Since the recent attacks on Artsakh by Azerbaijan, over 1,000 Armenian servicemen have been killed. After over 40 days of war, the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, announced he had signed an agreement to end fighting in the Karabakh region and surrender Aghdam, Lachin, Kelbajar, and Shushi to Azerbaijan. As of Nov. 10 a complete ceasefire from both regions, Azerbaijan and Armenia, has taken place. Russian peacekeeping forces will be deployed in the region for the next five years.
After receiving backlash for his decision, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took to Facebook live to justify his decision. As it was an extremely difficult decision, he has stated it was to avoid the complete loss of Artsakh and further heavy casualties.
Thousands of people protested this agreement on Yerevan’s Freedom Square the day after the announcement, demanding the resignation of the Armenian Prime Minister. Meanwhile, Artsakh President, Arayik Harutyunyan, called for people to stop protesting and to understand the reason for the agreement. During a Facebook broadcast, he said, “you should have been at the frontline” to make a point that there weren’t enough people defending Stepanakert.
Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan has resigned from his position along with the representative of Armenia’s Defense Ministry Artsun Hovhannisyan.
Citizens of Artsakh have been forced to evacuate their homes. Most have taken it upon themselves to burn their houses so that Azeri forces will not be able to take over their homes.
The Armenian people living in Armenia and the diaspora around the world have voiced their grief at losing regions of their motherland. A motherland some of the diaspora have not had the chance to visit, but most importantly a motherland that houses over a hundred thousand Armenians.
To many, this may feel like a repeat of what occurred in 1915, when the Ottoman Empire forcibly removed and executed 1.5 million Armenians. What started as a dispute over land on Sept. 27 has taken the lives of over 1,000 Armenians, most of who averaged 20 years old, and ended with the surrender of Artsakh territories.
In his statement, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said, “This is not a victory, but there is no defeat as long as you do not think of yourself as defeated. We will never think of ourselves as defeated and this must become the starting point of our national unity, an era of revival.”
Serene Janian can be reached at [email protected]