Since the end of last December, Azerbaijan has blocked the Lachin corridor, the only route between Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh, which is currently controlled by Russian troops. The Armenian authorities have been denouncing that some 120,000 Karabakh Armenians are suffering a serious humanitarian crisis as a result of this blockade.
From the beginning of the cuts, the demonstrators presented themselves as environmental activists, alleging that the blockade was in response to a protest against some illegal mines. However, as the days went by, the discourse began to change and what began to be heard were political proclamations.
Despite what these alleged activists maintain, at all times Armenia denounced that it is a destabilizing maneuver by Azerbaijan, after the armed conflict between the two countries in 2020 in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
A grotesque video of one of the demonstrations shows that the Azerbaijanis demanding control of the Lachin corridor are responding more to government interests than to environmental causes.
In the images you can see a woman delivering a fiery speech under the motto “Karabakh is Azerbaijan”. As he speaks, with his left hand he holds a white dove with which he was presumably trying to symbolize peace. She evidently was so absorbed in her speech that she didn’t even realize that she was drowning the bird, which, moreover, she was waving in tune with her words.
At the end of his speech, he releases the dove to make it fly, but the animal -already suffocated- falls like a stone. The video quickly went viral on social media and the woman who led the protest and strangled the pigeon was identified as Nailya Ismailovadirector of a “humanitarian” NGO funded by the Azerbaijani government.
Both countries have been fighting since the early 1990s to control Nagorno Karabagh, an Armenian-majority enclave recognized by the international community as part of Azerbaijan, although it separated from this country after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This first conflict, which caused 30,000 deaths, resulted in an Armenian victory. But Azerbaijan took its revenge during a second war that claimed the lives of 6,500 people in the fall of 2020, allowing Baku to regain numerous territories.
As part of the ceasefire agreement, peacekeepers were deployed to the region. However, the Armenian authorities accuse them of not having prevented the blockade of the route.
In recent days, reports of the hardships that the population of Nagorno Karabakh is suffering from the Azerbaijani bloc have multiplied. The more than 120,000 inhabitants of the area, including 30,000 children, have been living “under an existential threat” for more than a month, with shortages of food and medicine, and power outages.
Faced with this situation, this Monday The United States urged Baku to unblock the corridor between Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh. “I urged President Ilham Aliyev to immediately restore commercial traffic in the Lachin corridor. Every day that it remains blocked, there is a risk of a humanitarian crisis,” said the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenon social networks after a call with the Azerbaijani president.
The leader of US diplomacy warned that the blockade also jeopardizes the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan that the United States supports.
In a brief statement, the State Department reported that, in the call, Blinken urged Aliyev to “redouble efforts to achieve peace,” while expressing “concern” about the human rights situation in Azerbaijan.
Along those lines, last week, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrovurged his Azerbaijani counterpart, Jeyhun Bayramovto unlock the corridor.
The European Union (EU), meanwhile, decided on Monday to deploy a new civilian mission in Armenia for the next two years to monitor and try to stabilize the situation on the border with Azerbaijan.
“The establishment of an EU Mission in Armenia initiates a new phase in the EU’s involvement in the South Caucasus. The EU will continue to support de-escalation efforts and is committed to working closely with both parties towards the ultimate goal of sustainable peace in the region,” said EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell.
The Nagorno Karabagh region suffers hardships due to the blockade of Azerbaijan: “It is a war crime”
An orange in the pocket: chronicle of a trip to Upper Karabakh
Armenia Rejected Hosting This Year’s Russian Military Alliance Maneuvers: “Not Appropriate”