More than 53,000 refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh, nearly half of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population, have arrived in Armenia since Azerbaijan’s blitzkrieg on Sept. 19, Armenian officials announced Wednesday.
Following the attack of the Azerbaijani army last week, the authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenian Republic, which has been in “de facto” existence for more than 30 years, actually surrendered to Baku the next day.
Although Azerbaijan promised to respect the rights of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, many residents of the disputed region decided to flee, fearing Azerbaijani retaliation and considering the almost official ideology of hatred towards Armenians and Armenia in Azerbaijan. for decades.
On Sunday, Azerbaijan unblocked the Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. Hundreds of people cross the border every hour.
According to estimates, the population of Nagorno-Karabakh in 2021 was 120,000.
The Armenian government said it was preparing accommodation for 40,000 families following last week’s clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh. However, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday night that the government has only been able to find housing for 2,850 people so far.
Refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh first come to Goris in large numbers. “Thousands of people (refugees) are currently staying in Goris. It is impossible to say the exact number. They come and go every day,” the city’s deputy mayor told AFP.
The massive influx of refugees poses the danger of a humanitarian crisis that could turn into a political problem for Pashinyan.
Armenia’s opposition voted to end six days of anti-government protests on Tuesday so authorities could focus on helping refugees. The demonstrations were led by pro-Russian activists and supporters of Nagorno-Karabakh with roots in the region.
However, the anger of protesters may rise again after the arrest of the former prime minister of Nagorno-Karabakh in the Lachin Corridor. Ruben Vardanyan was detained by Azerbaijani authorities while trying to enter Armenia.
“The influx of refugees will seriously affect Armenia’s internal political situation,” independent political scientist Boris Navasardyan told AFP.
While the Red Cross and the UN Refugee Agency are trying to organize emergency aid for refugees, Russia is also working hand in hand with Azerbaijani forces and focusing on disarming the separatists under the terms of last Wednesday’s ceasefire. The Azerbaijani army approached Stepanakerta but has not yet entered the city.
Approximately 200 people from both sides lost their lives in last week’s clashes.
Pashinyan accused Russia of failing to prevent Azerbaijan’s attack and said that Armenia’s current external security alliances were ineffective and inadequate. His remarks indicate that Moscow’s influence is waning, but Moscow still maintains a significant military base in Armenia and has stated that it will try to keep Yerevan within its sphere of influence.
The bulk of international aid provided by organizations such as the Red Cross goes to people who suffered burns in an explosion at a fuel depot in Nagorno-Karabakh on Monday night.
The explosion outside the regional capital, Stepanakert, occurred as residents lined up outside a warehouse to buy fuel for their cars before fleeing to Armenia.
Azerbaijan allowed about 20 Red Cross ambulances to pick up the victims on Tuesday and allowed Armenia to airlift some of the victims to a burn clinic in Yerevan.
A total of 290 people were injured in the explosion. But authorities said Tuesday that 105 people were still missing and some of the victims were still fighting for their lives.
Source: Tv Net
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