south front for wednesday

Armenia Downs UAV, Vows Azerbaijan Won’t Have Nagorno-Karabakh, Ceasefire Entirely Failed
South Front, Oct 28 2020

On the morning of Oct 28, Armenian Ministry of Defense spox Shushan Stepanyan claimed that Armenian forces had downed another Azerbaijani UAV. A video and a photo were also shared.

Armenia accused Azerbaijan of continuing its attacks despite the humanitarian ceasefire, which appears to be entirely ineffective. the Artsakh Ministry of Defense said:

In the evening, the adversary continued to fire at peaceful settlements: particularly, Martuni and villages in the upper sub-district of the Askeran region, were targeted. Currently, battles of local significance are taking place in certain sections of the front line. The Defence Army continues to destroy the subversive groups of the adversary.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan gave an address to the people regarding the war. Pashinyan vowed:

For a month now, the Turkish-Azerbaijani terrorist forces have been waging a war against the Armenians of Artsakh. They attacked with tanks, artillery, Turks, Pakistanis. They wanted to capture Artsakh in a short time. But Artsakh, though wounded, survived. Armenians of Artsakh, all Armenians will fight for Artsakh to the end. Each counter-attack will be devastating for the enemy. To win, every order must be executed without discussion. We need pan-Armenian consolidation. The fate of the Armenians is at stake. We cannot afford the loss of Artsakh. News about the fall of Artsakh awaits every minute in Azerbaijan. But they won’t get it. Yes, we have opponents. But we also have friends who stand by our side. Artsakh has enough weapons to fight. Yesterday’s speech had two goals: to show the world community the constructive position of the Armenian parties and to demonstrate the determination of the Armenian people to fight for their rights. Let’s agree that we will not be afraid of anything. International actors know and declare that the aggressors are Turkey and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan’s refusal to make mutual concessions legitimized our right to fight to the end for our rights, for our freedom. Armenian people – you are the winner. Go and take your victory. The government elected by the Armenian people will not retreat one step from achieving this goal.

On the Azerbaijan side, it accused Armenia of violating the ceasefire. t said:

Armenian armed forces fired at our human settlements and positions of our units located on the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border using small arms at different times of the night and morning on Oct 28. Thus, the territories of Tovuz, Gadabay, Dashkesan, and Gubadli regions of Azerbaijan were fired upon by the enemy from the territory of Berd, Chambarak, Vardenis, and Gorus regions of Armenia. From 07.35 to 09.00 in the morning, the territory of the Aghjabedi region came under fire by the enemy.

And there was another statement, just minutes later. It said:

Armenian armed forces violating the humanitarian ceasefire regime continue to fire rockets at our peaceful population and civilian facilities. On Oct 28 at 10:15, the enemy fired at the Terter city and the territory of the region from the “Smerch” MLRS. No one was injured.

According to Azerbaijan, Armenian forces withdrew from the fights near Gubadli and abandoned a fair bit of equipment, as there’s a video of it being captured.

According to the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense, during the day on October 27 and night on October 28, units of the Armenian Armed Forces, which did not comply with the humanitarian ceasefire regime, fired at the positions of the Azerbaijan Army units in various directions of the front and human settlements near the frontline using various types of weapons. The combat operations continued mainly in the Aghdere, Khojavend, Fizuli, Zangilan, and Gubadli direction of the front. The enemy attempts to attack were resolutely thwarted, and they retreated suffering losses.

Azerbaijan Claims It Assassinated Defense Minister Of Nagorno-Karabakh, While Armenia Captures Syrian Militants In Combat Zone
South Front, Oct 28 2020

The US-sponsored ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh collapsed. So, Armenia and Azerbaijan continue pound each other and make victorious statements. On Oct 27, Azerbaijani sources released the video allegedly showing the assassination of Lieutenant General Jalal Harutyunyan in a drone strikes in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijani sources claim that he was killed. These reports were denied by the Armenian side. Vahram Poghosyan, a spokesperson of the Republic of Artsakh Pesident, said:

This is the second time the Azerbaijani press has been spreading false information about Jalal Harutyunyan, he allegedly died. I must say right away that nothing threatens Mr. Harutyunyan’s life, and the wound he received in one of the combat positions, fortunately, is not serious, and very soon he will return to the army.

Nonetheless, the Karabakh leadership appointed Mikael Arzumanyan a new defense minister of the self-proclaimed republic. While Armenian sources say that Harutyunyan will soon return to the army, this move indicates that the situation is more complicated that they want to admit.

On Oct 27 evening, the Armenian Defense Ministry released a map showing their version of the situation in the contested region. Even according to this map, Armenian forces lost almost the entire south of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijani forces are close to the Lachin corridor, a vital supply route from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh. An interesting fact is that the Armenians still claim that the town of Hadrut is in their hands. According to them, small ‘enemy units’ reach the town, make photos and then run away.

Al-Hadath TV also released a video showing Turkish-backed Syrian militants captured during the clashes. Now, there are not only visual evidence confirming the presence of members of Turkish-backed militant groups in the conflict zone, but also Syrian militants captured by Armenian forces there.

Despite the claims of Azerbaijan that it supports the ceasefire, its forces continue their advance in the region. Their main goal is Lachin. In fact, they have been already shelling the supply route with rocket launchers and artillery. The distance of 12-14km in which they are located allows to do this. Armenian forces try to push Azerbaijani troops back, but they have achieved little progress in this.

Armenian forces strike the advancing Azerbaijani troops:

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also made another address to the nation confirming that the war continues.

According to Azerbaijan, Armenian forces regularly shells settlements and towns behind the front line killing civilians. Baku reported on October 27 that at least four civilians were killed and 10 wounded in Armenian strikes on Goranboy, Tartar, and Barda.

Experts that monitor the situation in the Armenian internal politics say that in recent days the Soros-grown team of Pashinyan has recently changed its rhetoric towards the pro-Russian agenda. As an example, the press secretary of the prime minister Mane Gevorgyan reportedly wrote a letter to Vladimir Solovyov (a prominent Russian TV host and showman) insisting that she did not participate in the burning of the Russian flag near the Russian embassy in Yerevan in 2015, but was just present in that area then. The pro-Western, anti-Russian demonstration took there after a deserter from the Russian military unit deployed in Gyumri killed an Armenian family. The criminal, Vladimir Permyakov, was detained by a Russian FSB border guard unit during an attempt to cross the Armenian-Turkish border. He got a life sentence in Russia. Then, this incident was actively exploited by pro-Western forces in Armenia to fuel anti-Russian hysteria. Later, the very same forces led by Pashinyan seized power in the country as a result of the coup in 2018.

In the next two years, the Pashinyan government contributed a lot of efforts to undermine the relations with Russia and turned Armenia into a de-facto anti-Russian state. This created undermined the Armenian regional security and created conditions for the Azerbaijani-Turkish advance in Karabakh. Now, the Pashinyan government tries to rescue itself by employing some ‘pro-Russian rhetoric’. It even reportedly asked second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan to participate in negotiations with Russia as a part of the Armenian delegation. It should be noted that the persecution of Kocharyan that led to his arrest in June 2019 was among the first steps of Pashinyan after he seized power. Kocharyan was released from the prison just in late Jun 2020. Despite these moves in the face of a full military defeat in Karabakh, the core ideology of the Pashinyan government remains same (anti-Russian, pro-Western and NATO-oriented). Therefore, even if Moscow rescues Armenia in Karabkah, the current Armenian leadership will continue providing the same anti-Russian policy.

After the month of the war, the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc continues keeping the initiative in the conflict and exploiting its advantage in air power, artillery, military equipment and manpower. The coming days will likely show either Ankara and Baku are able to deliver a devastating blow to Armenian forces in Karabakh in the nearest future or not. If Armenian forces repel the attack on Lachin, they will get an opportunity to survive till the moment when the ‘international community’ finally makes some real step to pressure Turkey and Azerbaijan enough to force them to stop the ongoing advance. If this does not happen, the outcome of the war seems to be predetermined.

ATGM Passes Just Centimeters Above Euronews Journalists’ Jeep In Nagorno-Karabakh
South Front, Oct 28 2020

On Oct 26, Euronews published their video report on the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia for Nagorno-Karabakh. It covered the usual jazz, except for one point: in a part of the footage an ATGM brushes probably centimeters above the jeep the journalists are travelling in, barely sparing their vehicle, and likely their lives.

The exact moment takes place around 1:55. The video below is a snippet of the exact moment:

According to observers, this was an Armenian ATGM that barely hit the vehicle, as the journalists appear to be on Azerbaijani side. This also goes contrary to claims by Armenia that Azerbaijan have allowed no journalist coverage on the front.

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