Red Cross evacuates 13 patients from blockaded Nagorno-Karabakh


YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 12, ARMENPRESS. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday evacuated 13 patients from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia for urgent treatment, the Nagorno-Karabakh Ministry of Healthcare announced in a statement.

All patients were accompanied by their attendants.

Nagorno-Karabakh hospitals have suspended normal operations due to the Azerbaijani blockade.

The ICRC plans to transport another 5 patients who’ve completed treatment in Armenia back to Nagorno-Karabakh later today.

26 children are hospitalized in the Arevik clinic in Nagorno-Karabakh. 7 of them are in neonatal and intensive care.

Another 91 patients are hospitalized in the Republican Medical Center of Nagorno-Karabakh. 5 of the patients are in intensive care, 3 of whom are in critical condition.

Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and the rest of the world, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since late 2022. The Azerbaijani blockade constitutes a gross violation of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement, which established that the 5km-wide Lachin Corridor shall be under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Furthermore, on February 22, 2023 the United Nations’ highest court – the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – ordered Azerbaijan to “take all steps at its disposal” to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions.  Azerbaijan has been ignoring the order ever since. The ICJ reaffirmed its order on 6 July 2023.

Azerbaijan then illegally installed a checkpoint on Lachin Corridor. The blockade has led to shortages of essential products such as food and medication. Azerbaijan has also cut off gas and power supply into Nagorno Karabakh, with officials and experts warning that Baku seeks to commit ethnic cleansing against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS