Hostilities in Karabakh: reliable information only
Intensive hostilities have been continuing along the line of contact between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armies in Nagorno-Karabakh for several days. They have led to numerous losses on each side. As has happened before, the fighting is accompanied by information attacks which are aimed at disinformation, as the data is impossible to check. Thus, it is very difficult for the average person to understand what is actually happening on the Armenian-Azerbaijani front. We present a short review of confirmed information which enables us to draw a relatively independent picture of the developments
At the moment there is clear information that Azerbaijan has lost 12 people, a crashed helicopter, a tank which was blown up by a mine, and a crashed unmanned aircraft. The President of Armenia officially admitted that 18 soldiers were killed and 35 soldiers were injured.
Obviously, information confirmed by the top Azerbaijani officials that the army has occupied high points near the village of Talysh, which could have been dangerous for the Geranboi Region and the town of Naftalan, as well as the strategically important high point ‘Lale Tepe’, enabling the army to control the vast territory toward the Fizuli Region, was also true. Two facts confirm the truthfulness of the information. Firstly, Azerbaijan declared a ceasefire on a unilateral basis, meaning the Azerbaijani side wants to consolidate the military success achieved. The Armenian (separatist) military command would agree to a ceasefire only in the context of the restoration of ‘previous positions’.
This statement makes it clear that the Armenian side is dissatisfied with the new balance, and the continuing hostilities, which are not challenged by either side, mean that the Armenian military is trying to change the situation. It should be noted that messages spread by the Armenian side that ‘the village of Talysh has been liberated’ from the Azerbaijani troops are also a propaganda trick, because official Azerbaijani sources haven’t stated that the village is occupied – they have only mentioned high points near the village. The position of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries, the UN, the Council of Europe, Germany as the chair of the OSCE, the CSTO, and Iran as an important regional power is quite clear – the hostilities must be stopped immediately. Tactically, this is favorable for Azerbaijan, which has improved its strategic positions on the front and is ready to negotiate, considering the new reality.
Armenia is regularly discussing the opportunity of involving the CSTO in the conflict. However, even a shallow analysis of the steps and statements made by the CSTO member countries show that the opportunity for institutional support of Armenia in the conflict is ruled out by the organization. According to the charter of the CSTO, issues of planning and using the forces and means of the collective security system must be considered by the Military Committee, which was established on December 19th 2012. The Military Council is a structural body of the Council of Defense Ministers, where decisions are made on a consensus basis (Chapter 4, Article 12 of the CSTO Charter). At least Belarus and Kazakhstan stand for non-involvement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the Armenian side. Due to Armenia’s dissatisfaction with Belarus’s position, the ambassador of the country was even summoned to the Armenian Foreign Ministry.