This blogpost was written on December 24, 2022, on the Christmas Eve, when total blockade of 120,000 Artsakhi Christians had been continuing for 13 days. At the moment of publishing the post the blockade had been ongoing for about 5 months.

“The Azerbaijani Armed Forces violated the ceasefire in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).”

“A group of Azerbaijanis blocked the sole road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.”

“The Azerbaijani military servicemen tortured and humiliated the civilian of Artsakh.”

These are only some of the headlines we woke up to on September 27, 2020, when Azerbaijan neglected the UN Charter as well as the Helsinki Final Act and launched a large-scale war against Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and the Republic of Armenia.

Throughout the war, the Azerbaijani armed forces repeatedly breached international humanitarian law and committed various war crimes which targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure. This was worsened through the use of prohibited weapons and explosives in populated areas. Furthermore, all these violations were conducted with the participation of Türkiye and the deployment of jihadist mercenaries.

The captured Armenian servicemen and civilians were subjected to torture, humiliation and their dignity disregarded. During these attacks inhumane methods were used, including torture, mutilation and sexual violence. These crimes were recorded by Azerbaijani soldiers and published, furthermore incriminating themselves. Yet, the world has remained silent.

Azerbaijan still holds the Armenian POWs and civilians as hostages. The Armenian historical, religious and cultural heritage including monuments and churches were destroyed, with the consistent vandalism still ongoing. Racist and Armenophobic state policies have been instrumented by Baku, and Azerbaijani authorities bear responsibility for committing crimes against humanity.

Why does the international media remain silent in covering these events?

Although the Ceasefire agreement was signed on November 9, 2020, the offensive continues. Due to the impunity of Azerbaijan and the lack of reaction of the international community, the Azerbaijani armed forces carried out several large-scale military attacks on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.

Furthermore, Azerbaijan has blocked the Lachin Corridor, the only road, the life road connecting Artsakh with Armenia and the rest of the world. This is another manifestation of Azerbaijan’s state sponsored policy of ethnic and religious cleansing of Armenians in Artsakh.

From December 12, 2022, the safe passage of people, food, energy sources and medicine to Artsakh has been totally denied, the population is deprived of access to basic supplies. The participants of this blockade include representatives of the Azerbaijani special services, some of them showing signs of belongingness to the Turkish ultra-nationalist terrorist group Grey Wolves. As a result of this illegal blockade, a real humanitarian catastrophe and disaster was created. This has been worsened by Azerbaijan cutting the gas supplies to Artsakh during the winter months, resulting in people living in freezing temperatures.

The open military rhetoric of Azerbaijan, constant ceasefire violations, aggressions, provocations, and the absence of proper security guarantees prove that the conflict is not resolved.

The Armenian approach has always been in line with the international mediators. The right of self-determination of the people of Artsakh cannot be subjected to bargaining. The determination of the final legal status of Artsakh should be done only by free expression of the will of the people and should have an internationally binding legal force. The Artsakhi people have the right to live freely and safely in their historical homeland.

The calls on “both sides”, statements, press releases and resolutions are not enough.

Clear actions against the aggressor are needed. Pressures on Azerbaijan are needed. Sanctions on the dictators are needed.

The Armenians truly believe that people’s lives are more important than the gas the EU receives from Azerbaijan. After reading this, please check one more time the gas deal the EU signed with the authoritarian Azerbaijan.

Lilit Beglaryan

Head of foreign relations committee

Republican Party of Armenia