Russian peacekeepers prepare for Victory Day parade in Karabakh, official Baku is silent
Russian peacekeepers prepare for Victory Day parade in Karabakh
Russian peacekeepers stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh are preparing to hold a military parade on May 9 at the airport in the city of Khankendi (Stepanakert).
The news has caused serious discontent amongst the Azerbaijani public, but the government officials have not expressed their reaction to the event.
The press release from the Russian Ministry of Defense says that the servicemen of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh have begun training in the ceremonial procession timed to coincide with Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
It is noted that the parade will be held at the airfield of the city of Khankendi (Stepanakert) with the participation of about 400 Russian military personnel.
Reaction in Azerbaijan
In order to find out how legitimate the holding of a military parade by Russian servicemen on the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan is, JAMnews asked political scientist Shahin Jafarli for a comment.
Jafarli notes that on May 9, all of Russia celebrates the holiday and parades are held wherever the army of this country is located. “In addition, May 9 is also celebrated in Azerbaijan as a public holiday, and on this basis, I do not think that the state will react to this somehow,” the political scientist said.
The former Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Tofiq Zulfugarov, voiced almost the same thoughts.
“May 9 is a public holiday in Azerbaijan. If the peacekeepers want to hold a parade on the airfield of the Khojali airport, then I propose to send a tank brigade of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, a combined brigade of the Special Operations Forces and Turkish ‘commandos’ to participate. This will be a high-level event!” wrote the ex-minister and added: “I also offer fireworks in Shusha on the occasion of Victory Day!”
The press service of the Azerbaijani opposition party Musavat assessed the plans of the Russian armed forces to hold a military parade on May 9 at the Khojali airfield as an act of violation of the sovereignty of Azerbaijan.
“These actions contradict the mandate of the ‘peacekeeping forces’ and international law, and prove the occupational nature of Russia’s actions in Karabakh. This is an insult to the memory of the victims of the Khojaly tragedy. Official Baku must take effective steps to ensure sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Musavat party’s press service said in a statement.
The news about the preparation of Russian peacekeepers for the parade in Karabakh was greeted with indignation in the Azerbaijani segment of social networks. Here are some typical comments:
“We must show them their place! We did not sacrifice thousands of fighters for you to parade in Karabakh…”
“May Allah rest the souls of those who could not reach Khankendi, where they are going to hold the parade, just a few kilometers, and sacrificed themselves for this. Patience for veterans.”
“Despite the fact that Russia has its military base in Armenia, no event is planned there. What then is the point of doing this in Azerbaijan? It is inadmissible to hold a victory parade on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, in the city of Khankendi.”