On December 17th, the corpses of 41 Armenian servicemen were found during search and rescue operations in the Fizuli and Jabrayil regions.
In total, the bodies of 933 Armenian soldiers were found during the entire search period.
Additionally, Yerevan and Moscow agreed on the deployment of Russian peacekeepers on the new Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the Syunik region. This was reported by the Armenian Ministry of Defense.
Inhabitants of Syunik have blocked the road, neighboring to the Kapan Airport. They note, that in the trilateral statement it is noted that the sides of the conflict are standing at their positions, but the recent developments don’t prove it. The action participants demand the respective authorities to provide clarifications. At the moment there are police officers on the spot, who are trying to negotiate with the inhabitants in order to open the road.
Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Avinyan said inter-positional communication exists in Artsakh’s Hin Shen village, however, he said, the problem is not completely solved yet. The deputy PM said Russian peacekeeping troops are deployed in this section.
“We expect that we will have a final solution. Defense Minister [of Armenia] Vagharshak Harutyunyan is in Syunik province. Our border troops are conducting deployment works along our borders”, the deputy PM said.
In contrast with any common sense and logic, US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper said that the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh risks “destabilizing” the situation in the region.
“In such cases Russia’s presence threatens with destabilization,” Cooper said when asked by an Azeri reporter whether or not the US “could counter the Russian influence.”
“This, of course, is a challenge for all parties and states involved,” Cooper added.
Separately, the BBC reported that between 60 and 160 Armenian soldiers had been captured by Azerbaijan’s troops.
“The exact number of captured soldiers is unclear but reports range from 60 to as many as 160, seized as part of an Azerbaijani “anti-terror” operation.”
On December 15th, Artsakh’s defense ministry said contact had been lost with a number of military posts. The defense ministry in Azerbaijan has refused to discuss the matter with media.
On the next day, the ombudsman of Artsakh Artak Beglaryan stated that about 60 soldiers of the NKR Defense Army had disappeared the day before near the village of Khtsaberd, Hadrut region.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on December 16th about the available information that Armenian soldiers were captured by Azerbaijan in the area of the villages of Khin Tager and Khtsaberd of the Hadrut region.
“According to our information, including the Russian peacekeepers are surrounded. There are problems with communication, because because of the terrain there are certain problems with communication. Moreover, the Russian peacekeepers have the same problems, and we have a certain crisis situation there.”, Pashinyan said in an interview with the Armenian service of Radio Liberty.
In turn, the Russian Ministry of Defense denied Pashinyan’s statement about the encirclement of Russian peacekeepers.
“The information about the alleged encirclement of the units of the Russian peacekeeping forces by one of the parties in Nagorno-Karabakh does not correspond to reality,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The Russian Defense Ministry said:
“All units of the Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh carry out tasks in a regular mode, both at observation posts and in the course of monitoring the observance of the ceasefire. The ceasefire is observed along the entire line of contact.”
Meanwhile, more Turkish forces arrived in Azerbaijan.
A group on the detection and clearance of mines consisting of 136 servicemen of the Turkish Armed Forces arrived in Azerbaijan. Turkish military specialists will carry out work on demining the liberated from the occupation territories of Azerbaijan.
As such, despite the agreement, Turkey will also now have troops in Nagorno-Karabakh.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Map Update: Military Situation In Nagorno-Karabakh On December 17, 2020
- Nikol “The Basement” Desperately Claims Russia’s Peacekeepers Were Encircled By Azerbaijan