Karabakh: Armenia hands over Kalbajar region. Maps, videos, who’s where
On November 25, the Azerbaijani army entered the Kalbajar region from two directions. According to the terms of the trilateral truce signed on November 10, the Armenian armed forces have now left the region in the conflict zone.
Below, an overview of whose troops stand where, how the Armenian military left the region, and what is happening with the civilian Armenian population.
Kalabajar given over following postponement
On November 10 – 44 days after the start of the second Karabakh war – the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, as well as the Prime Minister of Armenia, signed a trilateral statement on a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh.
This document provided for the transfer of the Kalbajar region to Azerbaijan on November 15, but due to logistical problems, the Armenian side through Russia asked to postpone this date to a later date. The parties agreed to postpone it until November 25.
Aghdam region passed to Azerbaijan on November 20. Another area – Lachin – is to be transferred to the Azerbaijani side on December 1, 2020.
The Azerbaijani army entered the Kalbajar region on the night of November 25 from two directions – from the Dashkesan and Goygol regions.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry has published a video of the army’s entry into the region. As you can see from the frames. the roads leading to the Kelbajar region are mined. Military equipment is moving towards the territories after deactivating and destroying planted explosive devices.
Northern road from Armenia to Karabakh closed
The transfer of the Kalbajar region to Azerbaijan closed down the northern road connecting Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh.
Now Khankendi (Stepanakert) is connected with the territory of Armenia only by the road through Lachin (Lachin corridor), controlled by Russian peacekeepers.
Only post of peacekeepers in Kalbajar region
From the first day since the signing of the trilateral agreement, the monastery complex in the village of Vank, Kalbajar region, has been a “stumbling block” on the road to the implementation of the truce.
The Azerbaijani side considers this complex to be a cultural monument – an ancient Albanian temple. The Armenian side thinks differently: in its opinion, the Khudavank monastery (Dadivank) is an ancient shrine of the Armenian people.
The only post of Russian peacekeepers on the territory of the Kalbajar region is set up near this temple.
Burnt houses, schools and dug out graves
The Armenian population leaving the Kalbajar region from the first days of resettlement to the territory of Armenia began to burn their houses and even infrastructure facilities in the villages of the region. The director of one of the local schools burned down the educational institution he headed.
Some sources have published videos and photographs depicting Armenians exhuming the remains of their relatives from the graves in order to take them with them to Armenia.
The Azerbaijani side considers the majority of the Armenian population living in the Kalbajar region to be illegally settled in this region since the first Karabakh war.
What is happening in the rest of the conflict zone?
On November 20, according to the schedule in the trilateral statement, the Armenian armed forces left the Aghdam region. Three days later, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev visited the area and the only building that survived in the city of Aghdam – the historic Aghdam Juma Mosque.
The exchange of bodies of those killed in the days of hostilities continues. According to the latest data, the bodies of 400 soldiers were handed over from both sides.
On November 23, during a search for the bodies of the dead near the village of Sugovushan (Madagiz) in the Terter region, one servicemen was killed and five others injured by a mine explosion. As a result of the incident, a colonel of the Azerbaijani army Babek Samidli was killed, an officer of the Russian peacekeeping mission and four employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Nagorno-Karabakh were injured. The wounded Russian serviceman was taken to a military hospital in Baku.
Azerbaijan has started building a new road to Shusha. The highway is 101.5 kilometers long and will connect Akhmedbeyli village of Fizuli region with Shusha. Before that, the only road connecting Agdam with Shusha passed through the city of Khankendi (Stepanakert).
The design of a railway has also begun, which will connect the cities of Yevlakh and Aghdam. In the future, it is planned to lengthen this line to Khankendi (Stepanakert).