Russian pundit: give 5 regions back to Azerbaijan, expulsion of Armenians from Karabakh impermissible
“The five occupied regions [ed. surrounding the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region] must unconditionally be transferred to Azerbaijan, and Baku has every right, with or without Turkey’s support, to conduct an armed struggle for their return. But ethnic cleansing in Karabakh must not be allowed”, says Russian analyst, head of the Islamic Research Department of the Institute for Innovative Development Kirill Semyonov, on the escalation in Karabakh.
Large-scale military operations have continued since September 27 around Nagorno-Karabakh and on the border of Azerbaijan and Armenia. More than 200 people have been killed, both among the military and among the civilian population on both sides. There are thousands of wounded.
“I think the repetition of events like the Khojaly massacre [ed. Tragedy on the night of February 25-26, 1992 in Khojaly, when, according to the Azerbaijani side, more than 600 civilians were killed during the storming of the city] is impossible.
Because in 1992 the war was actually fought by militias and militants on both sides, having little in common with the regular army and military discipline.
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“I also think that the accounts that allegedly Syrian militants were hired to be used as punishers, to put it mildly, are not distinguished by a high level of analytical study and serve exclusively propaganda purposes to demonise Turkey and the Syrian opponents of Assad.
“However, at the same time, if the entire Nagorno-Karabakh is returned by Azerbaijani troops during a military operation, it will still lead to ethnic cleansing and a complete exodus or expulsion of the entire Armenian population of this region. I have no doubts about that either. And this also cannot be allowed.
“Therefore, the conflict should be stopped and should become a signal for the immediate development of a new roadmap for the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement with the envisaged serious sanctions for non-implementation of certain decisions.”