Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that about 5,000 people have been killed so far in recent clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The death toll is much higher than reported by both countries.
Putin says he meets with the heads of state and government of the two countries several times a day and that Russia is not supporting any one country in the conflict.
President Putin said that Moscow disagrees with Turkey on this issue. It should be noted that Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan in this conflict.
The Russian president also called on the United States to play a role in bringing peace to the region.
Armenia and Azerbaijan are blaming each other for the ceasefire and human rights abuses over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Clashes between the two countries have been raging in the region since last month. Globally, Nagorno-Karabakh has been declared part of Azerbaijan, but is predominantly inhabited by people of Armenian descent.
The six-year war in the area ended in 1994 with the declaration of a ceasefire. Since then, the recent clashes have been portrayed as the worst.
What did Putin say?
Russia is also part of a military alliance with Armenia and has a military base in Armenia. But on the other hand, Russia also has good relations with Azerbaijan.
In a televised meeting, the Russian president said there had been “many deaths” in both countries. “Two on both sides, more than two thousand …” The total death toll is around 5,000.
Earlier, official figures provided by Armenia and Azerbaijan put the death toll at less than 1,000.
Self-proclaimed officials in Nagorno-Karabakh reported that 874 soldiers and 37 civilians had been killed since September 27. Azerbaijan says 61 civilians have been killed. However, he did not disclose the death toll of his troops.
Putin said he was in “constant contact” with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pishnian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and would not side with any one country.
“I talk to them on the phone several times a day,” he says.
Putin says he opposes Turkey over the dispute. According to him, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “may look tough but he is a flexible politician and a reliable ally of Russia.”
Turkey has told Azerbaijan that it will provide Turkish soldiers and military aid if they demand it. President Putin has also called on the United States to play its part in resolving the conflict.
Talks between the two countries are set to take place in Washington on Friday. Officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan are expected to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the same day. The United States, Russia and France are part of an alliance that has called for a ceasefire.
The current situation in Nagorno-Karabakh
Clashes continue despite a Russian-brokered ceasefire this Sunday, and hundreds are still being killed. Azerbaijan on Thursday reported clashes in some areas and accused Armenia of launching three ballistic missile attacks. Armenia denies this. Armenia also reported clashes in several places. Authorities say shelling took place in a town called Martoni and a nearby village. The Armenian prime minister has said there is no diplomatic solution at this stage.
Is there a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan?
The center of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The area is recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is managed by people of Armenian descent. There have been bloody wars between the two countries in the 80’s and 90’s to gain the territory. The two countries have agreed on a ceasefire but have not reached a peace agreement.
Armenia and Azerbaijan were part of the Soviet Union, a communist country that lasted from 1922 to 1991. Both countries are in southeastern Europe, a defensively important region known as the Caucasus. They are bordered by Turkey to the west, Iran to the south, and Georgia to the north. Russia shares a border with Azerbaijan in the north. The majority of the population in Armenia is Christian, while in the oil-rich country of Azerbaijan the majority is Muslim.
In Soviet times, Nagorno-Karabakh was a region with a majority Armenian population, but it was administered by Azerbaijani authorities. As the Soviet Union drew to a close in the late 1980s, the local parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh voted to make the region part of Armenia.
After which ethnic riots broke out and a full-scale war broke out between the two countries after Armenia and Azerbaijan formally declared independence from Moscow.
Significant facts were found about Nagorno-Karabakh, while 30,000 people died…