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Media: Azerbaijan detains 4 ex-leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 3, 2023 10:43 PM 2 min read
A general view of the city of Stepanakert, known as Khankendi by Azerbaijan, taken from a former Armenian separatists military position in the village of Mukhtar retaken recently by Azeri troops in Azerbaijan's controlled region of Nagorno-Karabakh, on Oct. 3, 2023. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)
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Azerbaijan's security services arrested three former presidents of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic — Arkadi Ghukasyan, Bako Sahakyan, and Arayik Harutyunyan — Azerbaijani media reported on Oct. 3.

David Ishkhanyan, an ex-parliamentary speaker of Nagorno-Karabakh, was also detained and brought to Baku with the other three politicians, according to the state-owned Azerbaijani Press Agency (APA).

All four former Karabakh leaders are facing criminal charges in Azerbaijan, but APA didn't mention what accusations Baku had made against them.

On the same day, the Armenian state news outlet Armenpress reported that three other top officials from the recently dissolved Nagorno-Karabakh's unrecognized government had safely reached Armenia.

Baku claims 192 Azerbaijani troops killed, 511 wounded in Karabakh offensive
During Baku’s recent offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, 180 Azerbaijani soldiers, 12 service members of the Interior Ministry, and one Azerbaijani civilian were killed, the state-run Azerbaijani Press Agency reported on Sept. 27, citing the country’s Health Ministry.

Following Azerbaijan's military offensive launched on Sept. 19, Karabakh authorities agreed to accept a ceasefire mediated by Russia and signed a decree dissolving all official institutions of the breakaway state from Jan. 1, 2024.

Following Azerbaijan's victory, around 100,000 people have left Nagorno-Karabakh for Armenia, a spokesperson for the Armenian prime minister said on Sept. 29.

On Sept. 27, Azerbaijani authorities detained Ruben Vardanyan, a former self-proclaimed prime minister of Nagorno-Karabakh, as he was trying to leave for Armenia.

Under international law, Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized as Azerbaijani territory but came under the de-facto control of Armenian separatists in 1991. Yerevan supported the breakaway territory militarily, which regularly clashed with Azerbaijani forces in the following decades.

Russia’s ‘peacekeeper’ act crumbles as Azerbaijan overwhelms Nagorno-Karabakh
On Sept. 19, just under three years after the end of the last major war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Baku moved decisively to finish what it started in 2020. Shortly after the announcement of the launching of “anti-terrorist” measures by the Azerba…
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