President of Karabakh Speaks About the Hard Decisions He Had to Agree to

The President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan delivered a speech following the late night statement about tripartite agreement of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia regarding the ceasefire agreement in the Nagorno Karabakh region. Below are key points from the speech.

“On November 8, walking in Stepanakert square in the morning, I noted that it was one of the most difficult nights of my life and one of the most difficult dawns. Why did I state this? Because on November 7, we completely lost control over the city of Shushi.

Today, I want to say that I probably had the most difficult night of my life, when I had very difficult days in 1992-94, losing many relatives, relatives who uttered their last words in my arms, but I managed to find the strength, I managed to concentrate on making decisions. I don’t know what assessment history will make regarding the decision that was made yesterday, but we had to make it.

First, in terms of the situation on the front. As a result of 43 days of the fighting, we lost the Fizuli district, Jabrayil district, Kubatlu, Zangelan districts, most areas of the Hadrut district, some parts of the Martuni and Askeran districts, and most importantly, Shushi.

The fighting took place at a distance of 2-3 km from Stepanakert. If the fighting continued at that pace, we would lose Artsakh within days, would have had many more victims because the fighting, moving from the frontline to the backbone in some sense, would have irreversible consequences on the frontlines, especially for our conscripts heroically fighting for these 43 days.

We suffered very heavy human losses yesterday, during the last few hours in the Martuni district, due to the drone attacks of the adversary that we weren’t able to halt. As to why we weren’t able to, we will all answer. Yes, everyone. Since we knew that our defense army needed this, this problem exists. Everyone who has held positions in recent decades.

Certainly we didn’t fight against Azerbaijan, and definitely not only the Turkish officers or military equipment was on the battlefield during the hostilities. The participation of Turkish soldiers, terrorists, mercenaries from different countries were too.

 I bow first to our soldiers, the most heroic guys in the world were our conscripts. I bow to the families and relatives of all the victims. We had to save the lives of those same conscripts.