May 26, 2024

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Russia announces a complete withdrawal of its forces from Nagorno-Karabakh – Politico

Russia announces a complete withdrawal of its forces from Nagorno-Karabakh – Politico

The mountainous region, located within Azerbaijan's international borders, has been ruled by its ethnic Armenian population as the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh since the war that followed the fall of the Soviet Union.

However, the Russian military unit did not intervene when Azerbaijan began a long-term blockade of supply lines in the region from December 2022, sparking a humanitarian crisis. Russian forces also withdrew from their positions between the two sides in September last year, moments before Azerbaijan began a surprise attack to take full control of the separatist region. Nearly all of the 100,000 Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh fled their homes in the aftermath.

In December, Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, met He said He added, “Our military units continue to carry out their tasks as a guarantor of the possibility of building a peaceful life and the return of residents to the region.” But no mechanism has been put in place that enables refugees to return to their homes.

News of the withdrawal comes amid a growing dispute between Armenia and its historic ally, Russia. The South Caucasus country recently rejected Moscow by freezing its membership in Russia's CSTO military bloc before holding joint military exercises with the United States. Yerevan is also pushing for closer integration with the European Union.

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