Why are Armenians leaving the Lachin region? Opinions from Baku


Aug 9 2022


  • JAMnews
  • Baku

Why Armenians are leaving the Lachin region

Inhabitants of the city of Lachin and the village of Zabukh (Aghavno), located in the Lachin corridor, must evacuate by August 25. This agreement was reached by Azerbaijan and Armenia via mediation with Russian peacekeepers deployed in part of Karabakh. Armenian experts are asking why these towns should be resettled at all.


  • Putin-Erdogan negotiations: agreements on the region and risks for Armenia. Opinion
  • “No one is ready to lighten Russia’s burden”: on the Russian peacekeeper mandate in Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Renewed tension in Nagorno-Karabakh: Yerevan and Baku report

According to the terms of the tripartite declaration signed on November 10, 2020 by the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia and the Prime Minister of Armenia, the Lachin region passed under the control Azerbaijan. But because the Lachin corridor is the only road connecting Armenia and Khankendi (Stepanakert), the city of Lachin itself and the village of Zabuh (Aghavno), it has remained outside the control of the Azerbaijani army.

The State Agency for Highways of Azerbaijan has put an end to the dispute over who is building an alternative road to the Lachin corridor

Although, under the agreement, three years were allotted for the construction of an alternative road to the Lachin corridor, Azerbaijan has waited only two, and a new road will be put into service by the end of summer 2022. After that, the regional center of Lachin will be under Azerbaijani control.

Armenia has insisted on the literal fulfillment of conditions stated in the sixth paragraph of the agreement, and demanded that three years be allowed to pass first. The Armenian part of the road is, in fact, still in the design stage.

Provisional map of the Lachin corridor and alternative road. Source: www.eurasianet.org

After Azerbaijan conducted a military operation, called “Retribution”, last week, the process accelerated. The Armenian press, citing the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of the unrecognized NKR, Hayk Khanumyan, reported that Azerbaijan demanded the release of the city of Lachin and the village of Zabukh (Aghavno) by August 5, 2022. “As a result of negotiations, it was possible to postpone the transfer to August 25,” the report says.

Member of the Azerbaijani Parliament Vugar Bayramov cited data of the last population census, before the start of the First Nagorno-Karabkh War:

“The last population census in the Lachin region of the Azerbaijan SSR was carried out in 1979.

According to that census, 47,261 people lived in the region. The ethnic makeup of the population was as follows: 44,665 people (94.5%) were Azerbaijanis, 2,437 people (5.1%) were Muslim Kurds. According to the 1979 census, 34 people of Armenian nationality lived in the Lachin region.

“Muslim Kurds were expelled from the area along with Azerbaijanis during the occupation of the area by the Armenian armed forces.

“In 1992, 65,507 internal refugees from Lachin were settled in 59 cities and regions of Azerbaijan.”

According to Bayramov, Zabukh consisted entirely of Azerbaijanis. Because of the war more than 600 people, the indigenous inhabitants of this village, were internally displaced.

“In 2003, the Armenian diaspora built a church in Zabukh. Beginning in 2013, Armenians began to illegally settle in this village. The Ari Foundation, owned by Lebanese Armenians, has built more than 150 houses in the village,” added Vugar Bayramov.

Azerbaijan’s demand is based on the terms of the tripartite statement, Azeri political commentator Agshin Kerimov maintains:

“Azerbaijan only demands the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the city of Lachin and the current Lachin corridor. Baku does not insist on the expulsion of the Armenian population thence.

“If desired, the Armenians who now inhabit Lachin and Zabuh can apply to the Azerbaijani authorities, obtain citizenship of the country, and continue to live in peace where they lived after the occupation of this region. But apparently they aren’t even considering that option.”

Military observer Asaf Guliyev cited anecdotes from his experience of communicating with residents of the Lachin region:

“I myself am from Karabakh, I was born and raised in this region. I know for sure that there have never been Armenians in the Lachin region. At any rate, before occupation in the early ’90s.

“They were relocated there later on preferential terms. I shot a film in Karabakh during the years of occupation and talked with people living in these villages of the Lachin at that time. Many were resettled from Armenia itself; they were given land for farming at zero taxation. Everything was done to ensure that the occupied lands were not empty.”

Kuliyev says the Lachin Armenians did not take up the offer of Azerbaijani citizenship:

“Baku offers Armenians who were residents of the NKAR the possiblity of Azerbaijani citizenship. The Armenians who now inhabit Lachin and the villages are not citizens of Azerbaijan, and so they must leave the occupied lands.”

Parents of Armenian prisoners of war hold overnight protest

Aug 9 2022
 9 August 2022

Parents of Armenians detained in Azerbaijan protesting in Yerevan. Image via News.am.

Parents and relatives of Armenian captives in Azerbaijan held a protest on Monday demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. After not receiving an answer, they continued their protest in front of the government building overnight.

On Tuesday morning, government officials informed the parents that they would be called and invited for a meeting, after which they agreed to stop the sit-in protest. 

‘They give us the same tale, the same lie every time’, a relative of one soldier sentenced to prison in Baku told News.am. ‘We don’t have any information… everyone we appeal to runs away; we shout to them to stop, but they don’t’. 

‘If our Prime Minister doesn’t want to meet us or doesn’t have anything to say, who should we demand our sons from?’ another parent asked. ‘They have their sons with them’. 

‘We are ordinary people; how can we negotiate with Putin?’, he said, urging Pashinyan to appeal to Russia for assistance. 

The soldiers in question were taken captive from the Hin Tagher and Khtsaberd villages, of the Hadrut region, which were under the control of Russian peacekeepers.

Their capture took place over a month after the ceasefire agreement ending the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War. The settlements have since passed under Azerbaijani control, despite being part of the Russian-controlled territory. 

According to the Armenian government, 39 Armenian soldiers and civilians are currently held captive in Azerbaijan where they are sentenced to up to 15 years of imprisonment in Baku on ‘terrorism’ charges.  Armenian lawyers representing the relatives of prisoners of war in international courts claim, however, to have information about over a hundred Armenian captives in Azerbaijan. 

Since the end of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh war, Azerbaijan has returned 150 Armenian captives and prisoners of war.

Despite having agreed to release prisoners of war as part of the 9 November ceasefire agreement and receiving additional calls from the international community to do so, Azerbaijan refuses to return the prisoners. 

In a call with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev in late July, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the release of ‘all remaining Armenian detainees’.  

The most recent return of Armenian captives, negotiated by the EU, took place in February. 

In May, Pashinyan stated that Aliyev had broken another agreement reached in Brussels in Spring. He claimed that while Armenia had provided Azerbaijan with maps of minefields, Azerbaijan had failed to deliver on their part of the agreement by returning Armenian prisoners of war. 

He claimed that Aliyev was using the prisoners as leverage in negotiations.

‘This is using people for political purposes and making them a subject of trade, which is condemnable.’

According to Armenia, there are also still 183 soldiers and 20 civilians considered to be missing, but search and rescue operations in the territories Azerbaijan took control over since the war stopped a few months ago. As of June, Armenia was negotiating to resume operations to find the remains of the missing.


Parents of Armenian prisoners of war hold overnight protest

Aug 9 2022
 9 August 2022

Parents of Armenians detained in Azerbaijan protesting in Yerevan. Image via News.am.

Parents and relatives of Armenian captives in Azerbaijan held a protest on Monday demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. After not receiving an answer, they continued their protest in front of the government building overnight.

On Tuesday morning, government officials informed the parents that they would be called and invited for a meeting, after which they agreed to stop the sit-in protest. 

‘They give us the same tale, the same lie every time’, a relative of one soldier sentenced to prison in Baku told News.am. ‘We don’t have any information… everyone we appeal to runs away; we shout to them to stop, but they don’t’. 

‘If our Prime Minister doesn’t want to meet us or doesn’t have anything to say, who should we demand our sons from?’ another parent asked. ‘They have their sons with them’. 

‘We are ordinary people; how can we negotiate with Putin?’, he said, urging Pashinyan to appeal to Russia for assistance. 

The soldiers in question were taken captive from the Hin Tagher and Khtsaberd villages, of the Hadrut region, which were under the control of Russian peacekeepers.

Their capture took place over a month after the ceasefire agreement ending the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War. The settlements have since passed under Azerbaijani control, despite being part of the Russian-controlled territory. 

According to the Armenian government, 39 Armenian soldiers and civilians are currently held captive in Azerbaijan where they are sentenced to up to 15 years of imprisonment in Baku on ‘terrorism’ charges.  Armenian lawyers representing the relatives of prisoners of war in international courts claim, however, to have information about over a hundred Armenian captives in Azerbaijan. 

Since the end of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh war, Azerbaijan has returned 150 Armenian captives and prisoners of war.

Despite having agreed to release prisoners of war as part of the 9 November ceasefire agreement and receiving additional calls from the international community to do so, Azerbaijan refuses to return the prisoners. 

In a call with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev in late July, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the release of ‘all remaining Armenian detainees’.  

The most recent return of Armenian captives, negotiated by the EU, took place in February. 

In May, Pashinyan stated that Aliyev had broken another agreement reached in Brussels in Spring. He claimed that while Armenia had provided Azerbaijan with maps of minefields, Azerbaijan had failed to deliver on their part of the agreement by returning Armenian prisoners of war. 

He claimed that Aliyev was using the prisoners as leverage in negotiations.

‘This is using people for political purposes and making them a subject of trade, which is condemnable.’

According to Armenia, there are also still 183 soldiers and 20 civilians considered to be missing, but search and rescue operations in the territories Azerbaijan took control over since the war stopped a few months ago. As of June, Armenia was negotiating to resume operations to find the remains of the missing.


Armenian VC fund is here to have its input in SoCal’s tech ecosystem

Aug 9 2022

GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, August 9, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — From the world's first seaside startup summit to a global venture fund. A prominent entertainment executive, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Artur Janibekyan, along with the co-founders of “Seaside Startup Summit” – Hakob Hakobyan and Avag Simonyan, have founded a new international Venture Capital firm called Triple S Ventures, that is here to explore new tech opportunities and help boost SoCal’s startup ecosystem.

Triple S has decided to engage more actively in this market, assessing the South Californian startup ecosystem as more exciting and attractive for more targeted investments.TripleS targets startups in the Pre-seed or Seed stage and plans to focus its investments across AI, Blockchain technology, SaaS Platforms, creator economy, and Fintech.

The founder of TripleS Ventures Artur Janibekyan has invested in over 15 startups in recent years and has a big interest in the development of the innovative startup culture.

“There is great potential not only in Armenia but also among Armenian youth that is spread all over the world. We aim to find these striking young minds and help them with funds and our network of mentors and professionals. TripleS is a structure that will be their guiding hand in the entrepreneurship world.
My extensive experience in the Media world has proven that I have a refined skill and intuition in choosing people – human resources. I consider this one of the keys to my success as well. This is a small start of something grand and is an accumulated potential of talented people, a club of successful entrepreneurs who invest their money in innovative ideas." – said General Partner Artur Janibekyan.

Triple S is a group of international entrepreneurs, investors, experts, and mentors, committed to helping the best impact-driven startup founders and ideas, by providing access to a network of partners, talent, investors, or customers and by sharing expert knowledge in the legal, marketing & finance fields. This is a new great opportunity for LA based pre-seed and seed stage startups to get mentorship and funding from industry experts. Ticket size is up to $250k.

"We have been organizing large-scale startup events annually, including the Seaside Startup Summit. Local venture funds, angel investors, and international accelerating programs have used these events for many years as a source to haunt startuppers. During the last years, hundreds of entrepreneurs and bold minds gathered around these events and created a pipeline for us." – said GP Hakob Hakobyan.

"We believe that with the hyperactive drive seen across the startup ecosystem in the last 5 years, it is important for established startup players to take the lead in paving the way towards capacity building for the new startups. Our fund is most importantly looking to invest in scalable ideas and promising founders. It will support the startups who will add value to the growth of the Armenian High-Tech Ecosystem but won't limit ourselves and will invest in any idea and a prominent team that matches our requirements.We are confident that our investments will boost SoCal’s Tech Ecosystem." – said the managing partner Avag Simonyan

We brought together successful LPs in the fund, who are also a network of internationally qualified and experienced field gurus. At TripleS ventures, we want promising ideas to ride on the skills, knowledge, and expertise that we have built over the years, thus empowering them to grow at an accelerated pace," said the venture partner Zareh Baghdasarian

Triple S has already launched in Armenia. Starting from SoCal, the fund has set goals to expand its geographical targets soon, by expanding to North California. Ultimately, one of its goals is to provide expertise internationally and identify new investment opportunities by expanding to the following markets: EEU, US & the UK. The founders are planning to have larger funds in the future and are open to new partnerships and collaborations.

The official website of the fund is https://triples.vc/en

Knarik Sisakyan
Triple S VC
+1 818-588-5259

https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/585072193/armenian-vc-fund-is-here-to-have-its-input-in-socal-s-tech-ecosystem

Relatives of Armenian POWs demand a meeting with Pashinyan

Caucasian Knot
Aug 8 2022
Residents of Armenia, seeking the return of their relatives from Azerbaijani captivity, gathered in front of the Armenian government building. They demanded a meeting with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The chair of the Armenian government did not come out to the audience.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that the relatives of the Armenian soldiers who were taken prisoner of war (POW) after the end of the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh repeatedly held actions with the demand to organize the return of the prisoners. In particular, on June 28, the POWs’ relatives held such an action in front of the building of the Russian Consulate in Gyumri. According to the protestors, Russia, being a party to the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020, containing the point on the return of POWs, is to force Azerbaijan to return the Armenian prisoners of war.

Today, the relatives of captured militaries have held a sit-in protest in front of the Armenian government building, demanding a meeting with Nikol Pashinyan.

According to the protesters, an official of the Prime Minister’s administration came out to them, but even several hours after the start of the protest, their demand was not met, the “NEWS.am” reports.

In December 2020, a month after the cessation of full-scale fighting in Karabakh, 64 soldiers from several Karabakh combat posts, mostly residents of the Shirak Region of Armenia, were taken prisoner. Some of them were returned to their homeland, but others were prosecuted in Azerbaijan for espionage, terrorism, and illegal border crossing. On May 25, 2022, Nikol Pashinyan announced that 39 Armenian citizens remained in captivity in Azerbaijan.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 8, 2022 at 06:20 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

See earlier reports:
Relatives of perished militaries demand to interrogate Pashinyan, Relatives of perished Armenian soldiers achieve open trial on their complaint, Relatives of perished servicemen come out to protest in Yerevan.

Source: Caucasian Knot
Источник:
© Кавказский Узел

Demand to resettle outrages Akhavno villagers

Caucasian Knot
Aug 8 2022
Residents of the village of Akhavno in Nagorno-Karabakh have called on presidents of France and the United States to intervene in the situation with their forced resettlement. They demanded to include their village into the area of the new transport corridor built 1200 meters off Akhavno.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Armenian authorities announced the start in August of the construction of a road bypassing the Lachin Corridor linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. The villagers of the communities of Akhavno, Sus and Berdzor were told that they should leave their homes by August 25, as the Lachin Corridor would be handed over to Azerbaijan.

In social networks, the Armenian Council of the National Democratic Pole has published a letter signed by 56 Akhavno villagers addressed to presidents of France and the USA – the co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group – Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden.

The authors of the letter are sure that the forced resettlement of Armenians from the communities is undertaken under a secret agreement of Yerevan, Baku and Stepanakert.

Andranik Chaushyan, the head of the Akhavno community of 200 people, said that half of the villagers hope they won't be kicked out of their homes, while others are gradually packing up.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 8, 2022 at 03:07 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

See earlier reports:
Stepanakert states Baku's demand to use highway bypassing Lachin Corridor, Baku analysts assess prospects for return of Lachin under Azerbaijan's control, Forced migrants from Nagorno-Karabakh call for easier allocation of housing in Armenia.

Author: Alvard Grigoryan Source: СK correspondent
Источник:
© Кавказский Узел

Demand to resettle outrages Akhavno villagers

Caucasian Knot
Aug 8 2022
Residents of the village of Akhavno in Nagorno-Karabakh have called on presidents of France and the United States to intervene in the situation with their forced resettlement. They demanded to include their village into the area of the new transport corridor built 1200 meters off Akhavno.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Armenian authorities announced the start in August of the construction of a road bypassing the Lachin Corridor linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. The villagers of the communities of Akhavno, Sus and Berdzor were told that they should leave their homes by August 25, as the Lachin Corridor would be handed over to Azerbaijan.

In social networks, the Armenian Council of the National Democratic Pole has published a letter signed by 56 Akhavno villagers addressed to presidents of France and the USA – the co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group – Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden.

The authors of the letter are sure that the forced resettlement of Armenians from the communities is undertaken under a secret agreement of Yerevan, Baku and Stepanakert.

Andranik Chaushyan, the head of the Akhavno community of 200 people, said that half of the villagers hope they won't be kicked out of their homes, while others are gradually packing up.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 8, 2022 at 03:07 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

See earlier reports:
Stepanakert states Baku's demand to use highway bypassing Lachin Corridor, Baku analysts assess prospects for return of Lachin under Azerbaijan's control, Forced migrants from Nagorno-Karabakh call for easier allocation of housing in Armenia.

Author: Alvard Grigoryan Source: СK correspondent
Источник:
© Кавказский Узел

Justice Party welcomes initiative to create movement in defense of Artsakh

ARMINFO
Armenia – Aug 9 2022
Marianna Mkrtchyan

ArmInfo. "Justice" Party of Artsakh welcomes the initiative of our compatriots to create a  movement in defense of Artsakh and calls on its structures to unite  with all their potential around the established and future initiative  groups, the location and contact information of which will be  published below. This is stated in a statement issued by a political  force.  

"In the conditions of the military-political situation created in  Artsakh, when in the 21st century the Azerbaijani side with the  assistance of Turkey contrary to all international, moral and  humanitarian norms increases pressure on both Armenia and Artsakh,  and in fact, before the very eyes of the international community ,  carries out another eviction of the Armenian people from their native  cradle, there can be an opportunity to resist and use the potential  of all Armenians for the benefit of the Motherland only if there is a  broad consolidation of all Armenians in the name of the defense of  Artsakh. The Armenian has repeatedly proved that he is not ready to  save his life at the cost of his Motherland. "Justice" Party of  Artsakh welcomes the initiative of our compatriots to create a  movement in defense of Artsakh and calls on its structures to unite  with all their potential around the established and future initiative  groups, the location and contact information of which will be  published below. We would like to note that this initiative was also  adopted and implemented with great enthusiasm in the Republic of  Armenia and among our compatriots in the Diaspora. We are confident  that the spirit of resistance of the Armenian people is not broken,  and we are ready and able to unite to defend the Republic of  Artsakh," the statement reads.  

Pyunik FC to play in UEFA Europa League playoff

Save

Share

 10:00, 10 August 2022

YEREVAN, AUGUST 10, ARMENPRESS. Yerevan’s Pyunik F.C. will play in the UEFA Europa League playoff round.

Pyunik will face Moldovan Sheriff Tiraspol. The first match will take place August 18 in Yerevan, and the second leg is scheduled for August 25 in Moldova.

Earlier, Pyunik FC advanced into third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League in a historic achievement for the national champions of Armenia. However, Pyunik lost to Serbia’s Crvena Zvezda and left the tournament.

NSW State Conference of Australian Liberals recognises the Republic of Artsakh and Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocides

Public Radio of Armenia
Aug 12 2022

The New South Wales Liberal Party State Conference has adopted a motion calling on the Federal Australian Government to recognise the independence of the Republic of Artsakh, as well as accurately characterise the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides committed by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).

The Liberal Party is one of the two major political parties in Australia, and this motion was moved by Bennelong Branch member and City of Ryde Councillor, Trenton Brown on 6th August 2022. It was adopted without dissent by all voting delegates at the State Conference Annual General Meeting.

In line with motions previously passed in both houses of the New South Wales and South Australian parliaments, the motion called on Australia to recognise the rights to self-determination of the Armenians of the Republic Artsakh.

Significantly, this motion also condemned the war crimes committed by Azerbaijani petro-dictator Ilham Aliyev during the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh war against the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh, which resulted in the occupation of 70% of the self-determined Armenian Republic of Artsakh.

Brown’s motion also called upon the Australian Government to accurately recognise the 1915-1923 Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, which has also been recognised by the New South Wales and South Australian Parliament, and debated favourably by the Federal House of Representatives.

Prominent members of the NSW Liberal Party and Australian Liberal Party were present at the State Conference including NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, NSW Liberal Party State President and Australia’s former Minister for Immigration Hon. Phillip Ruddock, and NSW Liberal Party State Director Chris Stone.

“This is a historic achievement, one of Australia’s big two political parties in the country’s largest state has taken a principled stance on behalf of its 10,000-plus members to call on the Federal Government of Australia to stand on the right side of history on the Armenian Genocide, while declaring it stands on the right side of the present by recognising the rights to self-determination of the largely-occupied Armenian Republic of Artsakh,” said ANC-AU Executive Director Michael Kolokossian.

“As the people of Republic of Artsakh face their darkest days since the end of the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh War, the NSW Liberal Party has sent an important message of solidarity and hope from over 14,000km away to the 100,000 Armenians braving threats to their existence in Artsakh.”

“We thank Councillor Trenton Brown for his leadership in championing this issue, and sincerely thank every delegate present for supporting this motion,” added Kolokossian.

The motion’s success is attributed to the long list of Armenian-Australians who have played a pivotal role in shaping the NSW Liberal Party’s policies around these two major issues of concern for the Armenian-Australian community, including former NSW Premier and former ANC-AU Board Member, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, City of Ryde Councillor Sarkis Yedelian OAM, former Senior Advisor to Federal Government Ministers, NSW Liberal Branch Member and ANC-AU National Board Member, Gisele Kapterian, NSW Liberal Branch Member, Armen Arakelian and many others.

Similar motions supporting the people’s right to self-determination of the Republic of Artsakh and condemning the criminal behaviour of Azerbaijan have also been adopted by the NSW Young Liberals, the ACT Young Liberals and most recently the National Young Liberal Convention earlier this year in January 2022.

The 2022 NSW State Liberal Conference was held on Saturday 6th August 2022, at the NSW Rosehill Racecourse in Sydney’s Western Suburbs with over 200 party members present.

Read the full motion below:

THAT State Council calls upon the Australian Government to:

1. Recognise the independence of the Republic of Artsakh;

2. Call out and condemn Azerbaijan’s 2020 war crimes against the indigenous Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh.

3. Call on Azerbaijan and Turkey to respect the OSCE Minsk Group peace process for the Karabakh /Artsakh conflict, in particular the non-use of force and the right to self-determination.

4. Call on Azerbaijan to release all Armenian prisoners of war remaining in forced captivity and condemn Azerbaijan’s desecration of ancient Armenian Christian and cultural sites

5.  Recognise the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides perpetrated by the Ottoman Government between 1915 to 1923.