News blog about the military offensive in the South Caucasus
Nagorno-Karabakh reports dozens of deaths – thousands evacuated
Updated on September 20, 2023 – 2:09 a.m. Reading time: 10 min.
Azerbaijan has deployed troops to the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Several cities are under attack. Local authorities report the first fatalities. The events in the news blog.
The most important things at a glance
Civilian death toll appears to have risen
1:30: The death toll among the civilian population has risen to 7 people, wrote the human rights commissioner of the internationally unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). Three women, two children and two men died.
Meanwhile, there were reports of serious explosions in Stepanakert. Images shared on social media by freelance journalists in the region showed people in shelters and injured people in hospitals in the city.
International Red Cross “extremely concerned”
11.30 p.m.: The International Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed concern about the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. On X, formerly Twitter, the ICRC wrote that it was “extremely concerned” about the humanitarian impact of the escalation on civilians. The people in the disputed region have experienced a lot of suffering over the many years of conflict, which could now get worse. The ICRC is ready to support increased humanitarian needs. The Red Cross also called on all military authorities to protect the lives of civilians.
27 dead, more than 200 injured reported
23 o’clock: According to local information, the Azerbaijani military operation in the South Caucasus cost the lives of more than two dozen people in the affected Nagorno-Karabakh region on the first day. So far, 27 deaths have been confirmed, including two civilians, the human rights commissioner for the internationally unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), Gegam Stepanyan, wrote in the evening on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter. In addition, more than 200 people were injured in the conflict region.
More than 7,000 people evacuated from 16 locations
9:25 p.m.: According to Armenian information, more than 7,000 civilians were evacuated from 16 towns after the start of a large-scale Azerbaijani military operation in the disputed Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The people were brought to safety from communities in the regions of Askeran, Martakert, Martuni and Shushi, said the ombudsman for human rights in Nagorno-Karabakh, Gegham Stepanyan, on Tuesday on the online service X, formerly Twitter. The breakaway region belongs to Azerbaijan under international law, but the area is predominantly populated by Armenians.
France wants UN Security Council meeting
9:20 p.m.: France is seeking an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over the Azerbaijani military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh. The French Foreign Ministry in Paris announced this on Tuesday. France is coordinating closely with its European and American partners to provide a strong response to the unacceptable offensive, it said. Armenia had already called on the UN Security Council to take action.
France called on Azerbaijan to immediately end its offensive. No pretext could justify such a unilateral action that threatened thousands of civilians.
French President Emmanuel Macron also reiterated his support for Armenia’s territorial integrity in a telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. As the Élysée Palace subsequently announced, Macron called for the resumption of talks to achieve a just and lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan and to guarantee security and rights for the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh.