In a significant move towards peace, Armenian separatists in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh have begun the process of surrendering their weapons and other military equipment.
This development was announced by the Russian Defense Ministry, as reported by news agencies Tass and Reuters.
Under the watchful eyes of Russian soldiers, the separatists have handed over six armored vehicles, 800 firearms, and 5,000 rounds of ammunition. This move comes after ethnic Armenians in the area expressed their need for security assurances before they would consider laying down their arms.
Russia has peacekeeping forces stationed in the region, which witnessed clashes earlier this week. The conflict ignited on Tuesday when Azerbaijan deployed forces to reclaim the region. A ceasefire was brokered on Wednesday. However, Russia has reported two breaches of this truce, though no casualties were reported in these incidents.
According to reports from Armenia, the brief skirmishes resulted in the tragic loss of over 200 lives, with more than 400 individuals injured. The news agency dpa provided this information.
Nagorno-Karabakh, while situated within Azerbaijan, operates as an autonomous enclave. It boasts its own president, currency, and flag, and receives support from Armenia. The region is home to approximately 150,000 residents, primarily Christian Armenians. Presently, the area functions as a de facto self-governing territory under Armenian control.
The history of Nagorno-Karabakh is complex, with its roots tracing back to ancient times. The region has been a point of contention between Armenia and Azerbaijan for decades, with both nations laying claim to it.
Over the years, numerous attempts at peace negotiations have been made, but a lasting solution remains elusive. The international community continues to monitor the situation closely, hoping for a peaceful resolution that respects the rights and aspirations of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.