Russian Socialist Movement: Concerning Azerbaijan’s aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh


On Tuesday morning, September 19, Azerbaijan began a full-scale military aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh. Aliyev’s militarist regime is bombing towns and villages of Nagorno-Karabakh under the cynical slogan of ‘anti-terrorist operation’, demands withdrawal of Armenian troops and dissolution of Nagorno-Karabakh authorities. According to the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh, Gegham Stepanyan, 200 people were killed, and 400 wounded, including children, women and elderly people. Aliyev’s aggression against Artsakh was unsurprisingly followed by the statements of Azerbaijani and Russian media about opening of Lachin corridor and other humanitarian corridors for evacuation of civilians.

Aliyev’s militarist regime has overtly fomented nationalist hysteria and prepared for a new war aimed at ethnic cleansing. Since December 2022 Aliyev’s regime has blocked the Lachin corridor connecting Artsakh to Armenia and suspended gas supply which brought the region to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. A new wave of Azerbaijan military aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh has become possible because recent events, including Russian invasion of Ukraine, have demonstrated to Aliyev that aggressors can easily get away with military crimes

The aggressive rhetoric of Aliyev’s regime towards Armenia implies that this war may go beyond Nagorno-Karabakh. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have understood that the discourse of ‘demilitarization’ ignores any internationally recognised borders.

Apart from Aliyev, Putin and Erdogan are the obvious beneficiaries of the war. Russian foreign policy proves that Putin does not tolerate political subjectivity of the countries he considers to be forever within the sphere of Russian influence. The fact that a series of military conflicts some of which happened in the zone of responsibility of Russian peacekeepers followed the election of Nikol Pashinyan as the Prime Minister of Armenia hints at interconnectedness of these events. Russian government put the blame for the deterioration of the situation on the Armenian government which recognized territorial integrity of Azerbaijan (rather than on Aliyev or Russian peacekeepers). Putin’s propagandists and Dmitry Medvedev alluded to the necessity of substituting Armenian government with a more pro-Russian regime quite unequivocally. For Putin, a possible constitutional coup in Armenia may be an intended outcome of the current war launched by Aliyev.

Erdogan has openly backed Azerbaijan’s offensive and claimed that the objective of the war was not only to obtain control over Nagorno-Karabakh but to force Armenia to open Syunik corridor, which Azerbaijan and Russia are also compelling Pashinyan’s government to do.

Russian Socialist Movement opposes Azerbaijan military aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh, the real objectives of which are preservation of Aliyev’s dictatorial regime and maintenance of Putin’s and Erdogan’s imperialistic interests.

1) We demand immediate ceasefire and negotiations with Nagorno-Karabakh without any prerequisites from Azerbaijan

2) We demand concrete deeds instead of non-obligatory statements of concern from the international community such as a) imposing sanctions on Azerbaijan’s government in order to coerce Aliyev into ending military operation; b) ensuring the security of the population of Artsakh, which has been held hostage by the complex political games of the leadership of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia, Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Aliyev’s regime does not recognize the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination. Moreover, Azerbaijani border guards who have seized the control over Lachin corridor several times kidnapped males who tried to leave Nagorno-Karabakh in summer and accused them of being members of illegal military groups. The plans for integration of Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh announced by Aliyev’s regime sound no less sinister.

Without real, not virtual, international interference, genocide of Armenian population of Artsakh is more than possible. We urge the Left to demand active measures from their governments to prevent ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh.

We express solidarity with the people of Nagorno-Karabkh/Artsakh.

Peace to huts, wars on palaces and dictators!