Ethnic Armenians fleeing Azerbaijan
According to a statement from the Armenian government, published by Russian state media, more than 2900 refugees had entered Armenia by 25 September. Agence France-Presse (AFP) had previously witnessed several hundred refugees entering the country, most of whom were women and children.
This came after a day-long military operation by Azerbaijan in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh on 20 September. The region’s rights ombudsman, Gegham Stepanyan, said on social media at the time that Azerbaijan killed 200 people and wounded a further 400. Amongst them were 10 civilians, including five children.
Laurence Broers of the Chatham House think tank wrote on Twitter that the attack:
follows nine months of (Azerbaijan) blocking access to the territory, a blockade that grew in severity since mid-June.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan claimed it was carrying out an “anti-terrorist” campaign in Nagorno-Karabakh.
🇦🇲 Around 120,000 ethnic Armenians live in the territory. Many fear persecution. pic.twitter.com/FPlwRB5Be7
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) September 25, 2023
Exploiting the global situation
Azerbaijan has made the most of a favourable political climate to launch its attack. It has the strong support of NATO member Turkey. Meanwhile, Russia – the traditional heavyweight in the area, and Armenia’s ally – is busy with its war in Ukraine. However, it is worth noting that Russia has also previously supplied large amounts of arms to both Azerbaijan and Armenia.
At the same time, the EU signed a gas supply agreement with Azerbaijan in 2022 as part of an attempt to reduce dependence on Russian gas.
On the other side of the border, in Azerbaijani settlements such as Terter and Beylagan, locals celebrated their government’s victory over Nagorno-Karabakh. State television played music paying tribute to the nation and its army. Flags and portraits of dozens of local “martyrs”, who died fighting during the previous 30 year-conflict between the two nations, lined the roads.
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse
Featured image via AFP News Agency/YouTube
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.