Russian Peacekeepers Defuse About 100 Explosive Devices in Nagorno-Karabakh

Russian peacekeepers have cleared the southern suburbs of the Nagorno-Karabakh capital, Stepanakert, of mines, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday, TASS informs.

“Russian deminers found and defused about 100 explosive devices in the past day. Explosive devices are taken to a specially equipped area and deactivated in accordance with safety requirements,” the statement reads.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that peacekeepers had cleared over 38 hectares of land and about 12 kilometers of roads of mines, inspected more than 100 homes and social facilities, and deactivated about 1,100 explosive devices. In addition, they are ensuring the safety of those working to restore power lines, a gas pipeline and electrical substations.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict over the disputed territory, primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them.

On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. The Russian leader said that Azerbaijan and Armenia would maintain the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian observation points have been established along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin Corridor connecting the region with Armenia. The peacekeeping operation’s command is stationed in the Nagorno-Karabakh capital of Stepanakert.