Russia ceasefire attempt fails as Armenia reports 3 civilians injured in clashes

By Mark Dovich

An attempt by Russia to broker a ceasefire to end a major escalation in hostilities along portions of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border Tuesday has apparently failed, as fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continue.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday it had brokered a ceasefire that was set to come into effect at 10 a.m. in the South Caucasus, but that deadline blew past without any apparent end to the fighting.

CivilNet reporters in the towns of Goris and Vardenis said artillery fire there was ongoing as of 1 p.m. local time.

“The intensity of combat operations has decreased, but Azerbaijan’s attacks continue in one or two directions,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said earlier in the day.

Russia has so far not commented publicly on its apparent failure to broker a ceasefire to end Tuesday’s fighting.

The escalation began just after midnight local time, when Azerbaijani troops launched simultaneous attacks on a number of towns and villages in Armenia’s eastern and southern Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor, and Syunik regions.

Armenia has so far reported 49 casualties in the clashes. Azerbaijan has said its forces have also sustained casualties, but it has yet to release any figures.

Armenia’s Health Ministry said early Tuesday afternoon at least three civilians had been injured in the fighting, with one in critical condition. No other information was made immediately available.

The fighting, now stretching beyond its twelfth hour, has prompted a flurry of high-level diplomatic activity in the region, as calls for an immediate cession to the hostilities pour in from the international community.