Russian media: Peacekeepers’ deputy commander killed in Karabakh

The Moscow-based newspaper Kommersant said the deputy commander of the Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh has been killed in an apparent Azerbaijani strike on his vehicle.

Captain 1st rank Ivan Kovgan and an unknown number of other peacekeepers were killed, Kommersant reported Thursday, citing a veterans’ club in St. Petersburg and local media outlets in the northern Russian city of Murmansk.

CivilNet was not able to independently confirm Kommersant’s reporting.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Russian servicemen had been killed Wednesday after their vehicle was shelled near the village of Chankatagh in northeastern Nagorno-Karabakh, but did not immediately provide the number of peacekeepers killed.

Moscow has not formally blamed Baku for opening fire on the peacekeepers, though the Kremlin did say Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev “apologized and expressed his deep condolences” for the incident in a call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin Wednesday evening.

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