RIGA, Latvia (Washington Post) — With virtually the entire population of Armenians fleeing from Nagorno-Karabakh, refugees are voicing rage over the loss of their homeland and accusing Russia of betrayal after peacekeepers sent by Moscow failed to protect them.
The lightning military operation by Azerbaijan to seize back the disputed mountainous region made a mockery of President Vladimir Putin’s 2020 guarantee that Russian peacekeepers would protect the region’s population, maintain a cease-fire, and assure access on the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, through the Lachin Corridor.
Russia failed on all three counts.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has warned that the entire Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, roughly 120,000 people, will leave and he accused Azerbaijan of “ethnic cleansing.” Azerbaijan has insisted that residents can stay, but those fleeing say they do not trust the Azerbaijani government in Baku after decades of war.
More than 100,000 refugees arrived in Armenia from the Nagorno-Karabakh region after Azerbaijan took back control of the region in late September. (Video: Reuters)