conflict in the Caucasus
Archenemies Armenia and Azerbaijan shoot at each other again – apparently dozens dead
In the shadow of the Ukraine war, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has flared up again. Yerevan reports dozens of soldiers killed and demands international support.
A decades-long conflict has flared up between Armenia and Azerbaijan. At least 49 Armenian soldiers were killed in fighting in the border area between the warring states in the Caucasus, according to the head of the Armenian government, Nikol Pashinyan. The number of victims will probably increase, Pashinyan said on Tuesday morning in the parliament in the capital Yerevan. Both parties to the conflict had reported heavy fighting in the border area during the night.
According to the Defense Ministry in Yerevan, Azerbaijani troops tried to advance into Armenian territory. The Azerbaijani army used artillery and drones against military and civilian targets near the border. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, accused Armenia of “large-scale subversive acts” near the border and shelling of its military positions.
Russia is pushing for stabilization of the situation in Armenia
According to his office, in telephone calls with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron, Pashinyan called for an “appropriate reaction from the international community” to Azerbaijan’s actions. In a telephone conversation, Armenia’s Defense Minister Suren Papikjan and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu decided to take the “necessary measures to stabilize the situation,” the government in Yerevan said.
The Turkish government, in turn, called on Armenia to stop its “provocations” against Azerbaijan and “focus on peace negotiations and cooperation” with Baku. Exactly why the conflict flared up again just now is not clear from the previous reports on the hostilities.
Armenia and Azerbaijan are both former Soviet republics, and the neighboring countries in the Caucasus have been enemies over the Nagorno-Karabakh region for decades. However, according to Armenian information, the exclave was not attacked this time, so the attacks hit positions near the cities of Goris, Sotk and Jermuk. These are on the territory of Armenia.
Decades of conflict over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh
Nagorno-Karabakh, which is disputed by the others, belongs to Azerbaijan but is inhabited by Armenians. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenian forces secured control of the area in a war from 1992 to 1994 and occupied large parts of Azerbaijan. In 2020, Azerbaijan regained its territories and seized strategically important points in Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia, the protecting power of the Christian Armenians, is monitoring the ceasefire agreed four months later. Since then, the European Union has also made many efforts to resolve the conflict.
The Foreign Office warned Germans in the region to be cautious, and that the fighting could not be ruled out. Anyone in an area affected by hostilities should go to a safe place and wait there until it is safe to leave. It is Jermuk that is popular with foreign tourists, as there is a well-known mineral spa there.