Ermənistan SQ-nin Kəlbəcərə hücumu/ Invasion of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia in Kelbajar/ Вторжение ВС Армении в Кельбаджар/1993

Ermənistan SQ-nin Kəlbəcərə hücumu/ Invasion of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia in Kelbajar/ Вторжение ВС Армении в Кельбаджар/1993

On March 22, 1993, I assumed the position of head of the Public Relations Sector and Deputy Press Secretary of the President of Azerbaijan. On the same day, I informed the administration about an invasion being prepared by Armenia with the aim of seizing the Kalbajar  region and the part of the Lachin region remaining under the control of Azerbaijan.

I was asked to provide a written justification for my claim. The written justification was drawn up and handed to the State Adviser Najaf Najafov, who handed it to President Elchibey. A request was made to the Ministry of Defense. A day later, I was informed that the Ministry of Defense was monitoring the situation.

However, subsequent events showed that Kelbajar was not ready to repel aggression. The army group in this area turned out to be unmanageable. There was practically no connection between the sub-divisions of the Azerbaijani army. There was separate scattered resistance against a well-thought-out and multi-vector military operation of the Armed Forces of Armenia.

It is necessary to consider the events that developed in the context when the communist nomenclature, permeating the state apparatus, the army, and secret services (they controlled 95% of the state apparatus) and society, was preparing in full swing to overthrow the power of the pro-Western Popular Front.

According to my information received from Armenian sources, the offensive was being prepared from three directions: Lachin, Vardanis, and Nagorno-Karabakh. By this time, the transfer of heavy equipment and army units to Nagorno-Karabakh, their concentration in the occupied part of Lachin and on the border with Kelbajar was in full swing. In the area of the Zod Pass, roads were cleared for the purpose of unhindered passage of military equipment.

The invasion began on March 27 after artillery and air training. Military of the Russian army based in Armenia took part in the invasion. The final occupation of Lachin and Kelbajar completed by April 4.

However, the leading member states of the UN Security Council did not recognize the act of aggression by Armenia, presenting the military actions as a confrontation between local Armenian formations and the Azerbaijani army. That is, Armenia's aggression and occupation of Azerbaijani territories were not recognized, and military actions were considered an internal matter of Azerbaijan. This was reflected in the first UN Security Council Resolution No. 822 on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, where the Armenian Armed Forces were presented as local Armenian forces, and Armenia was demonstrated as an interested party to this conflict, supporting the Armenians in Karabakh. In fact, the primary version of the draft resolution stated the indispensable withdrawal of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia from the Kelbajar region.

If the UN Security Council had recognized the act of aggression by Armenia, then, the Karabakh conflict would not have lasted for 30 years, it would have been resolved much earlier, since international coercive measures to end the conflict with Azerbaijan would have been included against Armenia as an aggressor country. However, the powers decided to reformat the situation into the internal affairs of Azerbaijan and thus prolong the conflict for years, based on their interests in the region.

Preparation for the offensive

The offensive on Kelbajar was preceded by a diversionary maneuver. On March 23, units of the Armenian army, with the support of aviation and armored vehicles, violated the state border of Azerbaijan in the Zangelan region. Having launched an offensive from the Kafan region of Armenia, the enemy penetrated 4 kilometers into the territory of Azerbaijan. As a result of the measures taken, the aggressor's offensive was stopped. By noon on March 24, the enemy was pushed back to their original positions. At the same time, the Armenian army was fighting in the north of Karabakh in the direction of Agdere, shelling of the cities of Agdam and Fizuli continued from Armenian positions in Hadrut and Askeran. Border settlements in the Kazakh, Kedabek and Zangelan regions of Azerbaijan were shelled with various types of weapons.

The operation has begun

On March 27, in the afternoon, units of the Armenian army launched a large-scale offensive on the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan. This area, located in the west of the republic, borders both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The attack on the Kelbajar region was undertaken by Armenian units from both sides. The offensive was preceded by disinformation by the Russian media about the attack of the Armenian positions by the Azerbaijani army. In the first hours of the offensive, Armenian units managed to occupy five Azerbaijani villages in the Kelbajar region. Among civilians there are dead and wounded, all the captured villages were looted and burned.

The Armenian map clearly shows that the offensive is being conducted from the territory of Armenia

The press secretary of the President of Azerbaijan, Arif Aliyev, said that the distribution of non-objective information about the events in the Kelbajar region contradicts the spirit of the Russian-Azerbaijani Treaty "On Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Security" by the Russian media (Interfax).

On March 30, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry sent a protest note to Armenia. The note  read: On March 23, the Armenian Armed Forces, violating the border of the republic from the Kafan region of Armenia, captured Selageyali and Janbar of the Zangelan region of Azerbaijan.

On the night of March 26-27, the Armenian Armed Forces violated the border from the Vardenis region of Armenia and attacked the villages of Soyugbulag, Soyudlu and Dikyurd of the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan. These settlements were bombed from the air. As a result of these actions, there were victims and wounded among the civilian population, a large number of housing was destroyed. The note  read that the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry regarded the actions of the Armenian side as a gross violation of the principles of the UN and the Council for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). The document emphasized that the actions of Armenia were aimed at disrupting the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations within the framework of the CSCE (now the OSCE).

According to the Ministry of Defense on March 30, the invading units of the Armenian Armed Forces continued to advance north of the Lachin-Goris road. They managed to completely occupy the Lachin region by the end of the day and complete the encirclement of the Kelbajar region.

On March 31, the State Adviser to the President of Azerbaijan on Foreign Policy, Vafa Guluzade, informed the ambassadors of Iran, Russia, Turkey, the United States, the representative of the UN Secretary General in Azerbaijan on the critical situation in the Kelbajar region of the republic caused by the ongoing offensive of the Armenian Armed Forces. Guluzade asked the ambassadors to urgently convey to the heads of their states information about the situation in the region and take measures to curb the aggressor. Guluzade noted that by 11 a.m. on March 31, the advanced units of the Armenian army were located 16 kilometers from the district center of Kelbajar. 16 villages of the  region were captured. At the same time, about 30 villages of the neighboring Lachin  region of Azerbaijan were surrounded. Thus, 60,000 thousand people were cut off from the outside world. Constant shelling did not allow civilians to be taken out from under fire. The State Adviser noted that "the events in Kelbajar may lead to a tragedy that surpasses the Khojaly tragedy in scale."

On the night on March 31 and in the morning on April 1, fierce fighting continued in the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan. According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, Armenian troops had advanced more than ten kilometers and were already on the outskirts of the region center. The offensive on Kelbajar was conducted both from Armenia and from Nagorno-Karabakh. The distance between the advanced detachments of the enemy advancing from the west and from the east reaches 5-6 kilometers. The city was burning because of the continuous shelling. The fire was being conducted from the Vardenis region of Armenia. At the same time, Kelbajar was bombed by the Armenian Air Force.

There were many dead in the  region center and nearby villages, the number of which counld not be determined. Due to the continuous fire, it was not possible to take out the civilian population. Many residents  fled to the surrounding forests.

On April 1, the press service of the President of the Republic issued a statement saying that the military action of Armenia goes far beyond the attempts of its leadership to disrupt the negotiation process on the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Thus, Armenia once again demonstrated that the conflict was based on territorial expansionism, open disregard generally recognized norms of international law, principles of respect for sovereignty and state integrity. Armenia's anti-Azerbaijani policy was entering a qualitatively new stage of intensive occupation of Azerbaijani territories located outside Nagorno-Karabakh. It was facilitated by the fact that the international community represented by the UN and the CSCE, which have broad powers, did not  take measures to identify the aggressor in the Armenian-Azerbaijani war. Considering that the situation could lead to a large-scale tragedy and result in a large number of civilian casualties, the Azerbaijani leadership called on the heads of states, governments and parliaments of the world, the UN, the CSCE, the OIC and other influential international organizations to resolutely and principledly condemn Armenia's aggressive actions.

Adviser to the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, Ceyhun Mollazade, handed over a letter addressed to Secretary of State Warren Christopher to the US State Department on March 31. The letter contained information about the dangerous development of events in the Kelbajar district as a result of the ongoing aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan.

On April 1, the occupation of the Kelbajar  region almost completed. Azerbaijan faced an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. Thousands of civilians were surrounded. Civilians were fleeing, leaving through mountain passes to the neighboring Dashkesan region of the republic. Some of the people managed to be taken out by helicopters. One of the helicopters was shot down by fire from the ground, killing 60 people. Another helicopter with refugees on board was damaged, but was able to land in Yevlakh. A refugee reception center has been established in the Khanlar region of Azerbaijan, where more than ten thousand people have already been registered.

On April 1, in connection with the new acts of aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, President A. Elchibey invited ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic missions of foreign states accredited in Baku and informed them about the critical situation, formed as a result of the Armenian army's offensive on the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan. President A. Elchibey informed the diplomats that the Kelbajar region was cut off from the outside world and the 60-thousandth population of the region were threatened with destruction. He noted that there was a danger of genocide on a larger scale than the Khojaly genocide. President A. Elchibey stressed that the recent acts of aggression of Armenia testify to the policy of state terrorism and genocide against Azerbaijanis. He asked the ambassadors to bring  this information to the attention of the leaders of their states in order to take effective measures against the aggressor.

On April 1, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry issued a statement drawing the attention of the world community to the blatant facts of Armenia's violation of the norms and principles of peaceful coexistence, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and called for Armenia to be recognized as an aggressor.

On April 2, military intelligence reported that in the Vardenis region of Armenia, along the border with the Kelbajar region, there is a concentration of several dozen tanks and armored vehicles preparing for an invasion.

On April 2, Azerbaijani President Abulfaz Elchibey sent letters to Russian Presidents Boris Yeltsin and US President Bill Clinton, which called for taking the necessary measures to curb the aggressor.

On April 2, the Milli Majlis appealed to the European Parliament, the UN, the CSCE, and the parliaments of the countries of the world to take decisive measures to stop Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan and adopt sanctions against the aggressor, in accordance with international norms.

On April 2, refugees from the Kelbajar  region held a rally in front of the Azerbaijan Hotel (now Hilton), where the Russian Embassy was located. Interior Minister Iskender Hamidov, who spoke at the rally, said that the radio interception materials indicate that units of the 7th Russian Army were participating in the offensive on Kelbajar according to the order N.111 Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Pavel Grachev.

On April 2, Defense Minister Major General Dadash Rzayev held a briefing for representatives of foreign diplomatic missions accredited in Baku. At the briefing, the diplomats were officially informed that the 7th Russian Army stationed on the territory of Armenia was actively involved in the Armenian offensive on Kelbajar. According to the Defense Minister, the Azerbaijani side had evidence confirming this fact.

According to Rzayev, a column of 10 tanks with Russian crews was transferred through the Zod pass of the Vardenis district of Armenia to the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan. The battles involve units of the mountain special forces of the 7th Army, which are supported from the air by MIG-21, MIG-23 fighters, MIG-25, as well as SU-25, SU-27 attack aircraft.

Gennady Konenko, adviser to the Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, denied reports about the participation of units of the 7th Russian Army in hostilities on the side of Armenians. "The radio interception referred to by the Azerbaijani side may be falsified by those who would like to complicate Russia's relations with Azerbaijan," Konenko told Turan news agency.

On April 3, the press service of the President of the Republic of Armenia reported that the authorities of Khanlar, Dashkesan and Geranboy regions, where refugees arrive, were experiencing serious difficulties with receiving, providing first aid, and accommodating thousands of people. There is a catastrophic shortage of medicines, dressings, and donated blood.

There were many wounded and frostbitten among the refugees. It was especially difficult for children and the elderly, many of whom die on snowy passes, unable to withstand the difficulties of mountain crossing. At noon on April 3, the number of refugees from the Kelbajar region approached the figure of 30 thousand people.

On April 3, President Elchibey received a group of American concressmen who arrived in Azerbaijan to familiarize themselves with the situation after receiving a written appeal from the President of Azerbaijan addressed to US President Bill Clinton.

On April 3, in the afternoon of the day, the Armenian army managed to occupy the regional center of Kelbajar and most of the eponymous region of Azerbaijan. According to the press center of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, at 2 p.m. on April 3, a massive artillery strike was carried out on Kelbajar from the Vardenis district of Armenia, after which enemy motorized infantry units violated the border for 15 km, attacked the region center and nearby villages. At 18 o'clock, the district center of Kelbajar and about 80 percent of the territory of the Kelbajar region were captured by the enemy. Combat aircraft and helicopters took part in the offensive, as well as armored units of the 7th Russian Army.

At 11 o'clock on April 5, 55 thousand people were taken out of the Kelbajar region, head of the press service of the President of Azerbaijan Arif Aliyev told reporters. At the press conference, journalists were also informed that the International Red Cross was helping to receive and provide first aid to refugees. Aliyev said that the US State Department twice expressed its concern to the Armenian leadership. Participants of the consultative meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh in the framework of the CSCE Rafaelli, Maresca and Cetin strongly condemned Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan.

On April 5, two trucks with refugees on board during evacuation from the Kelbajar region were shot at point-blank range from tanks by Armenian troops on the only road on which it is possible to leave Kelbajar. At the same time, according to the press service of the President of Azerbaijan, all 60 refugees were killed.

In connection with the aggression of Armenia in the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted a statement on April 5. The document noted that on April 3, regular units of the Armenian Armed Forces captured the city of Kelbajar. The offensive of the Armenian troops, launched on March 27, deep into the territory of Azerbaijan continues. Over the past few days, 1,500 square kilometers of the territory of Azerbaijan were occupied and, thus, the Republic of Armenia occupied about 7 thousand square kilometers of the territory of Azerbaijan to date. Expansion of Armenia's aggression far beyond Upper Karabakh. It indicated that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict was moving into a qualitatively new particularly dangerous phase. This was the result of the fact that the international community then did not recognized Armenia as an aggressor, the document emphasized.

The statement pointed to the participation of units of the 7th Russian Army in the Armenian offensive, which calls into question the effectiveness of Russian mediation in the peaceful settlement of the conflict. In conclusion, it was noted that Armenia's aggressive actions torpedo the negotiation process under the auspices of the CSCE. The document calls for stopping the aggression by applying political and economic sanctions against the aggressor.

On April 6, President Elchibey stated in an interview with “Radio Liberty” that Azerbaijan appealed to the world community and to the heads of state of the world, the  UN Security Council with an appeal to assess and condemn the aggression of Armenia. If this aggression is not stopped, he stressed, then a serious hotbed of war will arise in the Near and Middle East. "Despite the difficult conditions of the war for us, we are for the continuation of negotiations. We are against the termination or suspension of the negotiation process within the framework of the CSCE. We are for the continuation of this process, but we demand that the occupiers liberate the Kelbajar district," President Elchibey said.

On April 7, Turkish President Turgut Ozal sharply condemned Armenia's aggression in the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan. At a press conference in Tashkent, T. Ozal said that the conflict over Karabakh has long gone beyond the borders of this territory and "acquired the character of Armenia's undisguised aggression against Azerbaijan." Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel said yesterday that "Turkey will never agree with Armenia's seizure of part of the territory of Azerbaijan." According to Demirel, Turkey intends to take real steps to curb the aggressor.

On April 7, the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the seizure of the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan by the Armenian Armed Forces. The statement notes that Iran will not agree with the violent change of interstate borders in the region. Iran stands for a political settlement of all problems at the negotiating table, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On April 7, the UN Security Council expressed alarm over the intensification of fighting in the Karabakh region. In the resolution adopted by the resolution, the UN Security Council demanded from the parties an immediate cessation of hostilities that pose a threat to peace in the region and the withdrawal of their formations from the territories occupied as a result of military actions. Without calling any of the parties an aggressor, the Security Council called on them to immediately cease fire and hold peace talks.

The statement points to the need for the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides to provide international organizations with unhindered access to the conflict zone in order to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population in these areas.

On April 7, the conclusion of the Commission of the International Red Cross was published, which states that the entire population of the Kelbajar region turned out to be refugees as a result of the military actions of the Armenian troops. The document called on the UN to urgently organize humanitarian assistance in the form of food, medicines, tents, blankets.

On April 7, the Adviser to the President of Azerbaijan on International Affairs, Vafa Guluzade, commenting on the draft resolution of the UN Security Council on the aggression of Armenia, said that this draft was undoubtedly a step forward. "For the first time, the conflict is referred to as Armenian-Azerbaijani, although until now they preferred to talk about the conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh." Vafa Guluzade also noted that the document called for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories, starting from the Kelbajar region. "Azerbaijani diplomacy should make every effort for the Security Council to adopt a truly condemnatory document, because there is no legal difference between the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq and the occupation Azerbaijan by Armenia.

On April 7, the Adviser to the President of Azerbaijan on International Affairs, Vafa Guluzade, received the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Azerbaijan, Mahmoud al-Sayeed. During the conversation, issues related to the Armenian aggression in the Kelbajar district were discussed. Mahmoud al-Said informed about the results of his trip to the Kelbajar region and meetings with refugees. According to him, the results of the work of the UN commission, which he heads, contain the conclusion that the attack on the Kelbajar region was inflicted from the territory of Armenia. The UN Commission regards the military actions in the area as an act of aggression by Armenia, violation of the state border of Azerbaijan. As a result, a large number of people suffered, a large number of refugees were formed, there were numerous destructions. The results of the commission's work were issued in the form of a report, which was submitted to the UN. The final document was to be adopted by the Security Council on the basis of the report and the draft resolution.

The analysis of the incoming reports shows that Armenia's undisguised aggression against Azerbaijan has not received an adequate assessment from the point of view of international law. The message of the press service of the President of Azerbaijan, distributed on April 8, reported that despite Azerbaijan's active political and diplomatic efforts, the leading countries and organizations of the world demonstrate a generally restrained approach in assessing the causes, nature, and content of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Characteristic in this regard is the position of the UN Security Council, expressed in the statement of the Chairman of the Security Council, adopted on April 6, 1993. The document expressed "serious concern about the deterioration of relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, especially about the invasion of local Armenian forces in the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan." Thus, the statement veiled the true nature of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Armenia's aggressive actions were presented as an "invasion of local Armenian forces". Following the logic of the statement, the deterioration of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan was regarded as a consequence of some internal conflict in Azerbaijan itself. It is also puzzling that the actions of the Armenian Armed Forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan were masked by the term "escalation of hostile acts in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict". The Security Council demanded an immediate end to all hostile actions that pose a threat to peace and the withdrawal of local Armenian forces. It seemed that the implementation of the requirement in the absence of a principled assessment of the fact of Armenia's annexation of the territory of Azerbaijan would  be extremely difficult. The statement of the representative of the US State Department of April 6, 1993, differed little from the statement of the UN Security Council. It condemned the "offensive of ethnically Armenian forces in the Kelbajar region", noted that the US government condemned the offensive and brought its concern to the leadership of Armenia and representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh. The positive thing in the document was that Armenia was linked to the latest events in the Kelbajar region. In addition, there was a clearly expressed call for "the immediate and complete withdrawal of all ethnic Armenian forces from the Kelbajar region." It is also noteworthy that the fact of the occupation of the Lachin  region was completely excluded from the context of official consideration. The positions of countries such as Italy and France were even more cautious and, in fact, close to the Armenian one. The foreign ministries of these countries emphasize the need for a peaceful settlement and, in fact, avoid assessing Armenia's actions. Turkey and Iran have demonstrated a more consistent and principled approach. In the official statements of these countries as the root causes of the current aggravation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict are Armenia's desire to annex the territory of Azerbaijan. The Iranian Foreign Ministry called on Armenia to withdraw its armed forces from Azerbaijani territory.

As for Turkey, it called on the permanent members of the UN Security Council to take active measures to prevent Armenia from seizing the territory of Azerbaijan. At the same time, it was impossible not to notice that the official circles of this country were trying to avoid serious involvement in these events. It is also noteworthy that Russia then did not express its attitude to everything that was happening. It can be assumed that attempts would be made in the coming days to achieve an immediate ceasefire in order to consolidate Armenia's military success.

On April 9, the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan reported that a powerful military grouping of the Armenian Armed Forces is concentrated on the approaches to the city of Fuzuli. According to Azerbaijani military experts, all this confirms the information that the Armenian military command was hatching a plan to attack the city of Fuzuli. The capture of Fuzuli, as stressed in the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, would lead to the blocking of four southwestern regions of the republic: Gubadli, Zangelan, Jabrayil and Fuzuli with a total population of more than 210 thousand people. This would enable Armenia to expand its borders with Iran and prevent the commissioning of a highway from Baku to Nakhichevan through Iran. In the case of the capture of Fuzuli, Armenia is likely to shift the military focus to the northwest of Azerbaijan. Here, the most likely direction of the strike is along the line of three regions of Tovuz-Kazakh-Akstafa. If the plan was implemented, Armenia would cut energy and transport communications from Azerbaijan to Georgia. Thus, Yerevan could get leverage not only on Baku, but also on Tbilisi.

On April 9, Foreign Minister Tofik Gasimov met in New York with the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Coordinator for International Emergency Relief Jan Eliasson. During the conversation , Gasimov introduced Yan Eliasson with the tragic events in the western and south-western regions of Azerbaijan related to the expansion of aggression and the seizure of the territory of the republic by the armed forces of Armenia. The Minister stressed that as a result of recent events, 496 thousand refugees already in Azerbaijan and another 45 thousand people were displaced, who were taken out of the captured Kelbajar district. Another 20 thousand were evacuated from the Fuzuli district. It was particularly noted that if the Armenian troops capture the city of Fuzuli, the lives of 215 thousand residents of the Zangelan, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Fuzuli districts will be put at risk, which will be cut off from the rest of Azerbaijan by the Armenian armed forces.

On April 7, the US State Department held a briefing at which official Speaker Richard Boucher outlined the position of the US government. He noted that the UN Security Council has already published a statement by its Chairman, which calls for the cessation of hostile actions and the withdrawal of "local Armenian forces" from the Kelbajar district. The US government remains convinced, R. Boucher said, that "negotiations within the framework of the Minsk group under the auspices of the CSCE remain the best hope for a peaceful settlement of the conflict." "We call on all parties involved in the conflict, refrain from seeking a military solution and honestly return to the negotiating table," he added.  R. Boucher also stated the presence of a large number of Azerbaijani refugees in extremely difficult conditions.

On April 10, in an address to the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russian President Boris Yeltsin expressed deep concern about the fierce fighting on the territory of several regions of Azerbaijan and the spread of hostilities beyond Karabakh. Yeltsin noted that no attempts to achieve one-sided advantages for themselves at the expense of force techniques will not bring political or military benefits and will only complicate the reconciliation of the parties. Years of armed confrontation have shown the complete futility of betting on a forceful solution to the issue. Yeltsin ruled out allegations of the participation of Russian troops in the conflict on anyone's side.

Yeltsin strongly condemned the new escalation of hostilities in the Karabakh conflict area and called for respect by all parties involved in the conflict of the external and internal borders. He proposed as an urgent measure to immediately and universally cease fire and move on to serious negotiations to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.

On April 12, Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev proposed to introduce a Russian peacekeeping contingent to Kelbajar, which was refused by the Azerbaijani side.

On April 13, Turkish President Turgut Ozal, upon arrival in Baku, stated at the capital's “Bina” airport Turkey’s negative attitude towards forceful attempts to change existing borders. President Ozal stressed that the policy of the Armenian leadership, aimed at forcibly changing borders was unacceptable and Turkey would not allow it. He hoped for the voluntary liberation of the Azerbaijani lands seized by Armenia. Ozal noted that the Armenian leadership should understand that "endless wars and attempts to tear off a part of someone else's territory will not bring peace to Armenia. The leaders of this country should also remember that Turkey's patience is not infinite. As for those countries that support the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, Turkey will make every effort to neutralize this support."

Independent Holland journalist Charles Van der Leo, who arrived in Baku after visiting Yerevan and the Goris region of Armenia, claimed that the armed forces of Armenia were directly involved in the hostilities against Azerbaijan.

Charles Van der Leo, representing the Dutch radio AVRO, the Brussels newspaper “Standard and the Luxembourg Tageblatt”, was an eyewitness to the latest offensive of the Armenian troops on the Kelbajar and Lachin  regions of Azerbaijan, which was carried out, according to him, against the background of a powerful artillery shelling of the territory of Azerbaijan from the territory of Armenia. The Dutch journalist failed to meet with Azerbaijani prisoners and hostages who ended up in the hands of Armenians. According to him, the location of this category of victims in Armenia is carefully hidden. Based on his Lebanese experience, he did not rule out that "Azerbaijani hostages are being held at bases of Armenian armed groups unknown to official Yerevan."

Local residents and Western journalists who have escaped from the encirclement testify to the crimes of the soldiers of the Armenian occupation army against civilians. Thus, Agence France-Presse reports that the roadsides to the region center of Kelbajar are littered with corpses of people and animals for two kilometers. The UN High Commission for Refugees spread a message that dozens of Azerbaijani children were killed by Armenian soldiers while trying to escape from Kelbajar. According to the same source, many people died while crossing the high-altitude snow passes. The organization "Doctors Without Borders" reports on the removal by the Armenians of a part of the women and children who fell into their hands to Khankendi and Armenia.

Answering a question from “Reuters” on April 13 about the internal political situation in Azerbaijan after the occupation of the Kelbajar district by Armenia, President  Elchibey recalled that "the current situation is similar to that in the republic after the capture of Shusha and Lachin by the Armenian army." The President also recalled that the population of the Kelbajar regions, as well as the population of the Shusha and Lachin regions, were expelled from their lands by the occupying army within a few days. "All this indicates," the President noted, "that these operations were compiled by the same scriptwriters." "It is obvious," the President stressed, "that Armenia would not be able to carry out military operations of this scale without external support. This conclusion is also confirmed by foreign diplomats and military experts."

The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Dr. Hamid Al-Gabid, sent a message to Elchibey stating that "the OIC is seriously concerned about the intensification and expansion of the Armenian aggression. The concern was expressed in an official statement in which we strongly condemn the fact of Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan."

On April 14, at a joint press conference with President Elichbey, President Turgut Ozal said that on the eve of the capture of the Kelbajar district, Russian IL-76 transport planes made up to 60 flights from Sochi to Gyumri. "I don't think humanitarian supplies were transferred from Russia to Armenia." In turn, the President of Azerbaijan stated that he had no doubt about Russia's direct participation in the war on the side of Armenia. This was confirmed by the fact of the arrest of 15 Russian servicemen who fought on the side of the Armenians last year in Karabakh. During the capture of the Kelbajar region from the Armenian side, 5 types of combat aircraft, units of engineering troops were involved, Armenia did not have all this. Finally, the materials of the radio interception indicate that all the fighting was controlled by Russian officers from the territory of Armenia."

The representative of the British Government in Azerbaijan, Harold Formoton, conveyed to the leadership of Azerbaijan the official statement of the British government made on April 14, 1993. The statement reads: "The British Government is deeply concerned about the escalation of hostilities in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, especially the invasion of the Kelbajar region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It calls for the withdrawal of the invading forces, the cessation of hostilities and the resumption of the peace process within the framework of the CSCE. The recent battles have resulted in great suffering for the civilian population, many people have left their homes. In this regard, the British government is transferring 100,000 pounds to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to provide humanitarian assistance to Azerbaijan."

On April 15, the President of Azerbaijan received a message from Iranian President Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani. The message noted that Iran sharply condemned attempts to forcibly change the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan and demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Kelbajar region. In connection with the occupation of Kelbajar, Iran  expressed its protest to the Charge d'affaires of Armenia in Iran, in which he unequivocally condemned the aggressor. The Iranian President stressed that he would take all measures to curb the aggressor and withdraw all Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States Hafiz Pashayev presented his credentials to US President Bill Clinton on April 14. During the official ceremony, the Azerbaijani Ambassador had a half-hour conversation with the US President.

According to the press service of the President of the Republic, H. Pashayev acquainted B.Clinton with the situation in Azerbaijan after the occupation of the Kelbajar region and brought to the attention of the American president Baku's position on this issue.

B.Clinton's reply letter to Azerbaijani President A. Elchibey stated that the United States welcomed Azerbaijan's commitment to democratic reforms and the attraction of foreign capital into the economy. Azerbaijan's insistence on restructuring its political and economic systems was welcomed by the US President. B.Clinton expressed a hope that the decision of the US Congress on economic sanctions against Azerbaijan would soon be canceled. The letter also expressed regret that the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh complicates Azerbaijan's path to a market economy and the creation of a truly democratic society. The US President expressed hope that the continuous negotiation process will lead to a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh problem.

President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk  spoke out against holding a regular meeting of the leaders of the CIS member states in Yerevan. According to L. Kravchuk, holding such a meeting would be an expression of support for Armenia in its confrontation with Azerbaijan. He also considered it inappropriate to hold such a meeting in Baku.

L. Kravchuk called on the CIS countries to adhere to strict and real neutrality in relation to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

On April 21, two meetings of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan took place in Ankara. According to Turkish television, answering journalists' questions after the meeting, L. Ter-Petrosyan said that he was very pleased with the results of the meeting. Both presidents stated in an interview with journalists that the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is possible only on the basis of the principles of the CSCE. On his return from Ankara, the President of Azerbaijan told Turan correspondent that during the talks with the Armenian president, an agreement was reached on "the need to eliminate the enmity that has accumulated between the two peoples for five years." Elchibey noted that the non-applicable condition for a peaceful outcome is the resolution of the conflict within the framework of the CSCE Minsk Group. "We don't see any other alternative," Elchibey said. Speaking about the suspension of the Geneva talks, the President stressed that the decision to suspend the talks was made by the members of the Minsk Group, who made the withdrawal of the occupation troops from Kelbajar a condition for their resumption. "President Ter-Petrosyan and I expressed our readiness to obey any decision of the CSCE and jointly implement it."

"The interests of major powers play a major role in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and even more than the position of the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan," Azerbaijani President Abulfaz Elchibey said at a press conference on April 24. According to the President, Russia and France are doing everything to delay consideration of the issue of the capture of Kelbajar in the UN Security Council. Instead, Moscow proposed to resolve the issue outside the CSCE and the UN. The goal was to delay time and to ease the pressure on Armenia. As an example, President Elchibey called the position of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which is trying to put pressure on Azerbaijan so that Baku will negotiate with Armenia outside the CSCE Minsk Group. According to the President, the imperial forces represented by the Russian generals and conservatives in Moscow are working towards the restoration of the USSR. The attempt to unite the republics in the CIS is only the first step.

If conservatives come to power in Russia, they would try to create a unitary state based on the CIS. Answering the Turan agency's question about the probability of Azerbaijan joining the CIS, Elchibey said that this probability is zero. Speaking about the upcoming referendum in Russia, the Azerbaijani president noted that Yeltsin's departure could lead to the collapse of Russia."

On April 26, two soldiers of the Azerbaijani Army, Ghalib and Shamsi Majnunovs, spoke to local and foreign journalists at a briefing in the president's office. These soldiers of one of the units of the national army were selected for three weeks from the enemy-occupied Lachin and Kelbajar region.

The soldiers said that they had witnessed the shootings of civilians by the occupiers in several villages of the Lachin and Kelbajar  regions. They also reported that an endless stream of trucks is taking the looted goods of local residents from the occupation zone to Armenia around the clock. After the removal of household property and livestock, the occupiers burnt entire villages. The brothers said that at the same time, a large number of enemy military equipment and manpower were being transferred from Armenia to the Lachin and Kelbajar regions of Azerbaijan. Fortifications were created there; engineering structures and military bases were built. The soldiers' information was confirmed by the official reports of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry that the enemy was making an enhanced redeployment of its troops from Armenia to the Kelbajar, Lachin and Agdere regions of Azerbaijan.

Prior to the UN Security Council's consideration of Azerbaijan's appeal in connection with Armenia's aggression in the Kelbajar region, Moscow increased pressure on Baku. On April 27, the emissary of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Ambassador-at-Large Vladimir Kazimirov arrived in the capital of Azerbaijan. A meeting of a group of Moscow and Baku diplomats at the expert level took place. According to the latest information, Kazimirov had a meeting with the Secretary of State of the Republic Panakh Huseynov. A source close to the official Baku, who wished to remain anonymous, told that Moscow believed that after Armenia seized the Kelbajar  region, Azerbaijan was in a state of shock, and now was the right time to increase pressure on Baku in all directions: diplomatic, military-political, economic. The purpose of such pressure was to force Azerbaijan to make concessions on favorable terms for the Armenian-Russian side.

On April 27, the UN Security Council held informal consultations on the Karabakh issue, the UN mission in Baku reported. After consultations, a new draft resolution was adopted, which expressed serious concern about "the occupation of the Kelbajar region by ethnic Armenian forces." Thus, the statement that Kelbajar was occupied by the Armenian Armed Forces was replaced by ethnic Armenian forces. The draft resolution noted that "changes with the help of the force of the universally recognized borders of States and violation of their territorial integrity were unacceptable." The draft resolution contained a demand "for the withdrawal of ethnic Armenian forces from the occupied territories." At the same time, the parties involved in the conflict undertook to continue peace negotiations within the framework of the CSCE.

On April 28, at a meeting of the CSCE Senior Officials Committee in Prague, Armenia vetoed the adoption of a resolution condemning the fighting in Karabakh and calling for the withdrawal of occupation troops from the territory of Azerbaijan, “Radio Liberty” reported. According to the diplomats present at the meeting, Russia provided Armenia with clear support.

On April 29, the OIC Conference of Foreign Ministers, held in the Pakistani city of Karachi, adopted a resolution condemning Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan.

The Resolution No. 822  adopted by the UN Security Council marked the beginning of a protracted conflict. According to the Azerbaijani delegation to the UN, after the adoption of UN Security Council resolution No. 822 on April 30, speeches were made in explanation of vote. The British representative, Ambassador T. Richardson, said, "London proceeds from the fact that Nagorno-Karabakh is the territory of Azerbaijan." Such a position of the UK was appropriately perceived in the UN circles, the same source reports. In the speeches of the representatives of Russia and France, this topic was not touched upon. And representatives of the United States and China did not speak at all.

On May 1, the press service of the President of Azerbaijan issued a statement in which UN Security Council Resolution No. 822, adopted on April 30 and condemning the occupation of the Kelbajar district, is evaluated positively. At the same time, the statement notes that the wording of the resolution that "the occupation of the Kelbajar district was carried out by local Armenian forces" does not reflect reality. At the same time, the statement of the press service notes that the adoption of such a UN Security Council resolution "means the beginning of the formation of a political and legal framework for condemning the aggression of Armenia."

On May 6, Azerbaijan approved a plan for a trilateral settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, which largely coincides with UN Security Council resolution 822. This plan provides for the complete withdrawal of Armenian troops from the Kelbajar region by May 15. According to the plan, the withdrawal should begin on May 7.

The trilateral US-Russian-Turkish plan consists of four stages. After the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the Kelbajar region, the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations in Geneva should resume, then the Rome meeting within the framework of the CSCE and finally the Minsk meeting of the CSCE on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. However, as one Azerbaijani diplomat told Turan news agency, it was hard to believe that Armenia would agree to the implementation of this agreement. Most likely, it would do everything possible to torpedo it.


Baku/07.05.93/Turan: Almost the whole of April was spent in Azerbaijan "under the sign" of military defeat. The situation was so critical that Baku, which had so far avoided discussing the Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation at the UN, was forced to urgently appeal to the Security Council. If at first the course of the discussion in the Security Council (which lasted for a whole month) inspired some optimism, then its ending disappointed Azerbaijan. Under pressure from Russia and France, formulations were adopted that were ambiguously perceived by Baku. The hopes of condemning Armenia's aggression in the resolution No. 822 adopted by the Security Council were buried. The seizure of the territory of the Kelbajar and Lachin regions was presented as the occupation actions of local Armenian forces. In the document, the emphasis was shifted from the demand for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories to the "ceasefire". Azerbaijan, which has not returned its territories, in accordance with the decision of the Security Council, he must sit down at the negotiating table. Such a long discussion of the problem of Armenia's aggression was closely connected with another important political event - the referendum in the Russian Federation. Russian diplomacy delayed the resolution of the issue in the Security Council until the situation in the country was fully clarified. Baku also had certain views on the referendum. However, no matter who the participants cast their votes for. After the referendum, few analysts doubted that Russia's desire to continue dictating its will in the region would undergo serious changes. Although the Azerbaijani side failed to provide convincing evidence of the participation of the Russian military in the capture of Kelbajar, experts have no doubt that this participation took place at least at the level of preparation and leadership of the operation. Earlier, during confidential negotiations, the military leadership of the Russian Federation, as informed British sources indicate, promised to immediately put an end to the Armenian-Azerbaijani war in exchange for a number of demands. This is obviously the abandonment of the 104th Russian Airborne Division in Ganja, the guaranteed operation of the largest early warning radar for launching ballistic missiles in Kabala (Kutkashen) and the expansion of Russia's military presence in Azerbaijan. The key to Karabakh is located in Moscow, and it is for her, first of all, to decide when and in which direction the scales will tilt. This was clearly "read" not only by the speech of the Russian representative at the UN Security Council meeting, who avoided condemning the aggression of Armenia, but also by the letter of Boris Yeltsin sent to A. Elchibey in mid-April. The President of the Russian Federation again offered his mediation services, but did not find an opportunity to provide Azerbaijan with any real assistance for the Kelbajar refugees. After the death of T. Ozal, who took a tough stance towards Armenia, before the election of a new president, Turkey's chances of playing one of the first violins in the "Karabakh party" with the help of the West were decreasing. Ankara could remain indifferent to Baku's problems and unequivocally condemned the Armenian expansion. However, even at the height of the attacks on Kelbajar, Turkey only "showed the flag", limiting itself to occasional reconnaissance flights along the borders. Although the chief of Staff of the Turkish army, General D.Gunesh stated that the possibility of military intervention was not excluded, in fact, such a probability was close to zero. Ankara's unauthorized attempts by Washington to "pull the blanket over itself" were excluded. And the swift trip of Azerbaijani Secretary of State P. Huseynov to Turkey could not change anything here. Iran, which borders both warring countries, did not lose hope of joining the geopolitical process around the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. It recovered from the failure of the Tehran Agreement of May 1992, when, the very next day after its signing, Armenian troops captured the largest Azerbaijani settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh - the city of Shusha. Iran was eager to get out of the political "shadow" and play a prominent role in the region. Moreover, it would like to join European initiatives and, of course, negotiations within the framework of the CSCE. Tehran managed to establish good relations with all the Transcaucasian republics and normal relations with Russia. However, it seems that Tehran will not be able to fully implement its plans. The latest confirmation of this is the blatant willingness of the armed formations of Armenia to storm the city of Fuzuli, in the south-west of Azerbaijan. The acquisition of this strategic point would make it possible to control at least 15 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan. The fall of Fuzuli would have been predetermined if the inevitable mass exodus of refugees to border Iran. This would inevitably be followed by the latter coming to the forefront of events in the region. And this clearly does not fit into the current geopolitical solitaire. However, even if this had happened, Iran would have expected not only "gains", but also losses. It is unlikely that he would have been able to escape the consequences of the destabilization of the political situation in the north of the country. Russia's desire and ability to dominate the Caucasus, the traditional sphere of its vital interests, is enormous. However, even considering Baku's understandable pessimism about the inevitability of Moscow's influence, it is not worth simplifying this picture. Russia's broad military presence in Azerbaijan is already unlikely for many reasons. And that is why it would already struggle to maintain political influence, which, apparently, will also decrease. The new Moscow initiatives and the activity of the Ambassador-at-Large V.Kazimirov indicate a clear desire to retain this influence. And yet an unpredictable Russia may return to powerful military pressure if political influence is exhausted. However, in this case, it will have to get used to the idea that Azerbaijan will "leave" it forever. Anyway, one thing is clear: the more "civilized" Russia acts in Transcaucasia, the more chances it has to "stay" here. Some pushbacks of Kazakhstan, which has its own view on the development of events, and the "unexpected" connection to the Russian peacekeeping initiatives of the United States and Turkey (meaning the meetings held on April 29-30 in Moscow) confirm that the struggle for political influence in the region is intensifying.--0--

On May 8, Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan agreed to implement a trilateral peace initiative to regulate the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. This was reported to the Turan agency by an informed source in the leadership of Azerbaijan.

The same source said that Yerevan was currently negotiating with representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh in order to persuade the latter to adopt a trilateral plan. The envoy of the Russian Foreign Ministry at the negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh, V. Kazimirov, flew to Yerevan. According to available information, there is no consensus among the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh regarding the trilateral initiative of Russia, the United States and Turkey to resolve the conflict. The forces representing the Armenian National Movement in Karabakh are in favor, and the supporters of the “Dashnaktsutyun” party were against the adoption of the trilateral peace initiative.

On May 11, US President Bill Clinton sent a letter to Abulfaz Elchibey. The message expressed the opinion that the occupation of the Kelbajar region by the Armenian armed forces  caused further escalation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. "The US government has condemned this offensive and called for the immediate liberation of the Kelbajar region," Clinton's letter says. At the same time, the US President expressed hope that Azerbaijan would prefer a peaceful way to resolve this conflict.

On May 12, President of Azerbaijan A. Elchibey received French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Jean Perrin. The Ambassador handed A.Elchibey a reply message from the President of France F.Mitterrand. The letter of the French President expressed concern about the expansion of hostilities around Nagorno-Karabakh and noted that France at all levels demanded the withdrawal of Armenian armed formations from the occupied Kelbajar region. The message of the President of France also expressed concern about the fate of the civilian population of the Kelbajar district and reported that the French Government has decided to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to refugees from the area.

On May 14, the American delegation headed by the Adviser to the US Secretary of State for Newly Independent States Strobe Talbott arrived in Baku. At 11 o'clock local time, the delegation was received by the Chairman of the Parliament, Isa Gambar.

At 12 o'clock, the delegation was received by Azerbaijani President Abulfaz Elchibey.

During a meeting with A. Elchibey, the envoy of the US Secretary of State said that Washington was ready to act as a guarantor of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, Turan  learned from circles close to the leadership of the country.

S. Talbott also noted that the United States considers A. Elchibey is a leader who was ready to build a truly democratic state and implement market reforms. During the conversation, issues of development and strengthening of US-Azerbaijani economic relations were also discussed. At the same time, oil production was named a priority area of cooperation. Talbott told reporters after the meeting with Elchibey that he had conveyed to the President of Azerbaijan a personal message from the President of the United States, in which he expressed satisfaction with Azerbaijan's readiness to implement a trilateral initiative. Talbotta also noted that the United States believes that the best way to resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict was the mechanism of the Minsk meeting within the framework of the CSCE. Speaking about the trilateral initiative, the Adviser to the US Secretary of State noted that the meetings in Yerevan strengthened his hope that during the negotiations it would be possible to achieve the signing of the US-Russian-Turkish peace initiative by the parties.

On May 18, the Ambassadors of the United States, Turkey, and Russia presented the text of Amendments to the Trilateral Peace Initiative to Secretary of State Ali Kerimov in Baku. As you know, these amendments were adopted during consultations on May 14-15 in Moscow by representatives of the United States, Russia, and Turkey. The Schedule presented by the ambassadors to the Secretary of State is urgent measures to withdraw Armenian troops from the Kelbajar district. The same document provides for a timetable for further actions by the parties to cease fire and resume negotiations in Geneva under the 5+1 formula. The purpose of the meeting in Geneva was to agree on the calendar of the final ceasefire, the deployment of observers, and the removal of obstacles to the functioning of transport communications. A meeting of the Minsk Group was due to take place in Rome in mid-June to approve the agreements reached at the talks in Geneva. The CSCE Minsk Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh is due to start work on June 21. The updated plan of urgent measures provides for the following: on May 26, the parties sign a document, on June 1, the suspension of hostilities for a period of 60 days comes into force, on May 29, the withdrawal of troops from Kelbajar begins and ends on June 3. And finally, a meeting of the Minsk Group in Rome is scheduled for June 14-15. In particular, the first paragraph of the Additions to the Schedule of Urgent Measures states that after the withdrawal of Armenian forces from Kelbajar, the Azerbaijani side will return there only "a limited number of lightly armed security personnel." According to all observers, without exception, this paragraph seriously infringes on the interests of Azerbaijan. So, if only a limited number of lightly armed people can return to Kelbajar, then the threat of re-occupation of the Kelbajar district remains real. And this is not the only moment that worries Baku. Nevertheless, according to most observers, Azerbaijan would accept the second version of the Trilateral Initiative as the most realistic way to restore peace in the region. One of the responsible employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic, told Turan: "Baku is inclined to solve the problem within the framework of the CSCE Minsk Group. All other ways are a further escalation of the war."

On May 25, Tajik journalist, employee of the newspaper "Amshahri" Sabir Ajerli, who visited Armenia and the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, reported that camps have been organized on the territory of Armenia, where civilians taken out of the occupied regions of Azerbaijan were being held. According to him, in Khankendi itself (Stepanakert), on the territory where the 366th Russian regiment used to be stationed, there is a camp where Armenians are kept under the guise of captured Azerbaijani soldiers. This masquerade was invented in order to demonstrate the "prisoners" to visitors, journalists, and representatives of international organizations. Sabir Ajerli also said that a group of Armenian mercenaries from Greece is being trained in the city of Sisian, which is supposed to be used during the battles on the territory of Azerbaijan. According to Ajerli, the Azerbaijani city of Shusha in Nagorno-Karabakh, captured by the Armenians a year ago, was inhabited by Armenians from various regions of Armenia and Russia. The journalist also said that he witnessed how Armenians destroyed traces of everything Azerbaijani in Shusha. Thus, the Armenians accompanying him in Shusha claimed that the Shusha mosque was an Armenian church converted by the Azerbaijanis.

Armenia continues to remain in a position of confrontation with Azerbaijan and has once again taken a step towards disrupting the peaceful initiative for a political solution to the conflict."Evidence of this," the press service of the President of Azerbaijan said in a statement on May 29, "is the absence of a statement by the Armenian side about the "intention to carry out a complete withdrawal from the Kelbajar region." According to the Trilateral Plan, such a statement was to be made on May 27. After that, the Armenian side had to start withdrawing its troops from the Kelbajar district from zero o'clock today. The statement notes that the current, as well as all previously reached agreements between the two sides on ending the conflict were violated by Armenia. This is confirmed by the Zheleznovodsk, Tehran, and Geneva Agreements, which were disrupted by the new seizures of Azerbaijani lands by the troops of the Republic of Armenia. The unilateral ceasefire from May 24 to May 29 and full compliance with the terms of the trilateral initiative by Azerbaijan confirms its real commitment to a peaceful and political settlement of the conflict.


The implementation of the plan to liberate Kelbajar was not destined to come true. The last Russian military unit leaving Azerbaijan, the 104th Amphibious Division, handed over some of the weapons to the units of Colonel Suryat Huseynov preparing the mutiny.

At that time, a warning was received from Armenia at a high level through closed channels to the administration of Elchibey that an insurgency was being prepared in Azerbaijan. The source said that if the rebellion is not prevented, the Armenian army will be forced to launch a large-scale offensive. This is required in Moscow. The mutiny began on June 4. Armenia went on the offensive on June 7. It culminated in the seizure of five more regions of Azerbaijan.

The Second Karabakh War of 2020, contrary to resolution No. 822, irrefutably proved the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by the Armed Forces of Armenia, parts of which still remain in Karabakh in the zone of operation of the Russian military contingent. At the same time, the members of the UN Security Council, as in 1993, continue to impose the idea that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan should be considered as a conflict between Baku and the ethnic Armenians of Karabakh. Although everyone knows that the puppeteers of the Armenians of Karabakh are located outside Azerbaijan.

(The chronicle of events is based on the archive of the Turan News Agency)

*According to the trilateral Statement of November 10, 2020, signed by the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia and the Prime Minister of Armenia, the occupation forces of Armenia were completely withdrawn from Kelbajar finally on November 25, 2020.

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