Now in its 11th day, the Artsakh War is proving to be one of the fiercest, bloodiest battles the region has seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijani forces continue their offensive along the northern and southern directions of the Line of Contact with the aid of Turkey and jihadist mercenaries, bombarding cities and towns across Artsakh, destroying vital civilian infrastructure.
There seems to be very little success on the part of international mediators to broker a ceasefire. Innocent civilians are paying the price.
Here is a chronology of official updates.
Advancing Azerbaijani Forces Pushed Back
8:45 a.m.: According to Ministry of Defense Spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan, overnight, Azerbaijani forces attempted to advance and fortify their positions in the southeastern direction (just before Jebrayil), however, Armenian military units retaliated, battering them with missiles and artillery.
At 6:30 a.m. following subsequent artillery hits, three heavy infantry Azerbaijani units panicked and fled, leaving behind 60 casualties on the battlefield, including 22 units of destroyed military equipment and devices. Stepanyan said they have footage in their possession.
She went on to say that a short while ago, Armenian forces destroyed the adversary’s large fuel storage depot and that along certain sections of the front, several advantageous opportunities are now available to achieve success.
Azerbaijani Armed Forces Amassing Near Border of Iran
9 a.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan of the Ministry of Defense wrote the following on his Facebook page:
“Not having sufficient capabilities to carry out efficient offensive operations, units of Azerbaijan’s armed forces, for the second day now, have begun to resort to obvious provocations. In particular, on the southern direction of the Artsakh-Azerbaijan military operations, large groups of Azerbaijani military units have amassed along the immediate length of the Artsakh-Iran border (along the Araks River) and by taking refuge along that frontier, they are trying to advance. With this tactic, the Azerbaijani side is trying to provoke the Artsakh side to open fire or strike along the border in the direction of Iran. It cannot be discounted that as a result of combat operations, Azerbaijani units, having no other choice, will retreat or escape to Iranian territory. To avoid such a scenario, we think, the Iranian side which certainly is witness to all of this, must prevent or compel them to refrain from such an accumulation of forces.”
9:30 a.m.: The Armenian Unified Infocenter: "On October 6, the adversary used the relative calm following the statement by the Foreign Ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries to regroup and start operations in the north and south of the front. The enemy's actions also posed a threat to the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Defense Army fighters neutralized all the attempts of the Azerbaijani armed forces to advance with strong counter-offensives. A large number of the adversary’s forces, armored vehicles, other weapons and military equipment were destroyed. The units of the Defense Army also managed to significantly improve their own positions."
Names of 40 Servicemen Killed in Action Released
10:40 a.m.: The Artsakh Defense Ministry has released the names of 40 servicemen killed in action.
Davoyan, Gagik [Levoni], b. 2000
Ghushunc, Gegham [Sarmeni], b. 1984
Mnatsakanyan, Edmon [Artaki], b. 2001
Khachatryan, Vahe [Hranti], b. 2000
Gharajyan, Gor [Hakobi], b. 2000
Avetisyan, Knyaz [Gevorgi], b. 2000
Vardanyan, Hayk [Oniki], b. 2002
Vardanyan, Gor [Gurgeni], b. 2002
Gasparyan, Gor [Gevorgi], b. 2001
Abrahamyan, Sevak [Armeni], b. 2001
Arzumanyan, Ashot [Soghomoni], b. 2001
Melkonyan, Samvel [Sayadi], b. 2000
Gerasimyan, Marat [Hrachiki], b. 2000
Hovhannisyan, Simon [Artaki], b. 2000
Hakobyan, Mkrtich [Hakobi], b. 1986
Khachatryan, Garnik [Husiki], b.1987
Hayrapetyan, Garnik [Henriki], b.1976
Hovhannisyan, Yervand [Artyomi], b.1986
Aghasyan, Artur [Grigorii], b.1997
Melikyan, Hovhannes [Mushegi], b. 1994
Yengoyan, Patvakan [Arami], b.1995
Azatyan, Hrant [Semyoni], b.1997
Vardanyan, Narek [Vardani], b.1993
Sanasaryan, Shiraz [Zoriki], b.1998
Avanesyan, Shamo [Nikolayi], b. 1987
Grigoryan, Karen [Hrachyayi], b. 2001
Hakhinyan, Artur [Arkadii], b. 2001
Hambardzumyan, Davit [Mikayeli], b. 2001
Zakaryan, Davit [Ashoti], b. 2000
Hambaryan, Davit [Mamikoni], b. 2001
Badalyan, Artur [Roberti], b. 2001
Hayrapetyan, Gegham [Vardani], b. 2000
Ayvazyan, Tatul [Kamoi], b. 2001
Vardanyan, Hovhannes [Hayki], b. 2001
Muradyan, Gevorg [Ararati], b. 2001
Melkonyan, Tigran [Vahani], b. 2000
Khechoyan, Arsen [Kareni], b. 2001
Chitchyan, Marsel [Rafayeli], b. 2001
Azatyan, Grisha [Gagiki], b. 2001
Kocharyan, Vigen [Hamleti], b. 2001
11 a.m.: The Ministry of Defense of Artsakh summed up Azerbaijan’s losses between September 27 - October 6.
4 Smerch multiple rocket launchers
Armenia’s Ombudsman on the Presence of Mercenaries
11:10 a.m.: Arman Tatoyan, the Ombudsman of Armenia announced that mercenaries and members of terror groups are involved in military attacks from Azerbaijan against the Armenian population. According to the majority of credible sources, thousands of mercenaries from Libya and northern parts of Syria, who also have affiliations with ISIS, have been deployed to Azerbaijan by Turkey. Тatoyan said that, all of this is confirmed by evidence gathered from an independent investigation conducted by the Human Rights Defender of Armenia. The evidence includes photos and video materials objectively demonstrating the same. He noted that this is occurring, right now, in the middle of the territory of the Council of Europe.
The Human Rights Defender of Armenia called upon the international community to turn its attention immediately to these extremely worrying, criminal, developments.
Without urgent and real preventive steps, the ongoing humanitarian disaster that Azerbaijan and Turkey’s actions have directly caused on the peaceful population will certainly lead to severe consequences for the whole region, Tatoyan said. The use of mercenaries is a crime with multiple, complex consequences—including a threat to security, to peace and to the entire system of human rights. This fundamental principle is confirmed in the UN Human Rights Council’s 42/9 Resolution of 26 September 2019.
The evidence will be sent to international partners in all necessary and actionable formats.
The Human Rights Defender of Armenia’s office is working around-the-clock and in close cooperation with the Human Rights Defender of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).
11:12 a.m.: Artak Beglaryan, the Ombudsman of Artsakh tweeted that Azerbaijani forces are shelling civilian objects in Stepanakert with suicide drones and missiles. No data on casualties yet.
Press Briefing: Artsrun Hovhannisyan/MoD and Yeghishe Kirakosyan/Armenia’s Representative to the ECHR
1:30 p.m.: Today, during a press briefing, Artsrun Hovhannistan said that military operations continue along the Line of Contact. During the night, the adversary tried to accumulate its forces along the Araks River and advance. In particular, on the southern direction of the Artsakh-Azerbaijan military operations, large groups of Azerbaijani military units have amassed along the immediate length of the Artsakh-Iran border (along the Araks River) and by taking refuge along that frontier, they are trying to advance. He noted that the adversary is using the river area to retreat or manoeuvre. Reconnaissance forces of the Defence Army followed the adversary's actions and caused significant damage to three heavy infantry brigades. As Artsrun Hovhannisyan noted, the Armenian side fired in that direction using missile and artillery systems and eliminated the whole group. He went on to say that the detachment suffered heavy losses - dozens were killed, a substantial number of armored vehicles were destroyed and some remained intact.
Artsrun Hovhannisyan went on to say that during one of the military operations, the Defence Army hit a large fuel depot. He noted that according to the information they have there was a military base next to it and one infantry unit with enhanced artillery division and special forces were also destroyed. See the video provided by the ministry here.
According to Hovhannisyan, the Defence Army divisions have made substantial advancements also in the northern direction of the Line of Contact. He stressed that today, using remote missiles and other aerial forces, the Azerbaijani side shelled peaceful civilians and settlements including Stepanakert and Shushi.
Yeghishe Kirakosyan, Armenia’s Representative to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said that on September 29, the Court ruled to apply interim measures and urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to comply with the rules of the European Convention and not target civilian population, infrastructures and settlements. The European Court made the decision based on the request and evidence submitted by the Armenian side. Following the decision, Armenia submitted additional evidence to the Court showing that Azerbaijan has committed gross human rights violations as well as violations of the rights stipulated by the European Convention. The latest evidence was submitted yesterday, more will be presented to the Court today to show Azerbaijan completely disregards international humanitarian law and rights guaranteed by the Convention or even the most basic human rights norms. What we see happening in civilian settlements, the ongoing shelling of the capital Stepanakert have nothing to do with the applicable legal standards, Kirakosyan said.
Considering the evidence disseminated by international media platforms and the statements made by the leaders and foreign ministries of a number of states regarding Turkey’s involvement in the aggression, in particular the transfer of mercenaries from Syria and Libya to Azerbaijan, the Armenian side requested the ECHR to apply interim measures against Turkey as well. The investigation by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, according to which a new group of mercenaries will fight for the Azerbaijani side, was also submitted to the Court as part of the evidence. The Court fulfilled Armenia’s request to apply interim measures and urged all states directly or indirectly involved in the conflict, including Turkey, to refrain from actions that would violate civilians’ rights. It is important to note that the decision was made based on the request and evidence submitted by the Armenian side. The Court did not send the request to Turkey for further clarifications or explanations.
Considering the context, it is evident the Court’s call is mainly directed to Turkey because the evidence submitted by the Armenian side is primarily about Turkey’s involvement in the conflict. Kirakosyan noted that they will follow-up to ensure that the decisions of the Court are properly enforced. The Azerbijani side has not yet submitted updates regarding the steps it took as instructed by the September 29 decision of the Court. The Armenian side requested the Court to take steps in this regard. According to the rules of the Court, the next step will be the discussion of the issue in the Ministers’ Committee (the Armenian side will request this), where more active discussions can take place. This applies to both of the interim measures introduced by the ECHR.
Q: What are the practical implementation mechanisms of this ECHR ruling? What would be the repercussions if the decision is not abided by? What would be the timeframe of its implementation?
A: At this point if the court is unable to force the accused side to respond, the next step would be taking the matter up to the Ministerial Committee, which will be able to directly address the states with questions. Applying political pressure on the states is also a tool that can be used, especially if we are talking about the latest ruling regarding Turkey’s involvement and look at the clear statements by France and other EU countries. If these measures do not yield results it will automatically be considered a breach of the convention and the matter will be taken up on that level.
The biggest value of this interim measure is that the decision has been made taking into consideration that with the evidence submitted by the Armenian side the European court was able to verify the fact of Turkey’s involvement. And this is an important factor influencing the future developments of the case. This was an interim application by Armenia and it was done at the right time; the main complaint has not been submitted yet by Armenia, we will do that in the future.
Q: Can this decision serve as a reference for other countries to demand Turkey to stop its involvement in the conflict?
A: Yes, this will be a tool at the hands of other EU countries to call on Turkey to stop its involvement. Naturally, the narrative changes following the issuing of this ruling. Of course there are further steps that Armenia should take on the diplomatic front and in working with the Ministerial Committee to push the issue to the front of the political agenda.
Q: You have presented evidence that terrorists have been deployed to the region and the ECHR decision also ratified that as a fact. Does this grant the military-political leadership of Armenia any right backed by international law to initiate the elimination of these terroristic forces?
A: We had that right even before this decision, it is based on the international right to protect oneself from any threats to your security. Armenia is currently fully realizing its right of “Responsibility to Protect” because this by all means is a fight for survival.
Q: Mr. Hovhannisyan, you mentioned that the Azerbaijani side shelters by the border with Iran. Has Iran responded to this? What should Iran do to prevent such a development?
A: Yes, Iran has responded and not only through political statements. I cannot further comment on this because the issue concerns another state.
Q: Do we have information if Armenians have been taken hostage by the Azerbaijani side?
A: At this point, we do not have any information about possible hostages or dead bodies of Armenian soldiers. Even when the situation on the Line of Contact was relatively calm, we did not have any direct communication with Azerbaijan and all the communication was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Q: Mr. Kirakosyan, could you please elaborate what evidence you submitted to the ECHR as part of the request to apply interim measures against Turkey? And if the evidence submitted is indisputable, why does the Court make a neutral decision and call upon all parties to the conflict? Is this an accepted practice or are there specific reasons in this case?
A: At this stage, when we apply for interim measures, it is more about prima facie evidence and more thorough evidence is presented during the second stage when the actual complaints about violations are submitted. Our goal when submitting the second request for interim measures was to legally show Turkey’s direct and indirect involvement in the hostilities, which can cause irreparable harm. As instructed by the first decision of the ECHR for interim measure, the Armenian side today will submit evidence regarding the steps it took to prevent violation of the rights stipulated by the European Convention.
European Parliament Discusses Artsakh-Azerbaijan Hostilities
3 p.m.: The European Parliament held a plenary debate on the “resumption of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan.” A number of MEPs made statements, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Artsakh. Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union said that he has heard the concerns raised by the MEPS but that the EU’s actions are limited. He said fighting must stop, Azerbaijan and Armenia need to re-engage in negotiations under OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs auspices, and the EU will continue working to help stop hostilities. “There can be no military solution and no external interference,” he noted.
While the debate was taking place inside the European Parliament, thousands of Armenians held a rally outside demanding the EU take action. Security forces in Brussels used water cannons to disperse them.
Here is the text of Josep Borrell address at the European Parliament:
Thank you Mr President, Honorable Members of the European Parliament,
Members, the current military confrontation along the Line of Contact in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone is of our utmost concern. It is the largest confrontation since 1993-1994. We have been very engaged on this issue.
On the day that fighting erupted, I released a statement as High Representative, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, de-escalation and strict observance of the ceasefire. During the past days, I have had several phone calls, separately, with the Armenian and the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers, urging both sides to stop the hostilities and to return to the negotiating table.
Our position is clear: the fighting must stop. Both sides need to re-engage in meaningful negotiations – which, by the way, have not been very fruitful in the last 30 years - without preconditions, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. There can be no military solution to the conflict, nor external interference. This position was reinforced by the European Council held on the 1st and 2nd of October.
We have seen extremely worrying reports of a surge in attacks on populated areas, which is taking a deadly toll on civilians. We strongly urge the sides to fully observe their international obligations to protect civilian populations. And, with the resources we have, we have urgently allocated a small amount of money [€500,000] in humanitarian aid for the affected populations.
In fact, we do not have a lot of information about how the conflict is developing. Detailed information is scarce and there is a lot of fake news.
OSCE monitoring on the ground remains suspended, so we do not have observers. But what we observe is an increasing amount of disinformation, which is aimed at mobilising the domestic audiences in both countries and could be used to pull regional actors into the conflict. Media reports need, therefore, to be examined with great caution, because we do not have confirmation of some of the news that has been disseminated.
At this stage, further escalation of the conflict and involvement of regional actors, unhappily, cannot be excluded. This would seriously threaten the stability of the whole region.
On the 30th of September, I discussed the situation with the Russian Foreign Minister and I also spoke with the Turkish Foreign Minister - the two regional actors that are closer to the conflict. I emphasised the importance of de-escalation, the importance that regional actors refrain from any activity and rhetoric that could inflame things even further.
I spoke to the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan during the weekend. I stressed that the increase of civilian casualties is unacceptable. I heard from both sides the actions taken by the other side; each one of them blames the other for starting and for attacking civilian populations, not in Nagorno Karabakh itself, not in the region in dispute, but from Armenia to Azerbaijan and from Azerbaijan to Armenia.
The fighting should stop. The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs are going to have meetings this week with the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the two countries, and the only way to get out of this situation is that the Minsk Group Co-chairs pushes for immediate negotiations as soon as possible.
We will continue working with key partners to try to help stop the hostilities, because the only solution is to go back to the negotiating table. But this negotiation table has been open for the last 30 years without any kind of advance. War is not an alternative; we have to push both parties to stop fighting and start negotiating without preconditions. But this is, for the time being, not the case.
I am sorry that I cannot inform you more about that, because as I said, the information is very much scarce and we have to take care not to disseminate news that has not been confirmed.
Another 40 Names of Servicemen Killed in Action Released, Bringing the Total Number of Deaths to 80
4 p.m.: The Artsakh Defense Ministry has released the names of 40 servicemen killed in action. The Ministry had announced the deaths of another 40 servicemen earlier in the day bringing the total number of deaths on October 7 to 80.
Hambardzumyan, Edgar [Hovakimi], b. 2000
Sargsyan, Davit [Arayiki], b. 2001
Zeynalyan, Roma [Artashi], b. 2001
Gevorgyan, Narek [Arseni], b. 2000
Mkrtumyan, Tigran [Muraziki], b. 2001
Avetisyan, Vrezh [Geghami], b. 2000
Asatryan, Henrik [Ashoti], b. 2001
Qartashyan, Gevorg [Arturi], b. 2001
Manvelyan, Ashot [Samsoni], b. 2000
Ghazaryan, Armen [Karapeti], b. 2001
Avanesyan, Arman [Lenriki], b. 2000
Baghdasaryan, Vahe [Hovhannesi], b. 2000
Hmayakyan, Artur [Arami], b. 2000
Saroyan, Hunan [Galusti], b. 2000
Zurabyan, Mher [Vladimiri], b. 2001
Abrahamyan, Mher [Nveri], b. 2001
Hovhannisyan, Gagik [Hovhannesi], b. 2000
Hakobyan, Gevorg [Arturi], b.1999
Azaryan, Erik [Avetiki], b. 2000թ.
Tumanyan, Artyom [Hayki], b. 2001թ.
Grigoryan, Artur [Roberti], b. 2001
Avetisyan, Hrachik [Hranti], b. 2000
Azizyan, Arsen [Kareni], b. 2000
Sahakyan, Tigran [Grigori], b. 2002
Grigoryan, Armen [Arturi], b. 2001
Soghomonyan, Melik [Seyrani], b. 2001
Boyajyan, Gor [Mheri], b. 2002
Mkrtchyan, Varazdat [Artemi], b. 2001
Mekhakyan, Hamlet [Kareni], b. 2002
Arakelyan, Arame [Sevadayi], b. 2001
Khachatryan, Ashot [Torgomi], b. 2001
Aghasyan, Arsen [Grigorii], b. 2000
Hayrapetyan, Tigran [Kareni], b. 2000
Safaryan, Gurgen [Armani], b. 2001
Margaryan, Alen [Levoni], b. 1999
Bejanyan, Samvel [Boriki], b. 1973
Gharibyan, Vahe [Leviki], b. 1988
Hayrapetyan, Armen [Grigori], b. 1987
Hambardzumyan, Suren [Bagrati], b. 1992
Aghababyan, Aghasi [Artavazdi], b. 1998
7:20 p.m.: Artsakh’s President Arayik Harutyunyan announced that the Artsakh Defense Army has restored one of the military positions previously lost. Harutyunyan wrote that during the operation, Armenian forces were also able to save the lives of 19 soldiers who a few days ago, instead of retreating, had hid in a nearby forest waiting for the Defence Army’s counter-offensive. He also noted that as a result of the military operation, the adversary suffered huge losses of military equipment and quickly retreated leaving behind more than 100 bodies.
Armenia’s MFA Refutes Two False News Items
7:45 p.m.: Anna Naghdalyan the spokesperson of Armenia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said media reports about a planned October 8 meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani foriegn ministers in Geneva are not true. No such meeting has been planned.
Naghdalyan said that for Armenia, it is not acceptable to negotiate while military operations are being launched against Artsakh and Armenia. At the moment, the imperative is to stop the large-scale military aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh. Naghdalyan also said Armenia’s Foreign Minister is in constant contact with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the representatives of the Co-Chair countries.
Naghdalyan also responded to the statement issued by the Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office saying that on October 6, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in the Yevlakh district was shelled by Armenian forces: “First, I would like to mention that my colleague, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense Shushan Stepanyan has already denied this information. This is another lie by the Azerbaijani side primarily aimed at justifying its continuous shelling of the peaceful settlements of Artsakh and Armenia.
Such behaviour of the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan is deplorable. It’s ridiculous that imaginary terrorism concerns are voiced by a country which has done its utmost to import foreign terrorist fighters into this region, which has an important role from the perspective of Europe's energy security.”
8:30 p.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan/MoD reported that Shushi has once again become a target for Azerbaijani artillery fire. Hovhannisyan said: “Understand that peaceful civilians are not to blame for your fleeing soldiers.” The Armenian Unified Infocenter also reported that the capital Stepanakert is also being shelled.
Artsakh President Convenes Special Meeting
9:15 p.m.: Arayik Harutyunyan, the President of Artsakh, convened an extended work meeting to discuss the coordination of the work of the state governing bodies during wartime. Harutyunyan noted that it is necessary to work more closely and more cooperatively in order to provide operational solutions to the problems caused by the war launched by Azerbaijan in various spheres of state and regional governance. According to the President, considering the limited opportunities of the economy for providing services during wartime, the problems of the civilian population should be prioritized and resolved, using state and charity resources.
When discussing the buildings and facilities damaged by the shelling, Harutyunyan noted that a committee for damage assessment will soon be set up. After the end of the military operations, state compensation will be provided for the restoration of damaged buildings and facilities based on the Committee's evaluation.
9:35 p.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan/MoD writes in a Facebook post that the city of Hadrut is being targeted.
Heavy Battles Along the Line of Contact Continue
10 p.m. Artsrun Hovhannisyan of the Ministry of Defense gave a press briefing from the southern city of Goris.
Before presenting the situation on the frontline, Hovhannisyan said that a number of cities - Stepanakert, Sushi, Hadrut, in Artsakh are being shelled. Intensive fighting continued along the entire Line of Contact throughout the day and fighting continues now into the late hours. Today, the Armenian side managed to cause significant equipment and human losses to the adversary following a missile attack. Some of the official videos show how Azerbaijani soldiers are retreating. Similar attacks were launched in different parts of the Line of Contact. Arayik Harutyunyan, Artsakh’s President has already announced that the Defense Army was able to restore one of the military positions previously lost and that it was possible to save the lives of 19 soldiers.
Regarding information that after suffering losses, Azerbaijani Forces sheltered in the territory of Iran, Hovhannisyan noted that they are glad that the military-political leadership of Iran is taking steps regarding this issue (he did not elaborate on the specific steps). Speaking about the targeting of Shushi, Hovhannisyan said that although there is no final information regarding the damage caused to the city and the people, he stressed that dozens of civilians have been injured, houses, cars and civilian infrastructures have been damaged. Hovhannisyan stressed that the Defense Army is not receiving outside assistance and is fulfilling its military duties, relying only on its resources and the support of the Armenian people. “I want to emphasise that within only 18 hours tens of thousands of Armenians, and many of them as volunteers, enlisted, established units, joined the army and headed to combat. Our victories are thanks to them,” he said. Hovhannisyan said that the situation changes very quickly and although the Azerbaijani side took control of certain territories, the overall configuration has not changed much since the beginning of the war.
Regarding the deployment of Armenia’s Armed Forces, Hovhannisyan said that it is mainly the Defense Army of Artsakh fighting on the frontline with the help of volunteers from Armenia and Armenian Reserve forces deployed in Artsakh.
Speaking about the involvement of mercenaries, Hovhannisyan said that they have concise information, which was also confirmed by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service. Other countries like the U.S., France and Great Britain have also spoken about the involvement of mercenaries and according to the latest updates between 3000 to 4000 are involved in the conflict. There was additional intelligence acquired today that Turkey continues coordinating the involvement of mercenaries from Afghanistan, he said.
Referring to official announcements made earlier in the day that Armenia is near victory, Hovhannisyan said that yesterday and today there have been breakthrough developments and, there is a chance that those efforts will, in the near future, come to full fruition. Speaking about possible accomplishments, however, Hovhannisyan said that he would like to be the first to herald the accomplishments of the Armenian side however given the situation, he would like to refrain from elaborating. He said that what is happening in Artsakh now is a military escalation unlike any the region has seen in regards to the weapons used and the concentration of armed forces. Such combats are rare in conventional military history in general.
Hovhannisyan noted that the most modest calculations show that until noon today, the Azerbijani side lost between 260 to 280 Azerbaijani soldiers and mercenaries, between 60 to 80 armored vehicles.
Answering a question about the reasons the capital Stepanakert is being so heavily shelled, Hovhannisyan noted that similar behaviour was very common during the first Karabakh War (1990-1994). The difference is that today more powerful military equipment is being used. Azerbaijani forces are trying to compensate the defeat on the battlefield by targeting and shelling the civilian population, he said adding that this is their typical approach and is a continuation of their genocidal policy. Targeting civilians is a way for them to take revenge for the losses on the battlefield.
Answering a question about how the use of UAVs has changed the dynamic, Hovhannisyan noted that UAVs as well as Israeli-made ballistic missiles and other artillery in their arsenal gives Azerbaijan the upper hand in given situations, however, there are still doubts that military equipment of this caliber is in fact being operated by Azerbaijan. According to Hovhannisyan such military means can in fact help target and hit a bridge, for example. He said that it is still up to the troops on the ground to register any success and Azerbaijan’s forces have nothing to be proud of.
Speaking about the involvement of Turkish military advisers working on the ground, Hovhannisyan noted that the Armenian side has evidence that Turkish military is coordinating and planning the targeting of air strikes. Also, there is evidence that Turkish military are involved as instructors, spies, etc.
Armenia’s Foreign Affairs Minister to Leave on Official Visit to Moscow
The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Armenia reported that for some time now, preparations are underway for the official visit of Armenia's Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan to Moscow. The visit will take place on October 12.
Georgia’s Internal Affairs Ministry Says Two Drones Crashed on Georgian Territory
The Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs says that on October 7, at 18:35 and 18:45, they received reports regarding the crash of two unmanned aerial drones near Udabno village, Sagarejo municipality and the village of Sanavardo in the Kvareli municipality. No injuries were reported. Law enforcement as well as forensic experts have been dispatched to both locations. An investigation is underway.
Vladimir Putin Says Russia Very Concerned
In an interview to the Russian Rosia 24 channel, President Vladimir Putin said Russia is very worried because people who live in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh are not strangers. There are about two million Azerbaijanis living in Russia and more than two million Armenians. The population of Russia has very friendly relations with both countries and there is even kinship between them. Both sides have considerable human losses, of course this is a big tragedy, said Putin, adding that Russia hopes that the conflict will stop soon: “There is still a long way to go to its definitive resolution but we once again call for a ceasefire as soon as possible.”
Speaking of relations with Armenia, the Russian president said that the Russian Federation has obligations towards Armenia as a fellow Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member and has always fulfilled those obligations and is ready to fulfill them in the future, however currently the military operations are not taking place on the territory of the Republic of Armenia.
Putin said that he is in constant working communication Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and that the leadership of Armenia has no doubts regarding Russia’s commitment to its CSTO mandated obligations.
Iranian President Calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to Immediately Halt Fighting in Nagorno Karabakh
Iran Press reported Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saying that war is not the solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and that there are political and peaceful channels to be pursued to restore security in the region. "Fire, war, and blood is not a solution. We are very sorry about this conflict. We cannot accept that artillery and mortar shells hit our borders. Nor can we allow the shadow of terrorism to be seen in the region again under the pretext of this conflict. The terrorism that martyred Lieutenant General Soleimani defeated in the region," Rouhani was cited as saying. The Iranian president also warned of the possibility of the conflict escalating into a regional war adding that those who pour gasoline on the fire of this conflict are not acting in favor of anyone.
Greek Ambassador to Azerbaijan Summoned to Athens for Consultations
Greece’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcement on the unacceptable allegations made by the government of Azerbaijan:
Following the completely unsubstantiated and insulting allegations made by the government of Azerbaijan regarding supposed tolerance on the part of the Greek state for preparation of terrorist actions, efforts to recruit terrorist fighters, and cyberattacks from Greek territory on Azerbaijan, in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a stern demarche was made to the Azerbaijani Ambassador yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Following the demarche, the Greek Ambassador to Azerbaijan, N. Piperigos, was summoned to Athens for consultations, by decision of Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias.
UNICEF Calls For Immediate Cessation of Hostilities
On October 6, UNICEF issued a statement regarding the situation in Artsakh:
It is now 10 days since violence escalated dramatically in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. There are already reports of four children killed and seven injured, and without an end to the fighting, these figures will tragically increase.
The fighting is destroying homes, and damaging schools and other essential infrastructure. We urge all parties to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure from further harm, in line with international and humanitarian law.
An immediate cessation of hostilities is in the best interest of every child.