The Russian-brokered humanitarian ceasefire has fallen apart as Azerbaijani forces continue to launch offensives and shell cities and towns in Artsakh.
Early this morning, Arayik Haruyunyan, the President of Artsakh held a press briefing and thanked the Russian side for taking the initiative to establish a ceasefire. He said that the civilized world knows what is happening in Artsakh and the genocidal acts being committed by Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey and international terrorist groups against Artsakh. He said that the people of Artsakh expect that the international community will move beyond statements and calls and take substantive steps as international terrorism “is inflitrating our region under the guise of Azerbaijan’s fight against the Artsakh liberation struggle.” Harutyunyan went on to say that if there is no willingness on the part of Azerbaijan in the coming two days to embark on a path to resolving the conflict through peaceful means, then he will formally request the Republic of Armenia and other countries around the world to recognize the independence of Artsakh.
The Ombudsman of Artsakh today released his office’s second fact-finding mission. As of October 10, 25 civilians have been killed (five were killed yesterday alone) and more than 100 have been wounded.
Amid concerns that the ongoing war in Artsakh might pull in larger, more powerful regional players, Armenia’s Foreign Affairs Minister will be heading to Moscow tomorrow to meet with his Russian counterpart; a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs is also expected.
Here is a chronology of official updates.
President of Artsakh: Countries That Support Azerbaijan, Support International Terrorism
10 a.m.: President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan gave a live press briefing. Here is an unofficial translation of his remarks:
As you know, following the call of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a humanitarian ceasefire on October 10 to exchange prisoners of war and bodies of killed servicemen. The ceasefire regime was achieved through the mediation of the Russian Foreign Minister and was scheduled to enter into force starting at 12 p.m. October 10. The sides agreed that the exchange of POWs and bodies will be coordinated and implemented by the International Committee of Red Cross. We thank the Russian authorities, President Vladimir Putin, in particular, for taking the initiative. In this context, it is important to stress that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs remain the only internationally recognized format for negotiations and the peace process. I also want to thank all the international organizations and countries who in different formats have taken steps for the establishment of peace and stability.
I want to acknowledge independent journalists because it is thanks to them that the civilized world knows what is happening in Artsakh and the genocidal acts being committed by Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey and international terrorist groups, against a nation that started its fight for freedom in 1988. We expect the support of the civilized world not only by covering the situation on the ground, not only by statements and calls but rather by substantive steps. International terrorism is inflitrating our region under the guise of Azerbaijan’s fight against the Artsakh liberation struggle. There is significant evidence supporting this, it has been confirmed and covered by a number of countries and organizations, including Russia, France, the U.S., the OSCE Minsk Group, etc. They don’t even try to conceal it, several local newspapers in Pakistan and Afghanistan (that support the government) write that [fighters] are planning to come to Artsakh. We also have evidence that terrorist groups in Azerbaijan are planning to come here.
Why do I use the word genocide? The Azerbaijani side uses Smerch, Polonez, missile systems, combat drones against the civilian population of Artsakh. Under the guise of targeting military objects and infrastructures, there is not a single area in Stepanakert that has not come under a missile attack, including the targeting of the Ghazanchetsots Church in Shushi and it is important to say that there are no military objects or infrastructure around it. So, universal values are being violated in Artsakh and a process aimed at exterminating the people of Artsakh is underway. And after all this, they expect Artsakh to agree to the demands of Azerbaijan. I want to declare that won’t happen. Artsakh is exercising its right to self-defense with the support of the Republic of Armenia and the global Armenian community. Artsakh will not be part of Azerbaijan.
I want to express my gratitude to the diaspora. I have lived many days filled with pride seeing the courage of our soldiers, but those feelings are no less strong when I see the commitment of our compatriots, who raise funds, who welcome people from Artsakh to Armenia and who urge governments from around the world to respect the people of Artsakh and their right to self-determination. I want to thank the Armenian government; they are apprised of the situation not only on the frontline, but also the situation of the population. I want to underscore the role of the Prime Minister, with whom I am in constant contact. There is not a single issue that is not being resolved immediately and this unity will be the guarantor of our success.
I don’t want to talk about the behavior of the coalition that has been formed with Azerbaijan, Turkey and mercenaries. How will they respect Russia’s mediation, the calls by the international community regarding the ceasefire and move towards addressing humanitarian issues and negotiations. If this does not happen, it will be yet another evidence that this is not an Artsakh-Azerbaijan issue, this is not an issue about the future of the people of Artsakh and the people of Azerbaijan, and instead there are many other dangerous elements against humanity hidden beneath these intentions.
If we don’t see Azerbaijan’s willingness in the next one or two days to embark on a path of resolving the conflict through peaceful means, then I will ask the Republic of Armenia to formally recognize the independence of Artsakh Republic, including also international organizations and other countries. And here we will of course see those countries who respect human rights, who respect international law and the world will see the list of those countries who support terrorism, those countries who support Azerbaijan, support international terrorism. The people of those countries have to clearly understand the behaviour of their governments, who will have to answer to humanity and before God.
But most importantly I want to thank and bow before my compatriots who are not listening to this press conference, who are on the frontline, who are performing heroic acts every single second. I am proud that I have compatriots like you dear soldiers, dear comrades-in-arms, I bow before you, before your courage, “let me take your pain” [Ես Ձեր ցավը տանեմ].
While answering a question about the ceasefire regime, Harutyunyan stressed that at this stage the ceasefire is not holding. “It has been calm since early morning but we cannot be sure whether this will be a lasting peace.” He noted that civilian settlements are not being targeted or shelled at this point. The situation can change every minute so I cannot give an assessment of the situation. Harutyunyan also said that if the ceasefire regime, which was achieved through the mediation of the President of Russia, doesn't hold, it means that it is secondary for Azerbaijan whether there will be negotiations or not. If this happens, then the Republic of Armenia should recognize Artsakh’s independence and there should be calls for countries around the world to do the same. “We are for peace,” added the President. “But we cannot accept the conditions of a country, whose goal is to exterminate the people of Artsakh, the millennials-old culture of Artsakh, and the history of Artsakh.” Harutyunyan stressed that he will declare a patriotic war and will call upon all Armenians to not only provide financial assistance, but get involved physically if they want to.
Speaking about the situation in Hadrut, Harutyunyan explained that because Aliyev announced that Azerbaijan had taken control of Hadrut (which according to the Armenian side was disinformation), hours before the ceasefire, realizing that this was far from the truth, Hadrut became Azerbaijan’s last target. He went on to say that with the support of foreign special forces and mercenaries, they launched a diversion attempt hours before the ceasefire was scheduled to enter into force, with an end goal to take control of Hadrut. Although they managed to enter the territory of Hadrut and its surrounding areas, Armenian forces managed to push them back.
Answering a question about Israeli-made drones which are supposed to be used for defensive purposes only, but there are reports that these are being used for offensive purposes, Harutyunyan stressed that during the April War the Israeli leadership not only knew how these drones were being used but that Israeli experts were in Azerbaijan at the time. “Of course Israel knew about this and they continue to supply Azerbaijan. If Israel says they are not aware, this is a mockery in front of the world. Israel will also have to answer for the genocide taking place, a country that has suffered and lived its own genocide.” Harutyunyan stressed that today, money controls the world and for money they are violating human values as well as values imposed by God. Not only is the Israeli government aware of this, all governments are aware of this and yet they continue to supply Azerbaijan.
10:20 a.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan of the Ministry of Defense wrote on his Facebook page that combat drones are being shipped to Azerbaijan under the cover of humanitarian cargo from Israel and Turkey.
11:40 a.m.: According to RIA Novosti, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev announced that Baku is ready to start immediate discussions with Yerevan regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. He noted that “if the Armenian side remains faithful to the ceasefire, the political stage of the resolution will start and forced negotiations will end.” Aliyev also stressed that the Azerbaijani side will go all the way to the end.
12 p.m.: Artsakh’s Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan tweeted that the village of Talish was the most affected village in the first Karabakh War when it was occupied and burned by Azerbaijani forces in the 1990s, then destroyed in 2016 and “now has been occupied again.”
12:20 p.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan of the Ministry of Defense announced that Turkey’s Air Force air command points flying in Turkish airspace are controlling Turkish UAVs operating within the Azerbaijani Air Force. The UAVs are accompanied by six F-16s and under the cover of those F-16s are shelling peaceful civilians and infrastructures of Artsakh.
12:40 p.m.: The Artsakh Defense Ministry has released the names of 25 servicemen killed in battle.
Nikoghosyan, Taron (Tadevosi), b. 1992
Shahnazaryan, Asatur (Sureni), b. 1996
Mkrtchyan, Hayk (Arami), b. 1997
Mahtesyan, Hrach (Varuzhani), b. 2001
Sahakyan, Pavel (Mirani), b. 2000
Yrkoyan, Manvel (Darvini), b. 2000
Khachatryan, Artur (Misaki), b. 2001
Ghuzanyan, Gevorg (Yurayi), b. 2001
Tigranyan, Artur (Serobi), b. 2000
Ghazaryan, Paylak (Daviti) b. 2001
Kirakosyan, Aren (Kareni), b. 2000
Ohanyan, Arman (Harutyuni), b. 2001
Arakelyan, Artsrun (Meruzhani), b. 2001
Hayrapetyan, Edgar (Vahei), b. 2000
Azaryan, Slavik (Ararati), b. 2000
Hakobyan, Zaven (Stepani), b. 2001
Hovakimyan, Arman (Arami), b. 2000
Khalatyan, Artashes (Hakobi), b. 2001
Sargsyan, Narek (Vagharshaki), b. 2001
Avagov, Suren (Slaviki), b. 1974 [reserves]
Karapetyan, Abraham (Hovsepi), b. 2001
Karapetyan, Armen (Daviti), b. 2001
Tumanyan, Grisha (Norayri), b. 1999
Poghosyan, Sargis (Samveli), b. 1990
Farmanyan, Aleksandr (Nairii), b. 1996
Pope Francis Welcomes Russian-Brokered Humanitarian Ceasefire
1 p.m.: Speaking about the humanitarian ceasefire in Artsakh, Pope Francis welcomed the Russian-brokered humanitarian ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which took effect on October 10 at noon.
The Pope admitted that the cessation in hostilities is tenuous but prayed that it might hold for the sake of civilians suffering in the area: “Even though the truce appears very fragile, I encourage its continuation and express my sympathy for the loss of lives, for the suffering, and for the destruction of homes and places of worship.”
2 p.m.: The statement of Artskah’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the agreement on the humanitarian ceasefire:
MFA Statement: International Recognition of the Independence of Artsakh Only Guarantee for Peace and Security in the Region
We highlight the importance of the agreement on the humanitarian ceasefire that was reached through the mediation of the Russian Federation starting from 12 p.m. October 10, 2020 for the exchange of POWs and the bodies of the killed servicemen through mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross and in accordance with the Committee’s standards.
The agreement reached in Moscow is a practical step to stop the armed aggression against the Republic of Artsakh by Azerbaijan and Turkey in alliance with international terrorists. The humanitarian ceasefire must be firmly maintained by Azerbaijan and lay a solid foundation for and restore the ceasefire signed in May 12, 1994 and the agreement to strengthen the ceasefire signed in February 6, 1995.
It is important that as a result of negotiations in Moscow the joint statement mentions the unique role of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs as a mediator for the settlement of the Kharabagh-Azerbaijani conflict.
We once again note that the two aggressions unleashed by the Azerbaijani side over the past four years convincingly demonstrate the urgent need for a mechanism to eliminate the possibility of a resumption of hostilities. We reaffirm the position of official Stepanakert that only the international recognition of the independence of the Artsakh Republic will guarantee peace and security in the region and will show the inadmissibility of the use of force as a means to resolve a conflict.
2:15 p.m.: Artsakh’s Defense Army announced that on October 10 and October 11, the Azerbaijani Army continued to target and shell peaceful civilians and civilian infrastructure of Artsakh. The Defense Army of the Republic of Artsakh is committed to the agreement of the humanitarian ceasefire. However, if the Azerbaijani side continues to violate the humanitarian ceasefire and launches offensive operations, the response of the Defense Army will be disproportionate and harsh.
Artsakh Parliament Calls for a Joint Anti-Terrorism Center
3:15 p.m.: The National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh calls on the governments of the Russian Federation and Iran to create a joint anti-terrorism center.
As it is known, the authorities of Baku, with clear orders from Turkey, launched a large-scale aggression against the Republic of Artsakh on September 27, renewing active military operations, during which international terrorists and representatives of various extremist groups from Syria, Iraq, Libya have infiltrated the region with the help of Turkey.
This is already a proven fact corroborated not only by leading media outlets but also by a number of states, including Russia, France, Iran and different Syrian officials.
It is clear that international terrorism, taking advandage of Baku’s shortsighted, short-term policy seeking to secure results, with the help of Turkey, is trying to establish itself in the region and transform it into a new center of terrorism, something which is a direct threat not only for Artsakh, but for the security and territorial integrity of the adjacent countries, including Armenia, Russia and Iran - creating new belts of instability in the region.
Obsessed with destroying Artsakh at any cost, the authorities in Turkey and Baku, don’t even realize that by bringing terrorists into the region, sponsoring and supporting the establishment of their bases; creation of appropriate conditions for the expansion of their activities, they threaten Artsakh in the short-term, but in the long run pose a global threat to the regional states and international security as well as for the civilian population of Azerbaijan.
The National Assembly of the Artsakh Republic, prioritiing regional peace, security, beneficial cooperation between the regional states, and the fight against international terrorism, calls on the authorities of Armenia, Russia and Iran:
To condemn the use of international terrorist groups and their representatives by Azerbaijan in military aggression against Artsakh.
To establish a joint anti-terrorism coordination center to locate international terrorists that have infiltrated the region, their military bases and develop joint neutralization programs
Armenia Fund Humanitarian Aid Flight Lands in Yerevan
4:20 p.m.: The Armenia Fund chartered cargo flight with humanitarian aid arrives in Yerevan.
A chartered cargo flight arrived at Zvartnots Airport from Los Angeles with 20 tons of humanitarian aid including pharmaceuticals, medical and surgical supplies, portable X-Ray machines, hospital beds, sleeping bags, warm winter apparel and portable generators.
A second chartered cargo flight is expected within days carrying a further 40 tons of humanitarian aid. Both flights are made possible thanks to a group of generous donors.
A team of medical professionals including trauma surgeons are also expected in Armenia imminently to support their local counterparts and provide much needed relief.
These shipments and coordination of urgently needed medical personnel are thanks to the efforts of Himnadram’s US partner Armenia Fund. Inc.
Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Has Telephone Conversation With His Turkish Counterpart
4:23 p.m.: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia announced that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. The conversation was initiated by the Russian side. The ministers exchanged thoughts about the recent negotiations in Moscow with the participation of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan about the situation on the Line of Contact. The importance of strictly implementing the agreement reached by the Ministers on October 10 was stressed.
According to the statement, the Russian side reassured its readiness to continue to actively mediate for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, taking into account the provisions of the Moscow statement.
5 p.m.: Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, tweeted: “The humanitarian ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan is an essential step towards de-escalation. I call on parties to observe the ceasefire and to avoid further violence and putting civilians at risk. Negotiations without preconditions must resume without delay.”
5:34 p.m.: Zara Amatuni, the representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Armenia said that the organization will not get involved in any humanitarian action until the humanitarian ceasefire in the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact is fully observed. According to Amatuni, the humanitarian ceasefire must be completely observed so that it ensures the safety of the Red Cross representatives to work there. “We see reports about missile attacks happening on both sides,” she added.
6:40 p.m.: Defense Ministry Spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan said that the adversary launched offensive operations along the northeastern section of the Contact Line. Units of the Defense Army suppressed their attempted attack, destroying two pieces of military equipment and a large number of human losses.
6:50 p.m.: Defense Ministry Spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan announced that Azerbaijani Armed Forces violated the ceasefire and initiated offensives in the southern direction using armored weapons and missile and artillery systems. The Defense Army units are suppressing the actions of the adversary.
8:40 p.m.: According to the Armenian Unified Infocenter, Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan will travel to Moscow on October 12 to meet his counterpart Sergey Lavrov. A meeting with OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs is also expected.
8:50 p.m.: Defense Ministry Spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan announced that
the claims by the Azerbaijani leadership stating that the Armenian Armed Forces have attempted an attack in the direction of Hadrut and Jabrayil and fired in the direction of a retrieval vehicle with a distinctive signs and a white flag gathering bodies in the territory controlled by the Azerbaijani side are false and aim to blame the Armenian side for the violation of the humanitarian ceasefire.
In the statement agreed upon by the Foreign Ministers on October 10, it is clearly stated that the exchange of POWs and others, as well as bodies of the victims should be mediated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and operated according to the Committee's standards. Stepanyan noted that the latter is not happening due to the military operations constantly undertaken by the Azerbaijani side.
“We view these accusations by the Azerbaijani side as primitive provocations and draw the attention of the parties interested in this,” said Stepanyan.
Artsakh Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan Live Press Briefing
9 p.m.: During a press briefing, Artsakh’s Ombudsman, Artak Beglaryan, presented the results of his office’s fact-finding mission. [His office published the second interim report about the Azerbaijani aggression against the people of Artsakh. The first report was published on October 1.]
Targeted Attacks on Civilians
Beglaryan reminded that on September 27, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale war against the Republic of Artsakh and since the beginning of the war, the Azerbaijani side has intentionally targeted the civilian population, settlements close to the Line of Contact as well as settlements far from the frontline, including the capital Stepanakert. Even settlements that are 90-100 kilometers away from the Line of Contact have also been targeted by missiles and combat drones. Because of the intentional targeting of civilian settlements, 25 civilians have been killed and at least 102 wounded as of October 10, (five were killed yesterday). Civilians have been killed in Martuni, Martakert, Hadrut, Stepanakert as well as the surrounding communities and villages of these cities. More than half of the civilians that were killed are above the age of fifty, one is a child and nine are females. The number of wounded also includes elders, females and children. Azerbaijan has continuously and in a coordinated manner targeted civilian populations. Also, Azerbaijan used weapons with very high accuracy rate against civilian settlements (Israeli-made Harop suicide drone is just one example). Beglaryan noted that this has resulted in human losses as well as destruction of civilian infrastructures and private properties.
Attacks on Journalists
Speaking about the targeting of journalists, Beglaryan reminded that on October 1, a group of journalists were targeted by the Azerbaijani military in the city of Martuni. As a result four civilians were killed, a number of others were wounded, among them four journalists (two of them were French citizens). Another group of journalists were targeted on October 2, in the city of Martakert but fortunately there were no casualties. And on October 8, three Russian journalists were wounded following an attack on the Ghazanchetsots Church in Shushi. Beglaryan stressed that he strongly condemns the intentional targeting of civilians as well as journalists by the Azerbaijnai Armed Forces. Considering the fact that the car as well as the clothing of journalists clearly identified them as press, it is possible to claim that they were intentionally targeted. Beglaryan stressed that this is a war crime and the international community should be persistent in identifying and punishing those responsible.
The Risk of Maltreatment of Dead Bodies
Beglaryan noted that the bodies of some Armenian servicemen are in the Azerbaijani territory and there is evidence that the Azerbaijani side has maltreated these bodies, which is prohibited by international humanitarian law. He welcomed the establishment of humanitarian ceasefire on October 10 and emphasized the need for ensuring favorable conditions for the transfer of bodies according to the norms of international humanitarian law.
Targeted Attacks on Civilian Infrastructures
Since October 3, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces have deliberately and regularly targeted key civilian infrastructures, including electricity, communications, gas and water supply systems in Artsakh to deprive tens of thousands of peaceful civilians of basic living conditions. More than 25 crucial energy infrastructure objects and equipment have been totally destroyed and a large number of networks have been damaged since the beginning of the war. Particularly, Azerbaijani Armed Forces hit the central electricity station and local stations in Stepanakert and in other towns and villages. As a result, more than 10 stations have been destroyed or seriously damaged and people of Artsakh were deprived of electricity for a few days.
Phone and internet communication networks have also been targeted since September 27. First, Azerbaijani hackers created extensive problems in the system and starting from October 3, Azerbaijani Armed Forces have systematically and intentionally targeted the communication stations and networks with missiles and combat drones. As a result dozens of key communication infrastructures have been destroyed or seriously damaged.
The Use of Banned Weapons
Since the beginning of the war, Azerbaijan has been repeatedly using multiple rocket launchers and cluster munitions in areas where civilian population and civilian objects are located. The attacks have caused casualties and destruction of private and public properties. Almost all civilian settlements in Artsakh, including densely populated cities and towns, have been targeted by various combat drones.
These are all clear violations of international law, which forbids attacking civilians, including journalists, and civilian objects, as well as use of cluster munitions in any case, when the distinction between military targets cannot be ensured.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry: Turkey Continues to Destabilize the Region
9:28 p.m.: The following is a statement by the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Armenia to the statement of the Foreign Ministry of Turkey:
Today the Foreign Ministry of Turkey issued a statement which contains a number of groundless accusations against the Republic of Armenia.
It’s obvious that Turkey, with participation of which the military aggression of Azerbaijan against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) was preplanned and still continues, does not give up its stance of further destabilizing the situation and undermining the agreements reached.
Along with supplying Azerbaijan with foreign terrorist fighters from the Middle East, military equipment and experts, Turkey has also been sponsoring Azerbaijan’s information and political campaign aimed at undermining the provisions of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities reached at the level of the Foreign Ministers of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russia Federation on October 10, 2020, at the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
All these indicate Turkey’s aspirations to turn our region along with other its neighboring regions to a platform for its expansionist ambitions.
We strongly condemn Turkey’s provocative policy in our region, and value the cooperation of all forces interested in the stability of the region.
Artsrun Hovhannisyan Live Press Briefing
During a live press briefing, Artsrun Hovhannisyan from the Ministry of Defense announced that Azerbaijani forces violated the humanitarian ceasefire agreement and initiated offensives in the southern and northern directions of the Line of Contact. According to Hovhannisyan the adversary initiated attacks using artillery and missile systems. However, after losing two armored vehicles in the north, Azerbaijani forces were pushed back. Hovhannisyan noted that the offensives in the southern directions were suspended by the Defense Army. During the day, one Azerbaijani UAV was shot down.
Hovhannisyan went on to say that the situation was relatively calm and large calibre weapons/systems were not put into action. However, the complete ceasefire which would allow for the exchange of bodies and POWs was not accomplished. Artsrun Hovhannisyan once again noted that the Turkish Military Air Force continues to control the operations by the Azerbaijani Air Defense Units. More specifically, by the control of the Turkish Military Air Force and under the cover of six Turkish F-16s, Turkish and Israeli made combat UAVs continued to attack Artsakh’s civilian infrastructures, military objects and communication networks. Those operations have been suspended by the anti-aircraft units of the Defense Army.
Hovhannisyan said that Shushi and Stepanakert were under missile attacks last night. As he noted the Azerbaijani side announced today that Armenian forces are violating the ceasefire and using large calibre ammunition but all the announcements are and have been officially denied. According to Hovhannisyan, the Azerbaijani side is again using such announcements as a basis for further provocations.
Answering a question about the exchange of bodies and POWs, Hovhannisyan reaffirmed the earlier statement by the Defense Ministry that the exchange will not take place until the ceasefire regime that is in place is strongly adhered to, so that the International Committee of Red Cross is able to work. Hovhannisyan once again thanked the global Armenian community for their ongoing support and again urged to direct all of their donations to the Hayastan All Armenian Fund.
11:14 p.m.: According to the Armenian Unified Infocenter, the capital Stepanakert is being shelled again. Sounds of explosions were heard in the city.
Second Interim Report on Azerbaijani Atrocities Against the Population of Artsakh
Starting from the early morning of September 27, 2020, Azerbaijan began launching indiscriminate airstrikes (including UAV strikes) and artillery assaults against the Republic of Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh) along the entire line of the border.
Villages, towns and the capital Stepanakert have been intensively attacked, which caused numerous casualties and injuries among civilians. Large-scale damages have been caused to civilian objects, such as residential buildings, schools, etc, as well as, infrastructure vital to the survival of the civilian population. Life and health of children, women and the entire population of Artsakh are still under an imminent and real threat.
The current second interim report follows the first interim report1, published by the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh on 2 October 2020 and presents the facts of targeted attacks on civilian settlements and casualties derived thereof also the deployment of mercenaries and the use of multiple rocket launching systems and cluster munitions from 27 September to 9 October. The threatening situation on dissemination of massive hate speech towards ethnic Armenians by Azerbaijan and its results are also analyzed.
For the purpose of preparation of the report, fact-finding missions were commissioned, conducted interviews and applications submitted to the Human Rights Ombudsman of Artsakh, inquiries to public authorities, as well as, media and social media publications have been analyzed.
The Azerbaijani aggression also included indiscriminate attacks in villages of Vardenis Region, Gegharkunik Province of Armenia, which are presented in the ad hoc report of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia.
On 10 October a cease-fire agreement was reached in Moscow, effective from noon. But according to the Ministry of Defense of Artsakh and our verified sources (as of 11 p.m.), Azerbaijan continued offensive military actions and even struck capital Stepanakert and other populated areas with heavy missiles.
The military aggression against the Republic of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia by Azerbaijan are even more condemnable, since it was launched during the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic. On March 23, the Secretary-General of the United Nations called for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world due to the threat of coronavirus.