Correspondent in Moscow
International calls to stop the armed confrontations between Armenians and Azerbaijanis are of no use. Baku announced on Saturday an intensification of its offensive to “liberate” Nagorno Karabakh from the “occupation” of Armenia. But, as a shower of rockets fell again on Stepanakert, the capital of the enclave, the karabakh president, Araik Aratunián, a veteran of the 1991-1994 war against AzerbaijanHe was trying to boost the morale of his forces by moving himself to the front line.
“I am leaving for the front together with my special units to participate in the fighting, since I am now more needed there than in the rear,” Aratunián said in statements collected by the Armenian website Mediamax. He found that “along the entire line of separation from Artsakh – Armenian name of Nagorno Karabaj– With Azerbaijan, bloody battles are being fought.
“The Homeland is in danger, our nation is in danger, our right to independence and a dignified life in the land that we had to liberate paying with the price of our blood is also in danger,” stressed Aratunián emotionally. In his words, “it is our last battle and we will surely win it.”
As explained on Facebook, the spokeswoman for the Armenian Ministry of Defense, Shushan Stepanián, «In one direction, our forces counterattacked. The rest of the units are defending the line fiercely. Stepanián had previously reported that the Azerbaijani Army had launched a “massive attack” early in the morning and that the Armenians were succeeding in stopping it, also causing the enemy “a large number of casualties”. The head of the military press department stated that they had shot down three Azerbaijani fighter jets, information that in Baku they deny.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry spoke this Saturday again of new advances towards the interior of Nagorno Karabakh with the taking of several towns. ANDl Azerbaijani President, Ilham Alíev, He declared without providing details that part of the territory of Nagorno Karabakh is already under the control of his troops, something that the Karabakhs themselves deny.
The Ministry released a video showing the bodies of Armenian soldiers and war material (trucks, tanks and rocket launchers) destroyed. The correspondent of the radio Echo of Moscow reported a few hours ago of continuous explosions in Stepanakert. The authorities indicated that there were deaths and injuries among the civilians, but did not specify the number.
Yesterday, Friday, the Karabakh capital was also bombed for most of the day. Russian journalists on the ground assured that an entire neighborhood was literally swept away by rockets (homes, shops, parked vehicles), although without causing victims, since everyone had left the shelter.
The military authorities of the self-proclaimed republic of Nagorno Karabakh said today they had 51 combatants killed since yesterday and a total of 198 since last Sunday, when hostilities began. There are already 12 civilians killed in the enclave and two more hit by fire in other parts of Armenia.