A plane carrying five Armenian prisoners of war, who were being held captive in Azerbaijan, landed in Yerevan’s Erebuni Airport Tuesday night (local time). Russia’s Ambassador to Armenia Sergey Kopyrkin was on hand to greet the aircraft.
The release of the POWs was mediated by Russia. Last week, another POW was repatriated to Armenia.
The POWs were identified as Mels Ambardanyan, Rafik Karapetyan, Zhora Manukyan, Sedrak Soghomonyan and Hovsep Manukyan, according to Sputnik Armenia.
Soghomonyan, Ambardanyan and Karapetyan were among 10 POWs who received a six-year prison sentence by a Baku court on July 23. Zhora Manukyan, along with 12 other POWs, received a similar sentence on July 22, while Hovsep Manukyan was sentenced on July 29 along with 11 other POWs.
Former commander of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Artsakh, General Rustam Muradov accompanied the POWs on the plane, according to Sputnik Armenia. He mediated the return of other POWs.
On September 7, two other POWs were returned. They were identified as Artur Nalbandyan and Aramayis Torozyan, who were captured on July 14 near the Black Lake (Sev Lidj) section in Armenia’s Syunik Province. Their return was in exchange for Azerbaijan soldier Jamil Babayev who was detained at a residence in Artsakh’s Martakert region, Sputnik Armenia reported.