Flight path of military aid from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan

The Atmosphere Remains Tense in Armenia

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YEREVAN – The aggressive steps taken by Azerbaijan on November 15 and 16 have had a great effect on Armenia. It is as if everything has been turned upside down. People finally understand that a hostile Azerbaijan, even after all the concessions made by Armenia, speaks the language of coercion with the latter. This in turn leads to new understandings of imperatives for action.

For example, the mayor of Bardzrakvan Village, part of the enlarged municipality of Goris, declared that despite official denials, the situation is very bad. “It is the 21st century, but we do not have grocery stores or medical centers. We need to rent cars for everything in order to go to the district center. As if this is all not enough, now the enemy has become active and has begun to disturb our peace. I don’t know what our end will be,” said Mayor Onik Avagyan.

Mayor Onik Avagyan and a view of Bardzravan Village

Avagyan was upset, pointing out that Azerbaijan had placed checkpoints on their road, and that when they went to Goris they had to pay Azerbaijani customs officials. He exclaimed: “This is a disgrace! Who has seen such a thing? I must pay in order to move about in my own country? I am not even speaking about how the Azerbaijanis subject Armenian passersby to mockery. In addition, teachers used to go from village to village. Now they are unable to go as the Azerbaijani invaders have blockaded everything. Blessed was our former situation, blessed…now it remains a dream.”

Military strategists also have serious concerns. For example, one of them, Karen Vrtanesyan, thinks that by occupying the most important heights of Syunik, Azerbaijan has created a platform from which to occupy Syunik in its entirety and empty it of its Armenian population.

Karen Vrtanesyan

“The final goal of Azerbaijan and Turkey is to eliminate Armenia completely, and if anyone thinks that it is possible to live peacefully with these aggressors, then he is sorely mistaken because they desire our deaths. They today are creating a platform in order to surround us and get rid of us,” he stressed.

In truth, the situation in Armenia is very troubling because aside from domestic political developments, it is already clear that hostile Azerbaijan has concentrated forces not only at the border of Syunik, but also at Gegharkunik and Tavush. In addition, by monitoring Azerbaijani social networks, it has become known that several columns of Turkish military vehicles entered Nakhichevan yesterday. At the same time, it has become clear that Kazakhstan, which is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization together with Armenia, has sent military aid to Azerbaijan by plane. In other words, we are being betrayed on all sides, but most of all, we are injured by not learning lessons from history.

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The situation became more tense among the public when the US embassy in Armenia called on its citizens to avoid travel on the Goris-Kapan autoroute. This created great unease because the US similarly issued a warning to its citizens prior to the 44-day war last year, to avoid visiting Artsakh, and earlier, in July 2020, to avoid visiting Tavush province. Military activity ensured after the two prior warnings.

Finally, it is worth mentioning an important effort at self-defense which has emerged from the new wave of Azerbaijani aggression. A group of intellectuals in Goris, near the border, have declared the formation of a security council for Goris. They say that the main task of this council will be to contribute to the strengthening of a patrol service for residences and strengthen the surveillance and assure the security of water reservoirs and other important points. In the future, work will be carried out to arm the local population too.

Artur Khojabaghyan, one of the founders of this council, said it will “aid in the creation of self-defense detachments and carry out both tactical as well as shooting training. We will institute first aid courses in all schools and educational institutions. We will transmit knowledge about how to act in emergency situations.”

In a word, the situation in Armenia remains tense.

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