VARDENIS, Armenia – After attempts by Azerbaijan to advance in the area of Yeraskh failed, new attempts were made along the Vardenis-Karvachar line. Around 3:40 am on July 28, several groups of special Azerbaijani detachments, taking advantage of foggy weather, attempted to attack Armenian position in the Vardenis area, including villages such as Sotk, Kut, Azat, Norabak, Nerkin Shorzha and Verin Shorzha. Armenian units immediately began successful defense battles but thanks to their overwhelming numbers and the aid of artillery, the Azerbaijanis succeeded in occupying two Armenian posts.
At 8:30 a.m., the Armenian Defense Ministry declared that three soldiers were killed and two wounded. Local fighting, it was said, continued, together with small caliber artillery fire. At 10 a.m., an agreement for a new ceasefire was reached between the two sides thanks to the efforts of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and the head of the Russian peacekeeping forces in Armenia. During the fierce fighting, the Armenian army had succeeded meanwhile in retaking the positions the Azerbaijanis had occupied, and caused great losses to the latter.
At 1 p.m., foreign military attaches were hosted by the Armenian Defense Ministry, to whom the situation at the borders was explained. Furthermore, in the morning, the Armenian Foreign Minsitry had announced that it would put into play its entire military and political toolkit for putting a stop to Azerbaijani aggression.
Arman Tatoyan, Human Rights Defender, applied to the European Union’s court in defense of the rights of the villagers in the Vardenis area, which for months have been continually violated by Azerbaijan.
In sum, Azerbaijan was unable to achieve its goals from 3:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. through military action, but Armenia suffered three deaths of soldiers – Senior Lieutenant Hayk Hovhannesi Grigoryan, and soldiers Koryun Arayiki Harutyunyan and Davit Garniki Kocharyan – and four wounded. The fourth wounded person at first was considered lost without a trace but fortunately was found and transported to the Vardenis military hospital, though he is in serious condition.
Today’s fighting is unprecedented, at least since the November 10, 2020 ceasefire.