STEPANAKERT, Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian Weekly)—Twenty-one-year-old Armenian serviceman Vardan Arakelyan , born 1995, was killed on November 13 at a protection area of a military unit located in the southern direction of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) and Azerbaijani border, also known as the Line of Contact.
According to a statement released by the Defense Ministry, it is still unclear how Arakelyan was killed.
“An investigation is underway to find out the details of the incident,” read a part of the ministry statement. The Ministry of Defense also offered condolences and expressed support for the fallen soldier’s family, friends, and comrades.
Azerbaijani forces violated the ceasefire regime more than 60 times on November 12-13, using various caliber weaponry, the ministry reported in a separate statement.
Arakelyan’s death comes less than three weeks after another Armenian serviceman, Gurgen Ayvazyan, born 1996, was killed by Azerbaijani fire on October 26, at a protection area of a military unit located in the northeastern direction of the border.
Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan posthumously awarded Arakelyan on Sunday with a “For Service in Battle” medal.
On the night of November 10 -11, and during the day the Azerbaijani armed forces shelled the frontline positions of the Artsakh Defense Army near the villages of Talish and Yarimja from 60 and 82 mm mortars, the Artsakh Foreign Ministry reported. Such massive use of mortars occurring for the first time since the large-scale aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh in April has become the continuation of recent escalation of tension on the Line of Contact by Azerbaijan.
It is of serious concern that the aggravation of the situation takes place against the background of Azerbaijan’s preparation for the large-scale military exercises near the Karabakh borders, employing a large number of military equipment and manpower.
Such actions are a flagrant violation of agreements reached at summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg on inadmissibility of escalation of tension on the Line of Contact and indicate to the intention of Azerbaijan to impede the measures aimed at creating conditions for the resumption of the negotiation process.
Moreover, Azerbaijan not only rejects the creation of mechanisms for investigation of incidents and expansion of the office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson in Office, but also seeks to undermine the only international monitoring mechanism to maintain the ceasefire regime by firing an area where the OSCE mission carried out a planned monitoring the day before.
The Foreign Ministry calls on the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, the OSCE Chairperson in Office and the international community as a whole to condemn in the strongest terms destructive policy of the Azerbaijani authorities, and to take effective measures to prevent a further escalation of tension.
The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will suppress any actions of Azerbaijan, threatening the security of the Republic, the peace and stability in the region.