18:00 – Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.
According to the Ukrainian Unian agency, the statement reads as follows: “The Ukrainian side stands for long-term political settlement of the Karabakh conflict, by the principle of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan within the framework of its internationally recognized borders.”
VIENNA, 5 April 2016 – We, the representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group countries (Russian Federation, the United States of America, France, Belarus, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Turkey), as well as the incoming Austrian OSCE Chair (2017) and the Serbian OSCE Chair (2015), strongly condemn the outbreak of unprecedented violence along the Line of Contact. We extend our condolences to all affected families. We urge the sides to cease using force immediately. There is no military solution to the conflict.
The deterioration of the situation on the ground demonstrates the need for an immediate negotiation, under the auspices of the Co-chairs, on a comprehensive settlement.
The representatives of the Minsk Group member states affirm their support for the Russian, American, and French Co-Chairs’ mediation efforts and welcome their plans to undertake direct consultations with the sides as soon as possible.
Seyran Ohanyan expressed his appreciation and support both to the soldiers as well as to their parents who came to visit, thanking them for raising devoted and patriotic sons.
16:20 According to Russia’s Southern Military District, Dagestan, a country bordering Azerbaijan and Russia, has set up separate motorized infantry brigades for the purpose of military exercises near the southern military district of Russia.
The military exercises involve around 1,000 soldiers and about 300 units of military equipment. It will continue until April 9.
From April 4 to 5, Foreign Minister Nalbandian held phone conversations with German Foreign Minister, OSCE Chairman Frank Walter Steinmeier, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogerinii, Georgian Foreign Minister Mikhail Janelidzei, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs James Warlick and Pierre Andryoyi. A detailed discussion also took place regarding the situation with the OIF Secretary General Michael Jean.
15:45 – CivilNet journalist Tatul Hakobyan who’s currently in the Jabrail district, was taken to the sight of the fallen “Smerch” along with other international journalists. According to Tatul Hakobyan, the “Smerch” landed on the asphalt besides the path of the Araks river. “We have seen a 300 mm rocket as well as a cluster bomb,” said Tatul Hakobyan. The video will be available in a few hours.
16:25 – The OSCE Minsk Group Co Chairs will arrive in Yerevan on April 9. President Serzh Sargsyan and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian will meet with them, Armenian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tigran Babayan informs.
Earlier, Georgian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Vakhtang Kapanadze said that Tbilisi will act as a mediator during the settlement of the conflict.
News of the ceasefire was confirmed to Hetq in an interview with NKR Defense Army Spokesman Senor Hasratyan.
14:05 – According to Artsakhpress, the aggressive offensive measures taken by Azerbaijan in all directions of the border were relatively passive within the last several hours. With corresponding actions, the Karabakh army suppressed Azerbaijan’s activeness, returning the lost positions.
13:50 – On April 4, the current Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group and the German Foreign Minister held a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey LAvrov.
According to the russian Foreign Ministry, “ The ministers have expressed concern about the rapidly deteriorating situation in the zone of contact between the Karabakh-Azerbaijani opposing forces, which has resulted in numerous human casualties, including civilians. Lavrov and Steinmeier agreed that there should be no military solution to conflict in the region, and urged both sides to display restraint, immediate cessation of fire and return to negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group.”
The German Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “The two foreign ministers also stressed the importance of implementing an exclusively political process. In this regard, they agreed that the OSCE Minsk Group in cooperation with international efforts plays a vital role in defusing the conflict.”
The OSCE Minsk Group is scheduled to meet today regarding the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
13:35 – CivilNet journalist in Hadrut Tatul Hakobyan, citing local military officials, reported that the two sides agreed to suspend the implementation of large-caliber ammunition. Currently the group of journalists from Civilnet, as well as other international journalists have traveled to the location of the impact of the “Smerch” attack.
13:10- Artsrun Hovhannisyan continues to publish the names and photographs of the Armenian victims.
12:55 – Armenian Defense Ministry spokesperson Artsrun Hovhannisyan wrote on Facebook that
The Azerbaijani side took the corps of its soldiers destroyed by their own troops from the adjacent and intermediary areas of their own positions to the region of Mataghis. They shot soldiers who tried to leave their positions under the pressure of the Armenian Divisions twice from behind.
12:40 “The situation is causing serious concern for the Kremlin. Did you know that active efforts are being taken to Russia, Yerevan, and Baku, as well as relevant international organizations? These efforts will continue to be implemented, especially calling for a ceasefire,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Russian news RIA Novosti..
Javad Zarif said that Iran is ready to play a role in the Karabakh conflict, specifically in the interest of the parties.
12:15 – The NKR Defense Ministry stated that it will remain committed to their strategy during these conflicts and will never fire on any civilian settlements. In addition to the Azerbaijani side launching heavy attacks in Mardakert, they also fired at Martuni. In regards to the Azerbaijani statements made about launching an attack in Stepanakert, the NKR Defense Ministry referred to the statements made yesterday as a response.
The statement reads the following: Probably, this very [NKR Defense Army] success was the reason for Azerbaijani leadership’s unbalanced statement, according to which they threatened to bombard populated areas of the Republic of Artsakh and in particular, the capital Stepanakert. The NKR Defense Ministry warns Hasanov, personally, and his “supreme,” that in case of such developments the response will be disproportionate and more painful.
“Following a US initiative, Russian and US Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in a phone call, during which they stressed their governments’ call for an immediate halt to the continuation of hostilities,” said a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“Lavrov and Kerry condemned attempts by certain ‘external players’ to complicate the situation of Karabakh,” said the statement.
Lavrov and Kerry during their phone call referred to US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner.
During a press briefing on April 4, Toner said that Kerry and Lavrov discussed the growing tensions along the line of contact of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan and urged to “resume talks under the auspices of the OSCE.”
Toner referred to the statements made by Secretary of State Kerry where he condemned the violence. “We call on both sides to immediately stop the use of force and to avoid further escalation of tension,” said Toner.
On April 4, dozens of Armenian community members of Los Angeles gathered at the Armenian Consulate in order to show their support and solidarity to the Armenian Armed Forces. Photos of the gathering can be found here.
The embassy said in a statement- For US citizens who are now in Karabakh, it is recommended that you immediately leave. The statement mentions that US Governmental personnel continue to be banned from travelling to Nagorno-Karabakh and the US consular services continue to remain inaccessible.
The embassy is currently aware of the press regarding the news about Azerbaijani Armed Forces being ordered to prepare for a possible attack on Stepanakert. The embassy also noted that the situation still remains tense in the Tavush region of Armenia.
10:40 – Famous Armenian American Kim Kardashian posted about the escalation of the conflict along the Karabakh-Azerbaijan line of contact on her Facebook and Instagram.
“Praying for everyone in Armenia and all around the world #PrayforPeace,” wrote Kardashian. Her post featured a powerful image of brave soldiers defending the Armenian frontlines.
09:40 – Escalation of tensions were reported in the northeast Tavush region of Armenia.
According to the RA Defense Ministry, “Last night continuing until this morning, tensions escalated in the northeastern section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border near the Bordevan and Koti settlements. The Azerbaijani side used artillery weapons, 60 and 82 mm mortars as it opened fire in the direction of Armenian positions and populated areas. As a result, the Armenian Armed Forces took retaliatory measures to suppress the Azeri side. Contract serviceman Zori Ashrafyan (born in 1983) was wounded in the attack. The Armenian forces continue to show restraint and continue to control the situation at the border.”
09:00 – NKR Defense Ministry issued a statement regarding the Smerch used by Azerbaijan.
“On April 1 and 2, Azerbaijan unleashed a series of aggressive actions at the line of contact between Karabakh and Azerbaijan. Every day that passed, the Azerbaijan side increased the caliber of the weapons used and on the evening of April 4, going into the morning of April 5, the “Smerch” multiple rocket launcher was used at the southern section of the line of contact. During this time, the enemy continued the bombardment of civilian settlement and military areas. In addition, an Azerbaijani unmanned aircraft was destroyed by the Armenian Defense Forces.”
According to the Nagorno Karabakh Defense Ministry, the Azerbaijani side continued to launch heavy attacks at the Karabakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact overnight. The Azerbaijani military utilized a “Smerch” rocket launcher in the southern positions of the frontline. The “Smerch” is a multiple rocket launcher designed to defeat personal, armored, and soft skinned targets in concentrated areas, artillery batteries, command posts and ammunition depots. Civilian settlements also came under fire during the attack. As a result, an Azeri unmanned flying vehicle was destroyed by Armenian Defense Forces.