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Armenians Erupt in Fury Over Defeat in War With Azerbaijan

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MOSCOW — Russian peacekeeping forces had been deployed to the disputed ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday after Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a Russian-brokered deal to finish a six-week battle that had already killed 1000’s.

Some Armenians had been livid that Nikol Pashinyan, the nation’s prime minister, signed the accord, which cedes to Azerbaijan a broad swath of land and a number of other key cities that had been successfully managed by Armenia since 1994.

Opposition politicians known as for Mr. Pashinyan’s resignation, whereas protesters broke into the Parliament and beat its speaker, Ararat Mirzoyan, who required surgical procedure. Protesters additionally stormed the prime minister’s workplace, the place, Mr. Pashinyan stated later, a pc and a wristwatch had been stolen.

Amid the tumult Tuesday morning, Mr. Pashinyan posted on Facebook that he was in Armenia and continued to work as prime minister. The nation’s management struggled to persuade the general public that it had no alternative however to cease the preventing now, as a result of Armenia had suffered steep losses of life and territory.

“We have once again proved that we have invincible soldiers, officers and generals who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the defense of our holy motherland without a second thought,” Armenia’s Defense Ministry stated in a press release. “But it is time to stop the bloodshed.”

Richard Giragosian, the director of the Regional Studies Center in Yerevan, stated he was woken at three a.m. by yelling and the honking of automotive horns. But there was additionally a gathering sense of resignation amongst Armenians, he stated.

“There’s a general sense in the streets that we had no choice, that this was the best alternative to save what was left of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Mr. Giragosian stated.

There was additionally ache: the plush mountains of Nagorno-Karabakh, identified to Armenians as Artsakh, had lengthy been a part of a nationwide and ethnic id for Armenians all over the world. The lack of that territory on Tuesday was already taking a spot within the annals of tragedy in Armenian historical past, alongside the slaughter and expulsion of Armenians from Turkey a century in the past in what most impartial historians name the century’s first genocide.

“The trauma of victimization has returned,” Mr. Giragosian stated. “There’s a sense that the world and the West have abandoned us.”

“We lost the war, and this is the tragic reality which we should accept,” Tatul Hakobyan, an Armenian journalist who has coated the area for greater than 30 years, stated in a phone interview.

Mr. Hakobyan stated small-arms hearth was audible from the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert, on Sunday, indicating that Azerbaijani forces had been closing in. Azerbaijan captured the hilltop city of Shusha in latest days, which is six miles from Stepanakert and a historic and cherished place for each Azerbaijanis and Armenians.

Three cease-fires negotiated by the 2 sides because the begin of the battle have collapsed. But the most recent settlement is completely different as a result of it includes Armenia’s accepting Azerbaijan’s territorial good points and might be enforced by Russian peacekeepers, who might be current for at the very least 5 years.

“We proceed from the assumption that the agreements reached will create the necessary conditions for a lasting and full-scale settlement of the crisis over Nagorno-Karabakh on a fair basis and in the interests of the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan,” President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who brokered the settlement between Mr. Pashinyan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, stated in a press release in a single day.

Under the settlement, some 1,960 armed Russian service members and 90 armored personnel carriers will deploy to protect the road of contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces within the area and alongside the highway connecting Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. On Tuesday, the Kremlin-controlled RT tv community broadcast footage of Russian navy automobiles departing the Armenian border metropolis of Goris for Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry stated Tuesday morning that fight operations alongside the entrance line had been suspended and that Russian peacekeepers had been being deployed. In Azerbaijan, Mr. Aliyev described the settlement as one among his nation’s biggest triumphs.

“We are proud of our people, of our Armed Forces!” Mr. Aliyev stated in a Twitter posting on Tuesday. “For our people, these days are the happiest ones.”

The finish of the battle suggests a sweeping redrawing of the safety map of the southern Caucasus, a unstable area wedged between Turkey, Russia and Iran. The settlement sealed a job within the area for an more and more assertive Turkey, which had backed Azerbaijan within the battle that started in September.

Mr. Putin has spoken with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at the very least thrice because the begin of the battle, most just lately on Saturday. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s overseas minister, hailed the settlement as “a great success and victory for Azerbaijan.”

But Russia’s main function in stopping the preventing additionally reveals that Moscow continues to be essentially the most influential participant within the southern Caucasus, which was a part of the Soviet Union. Some Armenians had hoped for a extra forceful Russian function within the battle, because the two international locations have a mutual-defense treaty.

But in keeping with Mr. Hakobyan, the Armenian journalist, it was Russia’s choice to ship peacekeepers that spared Armenians from extra of Nagorno-Karabakh — together with Stepanakert — falling underneath Azerbaijani management.

“Smart and sober Armenians understand that the Russians intervened and in a way saved Karabakh proper,” Mr. Hakobyan stated.

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