More than 6,500 individuals have arrived in Armenia from the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).
The process of evacuating refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh started just a day ago. On September 24, the NKR authorities announced that families who had lost their homes due to recent military conflicts and wished to leave the republic would be transported to Armenia under the protection of Russian peacekeepers.
David Babayan, an advisor to the NKR president, informed Reuters that over 120,000 ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh plan to leave the region and relocate to Armenia because they do not want to live under Azerbaijani rule.
"Our people are unwilling to reside in Azerbaijan. Almost 100% intend to depart from our historic lands," he stated, highlighting the concerns of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh about potential ethnic cleansing.
In response, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev expressed confidence that the process of reintegrating Karabakh Armenians into Azerbaijani society would be successful. He also mentioned that Azerbaijan had initiated humanitarian aid efforts for Armenian residents in the region.
Earlier, Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had declared Armenia's readiness to host Nagorno-Karabakh residents "if it becomes impossible for them to stay in that region." He indicated that Armenia had made preparations to accommodate over 40,000 displaced individuals.
The escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began on September 19 when Azerbaijan announced an "anti-terrorist operation" in the unrecognized republic and initiated shelling of its territory, including the capital, Stepanakert.
On September 20, both parties reached an agreement to cease hostilities. The Nagorno-Karabakh authorities agreed to Azerbaijan's demands, which included disbanding the unrecognized republic's army and withdrawing military equipment from its territory. Reintegration and the security of the local population, as outlined in the agreement, will be addressed through meetings with Azerbaijani representatives.
Amid these developments in Nagorno-Karabakh, mass protests demanding Pashinyan's resignation erupted in Armenia's capital, resulting in the detention of numerous individuals.
Earlier, Daryo reported that The son of Armenia's former president, Levon Kocharyan, has been arrested and is currently hospitalized due to alleged mistreatment during his apprehension. He has been placed under one-month detention by a court in Yerevan, facing criminal charges for allegedly assaulting four police officers during a protest on September 22.