Wednesday, 07 December 2022

W Weekly Update

27 August - 3 September

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Weekly update


3 September
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, according to the Azerbaijani APA news agency, has announced that Armenia has accepted Baku's five-point peace proposal. In line with "It was confirmed once again during our meeting in Brussels two days ago. Our foreign ministers will start negotiations on the text of the agreement based on these five principles," the APA quotes Aliyev announcing in Italy at an intelligence conference.  (Aliyev refers to Wednesday’s meeting in Brussels of Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, Aliyev and European Council President Charles Michel.) Following Wednesday's meeting, the Armenian government issued a short statement that provided no specifics. Pashinyan is quoted as saying the meeting “was extensive but difficult”. The five points proposed by Baku in March refer to the recognition of mutual territorial integrity, refusal to submit any territorial demands of the other, refusal to use force and threats, demarcation and opening of communications. Edmon Marukyan, Armenia’s Ambassador for Special Assignments, in a May 13 interview on Armenian Public TV, criticized Baku for publishing the five points in advance, describing them as part of a working document.


2 September
On August 12, 2022, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev repeated his increasingly intensifying anti-Armenian rhetoric. According to since its military defeat in the First Nagorno-Karabakh War in the 1990s, Azerbaijan has been conducting a proactive campaign of narratives against Armenia, directed at both its domestic and international audiences. After its military victory in the 2020 Artsakh War, not only did Azerbaijan not stop the war of narratives but elevated them to a new and increasingly aggressive level, often accompanied with disinformation. In Azerbaijan’s undemocratic environment, its civil society and expert community are closely linked with the state authorities and don’t express any obvious dissent. Think tanks associated with state institutions support the Azerbaijani President’s aggressive narratives in relation to Nagorno-Karabakh, territorial claims on Armenia and threats of a new war since December 2020. Moreover, official circles of Azerbaijan often use public diplomacy channels to push some of these narratives. Only a few Azerbaijani activists living in Europe, and transnationally persecuted by the Azerbaijani authorities, express dissent on these issues.


1 September
According to businessman and philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan on Thursday announced that he is renouncing his Russian citizenship and relocating to Artsakh. Vardanyan, who has various business interests in Armenia and Russia, is the founder of, among other organizations, the UWC Dilijan College, the IDea Foundation, which was pivotal in revitalizing the Tatev Monastery and building the world’s longest tramway, the Foundation of Armenian Science and Technology, as well as the Aurora Project. “I made a decision to move to Artsakh. Today, the people of Artsakh are experiencing a severe psychological crisis with no confidence in the future. Residents of Artsakh, who have survived two wars and lost their relatives and loved ones in the struggle for independence, feel abandoned, forgotten and ignored. I believe that after the 2020 war, we, Armenians around the world, have an obligation to stand together with the people of Artsakh. We must not just support them symbolically, but help them through concrete work. Artsakh is the center of the Armenian nation that has always been a place of true strength for us and we cannot let everything that was created by our ancestors over the millennia fall into oblivion,” Vardanyan said in announcing his decision to move to Artsakh and renouncing his Russian citizenship.


31 August
The Human Rights Ombudsman Published an Ad Hoc Trilingual Report on the Violations of the Rights of the People of Artsakh by Azerbaijan in August 2022. According to the report was prepared on the basis of studies conducted by the Human Rights Defender’s Office, on the visits to various communities, citizens’ houses, on private conversations with citizens, and information received from state-authorized bodies. The first section presents details on the systematic and continuous crimes committed by Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh after the November 9, 2020 Statement. The second section provides details on the existential importance of the Corridor connecting the Republic of Artsakh to the Republic of Armenia (Lachin Corridor) for the people of Artsakh. The third section introduces details on the depopulation of Berdzor, Aghavno, and Nerkin Sus communities. The fourth section provides some proof of the drastic increase in hate speech and other manifestations of Armenophobia by the state officials and public figures of Azerbaijan. The aim is to document the cases of violation of the rights of the people of Artsakh by Azerbaijan and their various manifestations and to draw the attention of international institutions and human rights organizations to the situation in Artsakh.


30 August
Lieutenant General Mikael Arzumanyan, the former commander of the Artsakh Armed Forces during the latter days of the 2020 War, was arrested and charged with negligence and dereliction of his duties in defending Shushi, Armenia’s National Investigative Services reported on Tuesday. In line with the charges, detailed in a lengthy document released by the NIS, essentially blames Arzumanyan for the fall of Shushi during the 44-Day War. He was accused of not following through on his own military plans laid out from October 30 to November 9, 2020, when the military actions ended in Artsakh as a result of the now infamous agreement signed by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia. Arzumanyan was appointed as commander of Artsakh Armed Forces on October 27, 2020 after then Artsakh defense minister and Arzumanyan’s predecessor General Jalal Harutyunyan was severely wounded during combat operations.


29 August
A temporary asphalt road will function until the main road from Armenia to Artsakh and back via Kornidzor is put into operation, which will connect the new road with the upper part of Aghavno, Artsakh Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan told "At first it was planned that there will be an unpaved road with a length of 4.7 kilometers, but then it was decided that the road will be fully asphalt," he said. Stepanyan described a temporary route from Armenia to Artsakh. It will pass through Goris, the village of Tegh to the border with Artsakh. In the section where the road leads to Aghavno, the route will no longer pass through Aghavno, but through the road to the right, where the entrance to the new road begins.The Ombudsman of Artsakh explained that this temporary road will function until spring, i.e. until the construction of the new main road is completed. "The agreement on the functioning of the temporary road is not new, it was reached in early August, during the escalation period, when negotiations were held with the mediation of the Russian side. Given that the new road to Kornidzor will not be ready until the spring of 2023, this agreement was reached. Russian peacekeepers will be stationed along this temporary road until the completion of the new main alternative road. And once the construction work is completed, the peacekeepers will be redeployed to the new main road.


28 August
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the longest-running in post-Soviet Eurasia. According to in 1988, ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh demanded the transfer of what was then the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) from Soviet Azerbaijan to Armenia. As the Soviet Union collapsed, tensions grew into an outright war. When fighting ceased in 1994, Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts were wholly or partially controlled by Armenian forces. This Visual Explainer has been designed as a resource for those seeking to understand this conflict. It is also intended as a tool for policymakers and others involved in the peace process or in mitigating the conflict’s humanitarian impact. It includes sections that explain the current state of the conflict along with some parts that describe the situation before the 2020 war.


27 August
Armenian law-enforcement authorities on Friday made their first arrests in a criminal investigation into the August 14 explosion at a market in Yerevan that left at least 16 people dead and dozens of others injured. According to the Investigative Committee said the suspects include the deputy director of the Surmalu market and three other individuals who used one of its warehouses. The committee did not name any of them. A spokesman for the law-enforcement agency, Vartan Tadevosian, said the deputy director and another suspect, who rented the warehouse laden with fireworks, were charged with a grave violation of fire-safety rules. The two other suspects are facing accusations of negligence and involuntary manslaughter, he told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. Prosecutors have already asked a Yerevan court to allow the investigators to hold them in pre-trial detention, added Tadevosian.

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