Azerbaijan arrests leader of Nagorno Karabakh

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 27 Sep 2023 by Alex Teddy

On September 27 Reuben Vardanyan was arrested as he tried to go to Armenia. Vardanyan was a Russian citizen of Armenian ethnicity. He renounced his Russian citizenship when he became Minister of State for Artsakh (i.e., the Armenian backed entity in Nagorno Karabakh) in 2022. He is a big prize, and Azerbaijan said he has already been taken to Baku. They suspect him of war crimes. 45,000 Armenians have fled the region since September 21. That is one third of the population. As they move to Armenia, Yerevan's claim over Nagorno Karabakh grows weaker. At this rate there will be few Armenians left there by 2024.  There is a long line of cars waiting to cross into Armenia. Russian peacekeepers are in Nagorno Karabakh but Yerevan openly distrusts them. Germany called on Azerbaijan to let international observers in to see that it treats people humanely.  Events since September 20 have been entirely in Azerbaijan's favor.

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