
The Foreign Minister stressed the need to protect and restore the rights of the displaced Armenians of Artsakh and the important role of the UN in this process, within the framework of its international mandate entrusted upon the latter.
Both sides highlighted the importance of preserving the Armenian historical and cultural heritage in Artsakh, endangered as a result of the Azerbaijani occupation.
Ad Hoc Report on Violation of Childrens’ Rights by Azerbaijani Aggression
The Government Ombudsman of Artsakh published an ad hoc report on the children’s rights violations as a consequence of the aggression launched by Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh. The report details the violations of children's rights as registered over the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against the Artsakh people from September 27 to November 9, including the inherent right of children to life, right to health, their right to be with family and community, right to the development of personality and to be nurtured and protected, as well as other violations of human rights.
From the first day of the hostilities, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces launched deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilian objects, residential buildings and infrastructure in approximately 170 communities of Artsakh (around 70%), as a result of which the civilian population, including children, women and the elderly, were targeted. The Government Ombudsman registered at least 50 killed and 163 wounded civilians, including one child killed and nine children wounded.
The children of Artsakh were displaced together with their families, escaping the threat to their life and health, and sheltering in the basements of residential buildings and other civilian objects or moving to safer places in Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia.
The objects serving the needs of children, including schools, cultural centers and kindergartens, were also deliberately and indiscriminately targeted by Azerbaijan. According to preliminary data, 71 schools and 14 kindergartens were damaged as a result of the Azerbaijani aggression in Artsakh, excluding the schools and kindergartens that are in the communities currently under Azerbaijani control. There is no data on a significant number of those schools and kindergartens. 23,978 schoolchildren and 4,036 pre-school children were deprived of their right to education.
In parallel with targeting the civilian population, Azerbaijani social media is overwhelmed with Armenophobia and hate speech against Armenian children, even including discussions and calls to kill Armenian children.
Prioritizing the protection of children's rights in any circumstances, the Government Ombudsman of Artsakh appeals to international human rights organizations, particularly those specialized in children's rights protection, to properly register the gross violations of the rights of Artsakh children and take practical steps to eliminate them. The full report is available online.
The Artsakh Defense Army reported that the ceasefire regime continues to hold along the entire length of the new Artsakh-Azerbaijani Line of Contact.
Remembrance Day for Victims
The President of the Republic and Catholicos Karekin II issued a call to declare November 22 a Day of Remembrance for the Heroes Who Died for the Defense of the Homeland in the Artsakh Liberation War, and to hold a commemoration service in all Armenian churches around the world.
Artsakh Defense Army Releases Names of Soldiers Killed in Action
The Artsakh Defense Army has published the names of an additional 44 Armenian servicemen killed in battle.
Harutyunyan, Aghasi [Rubiki], b. 1968
Mkrtchyan, Arayik [Abrahami], b. 1967
Mkrtchyan, Albert [Yuriki], b. 1979
Israelyan, Arkadi [Henriki], b. 1978
Margaryan, Ashot [Aghasu], b. 1963 (volunteer)
Tovmasyan, Aramayis [Konstantini], b. 1997 (volunteer)
Stepanyan, Artur [Ananiayi], b. 1998
Tsaturyan, Gevorg [Alberti], b. 2002
Fidanyan, Gnel [Minasi], b. 1985
Aleksanyan, Emil [Armeni], b. 2000
Havatyan, Hayk [Khachiki], b. 1984 (volunteer)
Loretsyan, Narek [Artaki], b. 2000
Martirosyan, Norayr [Artavazdi], b. 1958
Vantsyan, Suren [Artashesi], b. 1996
Melikyan, Suren [Eduardi], b. 1978 (volunteer)
Muradyan, Vachagan [Artyomi], b. 1999 (reservist)
Manukyan, Vardges [Ashoti], b. 1987 (volunteer)
Grigoryan, Nver [Vazgeni], b. 1976
Yeranosyan, Armen [Hmayaki], b. 1972 (volunteer)
Matevosyan, Armen [Gagiki], b. 1994
Sargsyan, Tigran [Norayri], b. 1966
Grigoryan, Saro [Razmiki], b. 1988
Kristapor, Artin [Andraniki], b. 1972 (volunteer)
Hovhannisyan, Marat [Roberti], b. 1961 (volunteer)
Isunts, Viktor [Shamkhali], b. 1949 (volunteer)
Jumkhuryan, Armen [Ashoti], b. 1997 (volunteer)
Ghazaryan, Armen [Sargsi], b. 1969 (volunteer)
Ohanyan, Artur [Nikolayi], b. 1973 (volunteer)
Hayrapetyan, Eduard [Vaghinaki], b. 1982 (volunteer)
Voskanyan, Kostan [Koryuni], b. 1966 (volunteer)
Galstyan, Khachik [Sahaki], b. 1989
Baghdasaryan, Tigran [Hovhannesi], b. 1990
Parsadanyan, Aram [Rafiki], b. 1972
Mikayelyan, Hayk [Hranti], b. 1984 (volunteer)
Kochinyan, Mher [Martini], b. 2001
Khurshudyan, Sasha [Zinvori], b. 2000
Danielyan, Hayk [Ashoti], b. 2002
Tevonyan, Aram [Anushavani], b. 2001
Simonyan, Seyran [Sosi], b. 2000
Avagyan, Gnel [Arayiki], b. 2001
Arakelyan, Hovhannes [Smbati], b. 1992
Vardanyan, Torgom [Arami], b. 1992
Avetisyan, Davit [Radiki], b. 1982
Ayvazyan, Adam [Nveri], b. 1996
A Commission to Gather Information on POWs and Those Missing in Action
Shushan Stepanyan, the spokesperson of the Defense Ministry, said that a commission has been set up to gather information about servicemen who are in Azerbaijani captivity, those missing in action and others from Artsakh. Hotline numbers of the commission are 81-35 and +374 12 28-89-80.
US OSCE Ambassador’s Statement on the Conflict in and Around Nagorno-Karabakh
The United States, as one of the three Minsk Group Co-chairs, welcomes the apparent ceasefire and cessation of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. We have always said there is no military solution to this conflict, and we deeply regret the unnecessary loss of life, including many civilians, caused by the recent violence. As the situation continues to unfold and we learn more about the arrangement announced on November 10, we will need to address the role of the international community and the OSCE itself in maintaining a transparent peace.
We are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation on the ground. We reiterate our urgent calls for both sides to adhere to the humanitarian ceasefire from October 10, which they reaffirmed on October 17 and again on October 25. We also urge both parties to immediately undertake the steps agreed on in Geneva on October 29.
We call on the sides to protect civilians and civilian objects. The large-scale displacement of civilians, including vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly, in the midst of a global pandemic and shortly before the onset of winter is almost certain to create a completely unnecessary humanitarian crisis.
We urge the sides to avoid actions that could result in the resumption of violence, to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and actions, and to take advantage of the cessation of violence to build a lasting peace. We urge external parties to act responsibly and to avoid taking actions that could reignite violence or further exacerbate regional tensions.
Madam Chairperson, this conflict has gone on for far too long. The toll it has taken on people in the impacted area, and in the region, is far too high. We hope a lasting peace is within our sights. We’re confident that the Minsk Group will stand ready to participate in bringing a lasting and permanent peace to the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Artsakh Defense Army Releases More Names of Soldiers Killed in Action
The Artsakh Defense Army has published the names of an additional 37 Armenian servicemen killed in battle.
Deriklyan, Hayk [Arturi], b. 2002
Nazaryan, Galust [Manuki], b. 1999
Makhmuryan, Razmik [Arseni], b. 2001
Gabrielyan, Volfik [Vakhtangi], b. 1994
Shamamyan, Sargis [Hrachiki], b. 1982 (reservist)
Poghosyan, Manuk [Arturi], b. 1991 (reservist)
Dovlatbekyan, Edvard [Gagiki], b. 1984 (reservist)
Sahakyan, Armen [Daviti], b. 1994
Kirakosyan, Gevorg [Rafayeli], b. 1988
Davtyan, Mnatsakan [Vazgeni], b. 1995
Grigoryan, Davit [Komitasi], b. 1977
Mkrtchyan, Davit [Musheghi], b. 1992
Sargsyan, Karen [Khachiki], b. 1997 (reservist)
Muradyan, Ashot [Sergeyi], b. 1965
Hayrapetyan, Armen [Hayrapeti], b. 1988 (volunteer)
Martirosyan, Artush [Aleksani], b. 1989 (volunteer)
Harutyunyan, Gevorg [Armani], b. 1999
Soghomonyan, Gor [Artsviki], b. 1988 (volunteer)
Mirzoyan, Gurgen [Bagrati], b. 1990
Stepanyan, Grigor [Yashayi], b. 2000 (volunteer)
Petrosyan, Tatul [Arshaki], b. 1982 (volunteer)
Tovmasyan, Tatul [Vardani], b. 2001
Muradyan, Mushegh [Sargsi], b. 1993
Sargsyan, Vardan [Samveli], b. 1987 (volunteer)
Afiyan, Yakov [Sergeyi], b. 1998 (volunteer)
Tovmasyan, Artak [Abeli], b. 1994 (volunteer)
Ghazaryan, Artak [Hovhannesi], b. 1982 (volunteer)
Musheghyan, Gegham [Seyrani], b. 1969 (volunteer)
Ghazaryan, Hayk [Anushavani], b. 1967 (volunteer)
Pashyan, Hmayak [Sosi], b. 1983 (volunteer)
Saribekyan, Sargis [Hovhannesi], b. 1989 (reservist)
Saryan, Seyran [Aramayisi], b. 1969 (reservist)
Hovhannisyan, Suren [Ashoti], b. 1974 (reservist)
Kiziryants, Garnik [Eduardi], b. 1991 (volunteer)
Karapetyan, Arsen [Styopayi], b.1965 (volunteer)
Geghamyan, Vilgem [Aragoni], b. 2001
Allahverdyan, Leonid [Joniki], b. 2000
Montevideo Recognized the Independence of Artsakh
The Departmental Board of Montevideo recognized the independence of the Republic of Artsakh and denounced that the agreement signed by Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia is “a consequence of the illegal use of the strength and not true balanced negotiations as established by the UN.”
The approved resolution states that “in view of the military attacks that occurred against the population of the Republic of Artsakh and Armenia by Azerbaijan with the support of the genocidal State of Turkey, transferring mercenaries for combat as a way to resolve the dispute in the Artsakh region violating the Minsk Group agreements and the ceasefire for all conflicts declared by the UN for the COVID-19 pandemic, we establish our total rejection of such action.”
In addition, Montevideo conveys “our greatest solidarity with the entire civilian population (Armenian and Azerbaijani), the main victims of the numerous destabilizing attacks and violations of international law, as well as the recognition of the Artsakh and Armenian people who continue to fight for their survival, confronting the continuation of the genocide perpetrated in 1915.”
Later, Montevideo declared that “the agreement signed by Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia is the result of the illegal use of force and not of authentic balanced negotiations as established by the UN, representing a forced transfer of historical heritage and populated territory of Armenian origin.”
Finally, the Departmental Board of Montevideo announces its “recognition of the Republic of Artsakh, calling on the international community to respect its status as an independent State, this being the true path for a peaceful solution and a lasting peace for Artsakh and Armenia.”
Exchange of Bodies Started
The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia announced that it is actively working with the leadership of the Russian peacekeeping mission and the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross to carry out the process of "creating practical mechanisms for the exchange of corpses" of prisoners in a short period of time.
According to the announcement, the tripartite agreement reached between the Prime Minister of Armenia and the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on the cessation of hostilities and the deployment of Russian peacekeeping troops in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone allows the discovery of the fate of servicemen and civilians who were taken captive or are still in captivity, and to exchange corpses.
The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia is ready to provide comprehensive assistance to the Russian peacekeeping contingent during its mission. Active work is already underway with the leadership of the peacekeeping mission representatives and ICRC representatives to implement the process of establishing practical mechanisms for the exchange of corpses of POWs in a short period of time.
According to the announcement, the Soldiers’ Insurance Fund already started to provide compensation to the families of servicemen wounded or killed after September 27. Moreover, initiatives which aim to simplify the current legal framework for missing persons, as well as to simplify the current procedure for compensation for injured or killed servicemen and to reduce the timing of compensation, are underway.